Since there were no original pieces of pulp art to use associated with either Doris Dances or Fires Rekindled, Michael Tierney suggested that we have an original piece done by Dark Filly, who has become Cirsova Magazine’s regular interior illustrator since the glowing reception of her work on Mongoose and Meerkat.
But why is there a blond woman in Ancient Egypt being attacked by a necromancer? This has popped a couple monocles and gotten a few head shakes.
There is, however, a good reason for it, and DarkFilly nails the scene and Michael’s colors [specifically the blonde in Ancient Egypt] are accurate.
Fires Rekindled contains a “pulp within a pulp”; while on the trail to find the identity of the individuals he feels a past-life connection with, the hero finds a Georgian/Regency magazine that loosely fictionalizes the affair and possible murder, setting it in Ancient Egypt.
As to why the princess is blond, the mise en abyme story is explicitly a ham-fisted and hackneyed thinly-veiled allegorical account of the blond visiting opera singer who died in Georgian England.
We decided that the climactic scene of the mise en abyme Egyptian tragedy would make a better cover than a guy poking around archives trying to solve the 100 year-old mystery [and a more exciting cover than an eccentric millionaire playing the banjo].
As for the more “cartoony” aesthetic, how does one convey a scene of a cartoon within a cartoon medium? We were challenged with conveying a pulp adventure [one which the text itself describes as pretty shlocky] within a pulp adventure. Of course, actual Georgian/Regency-era magazine covers were likely not particularly thrilling on the whole; the magazine the protagonist finds most likely looked [and was meant to evoke] something like Blackwood’s Magazine:
Cirsova Publishing’s effort to rescue Julian Hawthorne’s planetary romance The Cosmic Courtship from its ‘near-lost’ status was met with a tremendous response. We established a new and ongoing Cirsova Classics imprint devoted to finding ‘near-lost’ pulp fiction in the public domain and publishing them in modern format as part of a Stretch Goal that was met.
We only thought it fitting that, before moving on to other works by other authors, we should complete a set of Julian Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly-era fiction in a standard set.
What is ‘near-lost’ fiction?
When we talk about ‘near-lost’ fiction, we refer to works that extant but virtually unobtainable for most modern readers. These particular stories are Public Domain and part of the world’s common literary heritage, however, in many cases, there’s virtually no way for anyone to read them! Many works from this era have only ever been printed in now very expensive and hard to find pulp magazines. Even if cost were not an object, availability often is.
As with The Cosmic Courtship, the aim of this project is to collect and reproduce these works in a standard modern format for readers today to be able to enjoy without having to spend a fortune collecting the rare and antique magazines in which they were originally published.
Who is Julian Hawthorne?
For those who are new and didn’t follow our project to restore The Cosmic Courtship, hello! Julian Hawthorne was the son of iconic American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and an incredibly prolific writer in his own right. Julian wrote on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from literary analysis of his father’s works to poetry to period romances and adventures. Late in his career, Julian even dabbled in the emerging genre of Science Fiction. He was especially fascinated by the metaphysical, and many of his stories foreshadow “Weird Fiction.”
Who is Martha Klemm?
“JULIAN HAWTHORNE and Marth Klemm! Here is a combination to provoke the most jaded fiction appetite. Hawthorne, who is in the tradition of his illustrious father, transcends the commendation accorded lesser lights.” Thus did the editor for the December 20, 1919 issue of All-Story Weekly introduce the second appearance of Hawthorne’s heroine.
Martha Klemm describes herself as “a handsome spinster, of the Beacon Street, Boston, brand.” Claiming descent from the “Salem witches,” Martha is bold and forward modern woman with a touch of clairvoyance and a penchant for finding herself in strange circumstance and odd adventure in her globetrotting lifestyle.
Following The Cosmic Courtship, Hawthorne featured Martha as protagonist narrator of the horror novelette, Absolute Evil. The character must have been well received, at least by the editorial staff of All-Story Weekly. All-Story would go on to publish the novella A Goth From Boston and the novel Sara Was Judith, both of which featured Martha as narrator and a central figure in the midst of wild and tumultuous events, while vociferously lauding and touting Hawthorne’s charming heroine in the editor-written lead-ins.
Like The Cosmic Courtship, all three books in this project will be offered in the following formats:
Pocket Paperback – Cirsova has been bringing back the Pocket Paperback format! These are no-frills and have a small type face to reduce page count and costs. A good, cheap way to get the stories, but maybe not the best for older readers and the visually impaired.
