Keyhole Kerry, Newshawk of the Kilocycles

Keyhole Kerry meme 2b_this one sm

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…

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…

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…

Beware of Fake News: “The Silly Season”

Silly Season meme

Continuing the alien theme (which is getting more timely by the moment it seems), this week’s ROCKETEER features one of Cyril Kornbluth’s little numbers, “The Silly Season” (1950). The story is a retelling of the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” fable, but with aliens! Check it out on Substack: https://lucinarocketeer.substack.com/p/beware-of-fake-news-the-silly-season

Recreating Pulp Art (in color): A Journey

Recreating Pulp Art meme

In last week’s ROCKETEER, I premiered a new pulp copy–“The Shadow” magazine cover featuring “Hidden Death” (September, 1932 issue.) I also talk about my journey as a pulp artist and historian, trying to better understand how the original art was created so that I can create new pieces that have the colorful and melodramatic pulp-art feel. In the article I show you some of my original fine art pulp pieces. You can see the new copy and read all about it here.

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…