Tag Archives: vintage Australian pulp paperbacks

Pulp Friday: Hell is My Destination

Welcome to the first of what I hope is going to be a weekly series known as Pulp Friday.

I love the pulp fiction of the fifties, sixties and seventies. I love the artwork and the cadence of their lurid, often totally over the top front and back cover text.

I’m particularly fascinated by Australian pulp paperback novels, how they were written and put together, the stories and themes they looked at.

I’ve amassed a pretty good collection of these books over the years, from opportunity shops, garage sales, and the like. Most were written by unknown authors, many using pseudonyms, and put out by publishing houses that no longer exist.

For me they represent a period in Australian publishing history that has been largely forgotten by the book industry’s emphasis on creating capital ‘L’ literature. This situation is only now being challenged by e-publishing, which is allowing small, niche publishers to get out there and produce genre fiction, including pulp fiction.

Anyway, as a way of celebrating my and others interest in these books, from now on each Friday I’m going to post one pulp paperback cover.

I’ll try to make most of them either Australian pulps or local reproductions of foreign books. That said, I’ve also got a hell of a lot of US and British pulps I’d just love to share with you.… Read more

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