Tagged: novel



iPulpFiction.com and the Manley Wade Wellman Literary Estate are happy to present STORIES FROM THE 30TH CENTURY.

The series kicks off with “When Planets Clashed” and “Disc-Men of Jupiter”

From the series editor, Jeremiah Rickert:

Welcome to Manly Wade Wellman’s “30th Century” series! These stories, set in Wellman’s shared “30th C.” universe, were published sporadically between 1931 and 1951. An effort has been made to identify stories that have not yet been included the series by previous bibliographers.

The first two stories in the series, “When Planets Clashed” and “Disc-Men of Jupiter” are both in that category. “Clashed” was originally published in Wonder Stories Quarterly in Spring of 1931 and reprinted as a Hall of Fame Novelet in Startling Stories, March of 1947. “Disc-Men” originally appeared in the September 1931 issue of Wonder Stories and was reprinted in Startling Stories in May of 1947. I have included these stories in the series because their events are referred to in the past tense in the main body of 30th Century stories and they feature many of the main details found in all of the stories: Earth is governed by a “World League” based in St. Louis, Mars’ capital is Ekadome and its pleasure city is Pulambar.

In “Disc-Men” we also have the first mention of the recreational “joy lamps” used by human and Martian pleasure seekers. There is a character named Thor Harvison who runs a ship manufacturing company on Mars. In 1943’s “Frontier Planet” there is a Lt. Harvison who is the cousin of the Harvison Power interests on Mars. Additionally there is a character named Rolf Bromburg who may be the hero that Ft. Bromburg is named after in 1941’s “30th Century Duel.”

The main difference between these proto-30th Century stories and the others is the appearance of the Martians themselves. In these early stories they appear as lean mahogany-skinned humanoids and not the flower-headed speech-slurring blobs of fun we will read about as the series progresses.

Wellman’s pulp stories hold up remarkably well and I am sure you will enjoy reading them as much as I have.

Learn more at www.iPulpFiction.com.


Pulp action adventure hero The Avenger debuts this week on www.iPulpFiction.com in thrilling original stories from Moonstone Books. First up: Introducing The Other Man of Steel by Howard Hopkins and The White Curse by Will Murray.

About The Avenger:
Out of tragedy, a hero is born! In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made. In the raging flame of personal tragedy, men are sometimes forged into something more than human. Wealthy and successful at an early age, Richard Benson was preparing to enjoy a long and happy life with his family when crime took away his wife and young daughter. Once he was just a man, but now he is a machine of vengeance dedicated to the extermination of all crime. A figure of ice and steel, but more pitiless than both, Benson has become a symbol to crooks and killers–a terrible, almost impersonal force, masking cold genius and a nearly supernatural power behind a face as white and still as a dead man’s mask. Only pale eyes, like ice in a polar dawn, hint at what awaits criminals when they invoke the rage of millionaire adventurer Richard Benson – The Avenger!

Now, for the first time in over 30 years, the fearless/expressionless crime fighter; the man with the moldable face, the man with the shock white hair and the pale grey eyes, is back in action in a stunning collection of stories featuring all the action, adventure, and revenge Avenger fans have come to expect! From noir adventure and two-fisted action, to emotional tales of inner demons, join The Avenger for the E-ticket thrill ride of your life!

Learn more about iPulp Fiction at www.iPulpFiction.com.
Learn more about Moonstone Books at www.moonstonebooks.com.

Also, look for more great tales from Moonstone Books at iPulp Fiction.

REVIEW: Ruby Sparks

A writer’s character coming to life is nothing new. It was done effectively on The Twilight Zone and Sharon Stone even portrayed a muse come to life to bedevil Albert Brooks. As a result, the premise behind the charming Ruby Sparks is not at all fresh but the approach is what makes this small film well worth your time and attention.  That it is heartfelt and well-constructed is to be expected considering the movie comes from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris who first caught our attention with Little Miss Sunshine. They have been missed.

