O. Henry, Johnston McCulley, Judson P. Philips,
Guy de Maupassant, John L. French, Audrey Parente,
Adam Beau McFarlane, Cliff Campbell
This issue is filled with iconic characters and authors!
"Zorro Serenades a Siren" by Johnston McCulley
"The Lacquer Box" by Judson P. Philips, author of the Park Avenue Hunt Club series
"The Caballero's Way" by O. Henry, the story that introduced the Cisco Kid to pop culture
"Death in Harbor City" by John L. French, a new thriller with Midnight and The Domino Lady
"The Horla" by Guy de Maupassant, the story that inspired Diary of a Madman starring Vincent Price
"Cry Mommie" by Audrey Parente
"Robot Graveyard" by Adam Beau McFarlane
"Fighting Chance" by Cliff Campbell, a gridiron story about a linebacker in desperate need of GPS.
Fantastic cover by Norman A. Saunders, original pulp illustrations.
* Due to licensing arrangements, "Zorro Serenades a Siren" is not included in the eBook edition.
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Pulp Adventures #20 (Winter 2016) is the sixth issue of the new version from Bold Venture Press. As with the others, we get a collection of classic pulp fiction, new pulp fiction, and non-fiction articles, all under a Norman Saunders cover (a western this time). In my view, this blend of new and old pulp fiction (with occasional pre-pulp and post-pulp) that doesn’t focus on one pulp genre (we get western, horror, science fiction, sports, and pulp hero in this one) makes this one of the best pulp fiction fanzine coming out now. You might not like everything that appears in an issue, but I know you will like something. So what’s in this issue? In the area of proto-pulp is the classic horror tale, “The Horla” by Guy De Maupassant. It first appeared in 1886 in a French periodical. For me, this is the most well-known story of his, which tells through the use of journal entries of a man being driven insane by the presence of a ghostly entity who seems to haunt or possess him. This story influenced many, including H.P. Lovecraft. Moving on to classic pulp, we have several. We get a couple of westerns. First off, we get O. Henry‘s original story “The Caballero’s Way,” which launched the character the Cisco Kid, later star of movies and TV series (though in those he is a more heroic character). Next we get a Zorro tale from Johnston McCulley. This also helps launch a new complete reprint of Zorro stories coming from Bold Venture Press! Then we get a detective story from pulpster Judson P. Philips, creator of the Park Avenue Hunt Club. Bold Venture Press has recently come out with a bio of Philips as well as reprinting of one of his novels. Rounding out the classic pulp is a sports pulp story! Yup, another overlooked (today) genre of pulps. This one is a football story set at the Rose Bowl. Next are several New Pulp stories. From John L. French, we get a story teaming up classic pulp heroine Domino Lady with his character Nightmare. This story uses the same setting as his novel, The Devil of Harbor City, and he has a collection of Nightmare short stories. Audrey Parente contributes a horror tale from an earlier collection of her works. And Adam Beau McFarlane has a science fiction tale of the “Robot Graveyard.” There’s no Splash Shanahan story this issue, but hopefully he’s return in a future issue. For this issue, the non-fiction consisted of the pulp notes with several of the works, mainly the pulp fiction stories. I would have liked to have seen more of a full article. Maybe a longer write-up on The Cisco Kid would have been nice. But what we get is great. Once again, a great issue. I’ve enjoyed all the issues that have come out.