Monday, June 02, 2014

Windy City Pulp Stories #14 - Tom Roberts, ed.

WINDY CITY PULP STORIES is the official publication of the annual Windy City pulp convention and has been produced in recent years by Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books. This isn't a program book but a full-fledged collection of articles and essays about pulp fiction. I've just read #14, and it upholds the tradition of excellent volumes in this series.

The theme of Windy City this year was a celebration of the detective pulps and the 85th anniversary of the publication of THE MALTESE FALCON, as well as the Western pulps and the 95th anniversary of the founding of the iconic magazine WESTERN STORY. In keeping with that, WINDY CITY PULP STORIES #14 features an early interview with Dashiell Hammett, dueling articles by Hammett and H. Bedford-Jones about the inclusion of sex in pulp stories, and a couple of articles about writing from legendary BLACK MASK editor Joseph T. Shaw. There's also a reprint of Hammett's first published story, "The Road Home". Evan Lewis contributes a fine original article about the career of hardboiled writer Cleve F. Adams, an author whose work I enjoy quite a bit.

Over on the Western side, there's an interview with William Macleod Raine, as well as an article by Raine about his fellow author Eugene Manlove Rhodes. Also featured are articles about writing for the Western pulps by prolific pulpsters George C. Henderson, W.D. Hoffman, and J.R. Johnston. Editor Roberts interviews one of the best Western writers around these days, Peter Brandvold. And I talk about some of my favorite Western pulp authors and magazines.

There's also a section on pulp art with beautiful illustrations by Virgil Finlay, Hannes Bok, and Edd Cartier.

The reprinted articles come from such sources as WRITER'S DIGEST and THE AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST, and Roberts sprinkles pulp market listings from those magazines throughout the book. All in all, it's a fine volume, packed with both information and entertainment, and best of all you don't have to have attended the Windy City convention to get it. You can order it from Black Dog Books right here, and if you're a pulp fan I give it my highest recommendation.

1 comment:

Tom Roberts said...

Thanks for the review, James.