Susan Geers

29 April 2015

Working Bibliography for “sf at csuf”: The Pulps

I will write several articles describing what we have in the SF pulps in our Special Collections. The categories of these articles will be: History, Cover Art and Illustrations, Advertisements (as a form of periodical research), and Aspiring Authors.

Andalee and I will work on posting pictures as well as actual stories after I determine what falls under public domain. I would like to add Stanley Weinbaum’s, “A Martian Odyssey” as a perfect example of one story, along with the illustration art since this is the one introduced to our class. I personally feel it is an excellent example of an early SF pulp story. I have been working on identifying a variety of stories covering the themes of space travel, time travel, creepy horror fantasy fiction, and of course – the mad scientist. Several of my choices are listed under “Aspiring Authors and Their Tales.” I am currently trying to locate an interesting time travel piece, and would love to find the missing chapter from “The Time Machine” by Wells.

In regards to the periodical listing, I spoke with Patricia and she is going to have the periodical listing placed into the University’s database this week and will send us a link to add to the website.

Archival work has become a grand experiment! Andalee and I studied methodologies and personally discovered the differences with working with new Xerox machine versus the iPad. I purchased the application “Scanner Pro” and an iPad for my use in the collection then learned how to scan stories. I personally typed “Gerard 7932,” which was problematic, as the autocorrect function did not like the early writing style of Sarah Newmeyer and it took two hours to complete. I must admit I like reading the scanned copy better, for I feel like I am stepping back in time, which adds to the flavor of the tale. My overall aim with this project is to allow others to get a taste of what our collection can offer. I feel these items have been forgotten and I would like to have them looked at by many who might want to research this growing field.

If there is anything that Andalee and I might have missed please let me know and I will do my best to have the information included on the site.

Categories on Website:

History

“Periodical Index of Science Fiction Pulp Magazine.” Pollack Library, University of California,    Fullerton. Print.

My research revealed that the pulp collection was never added into our computer database, after a discussion with the new archivist Patricia Prestinary, I was able to have this large index added to our computer database with the help of the library staff. Ms. Prestinary will send us the link to add to our website.

Anderson, Lester. “Letters to the Editor.” Editorial. Amazing Stories Oct 1929: 665. Print.

Mr. Anderson’s commentary from the editorial column of Amazing Stories was a personal plea to the editor to please change the name “ ‘Scientifiction’ it is to hard to say and is not peppy.” I could not agree more, this quotation is a voice of the past looking toward the future.

Ashley, Mike. “The Golden Age of Pulp Fiction.” The Pulp Magazine Project. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2010. Web. 14 Jan. 2015.

—, ed. Introduction. The History of the Science Fiction Magazine: Volume 1, 1926-1935.  

            Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1974. Print.

I will use both of Ashley’s books to document the history for our site. The website reference will be useful for anyone wishing to know a more detailed account of the history of the pulps. Ashley’s other book is of interest with my search for stories I might be able to find. He points out all of the best stories by year and tells the correct name of each author.

Attebery, Brian. Decoding Gender in Science Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.

In Attebery’s book he points out how Hugo Gernsback help build a fictional formula for success with story submissions by aspiring authors of scientific tales. He states the stories had to be innovative especially when dreaming up the science of the future.

Haining, Peter. The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2000. Print.

—, Ed. The Fantastic Pulps. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 1975. Print.

Both of Haining’s books are useful when describing the beginning of SF in the pulps, from the use of “Scientifiction” to Gernsback’s accomplishments in the field. Haining’s anthology The Fantastic Pulps includes an introduction to each story presented. He gives a brief biography on each author’s of the era as well as reception from the tale. I will use this is the “History” section of our site as well as “Aspiring Writers.”

Moskowitz, Sam. “How Science Fiction Got Its Name.” Explorers of the Infinite: Shapers of Science Fiction. Cleveland: The World Publishing Co., 1963. 313-31. Print.

—, ed. Introduction. Masterpieces of Science Fiction. New York: The World Publishing Co.,         1966. 21-26. Print.

Both of Moskowitz’s books are useful when building a dialog on Gernsback’s achievements in the field and his transitioning to a new publication called Science Wonder Stories.

Cover Art

Ackerman, Forrest J. “The Eyrie.” Weird Tales Nov. 1935: 652, Print.

