"Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers is the first reference book of its kind to bring together the famous and lesser-known writers who shaped popular literature. From best-selling authors to "underground" wordsmiths, more than 200 entries profile the inventors of such genres as the western, hardboiled detective novel, spy thriller, science fiction, horror, legal thriller, crime fiction, and romance novel." Surveying brand-name legends and obscure or forgotten authors, each entry presents a brief biography and a list of the author's writing credits, including works written under pseudonyms. Complete with cross-references, an index, and a bibliography, and enhanced by photos of writers as well as by illustrations of vintage book and magazine covers, Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers is equally satisfying for historians, students, fans of popular fiction, and general readers.
Those who spent their formative years engrossed in the works of V.C. Andrews, Mickey Spillane or Harold Robbins (when they should have been reading Silas Marner for English class) will delight in this comprehensive resource on the virtuosos of genre fiction. Server (Over My Dead Body), who writes about pop culture and literary history and is a stone-cold expert on pulps, offers encyclopedia-style biographical entries on legendary writers in all of the mass market categories: westerns, horror, science fiction, detective stories and romances. Entries include the usual suspects, such as H.P. Lovecraft, Louis L'Amour, Ian Fleming, Mario Puzo and Jacqueline Susann, as well as more unlikely names: Baroness Emmuska Orczy (the Hungarian refugee who wrote The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel), John Faulkner (the less successful sibling of you-know-who, whose 1951 Cabin Road is about the ribald shenanigans of Mississippi hicks), Achmed Abdullah (the Russian-born, Afghanistan-raised, Oxford-educated author of spy thrillers and gritty New York Chinatown noirs-The Honorable Gentleman and Other Stories, etc.-in the 1920s and 1930s). The biographies themselves make for engrossing reading, as Server describes how Bruno Fisher came to write his "weird menace" supernatural pulps while working as the editor of the Socialist Call, or why Chester Himes turned from social novels to detective fiction (he was broke). A bibliography follows each entry, and Server includes an introduction that describes the rise of cheaply bound sensational fiction in the 19th century. Numerous b&w photos enliven the text even further. (Nov.)
This comprehensive reference by Server, author of the acclaimed Danger Is My Business: The Illustrated History of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines and coeditor of The Big Book of Noir, profiles famous and lesser-known writers of pulp fiction, the popular novels (originally published on cheap wood pulp paper) that flourished in the 1860s to 1950s and included Westerns, mysteries, crime, science fiction, horror, and erotic thrillers. Server emphasizes how the writing has adjusted to changes in society and the marketplace, closely reflecting the predominant cultural mores. Each of the 200 entries, covering pulp fiction writers of the past century, range from less than a page to two pages and includes a brief biography along with a list of writing credits. There are 50 black-and-white photographs and a useful index. Server presents a clever sampling of writers, and interesting tidbits abound, e.g., some of the best-known writers got their start writing pulp fiction, including Raymond Chandler, Earl Stanley Gardner, Max Brand, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ian Fleming, and Mario Puzo. Public, high school, and college libraries will find this resource affordable and useful for their literature and pop culture collections.-Bobbie Wrinkle, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.