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Pulp Adventures #22: The Great Green Blight (Volume 22) Paperback – August 10, 2016
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This time we get a collection of classic and New Pulp fiction (with some notes) and even some pulp comics, under a H.L. Park cover (a science fiction one). No Norman Saunders cover this time, gasp! There is a reason why, though.
In my view, this blend of new and old pulp fiction (with occasional pre-pulp and post-pulp) that doesn’t focus on one genre — we get science fiction, aviation, crime & detective, and a little horror in this one — makes this one of the best pulp-fiction fanzines coming out now.
We get some non-fiction as well, tied to some of the stories. As always, you might not like everything that appears in an issue, but I know you will like something. We even get some pulp comics this time!
The cover artwork actually ties to one of the main stories of this issue: a reprint from Planet Stories in 1945: “The Great Green Blight.” Clearly a science fiction tale set in the future, with slavers praying on spaceliners. There is an accompanying article on the author that follows. Another reprint from the original pulps is a detective story from Black Book Detective in 1943. This is also accompanied by an article on the author.
For new stories, the big one is “The Tethers” from Stuart Hopen, which he illustrated. This is an weird-menace aviation tale set in Cuba. Hopen has a unique style that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but check him out.
Other new stories are by Richard A. Lupoff and Nick Xylas. Lupoff’s is a different little tale set in the post-Civil War west about petroglyphes. Xylas’ is a tale of a bail bondsman after a fugitive — in Egypt. From Adam Beau McFarlane we get another new Sherlock Holmes story. This is a “Holmes versus Jack the Ripper” tale.
And I had mentioned pulp comics. We get a couple of short comic stories. From Public Enemy we get a two-page story, that is more an illustrated story than a comic story. And from Thrilling Adventures we get a three-page story that seems part of a longer serialized story similar to Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. Like to see more of this series in future issues.
So yet another great issue. The next one comes out in November. Can’t wait.
For me, the most entertaining story is "The Great Green Blight". A space opera with a sexy (for the time) edge. Norman St. Clair is on his way to a new job on Ganymede. A fellow passenger, Jennifer, young, shapely, black-haired, blue-eyed, and Norman enjoy a mutual attraction. Space pirates intervene, however, and Jennifer ends up in the slave market while Norman is forced to masquerade as a pirate. Note how McDowell neatly writes around the censorship of the day to present Jennifer naked before an appreciative crowd of potential purchasers, "The sixth passenger to be led to the block was Jennifer. She was barefooted, the metal band gleaming about her naked ankle. A cape had been thrown about her erect shoulders. The auctioneer lifted it off. There was nothing but girl underneath."
Super HOT stuff for 1945 and still thrilling seventy years later. If the above passage appeals to you there is plenty more, just as enjoyable, to partake of in this excellent collection.