Paul Dano is Calvin, an author who hit his first novel out of the park and has been struggling to remain commercially relevant ever since (think Jonathan Franzen). Then, finally, he creates a character, Ruby, who genuinely stirs his soul thanks to a prompt given him by his therapist (Elliott Gould). The pages flow easily for the first time in a decade. A week later, though, Ruby (Zoe Kazan) has come to life and is found sitting on his couch, ready to experience life. Ruby is 26, doesn’t own a computer and always roots for the underdog, something Calvin most certainly is.

What does one do when the woman of his dreams is made manifest? If he imagined her to life, can he or should he alter her to his exact specifications? And that is what propels the remainder of the film, a sitcom version of magical realism. Does he share her with the world, make love to her, or admire her from afar? His brother Harry (Chris Messina) says jump her after realizing she is the women Calvin has been writing about.

What starts out as a pretty funny comedy takes on serious tones as we progress and the shifting mood isn’t smoothly handled. It raises some interesting question and only partially answers them, leaving you somewhat entertained, somewhat dissatisfied. This is about Calvin growing up and we watch him flail all over the place despite a support system including his mom and his step-father (nice cameos from Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas). Calvin remains a mess, still in pain after breaking up with his last girlfriend (Deborah Ann Woll), and has a tough relationship with his lousy literary agent (Steve Coogan).

Dano and Kazan are wonderful together, ably supported by the deep, veteran cast. They rise above the film when the material gets weak or meanders but overall leave you entertained from beginning to end. This could have benefitted from a stronger script but still remains entertaining and thoughtful, not at all a bad combination.

The transfer to Blu-ray by 20th Century Home Entertainment is excellent and the disc comes with the standard assortment of special features. Most feel like they came from the press materials with little shot specifically for the disc. You get a handful of pieces ranging in length from three minutes to four minutes, never letting you delve deep into the film itself.


Cover Art: Douglas Klauba

IPulp Fiction has released the ebook version of Moonstone’s novel by the late New Pulp author, Howard Hopkins, The Lone Ranger: Vendetta.

From out of the past comes a mysterious killer systematically murdering anyone with a connection to the Masked Rider of the Plains former identity. When all signs point to Butch Cavendish, a man long dead, The Ranger finds himself trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the life of his faithful Indian companion hanging in the balance.

Learn more about iPulp Fiction at www.iPulpFiction.com.
Learn more about Moonstone Books at www.moonstonebooks.com.

Also, look for more great tales from Moonstone Books at iPulp Fiction.


Arriving in bookstores on November 13 is Titan Books’ brand-new edition of the classic novel, Philip José Farmer’s novel, Lord of the Trees.

“Having lived long enough with the charming fairy tale created by my biographer, I feel the time has come for the truth to be known. I propose to tell all; of the origins of The Nine, the elixir that gives us nearly eternal youth and superhuman strength, the struggles between us that set the world atremble.”

Lord Of The Trees  is the follow-up to Jose Farmer’s shocking and controversial A Feast Unknown.

Learn more about Philip José Farmer at www.pjfarmer.com.
Learn more about Titan Books at http://titanbooks.com.


IPulp Fiction has released the expanded version of K B Shaw’s thrilling Young Adult science fiction adventure, NEWORLD PAPERS: BELOW.

Official Release:


The Neworld Papers: Below

Young Fallon often fantasizes about becoming a spy for a wealthy franchise family, or even one of the guilds, and living a life of adventure. When he is sold to the mistress of a powerful franchise family, will his dream come true – or his worst nightmare?

The Neworld Papers: Below is a thrilling young adult series that is perfect for sharing your love of science fiction with your children or grandchildren.

Learn more about iPulp Fiction at www.iPulpFiction.com.


Cover Art:P Jeff Herndon

Whack Job, the latest novel from author Mike Baron is now available for Kindle.

When world leaders burst into flame like a string of Lady Fingers, the President calls on a renegade former agent with a history of mental problems. Otto “Aardvark” White possesses a unique quality. He’s lucky.

Whack Job features a cover by Jeff Herndon.


Available on November 6th, Popular Mechanics release, The Amazing Weapons That Never Were hits stores. Many of these would be right at home in a pulp novel.

