Flappers, Cowboys, Slabbing and your guides to the pulp world

Link Roundup Feb 2020: Flappers, Cowboys, Slabbing and your guides to the pulp world

Recently, a reader of this blog reached out to me and asked for suggestions for pulp authors to read, having exhausted this blog. Part of this blog is for him and other passers-by. But first, the flappers


A review of the book:


Louis L’Amour takes a look back on the history and mythology of one the most enduring icons of the American West.



CGC has been preparing to make pulps collectibles. Part of that process is building the right technology to slab pulps. This video discusses the challenges of that, their solution to the problem, and the vexed question of how to grade pulps. All interesting topics.

Still, I can’t help feeling that the contents of the pulps are ignored in favor of their covers way too much.

And now for your

Pulp Guides

Both my issue reviews and pulp author articles usually have suggestions on what to read. And sometimes, what not to read. A recent sample:

More here:


and here:


Crime fiction is a popular genre, and Bob Byrne is your guide.

Bob reviews crime fiction at Black Gate, frequently posting on series characters from the pulps. More posts from Bob here:


It’s rare that you see pulp fanzines being reviewed. Pulp.Net has been doing a stellar job. The two part post below has plenty of suggestions for readers.

And for more of the same, see


Like what you saw above? Science fiction and fantasy fans can find plenty more reviews of short stories here: https://sffremembrance.com/category/short-story-reviews/

Action. Adventure. Science Fiction. Tim deForest covers plenty of stories in his in-depth reviews.


As does the Paperback Warrior, a blog/podcast. Their last 3 pulp story reviews came from Blue Book, Strange Stories and Jungle Stories. Quite the variety. You can find them at:


Also focusing on short science fiction, mostly from the digest era (1955-1980s)


Before you go away, take some time to read through this humorous look at Lovecraftian horror.


  1. Concerning slabbing, I collect the original cover paintings of the pulps, so I completely understand the interest in the cover art of the magazines. But I’m also a reader and I collect the pulps mainly for reading which means I’m against the slabbing of the pulps. I can see slabbing a magazine which is worth a lot of money like the All Story issue of Tarzan, but as a reader I want to not only read the magazines but also look at the illustration art and feel the pulp paper, etc.

    I’ve heard the argument about how the stories are available in reprint form, so go ahead and slab them but the fact is that many of my favorite authors are not available in reprint form. For instance I’m presently involved in reading back issues of Ace High in the 1920’s and early 1930’s. I must have close to a couple hundred issues. Many of the short stories are excellent comedies about boxing and baseball and they provide a great glimpse of the sports in the twenties. Ace High is a rare magazine and in nice condition would probably be a prime candidate for slabbing but the stories would then be unavailable to read.

    The simple fact is that most slabbing is just about the money and worth of the magazines. Great for investors and people who don’t read but a real problem for many pulp collectors, who do read the magazines.

    Needless to say, I am completely against slabbing except for the rarest pulps which are worth so much money that you cannot handle them for fear of degrading the magazine. Even then I would probably want to break open the plastic!

    I have the feeling that first edition hardcover collectors would also be against slabbing. Can you imagine book cases full of slabbed books and pulps? What at nightmare. I know it’s coming but I dread seeing the actual artifact.

    1. I think slabbing is here to stay, whatever our personal feelings are about it. Given the charges for slabbing, it will probably stay limited to the highest grades, a few genres (weird, weird mystery, spicy, girly, hero), key issues (like the All-Story one), key authors (Howard, Lovecraft, Burroughs et al) . I hope. Ace-High being western, no key authors might keep it from being slabbed. Who knows, really?

      What we need is more reprints so that we can read the stuff easily. Working on that and will have an update soon.

    2. Walker is it true that a portion of the entertainment program at Windy City this year will include a ritual burning of a slab in effigy (and a daily three minutes of hate, led by Big Pulpster, targeting Emmanuel Slabberstein)?

      I bought slabbed girly pulp about 3 years ago (they’ve been slabbing those for a while), and I’m sad that I can’t ogle the nekkid lady pics or the great art (at least once — then it’s on to the next pulp score of course). But I think slabs will flush out most of the pulps speculators have been hording, waiting to cash in. And I don’t think a glut on the pulp market will drive up prices. And we can always crack em open in a pulp emergency.

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