If you mention pulp fiction, these days, most younger folk think of the Tarantino movie franchise — and that’s about all that pops up when you search “pulp fiction” on Google.
But pulp fiction also includes the fabulously adventuresome tales that were once published on very cheap woodpulp paper (hence the name), featuring artwork that is so stylistic and unique, that it instantly brands any story or magazine with that style of cover.
Just a sample!
If you know your SF history at all, you know that most of the classic SF authors got their start in the pulps, including Asimov, Heinlein, and a slew of others, including some who never really left the pulps, including Winston K. Marks (who is a fun read, even these days).
If you search for SF pulp authors, you’d get a who’s who of classic SF.
It wasn’t just SF where the pulps reigned for decades, either. Crime and thrillers, romances, “racy” stories, “true” confessions…every genre was represented, although the thriller authors are the names who we can recall best and easiest: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Earl Stanley Gardner, John D. MacDonald, Lester Dent, Frank Gruber and more–along with their many pen names.
I’ve read more than my share of the old pulp tales. It’s actually where I started out in science fiction, because in the tiny Western Australian country where I grew up, there was no bookstore or library, and I had to raid the bookshelves of friends and family to get my fix. When we visited the city, I would scrape the shelves of secondhand bookstores and snatch up anything with a spaceship on it. I ended up with a lot of anthologies of older, classic SF tales, which is where I met Asimov and Heinlein for the first time.
This personal and publishing history was at the forefront of my mind when I sat down to write the first Ptolemy Lane tale, and build the world he lived in.
The Body In the Zero Gee Brothel is my homage to the old pulps and their amazing artwork.
Meet Ptolemy Jovan Lane, a unique peacemaker.
Laws are hard to hold, out in the fringes of known space, but Ptolemy Lane is charged with maintaining peace under the dome of Georgina’s Town, among humans, the docile emre and more.
When a body is discovered in a zero gee suite in the local casino’s brothel wing, Lane is reluctant to get involved. The casino is off limits to his style of law keeping. Only, the body is the casino’s owner, Guisy Oakmint, and Doc Lowry is insisting Lane investigate. Lane soon learns why…
“The Body in the Zero Gee Brothel” is the first Ptolemy Lane story in the science fiction series by award-winning SF author Cameron Cooper.
The Ptolemy Lane Tales:
1.0: The Body in the Zero Gee Brothel
2.0: The Captain Who Broke the Rules
…and more to come!
Space Opera Science Fiction Novelette
The Body in the Zero Gee Brothel was released at all retailers this morning.