Between 1910 and 1970, scientists and military experts made hundreds of predictions in Popular Mechanics about the future of warfare. Some of those prophecies were downright nuts, while others veered eerily close to reality. This collection of vintage articles, with their stunning original art, will spark the imagination of every military buff, retrophile, and futurist. And the jacket unfolds into an amazing 24” x 19” poster of fantastic machines, blasters, and flying tanks. Astrophysics professor, science-fiction author, and NASA advisor Gregory Benford provides an introduction to every chapter.

The Amazing Weapons That Never Were, a 200 page hardcover retails for $16.47 and can be purchased at Amazon.

Emily S. Whitten: Sturm und Drang and a Bit of Darkness

Before I get down to today’s main topic, I want to say that I’m thinking of all who may be in difficulties or have suffered damage or loss due to Hurricane Sandy. I know a lot of comics pros (and fans!) live in NYC, which was pretty hard-hit, and I hope that most of you there and everywhere else made it out of the storm with minimal inconvenience.

As it turns out, at least one of our community did not fare so well. NYC-area comics artist J.K. Woodward (of Peter David’s Fallen Angel and more) and his wife Monica lost pretty much everything in the hurricane. Darrell Taylor and J.K. have a weekly podcast called J.K.’s Happy Hour, and this week it’s all about the craziness that J.K. and Monica went through. You should seriously listen to it, because it’s nuts. (I got to, “The couch started lifting up and floating, and we realized we were fucked,” and I just started laughing in horrified disbelief, even though it’s really not funny. It’s just that unbelievably crazy. And J.K. is funny, even in the midst of his loss.)

In the aftermath of that, J.K. and Monica are trying to find a new place to live and to replace basically their whole lives (right down to their clothes! Yikes!), and they could really use some help. To help finance a new home, car, and household items, J.K. is selling original art here. Or, if you’d like to help them out but would prefer to give directly, they also have a PayPal account at jkwoodward1205@gmail.com. Alternatively, if you want to donate clothes (J.K. is an XL in mens’ tees) or household items, through at least December they can be sent to: J.K. Woodward, c/o Reiss Studios, 4301 22nd Street, Studio 206, Long Island City, NY 11101.

You can also keep up with how they are doing and any updates as to what help they might need at J.K.’s blog. It must be terrible to lose everything like that; but hopefully some of us in the community can help them get back on their feet!

And, now, onward to something a little creepy – which is appropriate, as I was reading it right before Halloween. “It” being a review copy of the graphic adaptation of actor Thomas Jane’s movie Dark Country, which is now available in hardback. Both the movie and the graphic novel are based on a twisty little story written by Tab Murphy. The graphic novel is published by RAW Studios, founded by Thomas Jane (The Punisher, The Mist, Hung) and in partnership with Eisner Award nominated illustrator/production designer Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher, Hellblazer, Criminal Macabre) and a crew of talented creators.

I admit I haven’t seen the movie (although now that I’ve read the graphic novel, I may just do so). So this review is all about the new hardback graphic novel, which actually contains three distinct parts: a “silent” scratchboard-style graphic story by Swiss artist Thomas Ott, the original short story by Tab Murphy, and a collection of information and images related to the making of the film.

I haven’t encountered that many silent comics before; although memorably, Frank Tieri’s Deadpool #61 in the “Funeral for a Freak” storyline (appropriately entitled “‘Nuff Said”) is one, and is very well done. But the Dark Country silent comic is very impressive – both in the unique style of art, which is alternately beautiful and ominous or even gruesome; and in the way it’s able to tell the story without a spoken word from any character. Done all in black and white, Ott’s style is pretty interesting (samples can be seen here), being simultaneously very precise and detailed, and diffuse due to the scratchboard technique. The style also contributes to the noir-ish mood of the story and to the impending sense of dread as it unfolds. It’s definitely a striking artistic work and story.

