Tag Archives: Australian pulp fiction

Pulp Friday: The Spungers

This Friday’s pulp offering comes via Line of Sight author, David Whish Wilson.

Julian Spencer’s The Spungers was put out in 1967 by Scripts, a publishing company based in London, Melbourne and Sydney, that released a lot of the more explicit Australian pulp fiction I’ve come across from the sixties and early seventies.

As I’ve written previously, the sixties saw Australian pulp publishers start to produce kitchen sink and exploitation fiction, often dressed up as lurid exposés of drug use and sexual promiscuity. These fed off mainstream society’s fears of youth rebellion and changing sexual standards.

The focus of many of these tales was Sydney’s Kings Cross, which in the sixties became well known as a centre for prostitution, sly grog and drugs, often to meet the demand of American servicemen on R&R during the Vietnam War.

The Spungers is a classic piece of exploitation pulp dressed up quasi social commentary on the declining moral values of youth in the sixties. Not that much has really changed. Update the language a bit and whack in a TV crew from A Current Affair and The Spungers would be right at home in Australian in 2011.

The inside front cover blurb is priceless:

“The Vicious, sordid activities of a scruffy Kings Cross beatnik clash with those of a young surfie who decides to spend a misspent holiday rorting up the Cross.Read more

Executives behaving badly: sixties Australian pulp part 2

Magazine Services Pty, Ltd, Sydney – Melbourne

High-flying corporate executives behaving badly were a staple of Australian pulp fiction in the sixties.

Coming off the drab post-World War Two austerity of the fifties, readers devoured tales of power hungry businessmen, international travel, fat expense accounts and modern, high tech business practices, mixed with organised crime, boozy parties and infidelity.

The following selection – sourced from my collection – mainly features local versions of books originally published in the US by Beacon Press.They were reprinted locally by an anonymous outfit called Magazine Services, Pty, Ltd, based in Sydney and Melbourne.

Most of the following titles don’t include the date they were republished.

The only indigenous effort, Mile Pegs, was written by political journalist, Don Whitington, who went onto be a celebrated author and biographer. Mile Pegs the story of a “King Hit” Seager who built an outback coaching venture into one of Australia’s biggest airlines while “Mercilessly disregarding the rights and feelings of the woman he loved, his illegitimate son, his colleagues and everyone who stood in his path”.

See Me Tonight! by Lee Richards is a rip off of a 1963 pulp called the Sexecutives. Subtle as a sledgehammer. The story of “high-power executives who stop at nothing to get their way – and of women who cooperate”, it bills itself as a “revealing book of today’s executive and the temptations put in his way”.… Read more