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Pulp Echoes [Paperback]

Tom Johnson

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Book Description

29 Nov 2011
PULP ECHOES presents seven new stories in the pulp tradition, both new and original characters: The Bat returns in “Blind As A Bat,” The Crimson Clown returns in “The Crimson Clown – Killer,” and Nibs Holloway battles Dr. Death in “Till Death Do Us Part.” The Black Ghost is back in “Carnival of Death,” Captain Anthony Adventure in “Terror in theNorth Country,” The Black Cat in “A Cat among Dogs,” and Senora Scorpion in “Senora Scorpion.”

Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Night to Dawn Magazine & Books (29 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982679580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982679586
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great collection of new stories of new & classic pulp heroes. 1 Jan 2012
By Michael R. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the third (and apparently last) collection of new pulp hero stories by Tom Johnson. Its a sort of sequel to this previous 2 collections from Altus Press "Pulp Detectives" and "Exciting Pulp Tales". This collection has both stories of original pulp heroes as well as new stories of original pulp heroes.

First up, is a story of Tom Johnson's original character, the Black Ghost. This is apparently the last Black Ghost story, with a return of the villain from "The Spider's Web". For further BG stories, get the "Guns of the Black Ghost". The Black Ghost is a character in the style of The Shadow, and his origin is tied to a classic (tho not well known) pulp character. Over the last few stories he has built up a small organization of agents, and in this story we learn more about one of newer agents. The door is open to further stories, and that would be nice.

Next is a story staring "The Black Cat", a secondary character from a pulp magazine that ran only one issue: The Angel Detective. While the Angel Detective was the main character, the Black Cat appeared there. This story is intended to be a prequel to that appearance and serves as an origin.

The following story stars "The Bat". Not to be confused with other characters, like "The Black Bat", this one was short-lived character that may have been written by Johnston McCulley. Altus Press has reprinted all the original stories, so this is intended as a followup story to that saga. The Bat was a detective wrongfully convicted of murder. His execution is faked and he goes after the criminals responsible. This story does not end the saga, but adds to it.

Then we have a Nibs Halloway/Doctor Death story. This is the original Doctor Death that ran in "All-Detective" magazine. Altus Press has also reprinted all the stories. Nibs Halloway is a troubleshooter for a jewelry merchant who keeps running afoul of a European supercrook known as "Doctor Death" who somehow seems to be killed in every story, only to come back. Is this the final "Doctor Death" story? Who knows.

Another original character, Captain Anthony Adventure is next. Inspired by a couple of Doc clones, Jim Anthony Super-Detective and "The Adventures", a set of Doc/Ham/Monk clones created by Doc ghost writer William Bogart. Its clear to see the Doc elements in Cap Adventure. Cap is added by a group of 7 aides, tho in this story only the Monk and Ham analogues, "Chemical Sam" and "Slim" help out.

A new story with another McCulley creation is next: The Crimson Clown (sadly, no one has yet to reprint the original stories of this character). The Crimson Clown shows the elements of several McCulley heroes: a robin-hood like character who is really an idle playboy, who uses a gas gun to knockout people and who gets rid of his outfits with acid. Another pulp hero makes a cameo appearance as well.

And the last story is yet another new character "Senora Scorpion". Johnson created her when he created a new story with McCulley's Whirlwind (appearing in the Altus Press collection), and we have a new story with her. This is similar to the story she appeared in in the Altus Press collection, but is written from her point of view.

Rounding out the book are a few lists. We have a list of all the original pulp characters, first appearances of new stories of the originals, research books and pulp fanzines, and then a list of the new pulp character.

Overall a great collection of stories.
4.0 out of 5 stars Traveling with Pulp Echoes 7 April 2012
By JoAnn Senger - Published on Amazon.com
Memory Lane can take you to some strange places such as comic book stores with impossibly manly heroes even more remote than James Bond. Unless, of course, they're women. Then they are equally remote, impossibly beautiful and deadlier than the male.
Johnson's introduction to Pulp Echoes, a collection of pulp fiction stories, qualifies the author as a scholar of pulp fiction as well as a writer. The reader is privileged to enjoy a history of the genre as well as an index of all the heroes who appeared, disappeared, and now reappear. The stories are set in various time periods, both modern and wartime. If modern, the author must maintain the action and uncompromising style of the genre while introducing modern touches, such as cell phones. Johnson does this very well, smoothly and unobtrusively.
The collection includes a Black Ghost story ("Carnival of Death") ending enigmatically, leaving the reader with a question and waiting for the next story. The Black Cat appears as "A Cat Among Dogs," displaying her usual skill with unique weapons and some imaginative ways to short out the lights. In "Blind as a Bat," the Bat displays a talent for disguise as well as bringing justice to a Chinese crime operation. Captain Adventure responds to "Terror in the North Country" and Johnson surprises his readers by referencing Sasquatch and the Mayan language...possibly a first in pulp fiction history. The Crimson Clown (particularly scary to this reader) takes on the mob and meets The Black Cat, two superheroes in the same story! Then the reader takes a trip back in time to the late 1700's in California territory to meet Senora Scorpion on a mission of revenge.
The pulp fiction genre requires that the good guys are clearly distinguished from the bad guys and justice must prevail. By today's standards, such requirements would put the writer in a straight jacket. Johnson breaks out of these limitations by introducing intriguing characters and ingenious weapons, such as a gun that shoots some sort of knock-out gas. It takes a resourceful writer to stay within the pulp fiction rules and still introduce variety and surprise.
The reader can count on excitement and, if old enough, more than a bit of nostalgia from Pulp Echoes.
Review by JoAnna Senger
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Pulp Heroes 20 Feb 2012
By Monte Herridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book a while back but am just now getting around to a review. The previous reviewers have given detailed descriptions of the stories, so I will settle for giving my thumbs up review of the book. I think the Crimson Clown story is the best in the book, but I am partial to that character. There are two collections reprinting the Crimson Clown's stories that have been published by Ramble House, and this story measures up to those.

The other stories in Pulp Echoes are great also, without exception. I especially enjoyed the Black Cat story, where Tom Johnson fleshes in the background of the pulp character.

Let Tom Johnson plan on putting out another book of new pulp stories. We need them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Echoes 21 Dec 2011
By Barbara - Published on Amazon.com

Just finished reading the new Crimson Clown and The Bat stories in Pulp Echoes. Both stories were great and read as if they might have been written by Johnston McCulley himself. I think you captured the Crimson Clown perfectly. As for The Bat I love that you continued the story from where the last story ended. I believe you took the character in the same direction Johnston McCulley was headed with it. It seems like the perfect 5th story of this series. Got a laugh from your introduction to the book. Did I really pressure you that much to write another Bat story? Anyway, I'm glad you did write it.

Brian Hochberg
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