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Super-Science Kids: First Fandom Experience, part 2

Super Science Kids Header

Enter First Fandom Experience At PulpFest 2019, I discovered an extraordinary project called, First Fandom Experience. Father and son, David and Daniel Ritter, are dedicated pulp fans and collectors with a special interest in the early days of science fiction fandom. They, along with core team members—John L. Coker III, Sam McDonald, Doug Ellis and Kate Baxter—have created a database of materials which they make available through their website, books, and on social media. Part 1 of this interview, published on the PulpFest blog in September, was a general introduction…

PulpFest Historical — Harry Bates, Pittsburgh’s Own

I have a new article out today on the PulpFest website. When I was asked to write about Harry Bates,  I didn’t know much about him, only that he was an early editor of ASTOUNDING STORIES. I certainly didn’t know he’d written the story on which “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was based. Certainly, this was a big contribution the history of science fiction. But, to me, the bigger contribution was his being the very first editor of ASTOUNDING. Along with publisher William Clayton, Bates started a legacy that…

New article in print!

The Pulpster #29 cover

I have an article in THE PULPSTER #29, out this week! THE PULPSTER is the annual magazine for PulpFest and, although the 2020 convention was canceled, the committee decided to publish the magazine anyway. It’s not a regular edition, oh no! While not as thick as a Ziff-Davis AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY, THE PULPSTER #29 is almost twice as large as the 2019 edition. Weighing in at 84 pages, plus covers, it’s more like a “PULPSTER ANNUAL.” The issue celebrates the dual centennials of Ray Bradbury’s birth and the debut of BLACK…

Happy Birthday, H. G. Wells!

Happy B-day HG Wells

Happy Birthday to H.G. Wells, one of the undisputed giants of science fiction (actually “scientific romance” to be more accurate.*) Among his many stories were: “War of the Worlds” (1898), “The Island of Doctor Moreau” (1896), “The Invisible Man” (1897), “Things to Come” (1935), and of course, “The Time Machine” (1895). He was a Utopianist and wrote on the subject often. The image here is NOT of Wells himself, but Malcolm McDowell playing Wells in the 1979 movie, “Time After Time.” (It’s one of my favorites and McDowell is just…

PulpFest Profiles: David & Daniel Ritter & First Fandom Experience

FFE pubs

If you follow me at all, you know about my fascination with early science fiction. Perhaps I was born into the wrong era or maybe it’s something in my astrological chart. Who knows? Either way, I find the early stories very compelling (well, not all of them, of course, but many) and feel that some of their themes can be successfully used to reinvigorate the contemporary trend of dystopian science fiction. When I first met David and Daniel Ritter at PulpFest 2019, I was surprised and delighted. Their First Fandom…

“The Jovian Jest” by Lilith Lorraine

The Jovian Jest_Lorraine

Last night, I stumbled upon a podcast highlighting readings of pulp science fiction stories by female authors. Curious, I listened to the first one and was horrified by the poor quality of the reading. I knew the story and although it isn’t my favorite of the author’s works, it certainly deserved better treatment than that. I thought I could perhaps do a bit better and took out my microphone. I made a few stumbles along the way but I think my reading is really okay. This morning I added an…

Pulpfest Profile: Bradbury in Oz

Laurent Durieux_THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ

I love fairy tales, the stories, illustrations, the works! They form the basis for many cultural stereotypes and were used as both teaching tales for children and as a way to critique society without risk of censure. L. Frank Baum can be considered the first truly American fabulist. His Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) gave American boys and girls the chance to imagine fairy tales taking place in their own country. It was ground-breaking at the time and firmly stamped the land of Oz into the fabric of our society.…

The Shadow and The Five Chameleons

The Shadow Rozen and SLW

Today’s challenge, create a George Rozen SHADOW magazine cover reproduction. And here it is, side-by-side with the original cover art. I love these old 1930’s SHADOW covers, the images are so iconic, the colors so bright, and let’s not forget about all those anatomically correct hands! Simply fabulous! This cover is from the November 1, 1932 number featuring “The Five Chameleons.” My reproduction is painted in gouache and watercolor in a Stillman and Birn Delta series sketchbook. The original was probably done in oils. I really enjoy doing pulp reproductions,…

The Story of the “Science Fiction Special”

The Science Fiction Special by Sara Light-Waller

Recently , I got a really fun commission–to illustrate an ice cream sundae called “The Science Fiction Special” for THE VISUAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION FANDOM: VOLUME ONE: THE 1930’s. This book is a compilation of rare material and ephemera from the early days of science fiction fandom. Then, as now, fans would gather for meals and drinks and excitedly discuss favorite books and movies. In an interview with John L. Coker III, David Kyle recalled this treat [Science Fiction Sundae] as a regular feature of meetings of the International…

Zorro: The Daring Escapades

Zorro book cover

I’m delighted to announce that I have a new, all original illustration in Zorro: The Daring Escapades (2020) by Bold Venture Press. This fresh compilation brings sixteen new adventures of the dashing caballero! My illustration is for “Zorro’s Midnight Mission” by Will Murray. The Story Behind the Illustration There are two things I can say confidently that I know something about—horses and the desert. I started early with both—my first play was the Romberg operetta, “The Desert Song” which my aunt took me to when I was a tot. I’ve…