October 7, 2011
Pulp means many things to many people. Historically, Pulp refers to fiction magazines that were printed on cheap wood pulp paper. The paper was coarse with rough edges. Publishers found this cheaper to produce and began turning out magazines that ran around 128 or so pages and only cost a dime. For ten cents, readers could encounter far away lands, lost civilizations, thugs with guns, cowboys and Indians, and anything else fiction writers of the day came up with.
Although first introduced in the 1890s, Pulp magazines really came into their own in the 1930s and 40s. This was due in large part to the popularity of what have come to be known as the Hero Pulps. Take a poll today on what Pulp heroes the public remembers, any that have a clue what Pulp is will likely say, "Doc Savage" or "The Shadow" or "The Spider." Well-versed armchair fans might even rattle off "The Black Bat" or "The Avenger." Hero Pulps provided readers with stories about ideal men fighting for right and justice against insurmountable odds.
Although Hero Pulps are the most fondly remembered by some, Pulp magazines provided the stage for so many other genres. Nearly regardless of a reader's taste in fiction, it could be found in a Pulp magazine. Western, Action Adventure, Sports, Mystery, Crime, Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, even Romance Pulps dominated newsstands and kiosks all over America. That is, until the early 1950s when for various reasons, Pulp magazines faded from view.
In an effort to explain why Pulp has had the impact it has, many have come up with definitions of what Pulp is. Most include Pulp being fast paced and plot oriented with clearly defined, larger than life protagonists and antagonists and creative descriptions, clever use of turns of phrase and other aspects of writing that add to the intensity and pacing of the story. Any of that sound familiar, radio Detective fans? Or how about those of you who enjoy a good frontier shootout on your favorite western show? Looking at that definition, it is clear that Pulp had not only an impact on later mediums, but definitely shared characteristics with a source of entertainment that experienced its golden age simultaneously with the Pulps. That entertainment that we now call Old Time Radio.
Like Pulp, Old Time Radio covers many genres and many styles of storytelling. There are shows, though, that fit squarely into what many would consider to be Pulp. Detective programs, particularly, fit the model extremely well. In the space of a little over twenty minutes, radio writers had to introduce the detective, establish the cast of characters, set up the mystery to be solved, throw in one or two red herrings or a fight scene, and then resolve everything. These detectives were tough, heroic men and stood out in one way or another, like Richard Diamond and his singing, Johnny Dollar and his expense account, or Nero Wolfe and his eccentricities. And the bad guys, always some grand plan to dupe money out of someone or even larger schemes. Some would call stories like that plot oriented, fast paced fiction with larger than life heroes and villains. Here at Radio Archives, we call it Pulp Radio.
And Pulp Radio doesn't stop at hard-boiled gumshoes, either! Western lawmen and the desperadoes they tangled with week in and week out on the radio rode the same trails as their Pulp cowboy counterparts. Astronauts and aliens on the airwaves fit the bill for larger than life and fast paced! And even characters that first found life in the Pulps lived even longer thanks to Radio. Pulp Radio is full of mayhem and monsters, good and evil, and stories that still today ring true with Fans of great Heroic Fiction of any medium.
Titles that you'll find in Radio Archives' Pulp Radio section include:
The New Adventures of Michael Shayne - Jeff Chandler's rugged voice adds to the pace and intensity of this Pulp type detective program from beginning to end, bringing Brett Halliday's fictional detective to explosive life!
The Shadow of Fu Manchu - Sax Rohmer's Villain of All Villains continues his life of Tyranny and Evil in this relentlessly fast paced radio show!
The Planet Man - This Sci-Fi show definitely walks the line between Camp and Pulp, but has all the ear markings of excitement, over the top characters, and life and death situations it needs to be Pure Pulp!
Luke Slaughter of Tombstone - Westerns, prime Pulp territory, shined just as brightly in Radio's Golden Age. The adventures of Luke Slaughter have all the toughness, six guns, horses and outlaws that it takes to make a Western tale great Radio Pulp!
