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…

Continuing on with oil pastels

This is the first landscape I’ve tried with the oil pastels. It was also my first time trying Canson Mi-Teintes Touch paper. It’s a sanded paper and I used a sheet of a neutralized purple-color for this painting. The paper was an experiment and I’m not sure I loved the surface. Imuch prefer Clairefontaine’s Pastelmat. There’s something about Pastelmat’s surface that seems to handle the medium better. I also like velour papers for oil pastels but not for landscapes. Velour paper creates a sort of soft blur-effect that’s great for…

Podcast #16: Superman and the Library of Congress

Superman meme

This week’s Rocketeer podcast is about two things that don’t really go together and I’m going to treat it as two distinct parts. Part One is what I’d planned to talk about last week, the original origin of Superman. Part Two is about Jazz Age romance novels, something I’m researching at the moment. You can listen to it here. As an addendum I’d like to add an odd little post script. One of the romance novelists I mentioned in my podcast–“Vivian Grey”–was also the pseudonym of 19th century British statesman…

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…

Pete Beard’s Video Channel

Pete Beard video header

In this week’s ROCKETEER I’m talking about a great find on YouTube–Pete Beard’s Video Channel. If you’re a fan of good illustration, you’ll love this channel. It’s full of well researched videos about illustrators from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the pulp era! You can read (and listen to) it here.

Podcast #14: Devolution

Devolution meme

In this week’s podcast I’m talking about the idea that humans were once greater or perhaps stranger beings than we are today and have since devolved. I present three pulp-era stories on this topic: Devolution by Edmond Hamilton first appeared in Amazing Stories, in the December, 1936 issue. False Dawn by Henry Kuttner first appeared in Thrilling Wonder Stories in the June 1942 issue. The Code by Catherine Lucille Moore (as by Lawrence O’Donnell) first appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in the July 1945 issue. Join me for the podcast…