I caved and bought some old Pulp.
I couldn’t help it. I was at Eastercon and in the dealers room, and there was Durdles Books with shelves and boxes that took me back to my early teens trawling used bookstores and charity shops for volumes with spaceships on the cover.
And since I started writing my The Eternal Dome of the Unknowable series, I’ve been exploring the roots of what I call Star Punk, the covers were cool… so I came home with some faded paperbacks of yesteryear.
One of these was Interplanetary Hunter by Arthur K Barnes.
What hooked me was the lovely Monster Manual-style insets describing the various creatures. It was actually published before roleplaying was thing in 1956 (mine is the 1972 Ace reprint), and compiled from stories that went out in magazines from 1937-1946, making it technically Golden Age.
And it tells.
It’s definitely in the category of classics you shouldn’t recommend to young people (I talked about this in my first ever BG article!). It’s a good light read, the style and lead-in may be fast and furious — pulpy goodness — but it suffers from Quaint Future and some Quaint Delivery, including excruciatingly detailed science and pseudoscience, complete with equations.