EDitorial Comments

BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER’s Upcoming Tenth Anniversary Issue

Posted in Blood 'n' Thunder,PulpFest on July 20, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

After returning from Winston-Salem last Sunday, your humble correspondent required several days to recuperate from sleep deprivation and horrendous drives in both directions. But time marches on, or waits for no man, or something like that, so I need to get my butt back into gear — especially because, among other things, I’m moving at month’s end and have thus far packed less than half of my stuff.

That leaves me little time to complete the jumbo Tenth Anniversary issue of Blood ‘n’ Thunder, which will debut early next month at PulpFest and ship to subscribers soon thereafter. Fortunately, I’d made good progress before taking a break to attend the Western Film Fair (which, by the way, was great fun), and this weekend I hope to wrap up work on two feature articles that need polishing before I give the entire editorial package to Chris Kalb for layout.

It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since Mark Trost and I introduced BnT at the 2002 Pulpcon in Dayton, Ohio.  Our first issue — 36 saddle-stitched pages printed at the local Kinko’s — was received warmly enough, although I remember being slightly disappointed that we didn’t sell more copies at the convention. But as good word-of-mouth spread I received a steady flow of orders via e-mail and snail-mail, and by year’s end the 300-copy first printing was nearly sold out. I went into second printings on Number One and the next two issues as well, increasing my print run to 500 copies with Number Four.

So here we are in 2012, and BnT is still going strong. Each issue now runs to well over a hundred pages, but the Tenth Anniversary special will be more than half again as large. I expect it to come in at 160 pages or thereabouts, although we won’t know for certain until layout is completed.

One of the reasons for the extra length is that I’m reprinting a complete, book-length novel of 60,000 words. I believe it to be the longest work of fiction to appear in a single issue of a fanzine. The yarn is a classic from Street & Smith’s The Popular Magazine: Francis Lynde’s “B. Typhosus Takes a Hand.” This 1922 story follows the adventures of a young man who wakes up in a Pullman car to find that he has lost his memory. In dazed condition he alights in the small city where he apparently runs a thriving business and is engaged to a wealthy, beautiful woman. Embarrassed to reveal his memory loss, the amnesiac tries to bluff his way through. In short order he is implicated in a murder and becomes the victim of a blackmail plot.

Lynde’s suspenseful tale, told in first person by the amnesiac, is remarkable for its anticipation of themes, characters, and sequences in which Cornell Woolrich would specialize some two decades after “B. Typhosus” was written. The long arm of coincidence stretches forth perhaps once too often in Lynde’s story, but the same can be said of most Woolrich yarns as well.

I toyed with the idea of publishing “B. Typhosus” as part of Murania’s Classic Pulp Reprints series but in the end decided to make it a bonus feature in BnT‘s anniversary issue. It’ll be more of a bonus for some than others: Although the jumbo-sized issue will carry a $15.95 price tag for single-copy purchasers, it’ll count as a normal-sized issue for subscribers. That alone should persuade those of you who’ve been tardy about renewing to re-up tout de suite.

The Tenth Anniversary special will also include articles on Chandu the Magician (of film and radio fame), the New Pulp movement, Wild West Weekly writer Paul S. Powers, the hardboiled fiction of Frederick Nebel, Superman’s science-fictional radio adventures, and the 1914 Perils of Pauline serial. Additionally, there’ll be a profusely illustrated report on this year’s Windy City convention and a 1940 Writer’s Digest article by SF writer Nelson Bond.

If you’re not a subscriber already, now’s the time to sign up. Just meander over to the Blood ‘n’ Thunder page and click on the Subscriptions tab.

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