The official blog for the Pulp Magazines Project, an open-access digital archive of early twentieth-century pulp magazines

Archive for the category “New Contexts”

New Issues/ Titles/ Contexts (2/25/2015): Dime Novels and Nickel Weeklies

The Pulp Magazines Project has just added 8 issues of “dime novels” and “nickel weeklies” published between 1892 and 1922 to its website. The titles include Frank Reade Library, Tip Top Weekly, Nick Carter Weekly, Deadwood Dick Library, Buffalo Bill Stories, All-Sports Library, All Around Weekly, and Wild West Weekly.

New Scans_Feb. 2015

To view them, click here.

Publishers represented by this group include Street & Smith, Beadle & Adams, The Winner Library Co., Frank Tousey, and Harry E. Wolff. Information and metadata listed alongside each issue includes publication date, year established, publisher, and an estimated total number of issues published.

For more information on the dime novels as a 19th-century publishing phenomenon, check out Tim DeForest’s chapter on “Dime Novels,” from Storytelling in the Pulps, Comics, and Radio: How Technology Changed Popular Fiction in America (2004). It can be accessed through GoogleBooks here.


New Issues/ Contexts/ Histories (4/13/2013): The ‘Girlie’ Pulps!

In the 1920s and ’30s, The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (est. 1873) prosecuted a long war against the so-called “girlie” pulps, a burgeoning field of mildly risqué pulp-paper magazines featuring sex-themed stories, scantily clad women, and sometimes nude photography.

In 1925, the organization attacked as indecent the magazines Artists and Models and Art Lovers’ Magazine.

In 1930, the NYSSV forced pulp publisher Harold Hersey to suppress depictions of violence and lawlessness in his new line of gang pulps.

In 1934, the organization raided magazine shops to confiscate four new magazines with the titillating titles Real Boudoir TalesReal Temptation TalesReal Forbidden Sweets, and Real French Capers….

For 2013, let’s hope it all goes better for these long lost, and much maligned step-children of popular 20th century print culture history:

New_Issues, April_2013

The Pulp Magazines Project has posted 8 new scans, feat. representative issues of the snappy, spicy, & girlie varieties (shown above) of semi-slick or pulp-paper magazines from the 1930s and 1940s.

They include 10 Story Book (Jul. 1934), Follies (Winter 1933), Gay Life Stories (c. 1939), Hollywood Nights (May 1937), La Paree (Nov. 1935), Night Life Tales (Winter 1940), Pep Stories (Apr. 1932), and Spicy Stories (Sept. 1936).

To access these issues, just click here.

Also available now at the Pulp Magazines Project, from Lauren Gibson (The University of West Florida), a history of George T. Delacorte’s “I Confess” (1922 – 1932).

And from Beau Collier (Darwination Scans), an illustrated history of the “girlie” pulps (1912 – 1946). Just see “Birth of the Girlie Pulps.”

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Pulpscans and Digital Pulp Preservation.

New Issues/ Contexts (3/25 & 3/30, 2013)

In the final week of March, we’ve added to our growing collection of sf pulps, with new issues of Amazing Stories and Planet Stories. Included is the Aug. 1927 Amazing Stories, which reprints Part 1 of H.G. Wells’s classic invasion novel, The War of the Worlds (first pub. in Cosmopolitan, Apr.-Dec., 1897; see Chez Zeus’s WOTW Book Cover Collection, featuring 115 years of cover illustrations from around the world); and in the Jan. 1951 Planet Stories, readers debate the science of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics (see “The Vizigraph: Letters from Readers,” pp. 104-12).

New Issues, Mar_30_2013

Additionally, the Pulp Magazines Project has just added several new related items to its website, including 15 Golden Age comic books (1940-52) from pulp magazine publishers of the 1930s and 1940s:

Adventures Into The Unknown (Fall 1948), Crime Detective Comics (Mar./ Apr. 1952), Complete Love (Apr. 1952), Fight Comics (Feb. 1940), Ghost Comics (Dec. 1951), Indians (Spr. 1950), Jungle Comics (Sept. 1941), Planet Comics (Jan. 1940), Speed Comics (Jul. 1940), Startling Comics (Aug. 1941), Thrilling Comics (Nov. 1940), War Comics (May 1940), Weird Comics (Aug. 1940), Western Love Trails (Nov. 1949), and Wings (Mar. 1941).