One of pulp fiction's most popular vigilante avengers comes to audiobooks for the first time in Prince of the Red Looters, the first Spider audiobook from RadioArchives.com. Prince of the Red Looters is available now in both a deluxe six-CD set and MP3 digital download.
Producer/Director Roger Rittner says, "Prince of the Red Looters is an astounding accomplishment, wedding dynamic narration from two unique stars of stage and screen, specially selected sound effects, and a complete period music score."
This action-packed story features Nick Santa Maria and Robin Riker narrating and voicing the character parts. "They've done outstanding work in this exciting novel-length adventure of the classic pulp hero, The Spider," Roger says.
In Prince of the Red Looters, The Spider faces one of his most cunning criminal enemies — The Fly! The Fly's ruthlessly efficient crime organization commits a chain of bold and deadly atrocities on New York City, while The Fly taunts The Spider in a series of ever more dangerous duels.
"The sword fights will have listeners sitting on the edge of their seats," Roger says. "Prince of the Red Looters will be a stunning addition to RadioArchives.com's audiobook line."
Prince of the Red Looters inaugurates Will Murray's Pulp Classics, a new series of pulp-related audiobooks from RadioArchives.com. Each entry in the series is a classic pulp adventures personally chosen by Will Murray, one of the country's foremost experts on all things pulp.
"I'm very excited to present to listeners some of my favorite pulp stories in this engaging format," Will says. "This first Spider audiobook is a grand launch to the series."
Listeners who have previewed Prince of the Red Looters are enthused:
"It's excellent. Really held my attention. I think it works wonderfully."
"An exceptional job."
"The results are amazing."
Prince of the Red Looters is available now in a six-CD set, priced at $19.98, with original cover art and a special bonus audio feature of Will Murray explaining the genesis of The Spider. The audiobook is also available as an MP3 Digital Download, including the special bonus feature, at just $13.98.
"Prince of the Red Looters is a listening experience that will thrill every fan of audiobooks and pulp fiction," Roger says.
Doc Savage Audiobooks Continue to Delight Fans
2011's 'Summer of Doc Savage' continues into the Fall, as RadioArchives.com's first two Doc Savage audiobooks, Will Murray's Python Isle and White Eyes continue to attract and delight Doc fans as well as those just discovering the greatest adventure hero of the 1930s.
RadioArchives.com customer Eugene Dungan says,
"I just wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed your two Doc Savage audiobooks, Python Isle and White Eyes. Please tell all your people to keep up the great work. I am looking forward to buying all of the audiobooks that you come out with."
Python Isle, narrated by Michael McConnohie, and White Eyes, narrated by Richard Epcar, are available in impressive CD sets, as digital downloads, and also in special Signed Director's Editions.
In a world where evil and danger loomed at every corner, a time when no one knew what might be waiting for them in the dark, a place where the future was in no way certain, a trembling populace reached out for an escape and found it in Pulp Magazines! That same doorway to Adventure, those tales of Heroes tried and true are available still today as classic pulp novel reprints from Radio Archives! Need a break from your reality? Find it in Pulp Fiction here at Radio Archives!
Spider Pulp Doubles #21
The Spider fights his way through two classic tales! First, The Spider squares off with The Corpse Broker! For a ten percent commission on murder, the Master of the Green Death guarantees immunity from the police! The Spider sets out to stop wholesale slaughter that turns the dead green! Next, The Spider marches against the Volunteer Corpse Brigade! Deadly plague-germs are used against the nation as Smiler Miordan crushes all who oppose him. The Spider, himself stricken with the virus, takes on the criminal Underworld Union! All of this available for $14.95 from Radio Archives!