Magazine Format – Cirsova recreates the look and feel of the pulps with these large-sized double-columned magazine-style paperbacks.
Trade Paperback – Standard trade paperback format. Good balance of cost and convenience.
Hardcover – Cirsova is offering each book as a handsome hardcover volume with wrap-around dust-jacket.
We are also offering an incredible limited edition coffee table Omnibus that collects ALL of Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly fiction in a single oversized volume.
All in all, that’s 13 different books!
There are a LOT of books being offered as part of this project, so we want to try to make things as clear as possible!
Individual books – Whether it’s the pocketbook, trade, magazine, or hardcover, you can back for a single one of the books we’re offering. You can back for one book and choose other titles/formats as add-ons to your pledge. THIS INCLUDES THE LIMITED OVERSIZED HARDCOVER OMNIBUS.
Sets of a title – You can back for a set of a single title and receive all formats for that title. For instance, if you backed for a set of Sara was Judith, you would receive the pocketbook, the trade, the magazine, and the hardcover formats of Sara was Judith, and you could add other titles/formats as add-ons to your pledge.
Sets of a format – You can back for a set of all titles in a single format. For instance, if you backed for a hardcover set, you would receive Absolute Evil & A Goth From Boston, Sara Was Judith, and Doris Dances & Fires Rekindled in the hardcover format, and you could add other titles/formats as add-ons to your pledge.
All of the titles and all of the formats we’re offering through this project are available as add-ons which may be added individually to any tier. THIS INCLUDES THE LIMITED OVERSIZED HARDCOVER OMNIBUS! We’ve set aside an additional 100 which may be included as add-ons to orders for individuals who want the other sets or individual volumes.
This project has taken an immense amount of time, money, and energy from the team. Copies of the issues containing pieces of the stories that were NOT extant had to be tracked down, purchased, and scanned.
The text then had to be retyped from the scans of the pulps by Robert.
The retyped text has had to undergo numerous reviews for accuracy and then placed into format. We’ve brought in additional help, Cirsova Magazine copy editor Mark Thompson, so that P. Alexander isn’t doing all of those reviews himself. Hopefully, this third set of eyes will reduce embarrassing errors and typos managing to get through.
The artwork has had to be digitally restored by Michael using multiple copies of old, faded and sometimes damaged pulp covers.
We’re getting these fantastic stories back into the world come hell or high water, but being able to compensate the team for their time, effort, and investment is absolutely critical to allowing us to continue this project of restoring near-lost pulp works.
$10,000 – Pulp Trading Cards
We will be including free pulp trading cards for the Cirsova Classics releases. Each card will be fronted with the cover of the Cirsova Classics pulp title, and the reverse will contain vital facts, such as author, publication dates, originally printed, etc. and a short summary. Backers will be sent cards corresponding to the titles they pre-order. A card for The Cosmic Courtship will be sent to backers who pre-order the Hawthorne Omnibus. These cards will be exclusively made available through our pre-orders for Cirsova Classics titles!
$15,000 – Digital copies to all backers and donating the text to Project Gutenberg
The ultimate goal of a project like this is to make these available to the world because they are part of our literary heritage and everyone should be able to discover and analyze these works to better understand the patchwork history of this fascinating era of fiction.
If we manage to hit this goal, we will give EPUB ebooks to all backers AND we will donate the digital texts of these stories to Project Gutenberg!
Absolute Evil & A Goth From Boston
This volume collects the novelette Absolute Evil and the novella A Goth From Boston.
Unlike many of Hawthorne’s All-Story works, Absolute Evil has been collected and reprinted many times and is considered an absolute classic of horror. A Goth From Boston is a bit more obscure. Serialized across two issues, this story CAN be found online in scans with some digging, but has never been collected and presented as a whole.
Absolute Evil– (1918)
“Thomas Aquinas says that angels, white and black, can change men into beasts permanently; enchanters could do it, too, but not for long. Seventeenth century witchcraft affirmed that certain natural objects and rites could produce strange effects without aid of God or devil. But the operator must renounce God and Christ, be re-baptised, trample on the cross, and be marked in a certain way—a symbolic transaction. The person could then do only evil—good was forbidden to him, or her!”
Absolute Evil is, in many ways, Julian Hawthorne’s coda on his father’s works pertaining to the theme of Calvinist “doom.” Many of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s villains and tragic figures hearken back to Marlowe’s Faustus, with the worldview that destiny and damnation are unalterable though it was the choices they made through free-will that set them on the road to hell.
