No Rocketeer this week

Chickie cover 1925

A few days ago I started on a new avenue of research and, like the springy snake that pops out of the can, I was unprepared for what I was getting into. I started by looking into an interesting (and rather tricky) topic: very early romance novels intersecting the beginning of the pulp era. I wanted to get the feel for some longer pulp-era love stories for my own writing purposes. I do have a number of “Love Pulps” (magazines) but it is nearly impossible to read their long series as most of these genre magazines were not kept. And the magazine’s stories were never collected, as far as I can tell. Which only left me access only to short stories. I do like these short love stories very much but wanted to know how the authors were full handling novels. I discovered a whole bunch of early romance novels but you have to know where to look to even find the names(!) not to mention the publishers. In the process of this research I discovered some very early science fiction novels as well. These “fantasy”  novels included such topics as: spiritual themes, time travel, detective mysteries, and eugenics. And in some books, all at once! Needless to say, I was fascinated. So I’m looking into these, too. Right now, I’m trying to find space for a dozen (possibly fragile) vintage hardbacks I’ve just ordered. I don’t yet have a book scanner so I will be reading these 100+ year old books very gently.

I’ve added the cover of one of the books I’ve ordered, “Chickie,” by Elenore Meherin. It came out originally in 1920. Some of the books I’m looking at have been in print almost constantly since the 1910’s! And yet, who today has heard of  “Heartbroken Melody” by Kathleen Norris? It originally came out in 1938 but I bought a paperback reprint from the 1970’s. More rare was, “Her Desert Lover” by  Louisa Carter Lee from 1925. I could only find two copies of this book one for sale and knew better than to wait. I would love to get a copy of “Cabaret Love” (1933) by Lillian Barker, but it’s WAY expensive. So anyway, a lot of fun reading ahead!

I’m going to hold off talking about the old sci-fi for the moment. That’s another story and a complex one. I found and lost a quote that I’m kicking myself for not copying out right away. One of these old sci-fi books was apparently some kind of inspiration to Stanley Weinbaum, a fact I really would like to prove. Maybe I will be able to. I hope so.

Anyway, that’s a nutshell of what I’m doing at the moment. There’s also writing and art, of course, but isn’t there always?

See you next time!

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