Doc Savage, Volume 51: Halloween Special
The evil mastermind Kar discovered an irresistible weapon: the Smoke of Eternity. It is a universal solvent that can destroy flesh, metal, even stone. Jerome Coffern knew the secret of this new weapon and was going to reveal it to Doc but he was brutally assassinated before he could. Now Doc and Kar begin a life and death struggle. They will battle to a standstill in New York and the body count rises as the stakes get higher.
Doc traces the secret of the Smoke of Eternity to a recent expedition to the Indian Ocean in which Jerome Coffern and another chemist, Gabe Yuder, were joined by adventurer Oliver Wording Bittman. Bittman was a friend of Doc's father who saved Clark Sr.'s life by killing an African lion on safari. The three men found a strange volcanic land they called Thunder Island studded with minerals unknown elsewhere on earth and harboring all manner of extinct monsters including dinosaurs, flying reptiles, and enormous mammals. This is the most foreboding place on Earth. Doc saved Bittman from Kar's henchmen and allowed him to join in the expedition back to Thunder Island. Gabe Yuder is the only one of the three that is unaccounted for and it seems that he is the villain Kar. Doc and his men travel to Thunder Island and confront danger on all sides, including a battle with a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
This is the second Doc Savage story in the original print order and it hit the newsstands in March 1933. It remains one of the best. Doc has not developed his code against killing at this point and he takes out several villains spectacularly. It should be noted that this story was on the newsstands the month before the movie King Kong which opened on 7 April 1933.
Own Land Of Terror today in Doc Savage Volume 14 for only $12.95 here at RadioArchives.com!
High quality Audio, Pulp, and Classic DVDs! And at a fantastic price! Why, that's the Radio Archives Deal of the Day!
The Deal of the Day is actually Three Deals at All Times! No limits! No minimum amount! Simply Great Products at Unbelievable Prices!
Every Day a Different Item is available at 10% Off.
If you're into Pulp, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days to pick up a great Pulp deal at a 10% discount!
For The Next Two Weeks Only - 10 Hours of Radio's Greatest Shows for 25% off!
Discover the magic of radio's Golden Age with this handpicked selection of shows. Your mind's eye will come alive with timeless mystery, comedy, science fiction and detective shows. Experience the greatness of the Nelson Family, Don Ameche and Francis Langford, as well as the genius of Ray Bradbury, Willis Cooper, Orson Welles, Jack Webb, and many more in this ten hour collection.
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Aldrich Family, Baby Snooks, Beulah, The Bickersons, Big Town, The Bill Stern Colgate Sports Reel, Boston Blackie, Night Beat, Casey, Crime Photographer, Dimension X, X-Minus One, The Fred Allen Show, The Great Gildersleeve, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Lights Out, The Lux Radio Theatre, Orson Welles Meets H.G. Wells, Pat Novak, For Hire, The Saint, The Unexpected, Lights Out. And it can be yours for $22.49, 25% off the regular price until October 20th at RadioArchives.com!
October Deal Of The Month - Bing Crosby: Screen Legends Collection for 50% off
Actor and crooner Bing Crosby had a rich, long film career and this collection features some of the best of his lesser-known films. Crosby is joined by costars such as Anthony Quinn, Joan Blondell, Gloria Jean, Betty Hutton, and more! And Bing lends his voice to such classics as "Sweet Leilani," That Old Black Magic," "Ac-cent-u-ate the Positive," and many others! The collection is a great cross-section of Crosby's career and shouldn't be missed by fans of him or of American films of the 1930s and 1940s. The movies included are:
Waikiki Wedding (1937, directed by Frank Tuttle)
Double or Nothing (1937, directed by Theodore Reed)
East Side of Heaven (1939, directed by David Butler)
If I Had My Way (1940, directed by David Butler)
For the month of October this classic collection of Crosby films is half price at $13.49 from Radio Archives! Look for the yellow 'Deal Of The Day' price tag in the upper right hand corner of the home page and click it for a great deal Every Single Day from RadioArchives.com!
I was just thinking how far Radio Archives has come since the days of snail mail. You deserve all the credit for making the right changes.