Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Sleazy, the Noir, and the Science Fiction

My current obsession with American Pin-ups has run amuck to encompass pulp fiction novel covers from the 40's through the 70's. Not surprisingly, many of these lurid and fantastically seedy covers were penned by the same great illustrators that made pin-up and glamour calendars a national religion in the 50's. Because of my natural inclination, I find my favorites are the sleazy, the noir and the science fiction (not necessarily in that order). On sharing my secret shame with my Sister, the Older, she remembered a few covers that we owned in our childhood.

"Remember, Casca the Eternal Mercenary?" she asked (a delightfully trashy set of tales of military daring-do discovered on my Brother's bedroom floor). It's true, I not only picked up these pulp-tastic tidbits but I read them from cover to cover, as if I could find something within the words that matched the rapacious illustrations on front.

"Did you ever read any Gor novels?" I screeched in approval. Under my direction, she directly read the short story, "Houseplants of Gor" which succinctly captures all three of the above qualities, ardently displayed by the stilted, laughable, and all together entertaining works of dubious literary merit scribed by John Norman.

Now, so should you.

1 comment:

  1. If you are looking for for illustrations from pulp fiction covers, try the following sites:

    The image Gallery at Vintage Paperbacks,

    The Scans Database at Bookscans,

    and the Pulp Fiction Pool at Flickr,

    If you find a good site for high quality vintage paperback scans, let us know by commenting here!