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…

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…

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…

Podcast #6: Super Scientist Heroes

Super-Science Heroes meme

Happy 2024! The Rocketeer’s podcast #6–“Super-Science Heroes”–is out today! I’m in some sort of shock that I have continued on with the podcasts. I really had just intended to do one or two of them but then, BAM! suddenly, it’s a weekly thing. Very strange but as long as people like it, I’ll continue. I like to do them anyway. In today’s podcast I’m returning to the topic of archetypes in story. Archetypes create an immediate sense of familiarity. One of my favorite archetypes is the Super-Scientist. But our familiar…

Podcast #4 : Hollywood on the Moon

Podcast #4 meme

Today’s ROCKETEER is podcast #4! Can you believe it? I can’t. I guess I’ve become a radio person, which is not as strange as it might seem. My mother was a radio personality for most all my life, even if she didn’t always have a radio show. I like this podcast thing, I wasn’t sure I would. This week I’m talking about Luna, our moon. Some of it is general theory and some of it is about my favorite pulp stories involving the moon in some way. I hope you’ll…

The Rocketeer Podcast #1

Rocketeer Podcast #1 meme

It had to happen eventually. Folks have been asking me to do a podcast for ages and this week I finally acquiesced. I actually like doing radio and have been interviewed on the airwaves at least half a dozen times in the past. So this was a bit strange but fun all the same. I hope it goes over well! I’m planning a few more of these podcasts as the year closes out and if the feedback is good, I’ll continue. But, for today, please join me for the Rocketeer Podcast…

A Subway Named Mobius: A Train Journey Into The Twilight Zone

A Subway Named Mobius

Disappearing subway trains in Boston? An overly-complex track system turning into a mobius strip? Pulp stories weren’t always simple adventures with ray guns! This week’s ROCKETEER looks at an unusual, Retro Hugo-nominated story from 1950 called, “A Subway Named Mobius.” Read the ROCKETEER over on Substack and remember…trains are perfectly safe, most of the time!

Inktober and Guy Gifford

I always enjoy #inktober. Pen & ink is one of my favorite illustration techniques and probably the one I use most often. I always find it fun to do a few extra drawings in October for #inktober. Here are the two drawings I’ve done so far in 2023. As you can see, my 1930’s theme remains. Each of these drawing uses a different approach. The girl has quite a bit of stippling but the hoodlum has none, using instead parallel ink marks with some cross-hatching. I’m getting used to my…

Ode To A Bedsheet: What’s a Pulp Magazine?

Ode to a Bedsheet meme

Last weekend was my birthday and I was working hard to finish the first draft of the second version of my new “Moon Man” novelette. Funny thing, I mentioned this to someone yesterday at a meeting and they assumed I was finishing READING a novelette. “No,” I clarified. “Not reading, writing.” It made me laugh, she doesn’t know me very well. Anyway, the second attempt is much better. I liked the first plot and may still use it for another story, but it wasn’t hitting the correct marks for a…

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…