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Q&A: New Pulp Author Jeff Deischer

We recently spoke with New Pulp writer Jeff Deischer about his work, which includes two non-fiction books about iconic Pulp hero Doc Savage. Readers can find more information about him at Q: What prompted your interest in Doc Savage?

A: I saw The Red Skull at a shoe repair shop that also sold used paperbacks when I was 10, and thought it was a Captain America book. I'd never heard of Doc Savage. I wasn't reading comics yet, or I had just started, but I knew who Cap and the Red Skull were because I had a coloring book that adapted Tales of Suspense #69-74. I was instantly hooked by Lester Dent's prose, the snappy names, the gadgets and Monk and Ham.

Q: Can you tell us about your book on Doc?

A: I actually have two. The first and bigger one is The Adventures of the Man of Bronze: a Definitive Chronology. I started thinking about a chronology by trying to place the novels Phil Farmer left out of his, which caused me tor re-read all the books eventually, as I saw errors that he'd made. In the process, I also took note of interesting factoids about the series, such as how many tri-motors Doc flew and which were ones were painted bronze. Will Murray uses it for reference when he writes his Wild Adventures, and posted that on Facebook a couple of years ago. The second book, A Baker's Dozen, is available as Kindle only, a collection of 13 essays about Doc and his milieu.

Q: Are there other Pulp heroes that spark your interest?

A: A lot of them do, but particularly the Avenger. I read a lot of John Carter as a teenager. I've read the odd Shadow and the Spider, but I've only collected Doc, the Avenger and John Carter. But I have a few odds and ends like Captain Satan and Captain Hazzard.

Q: What is it about the Silver Age of comics that appeals to you?

A: Nostalgia is a large part of it, probably. People seem to love what they grew up with and overlook its faults, whether that's books, music or comic books. I like the good-natured tone of the Silver Age and its innocence (I was a Marvel boy). I really enjoy some of the well-done grittier material, but if it's not done well, I don't. It got overdone. I've written a little of that but I mostly write with Silver Age and early Bronze Age sensibilities.

Q: Can you tell us about some of your own adventure fiction?

A: I've written in about every genre, from superhero to classic or golden age pulp adventure, space opera and SF, historical fiction and period secret agent, sword and sorcery and horror, or at least adventure fiction with horror overtones. I'm not a big enough fan of horror to write a straight horror novel.

My main series are The Golden Age and Argent, both superheroes; Agent Keats, a secret agent series set in the early 1950s; The Brotherhood of Sabours, a space opera in the style of Lensmen or Star Wars; Beyond Worlds Collide, which continues the When Worlds Collide story; Sinners & Saints, an action SF series that I planned as a TV series, and turned the ideas into short stories.

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