Retro Pulp Tales

Retro Pulp Tales

by Joe R. Lansdale

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596060081
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication date: 05/28/2006
Pages: 235
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Joe R. Lansdale (b. 1951) is the author of more than 40 novels and numerous short stories in a range of genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. He has received the Edgar Award and eight Bram Stoker Awards, and several of his books have been adapted into films. He is best known for his Hap Collins and Leonard Pine mystery series, set in the fictional town of LaBorde in East Texas. He lives with his family in Texas.

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Retro Pulp Tales 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Following in the footsteps of editors like Michael Chabon (McSweeney's Treasury of Thrilling Tales), Joe Lansdale has put together an anthology of long tales in the pulp tradition, with the intention of taking the reader back to a time when dogfights, derring-do, and dashing dames filled the pages of such digests as Daredevil Aces, Weird Tales, Terror Tales, Amazing Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Super Science Fiction when The Shadow and Doc Savage competed for the attention of adventure-hungry young readers. For the most part, RPT is successful in its attempt to replicate the style of those fondly remembered pulps, and there are some truly wonderful tales here. Four in particular are standouts. There are also, however, a few near-misses. Following Lansdale's brief but straightforward introduction, RPT takes off, in fine form, with one of the book's strongest, and most pulpish tales, 'Devil Wings Over France: A Dead-Stick Malloy Story' by James Reasoner. The story of an ace fighter pilot, dogfights over war-torn France, and an insidious Nazi plot involving 'rabid' vampire bats, all the ingredients are here for the kind of story you'd fully expect to find in one of the old Daredevil Aces pulps. The tone is pitch-perfect, the pace relentless and the descriptions of the dogfights breathtaking. The first of the book's standouts. Chet Williamson isn't known for writing weak stories, and for this volume, he once again rises to the challenge of delivering something unique. What might, at first glance, seem to be a random selection of ad clippings from the classifieds of pulp magazines turns out to be a tale of serial murder in the inventive and original, 'From The Back Pages' Another gem. A cop trying to restore his reputation after a flubbed case finds himself up against a duo of Fu-Manchu-like crimelords when a child is abducted by a rogue minion in F. Paul Wilson's 'Sex Slaves of the Dragon Tong', a nod to the 'Yellow Peril' stories found in the old 'penny dreadfuls'. There's plenty of action and gore on display here and as always with a Wilson story, it's well-told, if not the author's strongest tale. Still, a rewarding read and keeps well within the paramaters of the book's theme. Next up is 'New Game In Town' by Alex Irvine, about a cop who has run afoul of gangsters and awaits their move in a bar where a game of pool can decide whether or not a man lives or dies. This was a superbly written and engaging story, let down only by what felt like a very hurried and not entirely satisfying ending. That being said, the ride to that point is almost enough to forgive the conclusion. 'Alien Love At Zero Break' is a surprisingly unsatisfactory effort by an ordinarily superb writer. Melissa Mia Hall's nod to Gidget, tells the tale of a teen's sexual awakening during a summer spent at a surfboard-crowded party beach in the 1950's. The tale starts to get more intriguing after the midpoint, but while it's clear what Hall was aiming for here, it's a little unfortunate that she chose a facet of the pulps that was never all that appealing to begin with. 'The Body Lies' by Tim Lebbon is a superb piece, but really doesn't fit the theme of the anthology. A highly entertaining and (as per usual) well-written piece, Lebbon's tale is marred only slightly by a somewhat telegraphed ending and the aforementioned fact that there's really nothing pulpy about it. Slaves on the run from a plantation find themselves confronted by their owner's henchmen, and something...else, in Bill Crider's ''Zekiel Saw The Wheel', an engaging tale which features, among other things, UFOs and walking skeletons. With ''Zekiel' Crider gives us a pure slice of pulp, served medium rare. 'Summer' by Al Sarrantonio is another of the book's standout pieces. Though the author makes it clear in the foreword to the story that he set out to write both an homage to Ray Bradbury and a pulp tale of the kind Bradbury might have penned for Thrilling Wonder S