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The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines (2001) - Peter Haining
The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines (2001) - Peter Haining [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
From Publishers Weekly
Peter Haining (The Fantastic Pulps) pays homage to the sensation-packed, nickel and dime publications that brought the "stuff of dreams" to millions of ordinary people from the 1920s to the '40s in The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines. Numerous cover illustrations and sketches culled from Haining's personal collection of pulps complement a running narrative that chronicles the inception and expansion of the mass-produced magazines. From "hot and spicy" pulps to sci-fi and crime pulps, Haining details the trends that evolved to accommodate the times and notes the authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Edgar Rice Burroughs who made their mark writing for the pulps. With its tantalizing story excerpts and luscious artwork, this volume is a an essential collector's item for pulp aficionados and sci-fi, horror and fantasy fans. (Chicago Review Press, $39.95 240p ISBN 1-55652-389-0) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The golden age of American pulp magazines has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, often emphasizing the cover art, but this British import provides an excellent overview of all aspects of the topic. Haining, a pulp collector and unabashed fan whose lively prose reflects his enthusiasm, isolates the three key ingredients in pulp stories--action, adventure, and sex--and traces how these elements were exploited in various genres: hard-boiled mystery, fantasy, science fiction, horror, and spicy romance. He traces the publishing history of each genre, with equal time given to the notable authors, the superb cover artists, and the cultural phenomena that created a receptive audience for the pulp worldview. And, of course, the pages are filled with well-produced, nicely printed reproductions of those fabulous covers (see front cover of this issue). Eminently browsable, this delicious volume will be a welcome treat for pulp-era devotees. Bill Ott Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
It has been scientifically proved that if you bought three anthologies of horror stories in the 1970s, one of them was statistically certain to have been edited by Peter Haining.
Born in 1940, Haining became one of Britain's leading authorities on horror, with a particular emphasis on early Gothic and on the classic English ghost story. At a time when 19th century Gothic fiction was difficult to come by, his compilations were often the only available source of such material for the general reader. Taking a firm stand against the then ubiquitous Pan series and its ilk, Haining favoured the subtle and the classic over the shocking and the graphic. He also strove to broaden the repertoire of the anthology beyond the familiar handful of tales that turned up over and over again. In the process he uncovered many hitherto obscure stories and, if he wasn't always followed by compilers of other volumes, he can hardly be blamed for their failures. --http://www.trashfiction.co.uk/haining.html [Jul 2005]
One of the most painful truths in American publishing is that genre fiction is better than literary fiction. There are two basic reasons for this. One is the market angle: detective stories outsell “quality” novels at an exponential rate. The second is tougher to defend, but it’s the truth. The writing’s just better. Genre fiction, by providing a steady diet of sex, violence and adventure, and little or nothing more, serves the reader in a way that so-called “quality” literature can’t approach. No short story in Harper’s or The Atlantic could ever be described as “gripping” or a “page-turner.” And since all storytelling rests on the inherent fascination of the tale, not the finesse with which it’s told, it can finally be stated here: Raymond Chandler is a better writer than John Updike. --http://www.culturevulture.net/Books/AmericanPulp.htm [Jul 2005]
see also: pulp - USA
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