Brand Fans -> General Discussion about Max Brand -> The Smoking Land

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deadbeard Anyone else read this? It's incredible. I can't believe some of the lines Faust comes up with. I can't believe his last name was Faust. It's strange how more people don't know about this guy. He's really, really good. I haven't really read a LOT of so-called pulp, but it can't be all of this calibre. I'd just finished reading an oral history of Elvis as told by the Memphis Mafia (his four professional cronies-with him from 16 to death) so the bar was set high. On wikipedia, it says that his real dream was to be a highly regarded poet, and his poetry was a failure both commercially and critically. Has anyone read his poetry?

He's the REAL Faust. This is a great website, by the way.
willhr You picked an interesting 1st book to read -- Faust's only science fiction novel. I'm looking forward to it but won't get there for a while. I'm taking his stories as much as I can in the order he wrote them.

Regarding the quality of pulp fiction, it's interesting how much of it is so good. The more serious "literature" from that period often seems dated now. I was looking at an essay by a pulp fiction historian who said the 2 most influential pulp authors were Edgar Rice Burroughs and Frederick Faust. If you've never read Edgar Rice, you've got to check out his stuff. Like Faust, he's amazing, as is Zane Grey. I enjoy Louis L'Amour too, though he came along a bit later.
willhr If you want the pulp stories unadulterated, be careful in choosing editions, especially after the mid-1940s. It seems publishers felt post-WWII readers wouldn't buy thick paperbacks, so editors routinely whacked manuscripts down to size and even rewrote them. Jon Tusca's bibliography on this Website helps identify faithful Faust editions.

In the foreword to BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR Edgar Rice Burroughs said something funny about editorial tampering: "I am passing it on just as I first saw it, but I can't guarantee that it will come to you just as it was typed that night, for it must pass through the hands of editors; and an editor would edit the word of God."

Sorry for this long 2-part reply, but since there's so little activity on this forum I figured the length shouldn't matter.