For these Golden Age comic books from pulp publishers, click here.


For April, we’ll be posting a wide selection of “girlie pulps,” including new titles such as Pep StoriesLa Paree, French Night Life Stories, and Hollywood Nights.

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Gordon & Alice Dell (for their near-complete run of Amazing Stories) and The Digital Comic Museum.

Ad Me’ah Ve’Esrim Shanah.

New Issues/ Contexts (2/5/2013)

We’ve added 4 new issues (of which 3 are new titles) of 1930s and 40s “love,” “snappy,” and “girlie” pulps to the Pulp Magazines Project website: Ginger Stories (June 1929), New Love (March 1943); Snappy Magazine (November 1937); and Sweetheart Stories (August 1942).

New Issues, February 2013

Also, reprinted is Thomas H. Uzzell’s article, “The Love Pulps” (first published in Scribner’s Magazine, April 1938), in which the author takes aim at the “sub-mass female reader,” catered to by these “magazines that sell glamour for a dime… the escape literature of three million maidens.”

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Pulpscans and Digital Pulp Preservation. Special appreciation goes to Laurie Powers, author of Laurie’s Wild West, for bringing Uzzell’s 1938 essay to our attention in January.


New Issues/ Titles/ Contexts: Thrills Incorporated, Saucy Stories, et al.

In September and October, the Pulp Magazines Project added 17 new issues to the archive, including 7 issues of Australia’s first SF pulp, Thrills Incorporated, created by Stanley Horowitz’s Transport Publications. Following the success of Transport’s weird mystery pulp Scientific Thriller (1948), Thrills Incorporated appeared in March 1950 and lasted for 23 issues. It ended in June 1952.

Issues added for September and October were Argosy and Railroad Man’s Magazine (Apr. 5, 1919); The All-Story Magazine (May 1905 & Aug. 1909); The Popular Magazine (Jul. 23 & Oct. 20, 1915); Astounding Stories (Nov. 1932, Nov. 1933, Jan. 1936, and Aug. 1938); Thrills Incorporated (AUS; Mar.-July 1950, Nov. 1951, and Jun. 1952); and North West Romances (Winter 1950).

New Issues, Sept-Oct 2012In December, the Project added several more issues to its existing run of titles, augmenting a growing number of first appearances by popular British authors. These included Short Stories (Apr. 1916; Achmed Abdullah, “The Fetish of Remorse”); People’s (Nov. 1916; Bram Stoker, “Greater Love”); Live Stories (July 1919); Hutchinson’s Story Magazine (UK; Sept. 1919; Rider Haggard, She Meets Allan, Pt. 3/9 & Sapper, Bulldog Drummond, Pt. 1/5); and Detective Story Magazine (Oct. 5, 1916; Sax Rohmer, The Yellow Claw, Pt. 1/6).

New Issues, Dec 2012Further, the Project welcomes the New Year with the introduction of 4 new pulp titles: Wide Awake Magazine (Jan. 10, 1916); Saucy Stories (May 1919 & Aug. 22, 1922); Romance (Oct. 1920; Edgar Lee Masters, Mitch Miller, Pt. 5/5 & Jan. 1920; Joseph Conrad, The Rescue, Pt. 3/6); and Railroad Man’s Magazine (Oct. 1909; Johnston McCulley, “The Courage Club” & Oct. 1912).

New Issues, Jan 2013Finally, be sure to check out John Locke’s “The Rise and Fall of the Pulps: and the Authors Who Rose and Fell With Them.”

(Many thanks to John Locke for his kind permission to reprint the materials presented with this lecture which took place at the Thompson Library, Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, August 9, 2012.)

Happy New Year, all.

