Friday, 27 November 2009

Tag Lines

I just grabbed myself a box of about thirty pulp SF books from the special archive at my university; not bad for £10. Lots of Pohl, Zelazny and Farmer, plus one or two Heinleins.

What I love about pulp fiction are the tag lines. These are very much a dying art; nowadays books tend to be festooned with comments from gibbering reviewers, which I always think are designed to tell you more about the reviewer than the book itself. It was more interesting when the publisher made more of an effort to get you excited about the contents.

Some choice examples:

From Tongues of the Moon by Philip Jose Farmer: "The explosive epic of a conspiracy that could free mankind - or destroy the stars!"

From My Name is Legion by Roger Zelazny: "He could be anyone he chose to be...wherever and whenever he wanted. Not a bad cover for a confidential agent on assignment!"

From Coils by Zelazny and Saberhagen: "Can a man unite his mind with the soul of a machine - and survive?"

My particular favourite, though, is from an obsure Farmer title, Lord of the Trees: "Was he man, beast, or a puppet of the world's oldest conspiracy?"

I don't know, but I can't wait to find out.

You've got to love those 1970s SF covers, too. Take a look at this one, for instance:

Tell me you don't want to know what in Christ's name that is all about.


  1. Nice find!

    One of my favorite recent pulp taglines: "Far in the future, gallant knights in armor battle the wild forces of a dying technology" -Harrison's "The Pastel City"

  2. Those tag lines get me all a-quiver with excitement, they do.

  3. Was in Oxfam on Bold Street today, and they had about half a dozen Jackson/Livingstone Fighting Fantasy books in the science fiction section! Including Deathtrap Dungeon!

    What sort of condition are the books in? Good for their age?

  4. Congratulations on your haul and much appreciation for those oldschool tag-lines & cover!

    Word Verification: tarnsons...Gor?

  5. I think you just convinced me to buy all the Philip Jose Farmer books I can find, even though I only have his Lavalite World and still haven't read it.

    Or come up with a list of pulp taglines for my campaign ideas.

    Or both...

    WV: misbed - forget about getting up on the wrong side of the bed, our pulp hero slept in the wrong bed entirely!!