EDitorial Comments

Looking Ahead to PulpFest

Posted in Conventions on June 9, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

I’ve just returned from New York City, where my day’s activities included attending a four-hour meeting of the Gotham Pulp Collectors Club. The group assembles at a library in downtown Manhattan on the second Saturday of every month, and members can always count on a lively time. Some of us continue to gab during lengthy after-sessions at a nearby Dunkin Donuts. The conversations are dominated — but not monopolized — by hobby talk, with attendees showing off new acquisitions, weighing in on stories they’ve recently read, and commenting on special events such as auctions, conventions, and pulp-art exhibitions.

At today’s meeting we discussed the upcoming PulpFest, now just a scant nine weeks away. I could overstate the case by reporting that GPCC members were breathless with anticipation, but let’s just say those who plan on making the trip to Columbus are looking forward to our first confab in a new venue: the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located in the middle of the bustling downtown area. Those of us on the committee are especially excited to be moving to larger and more luxurious digs, given the steady deterioration of our previous home. The Hyatt Regency recently completed a $12 million refurbishment of its guest rooms, adding WiFi access, iHome Stereo with iPod docking access, and other amenities commensurate with the hotel’s size and stature. We’re quite confident you’ll find it an extremely convenient and comfortable venue.

I won’t waste space here repeating information you can find easily on the PulpFest site linked to above, but if you’re at all interested in coming — as either a fan or a vendor — you should make reservations soon. Our hucksters room at the Hyatt is larger than the one we had at the Ramada, but dealer space is going rapidly, so potential exhibitors should get in touch as soon as possible. I know that most wall tables are already spoken for, and a majority of island tables as well. If the pace of last year’s bookings is any guide, the entire room will be filled within the next four, maybe five weeks. Since PulpFest is a little later this year than was previously the case, you’ve got extra time to finalize your plans — but not much extra time.

Attendance-wise, this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention was another record-breaker, notwithstanding the still-sluggish economy. We’re hoping to draw an equally big crowd. Interest in pulp fiction continues to grow, fueled by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of reprints, newly written works in the classic tradition, and surprising strength of demand for the vintage magazines themselves. The recent Adventure House auctions of pulps owned by noted SF writer Frank Robinson have generated record-shattering prices, and PulpFest is nothing if not Nirvana for collectors of rough-paper rarities.

If you’ve attended our convention before, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to visit us at least once (and this is the year to do it, as a cursory glance at our guest-star lineup and schedule of activities demonstrates). And if you already plan on coming but haven’t made your reservations…well, what are you waiting for, an engraved invitation?

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