Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New pulp reprints

Has anyone seen these in stores, repackaged Shadow and Doc Savage novels by Nostalgia Ventures? (Link found at gamera_spinning) I've collected many of the old Bantam reprints of the Doc Savage novels and I have a couple of the Shadow reprint novels (although I've only read "The Romanoff Jewels"), but this is the first time in years that I think they have been in print. (I also have some The Spider reprints, but Nostalgia Ventures doesn't seem to be doing anything with that series.)

What's interesting about these reprints, according to the Web site, is that they include historical information by Anthony Tollin and Will Murray. I know Murray's name as both the writer of many of the Destroyer (Remo Williams!) novels and as a pulp expert. Apparently, Tollin and Murray have also written Doc Savage novels "in collaboration" with original writer Lester Dent. The reprints also have the original illustrations and covers. I'm sorely tempted to pick these up. They are apparently available at Barnes & Noble and Borders.

If all these names (Shadow, Doc Savage, Operator #5) are unknown or confusing to you, get educated at: PulpWiki, The Hero Pulps!, Wikipedia entry, and The Pulp Gallery. For more on The Destroyer see Here's more on the movie Remo Williams.

Most of my pulp reprint needs, though, are usually served by Adventure House and High Adventure magazine. That's how I collected almost the entire "Purple Invasion" stories from Operator #5.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Joe Gill, 1919-2006

Joe Gill, writer of hundreds, maybe thousands, of Charlton Comics died last month, Dec. 17, at his nursing home in Seymour, Conn.

Mark Evanier first reported Gill's death on his blog. The Connecticut Post did Saturday. Evanier's blog talks mostly about his career at Charlton, while the newspaper article gives more information about his life since retirement. I find it touching that the senior center will be mounting his pool cues. The Post had previously done an article on Gill's friendship with Mickey Spillane; unfortunately I can't find it now. Also, I highly recommend Charlton Spotlight's interview with Gill.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Loads of links and more

Arrested Development's Michael Cera gives you his tips to success.

Chris Roberson points out that Avatar is coming to the screen. I've only seen a couple of episodes, but I share Roberson's worries.

Paul Jessup skips the manifesto and creates a subgenre.

Two interviews with Nick Mamatas: Bookslut and Disinformation

Iwao Takamoto has died. I had never heard of him until I read the Boing Boing post, but now I realize he's the creator behind some of the best cartoons of my childhood.

Professor Hex points out this wonderful eBay sale that includes thousands of pulp magazines. Just check out the gallery of images from the sale of Weird Tales, terrific stuff.

And to round out this linkfest, a meme from a while ago. I found it at Myth Happens.

"Listed below are the fifty most significant science fiction / fantasy novels, 1953—2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club: bold the ones you have read, italicize the ones you started but never finished, underline the ones you own but never started, strike out the ones you hated, and put an asterisk beside the ones you love. "

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson*
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury*
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe*
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison*
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson (I assume this is for the whole trilogy, I only read the first book.)
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon*
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith*
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester*
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

In the case of some of these books, the line between liking and loving is very thin. It's interesting that I don't hate any of these books. Though I imagine I wouldn't like it today, "Sword of Shannara" was a pleasant reading experience for me in my early teen years. I'm also pleased to see that I've read the great majority (31) of these books. It gives me a few ideas for rereads later.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007: My year of writing, no really

So, about this time last year, I wrote this:

This year, I resolve to write, send out and see a story published. At least one, but hopefully more.

Well, I failed miserably. For the better part of the year, I wrote regularly and even finished one whole short story (and yes, I know that's pretty pathetic.) I did manage to send it out to a friend, who gave me some good advice on what was wrong with it. Shortly thereafter, I was inundated with wedding planning and real estate issues. I'm making no attempt to say those things should have stopped me, only that they did.

My other writing, blogging and journaling, was pretty miserable as well. I was strong blogging at the beginning of the year and faded away. By May, I had completely stopped. Journaling, on the other hand, I kept up regularly up until October. Even then, I'd find the occasional time to slip in a paragraph in a notebook here or there.

This year, I'm making a resolution again. It's not much different from last year, just more specific:

I resolve to write every day with an aim to creating good fiction.

The main difference here is the resolution is all focused on doing the work. Forget anything else until I'm writing regularly and getting better. Besides, I have no control over whether something will be published. I can only work on my own craft until I write things that are publishable.