The Man from Mars: Ray Palmer's Amazing Pulp Journey

The Man from Mars: Ray Palmer's Amazing Pulp Journey

by Fred Nadis

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Overview

Now in paperback, the rollicking, critically acclaimed true story of the legendary writer and editor who ruled over America's sci-fi, fantasy, and supernatural pulp journals in the mid-twentieth century: Ray Palmer.

“Palmer could not have asked for a more sympathetic chronicler, or a better one, than Fred Nadis. His prose and his pronouncements are everything Palmer’s practically never were: restrained, nuanced, intelligently considered. Nadis has a great story, and he relates it exquisitely.” —Jerome Clark, Fortean Times 
 
“Fred Nadis’s insightful biography demonstrates that Palmer is significant as well as intriguing.” The Washington Post
 
“One of science fiction’s greatest gadflies gets his due in this lively and entertaining biography.” Publishers Weekly


“Lucidly written and unfailingly lively, The Man from Mars is a biography worthy of its subject.” Fate magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101616048
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/13/2013
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 9 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Fred Nadis has been a visiting associate professor of American studies at Doshisha University in Japan, as well as a freelance journalist, publishing articles in the Atlantic Monthly and other magazines. He has a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
 

Table of Contents

Prologue: In Which Two Crime-Weary G-Men Visit a Pulp Editor in Chicago ix

1 Birth of a Fan 1

2 Amazing Stories 29

3 The Alphabet from Outer Space 57

4 Shaver Mania 87

5 The Man Who Invented Flying Saucers 115

6 Trapped in the Hollow Earth 139

7 Palmer and Shaver Inc. 167

8 ESP, Or the Elder Statesman of Pulp 197

9 Professor Palmer's Intergalactic Medicine Show 227

10 Into the Vortex 249

Notes 265

Bibliography 275

Index 280

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The sci-fi pulps made a lasting imprint, as Fred Nadis shows in his entertaining "The Man From Mars"…Mr. Nadis does not take sides in what was once a civil war among the fans but reminds them that there was more than one mighty editor back in the Golden Age.”
Tom Shippey, WALL STREET JOURNAL

"One of science fiction's greatest gadflies gets his due in this lively and entertaining biography. Nadis quotes liberally from [Richard A. Palmer's] editorials and readers letters to piant a vivid portrait of the postwar science fiction scene and fan culture."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“He produces a vivid cultural history, capturing subtle transformations in American attitudes through an examination of the voluble Palmer’s career and writings.”
—KIRKUS REVIEWS

“The author paints a story of a larger-than-life writer, editor, and publisher whose unorthodox methods propelled a nascent genre of tales, conspiracies, and other worlds into high visibility.”
LIBRARY JOURNAL

"He [Palmer] was surely one of the most distinctive characters to grace (some would say, disgrace) the science fiction field in the past century. Fred Nadis’ book does him justice, and will provide invaluable insights into the science fiction world of the pulp era"
—Richard A. Lupoff, Locus Magazine

"Lucidly written and unfailingly lively, THE MAN FROM MARS is a biography worthy of its subject. Nadis never stoops to lazy hyperbole…but maintains his balance and his sense of nuance."
Fate Magazine (originally founded by Ray Palmer)
 
"Brisk, entertaining accounts of the beginnings of the science-fiction genre and the zealous fandom it inspired, as well as the complicated relationships between fans and related subcultures devoted to UFOs, the paranormal, and New Age spirituality."
Los Angeles Review of Books

"Palmer could not have asked for a more sympathetic chronicler, or a better one, than Fred Nadis. His prose and his pronouncements are everything Palmer’s practically never were: restrained, nuanced, intelligently considered. Nadis has a great story, and he relates it exquisitely."
Jerome Clark, Fortean Times
 

"THE MAN FROM MARS provides a fascinating glimpse into a little known regional writer from Wisconsin and his many influences…Ray Palmer was part Isaac Asimov, part P. T. Barnum, and part Charles Fort, a legendary American icon—shining most brightly in kooky waystations of various subcultures."
—Karl Wolff, New York Journal of Books

“Lucidly written and unfailingly lively, The Man From Mars is a biography worthy of its subject. Nadis never stoops to lazy hyperbole…but maintains his balance and his sense of nuance.”
FATE MAGAZINE 

THE MAN FROM MARS is a fascinating story, superbly told.”
—JT Lindroos, Bookgasm
 
“Fred Nadis’s insightful biography demonstrates that Palmer is significant as well as intriguing.”
—Michael Saler, The Washington Post

“Palmer could not have asked for a more sympathetic chronicler, or a better one, than Fred Nadis. His prose and his pronouncements are everything Palmer’s practically never were: restrained, nuanced, intelligently considered. Nadis has a great story, and he relates it exquisitely."
—Jerome Clark, FORTEAN TIMES

“From pulp fiction and occultism to UFO and conspiracy theories, Sci-fi magus Ray Palmer was ahead of the crowd, fashioning 21st century sensibilities far in advance of the online generation. Fred Nadis’s The Man From Mars is a full bodied, in-depth and addictive investigation into the life of this truly underground man. As fast paced and gripping as any pulp adventure, Nadis brings to life the truly amazing story of this 'impresario of the paranormal'. Grab a copy at the newsstand while they last!”
Gary Lachman, author of A Secret History of Consciousness and Madame Blavatsky
 
“A superb biography of one of the leaders in twentieth-century fringe phenomena. I found it more enthralling than any science fiction I have ever read.”
Richard Smoley, author of Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History
 
The Man from Mars is a deeply researched and wonderfully well-written biography of Ray Palmer, a science-fiction editor who opened the field up to some of the craziest pseudoscientific ideas, from ancient underground robots to UFOs. Nadis recreates the wild-and-wooly world of the pulp magazines with gusto and flair, evoking Palmer as part earnest, hard-working editor, part sensationalizing huckster—and ultimately, as a quintessential American. The book is a joy to read."
Rob Latham, professor of English, University of California at Riverside; editor, Science Fiction Studies
 
“An extremely moving account of one of the genuine fathers of contemporary pop culture, told with just the right balance of humor and seriousness. Nadis brilliantly shows that the impulse to ask “What if?” is one of the most thoroughly American habits there is.” 
Ptolemy Tompkins, author of Paradise Fever and The Modern Book of the Dead

“When I first encountered, up close, the imagination of Ray Palmer, I thought: 'Someone has to write a biography of this man.’ And now someone has. The trick with Palmer has always been this: how to write about biographical facts that merge with pulp fictions that, in turn, merge with biographical facts. Fred Nadis has exactly pulled off this piece of real-world magic. Beautifully."
Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal
 

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