(Also available in eBook format)
Reprinted together, back-to-back, in this issue ... Arthur J. Burks' earth-shaking science-fiction thriller "Survival" and "Exodus" -- two stories recounting a future America's flight into subterranean chambers to escape an invasion of Mongol invaders -- and their triumphant return to reclaim the surface world as their own!
"Thubway Tham's Four Queens" by Johnston McCulley — Detective Craddock has his suspicions, but the notorious pickpocket known as Thubway Tham considered himself a guest of honor at a high-stakes poker game.
"The Watcher" by Charles E. Fritch — He awaited his destiny, watching the stars for a sign from afar ...
"63,571" by H. L. Hayum — She was slaving over a hot griddle when someone offered her a ride in a fancy new car. Why not?
Cover by Norman Saunders.
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The old Pulp Adventures fanzine is back, now as an all-fiction zine using print on demand. Unlike the last issue, this one is an all-reprint volume of stories from the classic pulps. The highlight of the issue is a reprinting of a pair of stories by Arthur J. Burks. Burks was, during his time, a very prolific author who is mostly overlooked today. I think this is due to his working in a wide range of genres (fantasy, sf, aviation, weird menace, horror, and adventure), but few continuing stories or anything that really took off, though he seems to have been very popular at the time. He did write the interesting Dorus Noel series, reprinted as "Grottos of Chinatown" The two novels by Burks reprinted here are “Survival” and “Exodus.” These appeared in "Marvel Science Stories" in 1938 (the August and November issues). We also get an interesting introduction to these stories that gives some background on their creation that ties to L. Ron Hubbard. I won’t give anything way. The setup of the novels is interesting, and I have to wonder how many other stories were written with a similar storyline at the time. The United States has been invaded by Mongols and most of the population wiped out! This occurs about two years prior to the start of this story, apparently set in the 1930s when it was published. What few remain take refuge under the Rocky Mountains. Yes, they burrow under and setup a new civilization, the United States of Sanctuary. And that’s just the beginning of “Survival.” The survivors, under the leadership of David Haslup and his descendants, will survive for many generations, until the 12th descendant of David Haslup, also named David Haslup, works to lead his people back to the surface at the end of “Survival” about 500 years later. “Exodus” continues the storyline with the re-conquest of America thanks to the new super-science of the Sanctuarians. However, that is not the only thing that sets these stories apart. They also focus on the survival of man through several generations, and their experiences through war, struggling for survival, and new religions, especially in the first story. Filling out the volume are three short stories. We get a Thubway Tham story from Johnston McCulley. This was a popular series character of a lisping pickpocket who mainly targeted those who deserve it. We get a science fiction tale from Charles E. Fritch and semi-spicy story from L.H. Hayum. Overall, this is a great volume, with another Norman Saunders cover. (Another pair of Arthur J. Burks stories that may be of interest are “Manape the Mighty” and “The Mind Master” which tell of hero Lee Bentley going up against mad scientist Caleb Barter. Wildside Press has reprinted the pair in one volume.)