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…

Podcasting is happening!

Rocketeer podcast #2 meme

The Rocketeer Podcast #2 is now live. Honestly, I don’t know how I am as a podcaster but I’m giving it a try. Certainly it’s easier to write articles (at least for me.) That said, I like speaking on the radio and have done so many times. My mother was a radio personality and I’ve been in and out of radio stations since I was 4. I know I have a good voice for radio like my Mom did, so I’ve set myself a goal of continuing the podcasts through…

Lybblas in the Spotlight: “The World is Mine”

Lybblas 2 meme

In my second post about pulp-era aliens we take a gander at one of Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore’s Gallegher tales, “The World is Mine.” The five Gallegher stories are about a brilliant inventor who’s only brilliant when he’s drunk as a skunk. He invents “by ear,” solely from the subconscious. In this story he invents a time machine and shuttles in some Martians. These Lybblas are very cute and not at all as we usually think about Martians, then or now. The lexicon of aliens was much greater back…

Linework and New Pens

Brush and ink after Cartier

Recently, I have become frustrated with the quality of my brush and ink linework. I was aware that  the type of lines I wanted to create should be created with a real brush and ink but I stuck to my brush pens. They are more convenient, certainly more tidy than dipping a brush into ink. Plus, I have good control over them. Decades ago in graduate school I used a dip pen and brushes with ink. Honestly, when good quality brush pens became available I was glad to make the…

New Article — “Galloway Gallegher — Kuttner’s Sauced Scientist”

Robots Have No Tails_1952_2008

It was my birthday at the beginning of the month and along with the festivities came a molasses-like slow-down in my blogging plans. Thus this post is a couple of week’s late. How about we all just pretend that it isn’t late at all? Sound good? Okay, then let’s get to it. My newest article for Black Gate involves a popular Henry Kuttner character — Galloway Gallegher. Gallegher’s shtick/curse is that he’s a genius inventor only when stinking drunk. His attempts to detangle the activities of his sozzled alter-ego are…

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. 🙂

PulpFest Profile — Eighty Years of CAPTAIN FUTURE

Captain Future Vol. 3, No. 2 (Fall, 1941). Cover Art by George Rozen

Oh, for a handsome man in a space suit! *heavy sigh* Curtis Newton, Captain Future, was space opera hero of the 21st Century. Born in 1990, he was the solar system’s greatest defender. Curt was a genius inventor with flaming red hair, a ready laugh and a keen eye for justice. Superman’s Fortress of Solitude was inspired by Future’s secluded base on the Moon. And the Bat-Signal by his North Pole flare. His unhuman sidekicks included a robot, an android, and a disembodied brain. Yes, it all sounds very corny…

Heroines of Science Fiction & Fantasy

I’M PRETTY STUBBORN. I’ve been told that a lot. One of the things I’m stubborn about is that there are worthy heroines in Golden Age science fiction. Looking at those old pulp covers you’d never believe it, I know. But I’ve dug up some pretty interesting gals for my newest article on the Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy over at the PulpFest blog. Please join me for some woman-power from the old-school. A gorgeous girl in a colorful bullet bra, matching hot pants and calf-high boots. People believe that…

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…

ROCKETEER FEATURE: VENUS IN THE PULPS

STARTL SEP 1949

By Sara Light-Waller “Day again — one hundred and seventy dragging hours of throttling, humid heat. An interminable period of monotony lived in eternal mists, swirling with sluggish dankness, enervating, miasmatic, pulsant with the secret whisperings of mephitic life-forms. That accounted for the dull existence of a Venusian trader, safe in the protection of his stilt-legged trading post twenty feet above the spongy earth — but bored to the point of madness.”  — The Hothouse Planet by A.K. Barnes. Although scientists today take a very different view, in the pulp…