Unlike his father’s work on the subject, however, Absolute Evil is an action-packed thriller in which a Presbyterian minister turns himself into a werewolf and haunts the New England beaches.
A Goth From Boston– (1919)
“Her father assured me with pride that she could—as he expressed it—lick any boy of her age on the Beach. And he said to her once, in my hearing, when she had come in rather late to cook dinner, with that grin of hers, in spite of a black eye and a bloody nose, and with a tale how she had ‘walloped’ her latest antagonist—‘Right-o, Polly, my lass,’ he said; ‘as long as ye lick ’em, ye’re excused; but the first one as licks you ye’ll marry him—mind that!—so be he’s not married already; and that’ll be a lesson to ye never to mix it up with married men, anyway!’ A plain reversion to the Stone Age, you see.”
While on an errand to gently turn down a proposal from Cabot Selwyn, a Professor of Biology, Martha Klemm meets a most intriguing and alluring beauty–working in the service of the good doctor as mere maid!
Fate and the forces of nature conspire to throw the trio together time and again: can the Doctor escape his ivory tower understanding of biology and embrace the human?
Hawthorne explores the dichotomy between the “Prospero” and the “Caliban” within the human spirit, in this adventure on the high seas featuring a delightful Tomboy, a hapless professor, a chad sailor, and of course, Martha Klemm!
Sara Was Judith
This volume collects a true near-lost Hawthorne story. Originally serialized across five issues, Sara Was Judith was Hawthorne’s final novel for All-Story Weekly. It has never been collected or reprinted until now.
Sara Was Judith – (1920)
“She is not there, she is something else; she is an angel—or a devil come back to peep at us, to be worshiped, to mock us, to kill us, to smile on us as we die, and to go on to another, again to ravish and destroy him! What is she—who is she? No one knows! But she was, before the Pyramids, and when our great Londons and Parises are a jungle and a swamp, she was what men desire and can never possess, the glimmer in the dark, the mirage in the desert, the thing that is, and is not!”
The editor for All-Story Weekly called “Sara Was Judith” “one of the most remarkable stories ever written. It is entirely unlike any story that you have ever read.” Indeed, Hawthorne weaves a strange tale that straddles gothic, romantic adventure, and even body horror in a work that is truly prototypic of what would eventually become known as “Weird Fiction.”
Martha Klemm’s school chum, Sara, is an impossibly bland and uninspired woman living a rather dull and ordinary life–quite the contrast with Martha’s, filled with globetrotting adventure. Sara’s daughter Judith is her exact opposite: filled with life and vibrancy, mystery and mischief.
When a deadly storm drowns the girl saving the young lad who fancies her, Sara, in her one act of passion, hangs herself in her boudoir. Pronounced dead, Sara shocks the mourning household, friends, and doctor when she emerges later that evening, more vivacious than she has ever been… and protesting that she is Judith!
Julian Hawthorne’s final novel for All-Story Weekly is a haunting and beautiful tale of love and betrayal and the struggle between good and evil that Miss Martha Klemm finds herself caught, an active and partial observer, within!
Doris Dances & Fires Rekindled
Before All-Story would revisit Martha Klemm in 1919 with A Goth From Boston, the magazine ran two more of Julian Hawthorne’s novellas, which are collected in this volume. As neither of these stories had accompanying cover art, we’ve commissioned this original cover with pencils & inks by Dark Filly [Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat, Wild Stars] and colors by Michael Tierney [Wild Stars, Beyond the Farthest Star].
Doris Dances– (1918)
“But for two kittens, Bob might have grown up a Calvinist divine, and been celebrated in ecclesiastical annals. As it was, he can boast of no memorial more pretentious than this plain record of his career.”
Robert “Bob” McIvor Melrose, an eccentric banjo-playing millionaire, was always a child at heart and wanted nothing more than a child of his own. When his gold-digging wife, forces him to choose between her and an orphan infant girl he adopted, Bob takes little Doris with him on the road.
Leaving all but a pittance for himself and Doris to live on to his wife, the father and daughter live a simple and carefree life as tramps. Gerda Kent, an artist on the verge of fame, hones her skills and creates her masterpiece capturing the loving father and daughter, Bob picking on his banjo while Doris dances.
Hawthorne delivers a cozy and clever comic romance to warm the heart.
“Yes, it may be that thunders of Armageddon portend that after so many blindfolded ages, the veil of Isis is being lifted at last! Some of us at last may consciously be admitted to intercourse with souls disincarnate, and hear nightingale notes of paradise. How can I doubt it!”