New Issues/ Contexts (8/8/2012 & 9/22/2012)

In August and September, the Pulp Magazines Project added several new items to the website, including 12 issues of pre-1923 “slick” and “book-paper” magazines:

McClure’s (Jul 1897); Black Cat (Dec 1899); Saturday Evening Post (Aug 18, 1906); Red Book (Apr 1908); Harper’s (Sept 1910); Everybody’s (Mar 1911); Smith’s (Jul 1913); Young’s (Jan 1914); Scribner’s (Mar 1914); Munsey’s (Feb 1915); Collier’s Weekly (Jun 14, 1919); and The Smart Set (Dec 1919).

You can find those magazines here.

Also, check out R.D. Mullen’s superb essay “From Standard Magazines to Pulps and Big Slicks: A Note on the History of US General and Fiction Magazines.”

(Many thanks to Arthur Evans and Carol McGuirk for their kind permission to reprint Dr. Mullen’s essay, which first appeared in Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 22, No. 1 [March 1995]: pp. 144-156.)

In addition to these, there are 4 issues of Hugo Gernsback’s Air Wonder Stories (Jul-Aug, Dec 1929, and May 1930) now available.

The Pulp Magazines Project wishes to thank Conrad First, Modernist Journals ProjectPulpscans, and Digital Pulp Preservation.


Street & Smith Goes to War: Patriotic Pulps of July 1942

During July 1942, seven months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Magazine Publisher’s Association proposed as a sign of solidarity that all U.S. magazine covers should feature an American flag. Over 500 magazines participated, including Time, National Geographic, and American Hairdresser. Sunset’s flag flew over a green river valley. Vogue’s cover girl wore a gown billowing like the flags around her. A color guard of chicken eggs marched across the Poultry Tribune. And the entire lineup of magazines published by Street & Smith–including Astounding SF, Detective Story, Doc Savage, Love Story, The Shadow, Sport Story, Western Story, and Wild West Weekly–ran the same cover (featured below), showing the flag waving against a background of the sun rising over a church steeple in an idyllic American small town.

For more information on this event, see the Smithsonian museum’s online U.S. history exhibit, July 1942: United We Stand; you can also search (by title or keyword) a cover gallery of nearly 300 magazines that participated at Search the Covers.

New Issues/ History/ Contexts (1/22/2012)

We’ve added 5 new titles to the Pulp Magazines Project website: Famous Fantastic Mysteries (Sept/ Oct 1939, Nov. 1939, and Dec 1939); Fight Stories (June 1928, Sept 1930, and Aug/ Oct 1949); Flying Stories (May 1929, 1st issue of Vol. 2); Thrilling Adventures (July 1932); and Weird Tales (Aug/ Sept 1936, July 1937, and February 1938).

Eleven new issues in all (ranging in pub. dates from 1929 to 1949):

Also available at the Pulp Magazines Project, the history of Weird Tales (Leif Sorensen; Colorado State University) and two new Contexts pages: Pulp Market Share 1922 (Jess Nevins; World Fantasy Award-nominated Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, 2005) and an Office Dummy, or prototype, issue of Flying Stories Vol. 2, No. 1 (May 1929).

History of Detective Story Magazine now available; New Contexts (12/10/2011)

With its premiere issue on October 5, 1915, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine became the first of many pulp magazines to devote itself entirely to the genre of crime fiction. Born out of the early nickel paper Nick Carter WeeklyDetective Story published from 1915 until the summer of 1949 a total of 1,057 issues, a longer run than any other detective pulp in history…

For a brief history of this seminal magazine, click here.

Also available at the Pulp Magazines Project, new Contexts pages featuring publishers’ Index Card Files, Rejection Letters, and Canceled Checks for pulp magazine purchases, authors, and serials from WWI to the late 1940s.

New Issues/ Contexts (12/3/2011)

We’ve added three important new titles/ issues to the Pulp Magazines Project website: Air Stories, August 1927 (1st issue of the 1st aviation pulp); Astounding Stories, February 1932 (the 1st true science-fiction pulp); and Frontier Stories, May 1927 (launched in 1924, this pulp featured stories from the American Colonial “frontier” to the jungles of Borneo and South America).

Also available at the Pulp Magazines Project, annual circulation figures for pulp magazines published in the US between 1900 and 1922; and an essay on pulp and paper production, “So What Is Pulp?”, by Beau Collier of Darwination Scans.

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