Commentary on Margaret Brundage’s cover work

 “Forrest J. Ackerman writes from Hollywood, California: “Perhaps you would be interested in my comment on your covers, as a disinterested observers. As far back as I can remember, they have featured unclad heroines. Your contention seems to be, ‘Clothes make the woman—ordinary!’ Yesteryear, your covers were not so controversial because, though nude, the hapless heroines were more vaguely, indistinctly illustrated. Then came the Brundage beauties, in all their curvy clarity! And I have followed, with amusement, the resultant endless argument. Reader Robson, in your September issue, sums up for the opposition in what I should hazard will become a famous phrase: ‘ After all, the thrill of viewing a nude isn’t exactly a weird one.” Ponder that. Maddening as a Minda-maiden, the fascinating feminine form on the cover is truly tantalizing. Fortunately, I can appreciate such pulchristude, as I am not a fanatic about whether your covers are fantastic or not. I am principally interested in CLMoore and your science fiction. But were I a weird-art enthusiast, I suspect I should say the scene selected for the cover did not represent the spirit (or spirits) of WEIRD TALES’ contents. It shows, simply: Peeping Tom startling Miss America as she emerges from her suitless swim. The Blue Woman is a gorgeous girl—but she is not blue! She’s flesh colored, not phosphorescent. So how is she weird? Surely Tom’s unbeautiful face alone doesn’t make the cover eery. Wouldn’t an illustration from The Shambler from the Stars have been eminently more in the mood for Weird Tales?” (652).

“Walter Scheible, of Monticello, New York, writes: “I have been reading WEIRD TALES for over a year now, and I have also read some of the old issues of several years back. The older issues cannot compare with the issues you are putting out at the present time. The modern stories are of a much higher literary quality than were the old ones. In the old days you had a very few authors who could equal Lovecraft, Moore and Howard. You had no such stories as the Conan series, or the stories of Jirel of Joiry. The old mags didn’t have as good covers as the present issues, either. Mrs. Brundage’s covers have never been surpassed. I also prefer the new-type contents page to the old double-page type. All in all, the mag can’t be beaten. It is truly the unique magazine. It is the only mag of its type on the news stands today. As far as the controversy over the covers goes, I am entirely in favor of having one of Mrs. Brundage’s nudes every month, and not just once in a while.” (654)

Brundage, M. Black Colossus. 1933. Cover Art. Weird Tales June 1933. Indianapolis.

Finlay, Virgil. Virgil Finlay’s Women of the Ages. :Underwood Books, 1992. Print.

Goulart, Ron. “The Dime Detectives.” New York: The Mysterious Press, 1988. Print.

In this book I found the history of the controversy over the scandalous covers and how the mayor of New York …

Pulp fiction and Dime Novels were the rage by 1937, with an estimated 30 million people reading them. Over time the detective novels became to sexual provocative to sell on street corners. There was a branch off in the industry from the detective category given to them, to a distinction of their new name of “Weird Menace” or “Shudder” pulps. This led to censorship in 1938, when Mayor La Guardia of New York, wanted the pulps removed from his streets, for he felt the covers and racy content were borderline pornography (Goulart 203). La Guardia cleaned up the industry.

 Haining, Peter. The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2000. Print.

Korshak, Stephen D., and J. David Spurlock. The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage: Queen of Pulp Pin-Up Art.

…; Frank R. Paul Father of Science Fiction Art :Castle Books, 2010. Print.

Howard, Robert. E. “Black Colossus.” Weird Tales June 1933: 675-99. Print.

Illustrations

Haining, Peter. and Pictorial Presentations. TERROR! A History of Horror Illustrations from the   Pulp Magazines. U.S.A.: Souvenir Press Ltd, 1976. Print.

This book will be used under the Illustrations section of the article. Descriptions of technique and illustrators are mentioned as well as a lengthy discussion on H.P. Lovecraft and his monsters.

Advertisements

Attebery, Brian. Decoding Gender in Science Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Attebery argues that the entire magazine is important if you wish to experience the pulps, which I completely agree with. I will use this source to discuss the advertisements and how they are important to the overall product. Below are listed a few advertisements that I find especially pleasing:

“The Battle Fought in Bed That Made Fred a He-Man.” Dime Mystery Book Magazine Jan. 1933: Back cover. Print.

“The True Story of Sex.” Dime Mystery Book Magazine Jan. 1933. Back cover. Print.

Aspiring Authors and Their Tales

Find a time travel story to add to site.

 Attebery, Brian. “The magazine era: 1926 – 1960.” Eds. Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn. The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge       University Press, 2013. 32-40. Print.

Discusses Stanley Weinbaum and his story “A Martian Odyssey” and why it is significant as an early form of science fiction, showing humanistic approach to showing compassion to an “alien” life form. (35). This is one of the reasons I chose to add this story to our website, as well as this was a story we studied in our class. Additionally, the illustration of “tweel” as the alien life form is interesting when you consider the time frame of when this first appeared to the readers, 1934, I’m sure this is not the first alien life form, for those that study birds might find this creature looks slightly like a ostrich.

