Tag Archives: Pulp

Pulp Science Fiction Miniatures 2/2

And here’s some more of the same series.


C.J. Henderson, a late farewell

C.J. Hudson, RIP December 26, 1951 – July 4, 2014

I just was on the BALTICON website and noticed C.J. passed away last Summer.  I won’t let me being late to the party dissuade me from saying a few nice things about this man.

“C.J. doing what he liked to do,
shamelessly huckstering books
at a convention.

C. J. Henderson might not be a name to conjure with for SF, Noir and Horror fans, but if you are a regular attendee of East Coast Science Fiction conventions, chances are you have met C. J. Henderson, and if you’ve met him, you’ve chatted with him.   C.J. was a fixture in the dealer’s room, author panels, and autograph lines of most East Coast Cons that I attended from the early 2000s onward.  I admit, I am a spotty SF Con attendee at best, and my focus is usually on the book dealer’s room.  C.J. was usually to be found there, willing to go that extra mile to sell something, anything.. and engage in polite palaver along the way.  I could tell his health was not great at the last Balticon I attended, but I had no idea how serious it was.

I don’t know much about C.J.’s personal life, other than my observations about him being a genuinely nice guy that I liked to talk to about once a year at Balticon.  I do know he wrote the kind of stuff I like to read.   Pulp Stories.  Science Fiction stories.  Occult Detectives.   Horror in all formats, including comic books.  Weird Fantasy.  He was an acknowledged master of revisiting (but NOT rebooting) established pulp heroes of yesteryear and breathing new life into them.   He wrote stories featuring the Spider (Master of Men!), Green Lantern, and other pulp stalwarts.  He was fascinated with Kolchak, the Night Stalker TV show, and wrote several novels with Kolchak as a main character.  He had his own occult detective, Teddy London.  He wrote Werewolf Stories and Steampunk Stories and Vampire Stories and pretty much anything you can conjure up in the genre fiction field.  And yet,  I don’t think he got the notice or acclaim he deserved in his lifetime.

If you have a Kindle device, try him out for a piddly .99 cents.   I think you’ll be glad you did.

Sincere (and late) condolences to C.J.’s wife Grace and daughter Eric.   My deepest sympathies.

Weird Tales sold off to Wildside Press

but it’s a Good thing… really!

I noticed with some sadness that DNA Publications, a small pulp press that publishes some of the best genre fiction stories in the USA (and located nearby in VA) has ceased publication of one of my favorite magazines, Weird Tales. The “Unique Magazine” has been in existence since 1922 and has had many owners and publishers during that time, including a time
when they were publishing in cheap mass market paperback (Zebra) and in gorgeous trade digest format (Terminus Publishing company.. I have all of these), to a couple of cheap bedsheet style pulps (Bellerophon Company.. I have one of these, incredibly rare). It was even reconfigured as “Worlds of Fantasy and Horror” briefly, when the Terminus group lost the rights to the Weird Tales name. In any event, WT, in all its incarnations, was the preeminent source for creepy gothic tales of horror and mayhem. Such great authors as Robert Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch, H.P. Lovecraft, Ben Hecht, August Derleth, Hugh Cave and Fritz Leiber all got started with Weird Tales.

For a great discourse on the entire history of WT until the DNA/Warren Lapine era, check out this site, here.

Back in the Terminus days, the magazine was being run by Darrell Schweitzer and John Betancourt. Before the license went to DNA publications (1998), these two gentlemen, both authors in their own right, contributed mightily to the modern reshaping of the Unique Magazine. Mr. Schweitzer really never left his post as contributing editor and frequent fiction contributor, and Mr. Betancourt went on to found Wildside Press, a primarily reprint house of great pulp fiction and some modern collections.

So it’s with mixed emotions that I sniff farewell to Warren Lapine and DNA Pubs, because Wildside Press has bought the license to print Weird Tales magazine. In general, I think this is a fantastic idea. The history is there with both Betancourt and Schweitzer, and Wildside has a host of complimentary products (pulp novels, collections, etc.) that will work very well in tandem with the magazine.

I just bought the newest issue (337) and the look and feel is identical to the DNA Press editions. Functionally, this is almost like a homecoming for Weird Tales, since the two chief editors spent so many years with the magazine in its prior existence at Terminus. I intend to subscribe!!!

(editor’s note, from 2015) Weird Tales was published by Wildside Press for about 4 years.  It has since been sold again to an editor that is very slow to get out issues.