Yearbook 22 features all the serial pulp novels (On The Road To Las Cruces, Better Than Dead, Cheése Stands Alone, and Just Coincidence), short stories (Polka Dot Dress, Hard Boiled Myth’s All Tore Up), and Dropping A Dime, editor Perry O’Dickle’s insightful take on the art of pulp fiction, Ron Goulart & The Two Jims, presented here in uninterrupted (deserialized?) versions as easily accessed pdf files. For those who lost track of the story thread or were just too impatient with the serial format or would like to revisit some terrific storytelling in the pulp mode, check out a year of Dime Pulp below.
In late February of 1908, a one-time drover, buffalo hunter, saloon owner, hog farmer, peach grower, horse rancher, US Customs inspector, private investigator, county sheriff, and Deputy US Marshal set out from his adobe home on the mesa above Organ, New Mexico accompanied by a young man in a black buggy on the journey to Las Cruces. He would never arrive. This is the story of that journey, a novel account of the last day in the life of a legendary lawman.
On The Road To Lace Cruces
“Lackland Ask is the name. ‘Lack’ to my friends, ‘Don’t’ to those who think they’re funny. You might have seen my portrait on the cover of Black Mask, the crime fiction magazine. This is my story. It starts with a blonde. This kind of story always starts with a blonde.” Thus begins the seemingly non-stop, endless narrative of Better Than Dead in which women are not the only trouble although most of it, told with the wit and street savvy of Runyon and Parker.
Better Than Dead, A Detective Story
Queen Victoria’s life has been prolonged by the wonders of biology. Her reign, known as the Pax Victoriana has lasted 180 years maintaining as many Victorian airs as possible while making accommodations to rapid advances in bio technology. Cheése Stands Alone poses a steampunk question, can Captain Lydia Cheése (pronounced “Chase”) find her father, the antigovernment turncoat and radical, Commodore Jack “Wild Goose” Cheése. And furthermore, will her quest take her around the globe and through alternate world histories in the requisite 80 days or is it the beginning of a lifelong journey?
Cheése Stands Alone
In Just Coincidence, a privileged young man with the unremarkable name of Wayne Bruce returns to his father’s battery manufacturing plant where he often spent his childhood days. His return is haunted by the mysterious circumstances surrounding his father’s death. A personal coincidence brings the dark knight into a fateful and tragic quest for justice much like that of a Shakespearean protagonist.
Just Coincidence, Act I
The violent event that occurred more than half a century ago is brought into focus in an assisted living home for an elderly woman whose memory of that time is blocked much to the frustration of an academic researcher and her partner who see the old woman as the key to uncovering who was behind the conspiracy that changed the course of history.
Polka Dot Dress
Greek myth is rife with murder, mutilation, cannibalism, mayhem, and the ever popular incest. Weston County Sheriff’s Detective Jim Donovan of the Violent Crimes Unit wouldn’t know a Greek myth from a Greek salad, but if he did he would find some troubling similarities to the cases he’s investigating. Revisited as crime fiction are the strange death of Hippolytus, the agonizing death of Heracles, the slaughter of Penelope’s suitors, the Fall of Icarus, the sparagamos of Orpheus, and the cursed lineage of Pelops. Helene Baron-Murdock’s Hard Boiled Myth taps into the rich vein of classical literature to frame these ancient tales in a modern context.
All Tore Up
In this installment of the catchall column, Dropping A Dime, erstwhile editor and word wrangler Perry O’Dickle emerges from his ink stained den to pen a tribute to the legendary albeit little known Ron Goulart, pulp fiction and comic book historian, fiction flogger under numerous pen names who wrote futuristic novels that played off the unintended Schumpeterian and most often hilarious consequences of mechano-tech—he was the gleeful saboteur of a Popular Science future. As well, in this latest installment by the man in charge of these shenanigans, the crime fiction of the two Jims, Crumley and Sallis, are given a rapid rake of the side eye and peripheral consideration.
Ron Goulart & The Two Jims
For those who may have missed out on the terrific serial pulp fiction of Volume One of Dime Pulp, fear not. This can be remedied by clicking this link to Dime Pulp Yearbook 21