Stories that I found and Andalee and I plan to add to the site:

Bradbury, Ray. “The Candle.” Weird Tales Nov. 1942: 83-89. Print.

Considered his first contribution to the pulps.

Coblentz, Stanton A. “The Wand of Creation.” Amazing Stories Aug. 1929: 435-39. Print.

This is a great mad scientist story about germ warfare.

Highstone, H.A. “Frankenstein Unlimited.” Astounding Stories Dec. 1936: 38-47. Print.

Keller “Eternal Professor’s” Amazing Stories Aug. 1929: 414-21. Print.

Keller, David H. “Tiger Cat.” Weird Tales Aug. 1937: 386-396. Print.

Considered the first physiological thriller.

Long, Amelia Reynolds. “A Leak in the Fountain of Youth.” Astounding Stories Aug. 1936:          48-59. Print.

This is a humorous mad scientist tale to enjoy.

Lovecraft, H.P. “Rats in the Walls.” Weird Tales Jun. 1930: 841-853. Print.

Newmeyer, Sarah. “Gerard 7932.” Weird Tales Mar. 1930: 403-06. Print.

Weinbaum, Stanley. “A Martian Chronicle.” Wonder Stories 1934: 174-   Print.

            Copy and print this story to the site.

 —, “The Valley of Dreams.” Wonder Stories Nov. 1934:     Print.          

Famous Characters We Love and Know – Characters Born in the Pulps!

            (Time permitting)

This section I might add to “Aspiring Authors” I would like to mention Tarzan, Conan, Buck Rogers…

Research Techniques:

Bragdon, Marc, Alan Burk, Lisa Charlong, and Jason Nugent. A Companion to Digital Literary     Studies. “Practice and Preservation: Format Issues.”Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2007. 547- 561. Web. 7 Apr.15.

Andalee scanned and sent me this chapter, to prove a point to me about how we can archive pulp works. This chapter allowed me to understand how we could take pictures of the pulp magazines. From this chapter I learned about XML, PDF, (TIFF) tagged image file format, and JPEG. I admit I knew just the basics before reading this article and the information on TIFF was the most interesting. Also, I learned about the different uses of resolution for picture quality, which is important when capturing the cover art that helped to sell the magazines.

Latham, Sean. “‘New Age Scholarship: The Work of Criticism in the Age of Digital             Reproduction.” New Literary History, 35.3 (2004): 411-426. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Latham argues that if a magazine is to be added to a digital database the entire magazine must be considered as culturally relevant. His discussion is regarding periodic studies of English household magazines, but I would add to his statement that with the science fiction genre the advertisements regarding ways to learn about scientific experiments or “how to build a radio” are culturally relevant as well.

Latham, Sean, and Robert Scholes. “The Rise of Periodical Studies.” PMLA, 121.2 (2006):

517-531. Web. 7 Apr. 2015.

Latham argues on what should be considered when archiving and the problem with studying periodicals while using search engines for key words miss what else is culturally relevant for the time. This article is an extension of his “New Age Scholarship” article, which basically described a growing field of study and what should be considered when archiving, and “the hole” of what is left out and should be considered, but is not demeaned important by the archivist. He believes the advertisements are as important as the stories presented to understand the literary works of the past. I agree with Latham for I find the advertisements as stimulating as the stories, also just reflecting on what is being presented are basically the same problems we face today, e.g. bad breath, need for fitness, ailments, looking for a job, etc. Additionally, the issue of using key words for searches if not done correctly could inhibit research, for example, someone is studying fitness would never find the “Charles Atlas” image or the discourse of how working out can make a man more desirable to a female.

When considering Latham’s study of periodicals, this led me to reflect on the need to not only save the voice of the author with their stories, but the cover art, advertisements, and poetry that is presented on each page. As a field of study, the pulps commentary at the end of each magazine is important to demonstrate the phenomena of a growing genre, and the original literary criticism of the time that helped to transform the magazines into what we know today as science fiction.

Bragdon, Marc, Alan Burk, Lisa Charlong, and Jason Nugent. A Companion to Digital Literary     Studies. “Practice and Preservation: Format Issues.”Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2007. 547- 561. Web. 7 Apr.15.

Andalee scanned and sent me this chapter, to prove a point about how we can archive pulp works. This chapter allowed me to understand how we could take pictures of the pulp magazines. From this chapter I learned about XML, PDF, (TIFF) tagged image file format, and JPEG. I admit I knew just the basics before reading this article and the information on TIFF was the most interesting. Also, I learned about the different uses of resolution for picture quality, which is important when capturing the cover art that helped to sell the magazines.

 

 

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