Dear China Miéville,

Wow, I certainly never expected to receive an email from the author of Perdido Street Station. I'm thrilled that you liked the site. I remember being blown away by New Crobuzon's hybrid, baroque landscape.

Thanks so much for the outstanding Mondo octopus JPG! It's up on the site now, with a link to the insides of the comic: http://monsterblog.oneroom.org/stories/?story=monstro&page=1

As for your question -- many of the covers you see were downloaded from ebay at a time in my life when I didn't have the money to actually BID on the octopus pulp covers I lusted after. I also found a few through online bookstores and other random sources now lost forever in the dark folds of spacetime. Sadly, I did not have any plan of making a page of them at that time, so I didn't keep any forwarding info.

I did a considerable amount of Photoshop work on them (I'm a perfectionist -- I don't like creases and discoloration to interfere with the enjoyment of these great images) and slapped them on a web page.

The best place to locate octopus pulps is still ebay -- search on "octopus magazine," "octopus cover," and "octopus pulp." (Ooo, there's one up there now.)

I was just reading a genuine old pulp story the other day, by Gardner F. Fox, called "Temptress of the Time Flow" -- the pulps are such a strange fictional territory -- the divine and the execrable side by side. (And of course the smell and feel of those old magazines is really something in itself.) I own only a few old pulps, but would definitely love to increase my collection. It would be fun to put a few of the stories associated with the images up on the site. A "sometime" task.

If you're only interested in the images, I'd suggest the pulp cover CDrom sites you'll see linked at the bottom of my page. (http://www.comic-art.com/) They provide royalty-free images of hundreds of covers relatively cheap. Great fun to peruse! Or you can just go to http://www.noosfere.com/showcase/pulps__magazines_americains.htm
or
http://www.pulpgallery.com/

I have to say the pulps can be strangely inspirational -- I was just reading "Trin" by Arthur J. Burks in "Marvel Science Stories" from November 1950. The main character has his brain removed and replaced by travelers from 15,000 years in the future, posing as Tibetan monks. This "brain transplant" is treated as a logical possibility, as is the possibility that we will someday be able to project our thoughts outwards onto a kind of "mental screen" that will facilitate communication. Of course in a narrative that relies heavily on the Pythagorean Theorum as its sole scientific citation, these kinds of earnest speculations come across as funny. But in a way their very wildness is appealing. . . I need to stop being so literal with my science. Anyway, enough speculations on the subject of pulps -- as wonderful as they are, I don't want to bore you. Thanks a million for writing and submitting that FABULOUS work of art. Best of luck locating octopoidia,

~~The Mistress of the Tentacled Oblivion

 

 

 

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