Tag Archives: Peter Doyle

Melbourne launch of Girl Gangs, Biker Boys & Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction & Youth Culture, 1950-1980

Please join me on Monday, December 4, for the launch of Girl Gangs, Biker Boys & Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction & Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980, a book I have co-edited with my friend, Iain McIntyre.

The launch will take place from 6.30pm at one of Melbourne’s coolest second hand bookshops, Grub Street Bookshop, 379 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. We’ll be doing live readings from some of the pulp novels included in our book. There will be cheap drinks available and, of course, you can buy a copy of the book.

Girl Gangs, Biker and Real Cool Cats is the result of four years work. It is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in Australian, American, and British mass market pulp fiction. It includes approximately 400 covers, many of them very rare, and 70 in-depth author interviews, illustrated biographies and articles regarding authors novelists who exploited and celebrated juvenile delinquents, beatniks, mods, bikers, hippies, skinheads, punks and a host of other subcultures.

I am really proud of this book and would love it if you could join Iain and I to launch it. This book will have very limited distribution in Australia, so for Melbourne folks, this is your ideal chance to snag a copy.

Read more

Pulp Friday: What Now My Love and the Tao of counter cultural pulp fiction

What Now My LoveThe counter culture and protest politics of the late sixties and early seventies resulted in some fascinating pulp fiction.

A good example is What Now My Love by Floyd Salas, published by Grove Press in 1969.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how one defines ‘pulp fiction’. As a general rule, pulp is understood to be anything that involves fast writing and that was not meant to last. The transitory nature of pulp can be seen in a literary sense, books not deemed part of our literary heritage, as well as the physical nature of the product, the cheap paper it was printed on, the often poor binding, etc.

I have a number of problems with this definition, not least of which is a suspicion of how ‘literature’ is defined by mainstream critics.

But that’s for another post.

The ‘what is pulp’ discussion is particularly interesting in the context of the sixties and early seventies. It was a time when publishers embraced subjects relating to the counter cultural and radical politics, and the distinction between high and low brow culture began to fragment.

Most obvious pulp books about the counter culture were produced by writers trying to cash in on the salacious headlines and mainstream angst generated by bikers, beats, hippies, drug use, ‘free love’, etc.… Read more