“Tomorrow We Die!” Thrilling Detective Pulp Cover

Thrilling-Detective-1938-comparison

When I saw this pulp cover from October 1938 (left), I was immediately struck by the beauty of the woman holding the smoking gun. I’m still researching the original cover artist but it was certainly one of the now-famous pulp illustrators. As per usual, the original was most likely painted in oils. I can tell because of the glazing of the skin. When I do a copy like this I work as though I’m painting in oils and not in watermedia. This approach has pluses and minuses. On the plus…

Happy Birthday to Murray Leinster (and a new article)

Today is Murray Leinster’s birthday. He is, without a doubt, one of my very favorite science fiction writers. Leinster started publishing before 1920 and was was still publishing sci-fi teleplays and novels into the late 1960’s for TV shows such as “Time Tunnel.” (And since he pioneered (YES, pioneered!) the entire subgenre of multiple reality sci-fi stories, working on “Time Tunnel” is entirely appropriate.) My new article — “PulpFest Historical- 125 Years of Murray Leinster” is live now at the PulpFest blog so head over there and check it out!…

Three George Rozen Shadow copies

The Rackets King 9bbb hard crop

Over the past year, I’ve dedicated a great deal of time to the improvement of my pulp art. George Rozen is one of the many pulp artists I’ve been studying. His “Shadow” covers from the 1930’s are truly wonderful–the art is punchy and the visual storytelling, top notch! To date, I’ve copied several Rozen “Shadow” covers. My most recent one is a copy of the June 15th 1938 issue featuring the novel, “The Rackets King.” This was my first attempt at copying one of the famous Shadow “hand” covers. It…

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…

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…

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,…

Good reviews are always welcome

My new Captain Future article just got a nice mention from the Little Red Reviewer in this week’s Vintage Sci-Fi Round Up! Sara Light-Waller has an excellent profile of Captain Future, at PulpFest. The mythos of Captain Future goes back to the first Worldcon, how cool is that? I’ve seen other nice comments on social media as well. Feeling very grateful today. 🙂

An ASTOUNDING 90 Years

Astounding Science-Fiction, March 1938.

When PulpFest’s blog editor asked me to write an article about Astounding/Analog’s 90th birthday I had only the slightest idea of what I’d be writing about. Oh sure, I knew the magazine and I knew that John W. Campbell, Jr. was a hugely important figure in the history of science fiction. He had an extraordinarily long tenure as the magazine’s editor (from late 1937 until his death in 1971) and during that time shaped science fiction as we know it. Here’s a delightful video about him on YouTube.  As I…

ROCKETEER FEATURE: It’s A Zwilnik World: How E. E. Doc Smith’s Lensmen Series Imagined a Neotopian Universe

By Sara Light-Waller Fans of classic science fiction are undoubtedly familiar with E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensmen series (published from approximately 1937-1954). The books are ultimate space operas where massive fleets harness the power of suns as directed energy weapons and full-size planets as projectiles. The heroes are hard-hitting space warriors, spies, and telepaths in the service of Civilization. That’s some heady stuff right there! But reviewing the Lensmen as works of literature or even as an adventure series is not my purpose today. Instead, I’m going to talk about…