The Pulps & Short Fiction
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  • Becattini, Alberto.
    Glamour International 25... Buy this book

A 108 page 12" x 12" softbound magazine/book devoted to "Crimes 'n' Gals in the USA", featuring a pictorial history of women in crime fiction. Sections devoted to newspaper comic strips, comic books, pulp magazines and paperbacks. The paperback section contains reproductions of around 170 American paperbacks covers, and features work by Robert McGinnis, Robert Maguire, Barye Phillips, Rudolph Belarski, Ronnie Lesser and Mitchell Hooks.

  • Carr, Wooda N.,
    The Other Detective Pulp Heroes... Buy this book
    Chicago: Tattered Pages, 1992

Short descriptions of forty detectives are featured, including Robert Leslie Bellem's Dan Turner, Carroll John Daly's Satan Hall, Erle Stanley Gardner's Ed Jenkins -- The Phantom Crook, Frank Gruber's Oliver Quade, Judson P. Philips' The Park Avenue Hunt Club, Theodore Tinsley's Major John Lacy, John L. Benton's Jerry Wade, Joe Archibald's Willie Klump, Lee Fredericks' Mr. Wong, Herman Landon's Martin Dale, George Warnke's The Whispering Monk, and many others, along with plenty of illustrations from the pulps and lists of character appearances. An indispensible little reference guide for some of the more obscure pulp detectives.

  • Cook, Michael L.,
    Monthly Murders: A Checklist and Chronological Listing of Fiction in the Digest-Size Mystery Magazines in the United States and England... Buy this book
    Greenwood Press, 1982.

Long since folded into The Crime, Mystery, & Gangster Fiction Magazine Index, edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne, but this sturdy volume for years ranked as perhaps the quintessential work of reference for crime short fiction, listing alphabetically, each magazine title, accompanied by a brief publication history. It also included a section listing author and title list of every mystery and detective story contained in each issue, arranged chronologically with volume, issue number, original cover price, and magazine-title abbreviation provided.

  • Cook, Michael L. and Stephen T. Miller,
    Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Fiction: A Checklist of Fiction in U.S. Pulp Magazines, 1915-1974... Buy this book
    Garland Publications, 1988. 2 vols.

Another impressive oldie but goodie, now absorbed into Phil Stephensen-Payne's The Crime, Mystery, & Gangster Fiction Magazine Index. The original two volume set covered over 4000 US, British, and Canadian magazines -- professional and amateur, fiction and non-fiction, including indexing information, title(s), number of issues, publisher and editor, price, size, and current publication status.

  • Flanagan, Graeme
    The Australian Vintage Paperback Guide...Buy this book
    New York: Gryphon Books, 1991.

Written by our pal Graeme, and packed with 50 pages of rare cover reproductions and some great info about the authors, etc, but basically a listing of paperbacks printed in Australia from about the 50's to late 60's. As always with a Gryphon book, don't expect top of the line production values, but do expect enough trivia to make a collector geek's head spin like 78. Gryphon boasts it's "the ONLY book on the topic."

  • Goulart, Ron.
    The Dime Detectives...Buy this book
    New York: The Mysterious Press, 1988.

It's billed as "A Comprehensive History of the Detective Fiction Pulps," and there's no false advertising here. This is the single best reference volume on the pulps available, with more info on more dicks than you can shake a roscoe at....

  • Gruber, Frank,
    The Pulp Jungle...Buy this book
    Sherbourne Press, 1967.

A fond collection of reminisces of Gruber's years as a pulp writer. Gruber, one of the most prolific crime fiction authors, wrote more than 250 stories for over 40 pulp magazines, as well as tons of novels, screenplays and television scripts.

  • Hagemann, E.R.,
    A Comprehensive Index to Black Mask, 1920-1951...Buy this book
    Popular Press, January 1982.

Absolutely essential reference work for hard-boiled pulp geeks.

  • Haining, Peter,
    The Classic Era of American Pulp Magazines...Buy this book
    Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2001.

A richly-illustrated, highly personalized account of the pulps. Not a scholarly essay, not by a long shot, but a passionate labour of love, from a fan, and for fans. Haining's scattershot approach, though, hits the mark far more often than he misses, and the numerous cover shots, many from Haining's own collection, are to die for. Recommended.

  • Lovisi, Gary,
    The Dames, Dolls and Delinquents:
    A Collector's Guide to Sexy Pulp Fiction
    ...Buy this book
    Iola, Wisconsin, Krause Publications, 2009.

