EDitorial Comments


Posted in Murania Press,Upcoming Books on September 28, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

Almost five years to the day of its publication, The Blood ‘n’ Thunder Guide to Collecting Pulps has been retired to make room for a greatly revised and expanded edition. Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s Guide to Pulp Fiction will be available this December, just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. At nearly 350 pages, the new Guide is half again as large as the previous version and will sell for $29.95.

The change in title signals an intent to appeal to a broader audience. The old Guide was geared to collectors of vintage pulp magazines, but since I began writing it in 2005 the hobby has changed significantly. At that time we were just on the cusp of a boom in pulp reprints fueled by the increasing sophistication of “desktop publishing” software and the rapid proliferation of “Print On Demand” companies. The intervening years have seen the issuance of literally hundreds of reprint volumes from such publishers as Adventure House, Age of Aces, Altus Press, Girasol Collectibles, Off-Trail Press, Sanctum Books, and my own Murania Press, to name just a handful.

Moreover, during the same period of time, pulp fiction achieved greater mainstream respectability thanks to anthologies from major publishing houses. Otto Penzler’s massive collections for Random House’s Vintage Crime/Black Lizard imprint — The Big Book of Pulps, The Big Book of Black Mask Stories, and The Big Book of Adventure Stories — got wide distribution and elicited glowing reviews from critics writing for top magazines and newspapers. Nowadays more people than ever are interested in pulp fiction (although the phrase is defined with more elasticity than was the case when newsstand racks bulged with rough-paper magazines). As a result, lots of it is available.

With so much product to choose from, and so little money to spend, both enthusiastic newbies and long-time aficionados crave guidance. So, in addition to steering them to the original periodicals, Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s Guide to Pulp Fiction offers comprehensive listings and appraisals of the various reprints being marketed by specialty publishers and mainstream houses alike. I’ve also beefed up the old Guide‘s Appendix covering books on pulp history, adding a number of indispensable works that have been published since the list was first compiled in 2007.

For readers still interested in using the Guide as a reference to vintage pulp magazines, I’ve not only fleshed out the original text but also written new chapters covering genres mentioned only briefly in the first edition: Sports, Romance, Aviation/War, and Girlie Pulps.

Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s Guide to Pulp Fiction will have the same format as the previous version — seven by ten inches, just like the old rough-paper mags themselves — and sport even more illustrations. At last count I’d assembled over 500 scans of pulp covers, book covers, and original art. I’m guessing the final number will be closer to 600 by the time layout has been completed.

I’ll be seeking wider distribution for the new Guide than any Murania Press book to date, including traditional brick-and-mortar chains and large mail-order companies. This book will appeal not only to experienced hobbyists but to casual readers and novice collectors as well.

Stay tuned for further details. As soon as I get a cover design, I’ll post it here.

17 thoughts on “Coming Soon: BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER’S GUIDE TO PULP FICTION

  1. This is great news and I’m glad to see chapters devoted to sport, love, air/war, and girly mags. When the first edition came out 5 years ago I thought it was the best overall coverage of the pulps. My only complaint to Ed was that I wanted a bigger book. Well, it pays to gripe and complain. I expect the second, expanded edition to be even better.

    Of course, I’ll still probably gripe about it not being big enough!

  2. I can’t wait to read this new version of a classic reference work. I think it’s smart to get the phrase “pulp fiction” in the title because, for better or worse, those are words that resonate with today’s book buying crowd. An overview of the reprint houses will also be handy. This book sounds wonderful!

  3. Great news.I agree with walker.Sport,Love and Air War are usually not covered in pulp comment.This is good. Also the coverage of the reprint houses is really important since most new people interested in pulp fiction will be buying the reprints.Overall this is a big step forward in pulp information.

  4. Hi Ed
    Great news! Really looking forward to this. Have you a publication date yet and will it be available from Amazon UK?

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