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Original pulp magazines rise up to conquer AbeBooks and the world

Filed under Found on the Web

Astounding Stories cover

AbeBooks is a huge marketplace of independent used booksellers, with each one posting their own catalog of titles into a single massive online bookstore. Now and then they curate special collections like this one; the curated collections may be a little easier to navigate than the wide-open search that you usually use at the site.

The Pulp magazines collection we’re looking at today offers a pretty wide selection of magazines from the 1930’s on, all with their vibrant (if faded) covers, all in the original format, and often available at tempting prices. You can expect a range of prices because each of these sellers may value their stock a little differently. And as always with vintage publications there are some good copies along with some others that are showing their age.

Super Science Stories cover

It’s a great collection that has many examples from Amazing Stories and Astounding but doesn’t neglect their less iconic rivals, like Planet Stories or Super Science Stories. And, you know, All This Could Be Yours.

New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story Professor Wilcox and the Floating Laboratory, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
Starting Wednesday: Professor Wilcox and the Floating Laboratory

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Professor Wilcox and the Floating Laboratory

This Wednesday marks the beginning of the fourth Retropolis Registry of Patents story at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

This time, Violet and Ben Bowman have to deal with the problems of Professor Wilcox and the Floating Laboratory. This story stands apart from the earlier Registry of Patents stories because it’s told almost completely from Violet’s point of view. Ben is active, but offstage, for nearly the entire time.

And this gives us a chance to take a closer look at Violet, and her quest for a promotion, and what that kind of promotion means to a robot who was designed to be a secretary. If her single-minded devotion to her goal seemed excessive earlier, you may find that it’s both more and less excessive than it seemed. Or you may find that she’s the most horrific employee a manager could imagine. A lot of this depends on your perspective.

There’s a cameo appearance by Grace Keaton, courier and graduate student; there’s an air traffic emergency; there’s an example of the lingering, malevolent feuds that can rise up to divide neighbors, especially if each of those neighbors is a mad scientist; there’s an imminent, terrifying threat to a fishing vacation; and there’s an office betting pool, because it’s an office.

It’s an almost ordinary day at the Registry of Patents. Starting Wednesday!

New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story Fenwick’s Improved Venomous Worms, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
Fantastical Photographs by Michel Lagarde

Filed under Found on the Web

Le Grand Voyage by Michel Lagarde

Each one of these meticulously composed, hyperreal photographs by Michel Lagarde is an elaborate production, and I love them.

Lagarde builds these pictures from the ground up with a combination of techniques that include 3D modeling, miniatures, and model photography, all combined with an impossible sharpness and clarity into weird, engaging images that seem as though they could only come from France, like the films of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

In the example below, see how the same models appear – even in the same costumes – more than once. The stillness of the stagy composition contrasts with the implied motion of the characters in a bizarre, brain-bending view of motion and motionlessness, all in a single frozen moment.

L’Escamoteur d’après Jérôme Bosch by Michel Lagarde

You can see these photographs in two galleries at Lagarde’s web site, here and here. It’s possible to buy prints from the artist; unfortunately it looks as though his two hardcover collections are out of print.

But in addition to the galleries there are a couple of behind the scenes pages at the site. They’re fascinating. You can see how Lagarde works out his composition with a variety of tools and then builds the parts he needs to create the picture. The number of layers? Up to a hundred, and possibly even more.

The whole site is well worth a visit. Just be ready to lose some time there.

Les Envahisseurs by Michel Lagarde
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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.