Friday, August 14, 2009

1950s Pulpy Goodness

I'm literally neck deep in a massive blog project that will debut next week, but I know I need to post "something" to tide over my loyal Bat Cave readers. The problem is that my brain is the consistency of cottage cheese at the moment.

(But...ooooh...what fun we shall have next week!)

Ahem, in the meantime, I thought I would share some fantastic 1950s pulp cover art goodness courtesy of the fine folks at Hard Case Crime. I'm telling you, those guys over there sure do have the knack for inspired reprints and this one sounds positively over-the-top delicious.

Back Cover Copy:


All Tony Catell knew when he broke into the university science lab was that they had a gold ingot on the premises for some sort of experiment. So he stole it. What he didn’t know was that the experiment involved nuclear power—and that the gold was dangerously radioactive.

Now the cops and the FBI are on Tony’s trail, Tony’s underworld contacts don’t want anything to do with him, and the loot he’s lugging around is leaving a swath of radiation sickness and death in his path.

And since he’s just come from his third stint in prison, if they catch him, he’s not going back to jail—he’s going to the electric chair...

In the immortal words of the letter the editor sent with this book, yes - the plot is "grotesquely implausible." But hell, that's half the fun of pulp crime novels. Nobody is expecting (or hell, even wants) staid realism.

This little gem was first published in 1955, and honestly doesn't the whole "OMG that thar gold be radiated!" sound totally over-the-top 1950s? I mean, honestly. All this book needs now is an appearance by J. Edgar Hoover wiretapping somebody's phone line. Or maybe some apple-cheeked school children ducking under their desks, because dontcha know that will surely protect them when the Soviets decide to drop the bomb.

Having a pulp crime addiction on top of my romance novel addiction is probably not a good thing. But it certainly is amusing. And how can you not love a cover like the one they slapped on this book? Anorexic, creepy looking chick? Check. Slime-ball looking guy sulking in the shadows wearing a hat and carrying a gun? Check. Fantastic, marvelous tag-line? Check.

Love it! Keep 'em coming boys!


Big Sis said...

Didn't he get tired? You know, carrying death everwhere he went?

JamiSings said...

For someone so anorexic looking she sure has big, saggy boobs.

Renee said...

I love pulp covers! I have a few tucked up my sleeve for a rainy day. My favorite is, "A Hell of a Woman" with a woman in a black negligee with the tag line "She lured him into the world's oldest trap."

Radioactive gold. Priceless.

Gonna go wander over to HCC now and waste some time!

Wendy said...

Big Sis: Hmmm, don't know. I mean, maybe death is small and pocket-sized?

Jami: Yeah, girlfriend definitely needs some added support. You think she'd be wearing one of those industrial-looking 1950s bras.

Renee: Oh Lord, you'll waste a lot of time over at HCC then! I've got a serious thing for pulp - covers and books. Although generally speaking I tend to mainly gravitate towards the crime stories.....

JamiSings said...

See, this is why you all need to wander over to Pop Sensation. The covers come from his own personal collection and most are even for sale. He's pretty good at the snarky stuff too.

Wendy said...

Oh, I've got Pop Sensation on my Google Reader now thanks to you. That guy has primo pulp and man, I love reading some of that back cover copy.

azteclady said...

Me, I'm focused on the "next week" and "we'll have fun!" portion of the post.

*sitting (im)patiently in the corner

JamiSings said...

Totally off topic but I have another time-sucking site for you. Not Always Right. Lovely little stories about customers who aren't right, but think they are.

Don't you just love/hate me for bringing you these things?

Wendy said...

AL: Let me just say that I'm exhausted. And that's all you're getting out of me. The fun starts on Monday ;)

Jami: And the time-suck continues. You are not helping - LOL.

JamiSings said...

Well, Wendy, if I wasn't single or if someone was smart enough to realize I can be "The American Susan Boyle"* and cast me on a singing related reality show then I wouldn't have time for time-sucks and I wouldn't be tempted to share the time-sucks!

*(My username isn't "JamiSings" for nothing - it's because I actually DO sing!)

In the meantime I'll just share the time-sucks. *evil laughter*

Lil Sis said...

I must borrow some of your pulp...but I still have 8 books on my bedside table. Sigh. :(