Podcast #9: The Story of Fantasy Fiction And How It Used To Be Everything

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Once upon a time, and for a very long time, Fantasy Fiction was an amazingly broad category. What changed and when is the topic of this week’s ROCKETEER. You can listen here. As a post script to this podcast, I think we should broaden out the category again, if for no other reason than to encourage creative thought. It would also be fun to combine some of the elements they used to call “Fantasy” back in the the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It might create some strange combinations…

Podcast #8: Science Fiction As Delight

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Sheesh, am I late making this post! Why the next ROCKETEER podcast will be out tomorrow! I have been writing up a storm over the last few days, working on a new story which had not been going well until just about one week ago. Now I have the metaphoric tiger by the tail and I’m eagerly writing every free moment I have. I talk about that process briefly in Podcast #8: Science Fiction as Delight, which is an exploration of the elements that make sci-fi engaging, memorable, and dare…

Podcast #7: Coney Island Con Men and Affable Hucksters

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It is often said that laughter is the best medicine. After the last few years our laugh meters are woefully low. In this week’s podcast I introduce you to two funny series characters from the pulp era—Pete Manx and Squaredeal Sam McGhee. Pete Manx was written by two top-notch pulp writers—Henry Kuttner and Arthur K. Barnes. Squaredeal Sam McGhee was written by Nelson S. Bond, a prolific pulp writer. Both series are funny and it’s true humor instead of the smarter-than-thou or awkwardly self-effacing humor we often see today. Join…

Podcast #6: Super Scientist Heroes

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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 #5: The Marching Morons

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Isn’t that some kind of title? Back in 1951 C. M. Kornbluth wrote a story called, “The Marching Morons” which is remarkably similar to the 2006 movie, “Idiocracy.” Although Kornbluth was a satirist, he spoke about dropping IQs to plummeting birth rates, something we are seeing today. Yikes!  In this final podcast for 2023, I take a look at that story, it’s placement in the history of science fiction, and it’s relevance to us today. Join me over on Substack for the weekly podcast of the ROCKETEER!

Podcast #4 : Hollywood on the Moon

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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…

Two Rocketeers posts-oops, missed one!

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day! I’m so excited, my sister is visiting for the first time since Covid. To that end this week’s POCKETEER is short, merely a preview of next week’s post when I’ll take a look at C. L. Moore’s last novel, “Doomsday Morning.” It’s a super timely book, all things considered. You can read my Thanksgiving post here. Going back one week, I neglected to post about last week’s ROCKETEER. In “Truth May be Hidden in Strange Places: The Metal Spy From Space” I look at a rare comic…

Keyhole Kerry, Newshawk of the Kilocycles

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I love puzzles, especially when they involve vintage stories. What was the writer thinking about when they wrote it? Were they influenced by something in their environment? Of course, without telepathy we can’t really know but thinking about it and looking for clues is a fun pursuit. Sometimes I discover a story (or series) that assumes knowledge of something contemporarily “pop culture.” I don’t usually know that at first, but often a lucky instinct or synchronicity will point the way. Previously, my favorite connection of this sort had been between…

#Inktober 2023 Wrap-up

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I am so late posting about this!! Why it’s already the 3rd, shame on me! In this week’s ROCKETEER I show off the complete collection of my #Inktober 2023 drawings. They take the shape of illustrations from a pulp detective story. In my post, I even suggest a story to go with them. I am enjoying the contemplation of 1930’s detective stories very much. The art style tends to be almost generic, but it still has a certain something. I’m adding my own spin to it, of course. I tend…