Tag Archives: Sixties Australian pulp fiction

Peril in the sex jungle: sixties Australian pulp

The popularity of my recent post on the hey-day of Australia’s local pulp fiction industry in the 1940s and 1950s has provided me with an excuse for a reprise, this time with a selection of pulp paperback covers from the 1960s.These are sourced from the titles I’ve collected over the years from opportunity shops and second hand books dealers, hence the poor condition of some of the covers.

I don’t know of any history of pulp fiction publishing in Australia in the sixties and early seventies (but I’d would love to hear from any reader that does).

Although the local publishing industry was hit hard when restrictions on the import of foreign paperbacks were lifted in 1959, it was by no means eradicated.

In addition to local reprints of foreign titles, publishing houses such as Horwitz, Cleveland and Scripts continued to pump out a selection of titles, including crime, westerns, war and romance stories.

As was the case in the UK and America, in the sixties Australian pulp publishers started producing 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.

Exhibit A is the following selection of locally produced pulps that expose the sleazy underbelly, real and imagined, of Sydney’s Kings Cross.… Read more