Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pulp of the Week - G-8 and his Battle Aces #2

November 1933 - Purple Aces

In the second issue of G-8 our heroes go up against the mysterious Purple Aces, a squadron of pilots that have turned against their homeland and will fight to the death with no fear for their own lives.

The novel takes G-8 deep into German folklore to uncover the secrets of the purple staffel. Once again G-8 is fighting a bizarre menace, once again a mad genius is fighting for the Kaiser to defeat the allies and conquer Europe.

The story begins with a pilot crashing a Fokker into an allied airfield. The pilot is pulled from the wreckage, still alive, but with a purple spade on his forehead. The purple spreads, covering his entire face and the pilot expires after giving a warning. The Germans are coming to bomb the airbase. The Purple Aces are coming and will gladly die to complete their mission. Just as the pilot is going to give the location of the Purple Aces airfield, he expires.

G-8 is brought in to solve the mystery of the purple faces. It's another great yarn from Robert J. Hogan. I really like these books. I'm glad I have a few more of the Vintage New Media reprints. They also have selected issues available as PDFs. For this review I read my Berkley paperback dated May 1970.

Once again I would like to thank Bill Mann for compiling his awesome G-8 and his Battle Aces Cover Gallery. Bill also publishes a nice line of Air War pulp reprints under his Age of Aces Books imprint.

The paperback cover is by Jim Steranko and the Pulp cover is, of course, by Frederick Blakeslee, who did all the pulp covers.

© 2009 W. Peter Miller

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pulp Factory Awards Announced


For the past two years, pulp writer and editor Ron Fortier has been moderating a Yahoo group known as the Pulp Factory, dedicated to the creation of new pulp stories. It is currently made up of thirty-six members, among them writers, artists and devoted pulp fans. Recently the group decided it was high time to shine a bright light on the resurgence of new pulp fiction and art that has exploded across the literary field.

With the advent of companies such as Moonstone Books, Age of Adventure, Black Coat Press, Airship 27, Wild Cat Books, and Altus Press, there have been hundreds of new pulp short stories and dozens of original pulp novels released in the past few years. This resurgence warrants serious attention and support. The established pulp groups and organizations, and their awards, continue to recognize only past creators and ignore the talented newcomers who are revitalizing the entire pulp community. The Pulp Factory Awards were inaugurated to publicly support, encourage and applaud the creation of new pulp fiction and art.

There will be four separate awards handed out annually; Best New Pulp Short Story, Best New Pulp Novel, Best New Pulp Interior Illustrations, and Best New Pulp Cover Art. Starting in January of 2010, the Pulp Factory members will nominate candidates in the four categories and then, after a final ballot is determined, cast their vote. Winners will be notified and public announcements made. Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention promoter, Doug Ellis, was thrilled and delighted to offer the 2010 Windy City show as the venue for the first ever Pulp Factory Awards presentation. The physical award is a small statue in the shape of interconnecting gears with a pen embedded into them; the pen symbolizing both a writing quill and drawing pencil. (See accompanying sketch.)

In making this announcement, Fortier wanted it made absolutely clear that the Pulp Factory group is not affiliated with any one publishing company and all its members are freelancers who have been published by multiple outfits. All new pulp fiction and art published in 2009, regardless of the source, will be eligible for these awards. "All of our members are extremely excited about this program and anxious to get it under way," he said happily in a recent interview. "We think this is a good thing for all of pulpdom."

Any person or group wanting more information on The Pulp Factory Awards is asked to contact Fortier directly at (Airship27@comcast.net). They are very receptive to any positive support in this new venture.