Cleve Cartmill: The Devil’s In The Details

Orban for "Bit of Tapestry"

In this week’s podcast I begin by talking about pulp fantasy and how it differs from contemporary sci-fi/fantasy. After that, I review three pulp fantasy stories by Cleve Cartmill from the 1940’s: “Bit of Tapestry,” “Wheesht!” and “Hell Hath Fury”—all of which appeared in the pulp magazine, UNKNOWN. Cartmill was publishing science fiction and fantasy during the 1940’s and ’50’s mainly. Today, he seems to be something of a lost writer, which seems a pity as his stories were quite compelling. Looking at his bibliography I can see that he…

What Price Glory: Bryce Walton’s, “The Victor”

The Victor

I find Bryce Walton’s dystopians fascinating. His stated goal was to out-do Orwell and I think he certainly succeeded. The variety of his social nightmares is without compare. In this week’s Rockteer podcast I’m talking about the best of those social horrors: “The Victor” (1953). There are others in his catalog that come close but for me this story is the most chilling. Prepare to be existentially terrified. Listen here. By the way, the artwork you see in the meme above is one of my paintings. The Victor was never…

Cole Phillips’ “Fadeaway Girl”: Now you see her, now you don’t


The image you see above is one on Cole Phillips’ “Fadeaway Girls”. This fascinating art technique was first used in the early decades of the 20th century and is still used as a gimmick more than 100 years later. In this week’s Rocketeer I’m highlighting Phillips’ famous technique with some snazzy examples. Join me on Substack to take a look.

Podcast #21: Doctor Fogg

Dr Fogg meme

in this week’s ROCKETEER podcast I’m reviewing, “Doctor Fogg” by Norman Matson. It’s an interesting example of very early science fiction. It’s also considered a satire. But is it? I doubt you’ll read too many reviews of this book as it’s pretty rare. So join me over on Substack to hear about an interesting piece of science fiction history from 1929.

Podcast #20: Christmas in May

Christmas in May meme

In this week’s podcast I’m talking about all the wonderful magazines I recently ordered from the Library of Congress through interlibrary loan. Honestly, interlibrary loan is a fantastic resource. And getting things from the Library of Congress is particularly fun. I mean, they’re supposed to have EVERYTHING! I know that they don’t, actually, but they do have incredible collections. This time, I was after complete serials from Love Story Magazine from the late 1930’s and several single stories from The Blue Book Magazine in a range from 1930-1947. It took…

Podcast # 18: A Room Too Small: The Great Illusion

This week’s Rocketeer podcast is about a story called, “The Great Illusion” which came out in 1938. Don’t be fooled y’all. This is not the story called, “The Great Illusion” (in part by Edmond Hamilton) which came out in 1936. No, no! In the podcast I explain what that is all about. And here’s a bit I left out for the sake of space. Did you know that Edmond Hamilton is one of the two fathers of Space Opera? Yep. Hamilton and E. E. Doc Smith are the two wonderful…

Peroxide Blonde

Peroxide Blonde by Sara Light-Waller

Back in the old days women dyed their hair white-blonde. It was the sexy thing of the moment during the late 1920’s and ’30’s. They used peroxide to do this style of bleaching and the color was called “peroxide blonde.” If you look at the way this type of white-blonde hair was treated in period art you can see that if the artist intended to highlight the whiteness of the hair, they’d show a lot of colorful highlights. (Kind of like a played-down version of the shiny lights you’d see…