I posted the issue of Sport Story last time as an example of the broader Sport genre and next have a couple of single-sport pulps to share. While stories relating to a single sport might seem very confining, I've been surprised at the variety of stories and storytelling within these tales of a single sport.
But an aside, perhaps simply for my own satisfaction, a basic list of sports pulps I made last night. Information gathered from from Bookery's Guide to Pulps.
Except for Sport Story and Fight Stories, it appears this genre of pulp really didn't blossom until the late 30s - very interesting. Many of these titles ran on an annual or semi-annual basis. That Sport Story could have so many weekly issues seems incredible except for the fact it faced little competition for the majority of its run. I'm having trouble making columns appear correctly in this blog format, so I found it easier to post an image. In case any can make use of this list, the spreadsheet version can be had here.
A short list of some better-known authors that worked in these pulps includes the likes of Nelson Bond, Louis L'Amour, Gardner Fox, Jack Kofoed, James Blish, Lester Del Rey, Roe Richmond, Robert E. Howard, Johnston McCulley, W.C. Tuttle, John MacDonald, Walt Coburn, and Robert Leslie Bellem.
But on to today's issue! A fun one-shot from the list above
I come from the birthplace of Basketball and love to watch the sport, so when I saw this pulp, I could not resist.
Basketball Stories v01n01 (1937-Winter.Fiction House) (DPP).cbr
Get the scan here!
The lead story is from Nelson Bond, whom many pulp lovers know for his work in Science Fiction though he worked in a number of pulp genres. There's a nice bio page on the author on the always excellent Pulp Rack site here. Here also is a great bibliography page along with photographs, audio, and video at the page for his special collection at the libraries of Marshall University.
This "Gawky for Guard" begins as a girl's quest to save the job of her beloved basketball coach. After seeing the awkward hero of the story on the dance floor, she comes to the conclusion that he is a diamond in the rough and might be able to help the team. She leads him on and manipulates him into joining the team, all the while dating another player on the team who comes to bump heads with Gawky. Can Gawky help bring victory to the basketball team? And what happens when he finds out he's being played by the girl he loves? Good stuff - I like how often there will be a romance in these sports stories that parallels the protagonist's struggle to victory. Apparently, getting your game together extends even into one's love life.
I'll leave you with a few samples...
I recognize this signature as Bill Ely who went on to a nice career in the comics.
Next time on volunteer radio, one last post on the sports pulps, a look at the most successful, not to mention my favorite, of all the single-sport titles - Fight Stories!