Friday's Forgotten Books - a Two-Fer - In Reference to Murder

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July 08, 2011


George Kelley

Martin Greenberg collected thousands of stories that would have been forgotten in old pulp magazines. Sadly, the contemporary publishing scene shows little interest in these kinds of projects.

J F Norris

I have no idea why Rampo is continually referred to as the Edgar Allan Poe of Japan. He selected a pen name that sound like Poe's name, true. But his stories are perverse psychosexual tales that foreshadow splatterpunk and contemporary serial killer novels. He claims to be influenced by Poe but what I've read shows more of an influence from a mix of Victorian fetish pornography and the material horror stories of James and Blackwood.

Todd Mason

Poe has some consanguity/paternity there, too, though, John.

Greenberg made a systematic industry of anthologies, and usually worked with someone who would do more of the Choosing, while he and his eventual staff would do more of the scut work of assembly (seeking permissions, etc.), but it's still an impressive achievement...and most of his anthos were longer tha 14 entries, to be sure!

BV Lawson

Yes, George, I'm not sure there are many folks left with the same passionate support for short pulp fiction and other forms of genre short stories. Ed Gorman and others like him do some great work, and we can be grateful for these hard-working folks, too.

BV Lawson

I think that Rampo is referred to as the Japanese E.A. Poe because Rampo himself carefully cultivated that image; in fact, his pseudonym Edogawa Rampo, was created in honor of Poe (as close an anagram as he could make), and he always claimed Poe as his major influence. Of course, one can claim to be anything, but readers' interpretation of the results may differ...

BV Lawson

I think Greenberg's influence may be his tireless work ethic and ability to get a lot of people together on a project and make it happen, even if he didn't do the lion's share of the work all the time. He was able to work with (corral?) a wide variety of people, including many bestselling authors, and that's quite a feat, too.


Interesting and intriguing post. I occasionally like to read an anthology but usually just of one particular author's stories.

I don't think I've ever read one based on subject matter. It's time for me to branch out.

BV Lawson

One of the best things about an anthology of different authors, Yvette, is being able to get a taste of various writing styles. Plus, it's a great way to "try out" new authors and then seek out their longer works. Kind of like going to the amusement park and sampling the different rides and amusements...

Todd Mason

Yvette's admission is very foreign to me!

I suspect it isn't so very rare, sadly.

These days, too many people have no clear idea what "pulp" means. "Anything trashy and kewl, no?" No. And, if anything, support for "genre" short fiction is greater than that for ?theoretically genre-free short fiction...(no fiction escapes genre)...even the O. HENRY annual is in constant danger of cancellation, much less less-established fora.

Todd Mason

People, and particularly publishers, would turn to Greenberg as a specialist in the behind-the-scenes work on anthos.

BV Lawson

Probably due to the movie "Pulp Fiction" in a way, Todd. Although there are several publishers and online blogs/sites that are devoted to and/or resurrection traditional pulp traditions from the early 20th century that are good to see.

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