Category Archives: Gold Star Publications

Pulp Friday: passion pits and twilight zones, Kings Cross pulp fiction

The Deserters“A startling and authentic story of wartime Sydney when the American ‘invasion’ turned Kings Cross into a passion pit of vice and black marketing.”

Earlier this week I reviewed Louis Nowra’s terrific social history Kings Cross A Biography for the Overland Journal website.

Kings Cross has always had a particular place in our popular imagination as Australia’s capital of sin, sleaze and crime.

The terrific 1995 television mini-series Blue Murder and the not-so-wonderful Underbelly: Razor and Underbelly: The Golden Mile all did their bit to maintain this unsavoury reputation.

In the sixties and early seventies, Kings Cross was also a favourite setting for locally published pulp novels.

As I have discussed many times on this site, pulp fiction is a warped reflection of mainstream society, its illicit desires, fears and fascinations. Thus it was with pulp’s depiction of the Cross as a virtual Sodom and Gomorrah of sex, gambling, crime and human depravity of every description.

Wild youth gangs, criminal syndicates, black magic, pulp took all of these and turned them into portable, pocket sized key pieces of key hole voyeurism. From a publishing perspective they sold a bomb to punters eager for vicarious thrills and a peek of the dark goings on in the Cross.

Nowra’s book didn’t touch on this this particular aspect of Kings Cross’s hold on our popular imagination.… Read more

Pulp Friday: The Last Refuge

The Last RefugeToday’s Pulp Friday is a little known but interesting book, The Last Refuge by Edward Lindall, published in 1972.

It’s interesting for two reasons.

First, it was an attempt to set a spy thriller amid the radical student politics taking place in Australia in the early seventies.

The second reason is the publisher, a little known Melbourne-based pulp publishing outfit called Gold Star Publications.

The main character of The Last Refuge is Jay Landon, an Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation agent, assigned the mission of infiltrating and destabalising a group of Maoists, led by Peking agent, Clyde Mansell. The Maoists have left their inner city terraces for the wide expanse of the Australia’s north to wage guerrilla war against US multinationals stripping the country of its mineral wealth.

Lindall’s real name was Ernest Edward Smith, an Adelaide based journalist and writer who penned 13 books, mainly crime and thrillers, but also some science fiction. He died in 1979. The Last Refuge, the only of his books released by Gold Star Publications, taps into the very real politics of what was the most physically and politically aggressive of the radical student groups operating on Australian campuses in the early seventies.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

“There’s always two sides to any story.Read more

Pulp Friday: interview with Iain Mcintyre, author, Sticking it to the Man!

Today’s Pulp Friday is a fascinating interview with Melbourne-based social historian Iain McIntyre, author of a new book, Sticking it to the Man! Pop, Protest and Black Fiction of the Counterculture, 1964-75.

Sticking it to the Man! is a roller coaster ride through the lava lit streets of the counter-cultural pulp fiction of the late sixties and early seventies, a time when hippies, bikers, swingers and revolutionaries replaced cops and private detectives as pulp’s stable characters.

The book contains 130 reviews of pulps from the period covering all the major sub-themes: drug use, bikers, sleaze, blaxsploitation, hippies and dystopian science fiction. It also includes the covers in all their dog eared, price marked glory. It’s through books like this that the hidden history of pulp fiction is gradually pieced together. Sticking it to the Man! is a must read for every serious pulp fiction afficiando.

You can buy Sticking it to the Man! here. Copies will also be on sale at the launch of Crime Factory’s Hard Labour anthology, this coming Monday, October 8. Iain will also be talking about his book at the launch.

What is it about pulp fiction between 1964 and 1975, the period covered in your book that you find so interesting?

I’ve long had an interest in troublemakers, militants and odd-balls, and this was a period in which those normally relegated to the margins were able to have a major impact on culture and society.… Read more