skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
This list will be a bit shorter than the others, as the Goodreads audience isn't as heavily into pulp as they are some other categories. Pulp is less of a genre than a "feel." Action-packed, high excitement, not much introspection, kind of low-brow. On this shelf I put not only books and stories actually published in the pulp magazines, but homages and patisches. I'm seeing a lot of noir in here too.

The Alcoholics by Jim Thompson
Almuric by Robert E. Howard

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Chthulu - The Mythos and Kindred Horrors by Rober E. Howard
Conan by Robert E. Howard

Die a Little by Megan Abbott
The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon

Fade to Blonde by Max Phillips

The Getaway by Jim Thompson
The Grifters by Jim Thompson

Hellboy, Vol. 8: Darkness Calls by Mike Mignola
The Hunter by Richard Stark

The Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Money Shot by Christa Faust

Queenpin by Megan Abbott

Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke

Shoot the Piano Player by David Goodis

Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke by Philip Jose Farmer
361 by Donald E. Westlake
A Touch of Death by Charles Williams
Trouble Is My Business by Raymond Chandler

The Vengeful Virgin by Gil Brewer

--

A fair number of repeat authors this time, including the surprise entry Jim Thompson.

As always, your thoughts and comments, especially if you've read any of these or heard good buzz.

SKJAM!
skjam: Ghost cat in a fez (fez)
The Devil with WingsThe Devil with Wings by L. Ron Hubbard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Full Disclosure: I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway in the expectation that I would review it. Presumably this was influenced by my review of an earlier book in the series, "If I Were You."

This volume is part of the "Golden Age Stories" reprints of L. Ron Hubbard's pulp writing. A lot of effort has been put into making the book physically attractive, and the appearance is of very high quality. I wish some other authors got the same treatment!

The short novel within is set in 1930s Manchukuo, a part of northeastern China set up as a puppet state by the Japanese invaders. The Japanese are being battled by a man they call "Akuma no Hane", which the author translates as "the devil with wings." (A closer translation would be "The Devil's Feather." Most of the names of Japanese people are likewise suspect.) This mysterious black-clad aviator has been harrying their troops for the last three years.

But now it seems Akuma no Hane has gone too far, killing the American civil engineer Robert Weston. Now, not only is Captain Ito Shinohari of Japanese Intelligence after the aviator, but Bob's sister Patricia is also out for blood. Now the pilot and his faithful sidekick Ching must race to discover the truth and head off a Russian-japanese war!

This is an exciting pulp story, foll of action and gunplay. The centerpiece is a fierce dogfight told from Patricia's confused viewpoint in the back of Akuma no Hane's plane. The period racism is toned down considerably; Shinohari isn't evil because he's Japanese, but because he cares more about his own advancement than the good of his country. The Japanese in general are in the wrong, but that's because they're invaders, not the color of their skin.

The story does less well with Patricia, whose bravery and determination are emphasized in her first confrontation with Akuma no Hane, And then...she accomplishes absolutely nothing in the story, becoming a tagalong for the Devil. There's a romance angle, but it's badly shoehorned in towards the end. A woman with agency Patricia is not. If that sort of thing bothers you, take off half a star.

The volume comes with a glossary, which will be helpful for readers who are unfamiliar with 1930s history, plus the same introduction and potted hagiography of L. Ron Hubbard that comes with every volume in the series, plus a several page preview of "The Green God," another volume in the series.

This is a very quick read, and with the recycled material, I cannot recommend paying full price for this one. If you enjoy daring tales of aviation and the Far East, check to see if you can get The Devil--with wings from your library, or wait until it shows up used.



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skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
The Spider, Master of Men! #30: Green Globes of DeathThe Spider, Master of Men! #30: Green Globes of Death by Grant Stockbridge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another cracking adventure of the bloodthirsty hero known as the Spider.

The twist this time is that when last we and the Spider saw the Fly, that criminal had been skewered by a sword and fallen several stories into a river. If it hadn't killed him, the Fly certainly would have been horribly injured. So how is it that the Fly is walking around hale and hearty, and back to his old trick of massacre with robbery.

Surely this Fly must be an impostor. Or has the villain accomplished the impossible? Even the Spider knows moments of doubt.



View all my reviews
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
The Big Book of Adventure StoriesThe Big Book of Adventure Stories by Otto Penzler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It's a big book all right!



This doorstopper contains a multitude of fun pulp adventure stories, from the so famous it's almost cliche "The Most Dangerous Game" to obscurities never before reprinted. With a wide range of genres and settings, there is something here for almost every pulp fan.



There are some flaws. The "humor" section is weak, one of the stories not even being from the pulp era. Plus, the racism and sexism of the pulp era are shown in many of the stories; this is acknowledged in the introduction and author notes.



But all in all, many hours of exciting reading, including the rare Tarzan novel, "Tarzan the Terrible", which owes its placement as the final entry I think in part due to its ending paragraph.







View all my reviews
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Here's a list of the panels I've signed up for at ConVergence 2011-- actual schedule yet to be determined.

Comics and Manga - not just for Six Year Olds

Social Commentary in Comics

The Legion of Super Heroes

Beginning Gamemastering

Overexposed Characters

Femme Fatales of the Pulps

How the Pulps Saw the Future

Interesting Bad Guys

Terrorists of the Pulp Era

----

And one I suggested that may be scheduled if it gets enough interest...

_Retro and Historical Anime and Manga_

Description: Steam Detectives, Steamboy, Emma: A Victorian Romance and many other anime/manga titles look to the past, or a future that looks like the past. Come discuss your favorites, where they do well and where liberties have been taken.

Good News!

Mar. 9th, 2010 09:19 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
My hotel reservation for ConVergence has finally come through, so barring some major recanting on the part of the hotel or the concom, I will be able to control my own timeline at the convention.

Speaking of which, ConVergence Programming has started taking requests for seating on possible panels. These are the ones I've penciled in as wanting to be on (as opposed to just attending.)

* Villains of Anime and Manga
* Gunsmoke and Bloodshed: Dark Heroes of the Pulps
(I suggested both these panels in the first place, so it was kind of mandatory that I sign up to help make them happen.)
* Disney Villains
* Giant Atomic Monsters
* Villains in Role-Playing Games
* Behind the Sofa: Villains of Doctor Who
* The Pulps
* Current Popular Manga
* Bring Me Up To Speed (a comics panel)
* Old Time Radio

I might sign up for more when the "on the bubble" list comes out.

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