World-renowned paperback junkie and expert Gary Lovis takes us on atour of pulp fiction babitude with an astounding array of close to 700 full-color covers. But it's also a valuable collectors' guide, featuring plenty of info to help with pricing and identification, including title, author, cover artist, publisher, date. Helpfully divided into such categories as "Sultry Streetwalkers" and "Deadly Femme Fatales," bad girls never looked so good.

  • Nolan, William F.
    The Black Mask Boys...Buy this book
    New York: The Mysterious Press, 1985.

Excellent anthology of stories by the Black Mask's best writers (Hammett, Chandler, Cain, Nebel, Daly, etc.) plus short critical essays on each author and bibliography. Extra bonus points for comprehensive list of other detective pulps.

  • Robinson, Frank and Lawrence G. Davidson.
    Pulp Culture: The Art of Fiction Magazines....Buy this book
    New York: Collector's Press/St. Martin's Press, 1998.

Filled with tons of great reproductions of covers from the pulp era. Most are NOT hard-boiled or detective-related but who cares with a book that's this much fun? This book is a blast and a half. Now if only it weren't so pricey...

  • Server, Lee
    Danger Is My Business....Buy this book
    San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993.

Its subtitle reads "An Illustrated History of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines: 1896-1953," and that's about the best way to describe this fascinating, wide-ranging look at he pulps. With illustrations to die for, this is one of the very, very best books on the subject. Recommended.

  • Server, Lee
    Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers....Buy this book
    Checkmark Books, 2002.

More than 200 entries on pulp fiction writers over the last 100 years, from the weird (Jackie Collins?) to the expected suspects. Lots of crime guys: Chandler, Hammett, James M. Cain, Paul Cain, Bruno Fisher, Ross Macdonald, Chester Himes, Charles Willeford, Frank Kane, Henry Kane, Don Pendleton, Jim Thompson, Ernest Tidyman, and many more, including H.P. Lovecraft, Louis L'Amour, Ian Fleming, Mario Puzo, Jacqueline Susann, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, John Faulkner and Achmed Abdullah. Tons of photos, too.

  • Sherman, Philip,
    Leo Marguiles: Giant of the Pulps...Buy this book
    Altus Press, 2017.

It's about time someone wrote about arguably the most influential (and certainly the most highly paid) editor of the pulp era. Leo Margulies served as editor-in-chief of the Thrilling Group, and was at one point buying over two million words a month. Over his long career, he edited more than 70 pulps (Thrilling Detective!) and digests (Mike Shyne's Mystery Magazine!), as well as countless anthologies. If you don't recognize the name, you don't know pulp.

  • Silke, Jim, and R.A. Maguire,
    Dames, Dolls, And Gun Molls ....Buy this book
    Dark Horse, 2009.

A long overdue tribute by art historian Jim Silke to legendary pulp artist Robert A. Maguire who created gorgeous cover images for more than a thousand books pulp mags, and worked for virtually every mainstream publisher in the U.S. He evidently never met a dame who didn't want to strip down for him and pose with a gun.

  • Strange, Carolyn, and Tina Loo,
    True Crime True North: The Golden Age of Canadian Pulp Magazines ..Buy this book
    Vancouver, B.C.: Raincoast Books, 2004.

A wry, affectionate look at the glory days of Canadian pulp magazines -- that brief but heady period when war-time restrictions opened the doors for enterprising Canadian publishers to strut their stuff, gleefully delivering cheap, fast thrills in the guise of "true facts from official files." Sure, plenty of the facts were wrong -- or reworked to make for a better story, but this was true Canadian pulp in all its cheeky glory, simultaneously claiming a sort of moral high ground and playing to the lowest common denominator. Generously embued with sample covers, advertisements and inside illustrations, and intelligently and compellingly written, it's a fascinating look at an almost-forgotten period in Canadian and pulp history.

  • Traylor, James, ed.
    Dime Detective' Index
    Pulp Collectors Press, 1986.

A fairly comprehensive listing, by author, by character and even biographies for some authors, although it's been superceded by...

  • Traylor, James, ed.
    Dime Detective Companion ..Buy this book
    Altus Press, 2011.

Revised, expanded index of all 274 issues,, as well as several articles on the series and its writers, and as a bonus, the fifth anniversary round-robin story from the November 1936 issue, "The Tongueless Men," by William E. Barrett, Carroll John Daly, Frederick C. Davis, T.T. Flynn, and John Lawrence.

Thanks to Randal Brandt and Monte Herridge for their contributions to this page.

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