In 2019 I wrote about why it was there were so few examples of Australian and US pulp and popular paperback fiction published in the 1960s and 1970s to engage with the Vietnam War and its consequences. That is, as anything more than a background or reason for why a character was as confused/damaged/homicidal as they were. Even fewer books still were actually set in Vietnam.
The piece in question appeared in the book I coedited, Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980, but it was excerpted in full on the American site CrimeReads. The piece is here and details the relevant books I did manage to unearth and my speculation for why, despite its relatively huge cultural impact in both Australia and the US, so little fiction was written about the Vietnam conflict during these years.
I have been on the lookout ever since for entries I might have missed in my original piece and thought Pulp Curry Readers might appreciate an update on my, admittedly, rather paltry findings. Most of the books below are American, although a number – The Wine in God’s Anger and the Half-Burnt Tree – were penned by Australian writers. They run the gamut from rather tasteless smut (No Virgins in Cham Ky and Viet Nookie), tabloid-style expose (Vietnam Underside), romance and spy thrillers, to serious books, of which probably the most famous is The Short Timers, first published in 1979, which appears to have been the basis for the 1987 Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket.
Anyway, I continue to be on the lookout for additional fiction books and would be interested in hearing from readers about any additional titles they may know. I would also be keen to know more about Morris Hershman who contributed two of the titles below, Glory in Hell and Mission to Hell.
PS. Since posting this on March 4, readers have suggested a number of additional titles, which I have added below.