Monday, December 20, 2021

Pulp Fantasy Library: Intermission

As of today, there are slightly more than 250 entries in the Pulp Fantasy Library series and I've decided to take a short break from it. The series began its life on September 1, 2008 as "Pulp Fantasy Gallery," with the very first post depicting Conan's debut cover image from Weird Tales. By the start of early 2009, I had decided to change gears slightly and Pulp Fantasy Library began in earnest. Since then, the series has become one of the signatures of this blog and one of the loudest champions of the otherwise forgotten writers and works of Gary Gygax's Appendix N. Indeed, my posts on some of these subjects are among the only ones to be found easily on the Internet, which gives me a small amount of pleasure. My intention with the series was to bring greater attention to these authors and books and I seem to have succeeded in that to some extent.

The quest to find unheralded writers and stories grows more difficult with each entry I post. Likewise, the Internet now holds a great deal more information about the classics of pulp fantasy than it did a decade ago when I first started writing about the subject. While there is no doubt still an appetite for additional Pulp Fantasy Library posts, I must admit to some fatigue in writing them. Partly, I think it's because I feel an obligation to avoid better known stories, but that's not an easy task, as regular readers no doubt recognize. Had I infinite resources to acquire and infinite space to store all these works, it would still be onerous. Since I have neither, there's necessarily a limit to my capabilities. 

At the same time, I continue to believe that there's a lot to be learned from the foundational writers of the genre we now call "fantasy." Consequently, Pulp Fantasy Library isn't going anywhere just yet, though I am pondering new approaches that might help me in composing entries each week. I still haven't come to any firm conclusions, which is why I'd be grateful for suggestions my readers might have to offer on this score. It may be that there's really no need to change anything at all. I may simply need a break from the series for a few weeks in order to recharge my batteries. All of which is a longwinded way of saying that there won't be any new Pulp Fantasy Library posts for at least the next couple of weeks. The series will likely resume shortly after the new year, whether in its original or slightly modified form.


  1. Say it ain't so!
    Oh yeah, the point of the post is just so.
    I must say, well done. That was, and is, a monumental work, much like the entire body of your work. Few can boast 1000 posts, let along 3500. Mine is fledgling--a mere pixel on a screen--by comparison. I can only imagine how you manage to keep it so fresh!
    Kudos! You are an inspiration!

    1. I agree with everything David says here. Your output is prodigious, diverse and the quality has been high throughout.

  2. You can count me as one who doesn't think the series needs any change at all! Even though I am familiar with a great many of the stories you mention, I always enjoy reading your summaries and reflections. When it's a story with which I am not familiar, so much the better. I don't need any rigorous schedule, so I would say recharge as necessary and simply continue as the mood strikes. Cheers.

  3. Well, I'll miss these posts, they did turn up something new for me to read pretty often - but it'll give me more time to read back through teh 200 or so House of Worms posts I haven't gotten to yet, so there's that as a plus. :)

  4. To be clear: I am not ending the series. I am simply thinking of new approaches to presenting it.

  5. one thing, I am sure many here know, is that you can get the weird tales, etc magazines yourself, for free, as a download from the Internet Archive. look up the pulp collection. tons of mysteries and such too. fantastic resource!

  6. If I had a request it would be that you do a top 10 overall of the pulps you've looked at so far, and perhaps also provide a short description of why it's in your top ten.

  7. I’ve been quite happy with the series so far, both for when it serves as introduction and when it reminds me to read something.

    But if I was going to suggest anything, perhaps take on some of the SF that led to Traveller and other non-fantasy RPGs. I don’t run into many people nowadays who are at all familiar with such authors as Piper or van Vogt or even Zelazny (whom I realize you don’t like that much, and is more in the fantasy line, despite Metamorphosis Alpha stealing temporal fugue). Despite its influence, The Illuminatus Trilogy is also unknown.

    Of course, someone already wrote a book on Traveller’s literary sources, so maybe you wouldn’t consider that worthwhile.

  8. I've very much enjoyed the Pulp Fantasy Library and I've discovered some great stories through it. My only complaint is that some are out of print and difficult and expensive to find, but I can't blame you for that. ;)