Reading Tab Murphy’s original short story is a slightly different experience, but no less enjoyable if you like suspense and horror. If you haven’t encountered the story before, I won’t spoil it for you; but I will say, it’s an interesting little tale with a weird twist that’s hard to get out of your mind; one of the kind that you want to read through again after you’ve finished it, to see how your own perception of the plot has changed. It starts out with a newly married couple driving from Vegas to Albuquerque through the desert at night, and gets ominous when they encounter a body in the road. I’m not a horror fan in the sense of “blood, guts, and slasher films.” What I do like, though, are psychological thrillers and stories that are terrifying because of their puzzles, twists, or dark mysteries; and this is something along those lines, and certainly worth a read if you enjoy that genre.

The third part of the hardback package is almost fifty pages of materials from the making of the movie, like background, storyboards, production notes, and still photos. Despite not having seen the film, I found this part really interesting. It’s a glimpse into Thomas Jane and Co’s creative process during production, in a detail I haven’t encountered before (being as most of my “behind the scenes” reading about movie production has been done piecemeal and by happenstance while clicking around online). From discussions about the influence comic books had on Jane’s vision to the process of making the film in 3-D to concept art and storyboards, there’s a lot to digest here, and it gives a nice glimpse into the development of a film from concept to screen. Also there are some great bits of art by David Allcock scattered about.

Altogether, the compilation of these things is pretty cool; and if you’re a fan of the movie or of noir, horror, suspense, or some combination of those things, I’d think this would be a neat addition to your collection. Just don’t read it before bedtime, or you might find yourself unable to escape dreaming of the Dark Country.

Wishing you all a sleep free of nightmares, and until next time, Servo Lectio!

E.T.A. And to wrap up on Halloween-themed things, it so happens that I have just entered my Arkham City Harley Quinn costume in a little contest. Winners get cool comics prizes! So if anyone is so inclined, please feel free to vote for me once a day through November 14, and maybe I can win! (In which case, I would most certainly choose the Harley Quinn prize. It’s only fitting). Thanks!!

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis and The Adventures Of Black-Man!

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Why Mike Gold Didn’t Cold-Cock Walter Simonson


REVIEW: The Princess Bride – 25th Anniversary Edition

Hard to believe it’s been a quarter of a century since The Princess Bride was released to theaters. By then, I had adored William Goldman’s novel which was its basis and over time, as it hit cable then home video, it was watched repeatedly in my house. As a result, the kids grew up with it a part of their lives and they came to adore it with equal ardor. Sadly, when I tried to interest my eighth graders in seeing it recently, they stared blankly.

The conceit in the novel is that Goldman was giving us the “good parts” version of S. Morgenstern’s fantasy tale and that is adapted to the film as a grandfather (Peter Falk) reads the book to his sick grandson (Fred Savage). The rest of the fable involves the romance between beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) and dashing Westley (Cary Elwes) and the trials and tribulations that kept them apart – until the end when they finally kissed, one of the five greatest kisses ever recorded in history (or so we’re told). Between meeting and kissing, there are swordfights aplenty, death, resurrection, magic, cowardice, giants, tricksters, weird locales, and much more. Girls can love the romance, the boys can adore the action and both can laugh at the comical performances and clever dialogue.

Rob Reiner’s casting was pitch perfect as was his deft direction so all the elements came together to make an instant, enduring classic. With Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Andre the Giant, what could possibly go wrong? Nothing as it turns out and it’s a joy to see it one more time, in the 125th anniversary Blu-ray release from Warner Home Video. Reiner could have gone overboard with the humor but he reaches the edge of slapstick and pulls back time after time.

Given how often this has been previously released on DVD and Blu-ray, it’s comforting to see most of the extra features carried over here including both audio commentaries (Reiner and Goldman), The Art of Fencing (7:00), Cary Elwes’ Video Diary (4:00), a look at the Dread Pirate Roberts (12:00), twin pieces on the fantasy roots (26:00), a Makeup (11:00) piece; and “Untold Tales” (9:00). New to this edition is a 25th Anniversary Chat with Cary Elwes, Robin Wright and Rob Reiner (15:00) and Entering the Zeitgeist (15:00), examining the film’s role in today’s pop culture.

If you own one of the earlier versions, you may not need this but if you don’t have this on the shelf, this is well worth you (and your children’s) attention.