March 2024 updates from Lucina Press

Thrilling Western pen and ink varient

I’ve been posting a lot about the Rocketeer lately and thought it’d be nice to do a more general update. To begin with, I’ve been writing some “future histories.” My illustrated short story, Anchor, is just the beginning of that tale. There are two other stories, both novellas (or “novels” in old pulp magazine-speak), which recount the continuing adventures of the Time Keepers. The first one will be the other side of Anchor–what happens to Lucy’s partner, Mytah, after he’s been kidnapped. I quite like that story, it’s a real…

Bryce Walton and the Many Faces of Dystopia

Bryce Walton meme

This week’s ROCKETEER is my first post about Bryce Walton, a mid-20th century sci-fi and fiction writer. He mainly wrote short works and for that reason is not well remembered today. I think he’s an overlooked writer, especially his dystopian works which are the subject of this week’s posts. Dystopian stories, if done well, can be very instructive for various reasons. Sometimes they are used by “powers-that-be” as predictive modeling for societal change. (We see all the time in “The Simpsons.”) Walton’s dystopias are wide-ranging, interesting, and sometimes prophetic. They’re…

Lab Rats No More: Basil Well’s “Rebirth of Man”

Rebirth of Man meme

What if—at humanity’s dawn we were experimented upon (GMO’d) by aliens. It’s was so long ago that there is no proof, only a deep-seated and lingering terror of alien experimentation. And what if we all had this scar, regardless of where we’re from or who we were born from? I believe that we can all access a collective field of shared consciousness. Most people don’t do it very well, if at all. Some people can tap into this field consciously—psychics, mystics, shamans, etc.. Also, creatives who often receive their ideas…

Two new articles, a story in progress, and a drawing for practice

Rocketeer alien series meme

There seems to be a lot going on at the moment. For the next few weeks the ROCKETEER is going to highlight aliens in honor of the Chehalis Flying Saucer Party—a local event celebrating everything UFO. (It’s like McMenamins UFO Festival only smaller.) I’ll be discussing pulp-era and slightly later stories with the themes of invasion, alien manipulation, control, and humanity fighting back in stories ranging from the absurd to the deadly. The first in that series came out this week: “Tactical Error: This Star Shall Be Free.”  The story…

Virgil Finlay and the Art of Scratchboard

Virgil Finlay meme

Before I get to the ROCKETEER’s post-of-the-week I wanted to say something about writing and money. I have been a non-fiction journalist since 1985. I have been paid for my work more often than not. I do not charge for the ROCKETEER, nor will I. Although it takes quite a bit of time and effort to write every post that doesn’t mean they have monetary value. We seem to have this thing nowadays were we feel we’re owed payment for our efforts–always. I’m not sure that’s true. My favorite writing…

Johnny Mayhem: A Spy With Elan

Johnny Mayhem header

This week’s ROCKETEER looks at the “Johnny Mayhem” series from the mid-late 1950’s. Johnny Mayhem was a space opera hero from the pages of AMAZING STORIES. He was a bodiless entity who had once been human. Now immortal, but still under a death sentence unless he’s very, very careful, Mayhem is a galactic troubleshooter who can be anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Great stuff! You can read this week’s ROCKETEER on Substack.

Dystopia take a hike! Tales of the Space Patrol.

In this week’s ROCKETEER I talk about how I came to write my illustrated new pulp novelette, Landscape of Darkness. It’s also about something I call Neotopia which is another way of talking about the Age of Aquarius. I’ve been waiting for Aquarius to dawn since the late 1960’s when I became aware of the musical, Hair. Phew, it’s been a long wait but I’m glad it’s finally arrived. According to astrologers, this new age will be quite different from the previous Age of Pisces. And that’s fine with me!…

Edd Cartier’s Cramped Panels

I have been in love with black and white interior illustrations for a long time. In the late 1980’s when publishers started pushing for color wherever they could, I refuted the claim that black and white illustrations were uninteresting and uninspiring. At that point it was rare to see interior book art in anything but children’s books and graphic novels anyway. But I never gave up on interior illustrations for all types of stories. Now that they’ve begun to come back around it’s nice to see stories illustrated again. But…

From the Dark Side: Pulp Master Criminals

I must tell you, it’s a bit weird getting so deeply into detective stories. I’ve always been a fan of Ellery Queen mysteries but this recent deep dive has me wondering how I will feel about writing one. Will I like it as much as science fiction? I guess I’ll know soon. In this week’s ROCKETEER I take a look at where the Moon Man fits on the pulp master criminal spectrum. You can read it here.