Against the backdrop of the Great War, an American visitor in London is struck by a peculiar deja vu–much stronger than the mere sense he has been to the house where he is staying, he finds he knows of details that he could not possibly, even had he once visited in his youth. The strange sense sends him on a quest for knowledge to uncover a past-life love and solve a century-old possible murder!
Fires Rekindled: The Complete All-Story Weekly Fiction of Julian Hawthorne
This hardcover coffee-table volume will collect ALL of Julian Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly Fiction in one oversized omnibus. This is limited to the Kickstarter and will NOT be made available through retail!
The Cosmic Courtship (1917)
Absolute Evil (1918)
Doris Dances (1918)
Fires Rekindled (1919)
A Goth From Boston (1919)
Sara Was Judith (1920)
About The Team
MichaelTierney is a pulp historian and archivist who has written extensively on Edgar Rice Burroughs, having created the massive four volume Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 Year Art Chronology, and is currently working on another Art Chronology about Robert E. Howard. He has been involved in the comic book industry for 40 years, owning two of the oldest comic book stores in Central Arkansas until switching to mail-order only in 2020. He is also an accomplished science fiction writer and artist, having worked on his Wild Stars saga since the 1970s. Michael not only made his pulp library available for this project, he provided the photographic images of these rare magazines so that a manuscript could be produced. He has also lent his years of experience digitally restoring damaged pulp art to restore the original covers of A Goth From Boston and Sara Was Judith. He also did colors for the Fires Rekindled/Omnibus cover.
Robert AllenLupton is a prolific author, pulp historian, and commercial hot air balloon pilot. He has published nearly 200 short stories across numerous anthologies, including the New York Times Best Selling Chicken Soup For the Soul series, and has published several anthologies and novels. His most recent novel, “Dejanna of the Double Star” was published in December 2020. Robert has been an active Edgar Rice Burroughs historian, researcher, and writer since the 1970s, including at ERBzine, where several of his articles and stories are published. Robert has painstakingly recreated the texts as they were originally published from the digital images provided from Michael’s and his collections.
CirsovaPublishing has been publishing thrilling adventure science fiction and fantasy since 2016. They have published nearly 20 issues of their flagship publication, Cirsova Magazine. Additionally, they have published a number of anthologies, a fully illustrated edition of Leigh Brackett’s Planet Stories-era Stark adventures, Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose and Meerkat, and the 35th Anniversary Editions of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., August 30, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) –Cirsova Publishing will be collecting and restoring the nearly-lost All-Story Weekly fiction of Julian Hawthorne, son of famed American author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
In Spring of 2021, Cirsova Publishing partnered with Michael Tierney and Robert Allen Lupton to restore and reprint “The Cosmic Courtship,” a near-lost science fiction novel by Julian Hawthorne. Following the success of this project, Cirsova Publishing established a new Cirsova Classics imprint dedicated to restoring and reprinting other near-lost pulp fiction.
Given the interest in The Cosmic Courtship, Cirsova has prioritized collecting the rest of Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly fiction in a standard format. In addition to The Cosmic Courtship, Hawthorne had one novel and four novellas published in the Munsey magazine.
“The Strange Recollections of Martha Klemm” resurrects Hawthorne’s pulp heroine, a witty and modern woman with a touch of clairvoyance and descent from Salem witches, in two volumes, collecting Absolute Evil, A Goth From Boston, and Sara Was Judith. A third volume will collect the stand-alone romances, Doris Dances and Fires Rekindled.
These collected editions of Julian Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly fiction will be released later in 2021.
Cirsova Publishing ( https://www.cirsova.wordpress.com ) has been publishing thrilling adventure science fiction and fantasy since 2016. They have published over 20 issues of their flagship publication, Cirsova Magazine. Additionally, they have published a number of anthologies, a fully illustrated edition of Leigh Brackett’s Planet Stories-era Stark adventures, Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose and Meerkat, and the 35th Anniversary Editions of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars.
Michael Tierney ( http://www.thewildstars.com ) is a pulp historian and archivist who has written extensively on Edgar Rice Burroughs, having created the massive four volume “Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 Year Art Chronology,” and is currently working on another Art Chronology about Robert E. Howard. He has been involved in the comic book industry for 40 years, owning two of the oldest comic book stores in Central Arkansas until switching to mail-order only in 2020. He is also an accomplished science fiction writer and artist, having worked on his Wild Stars saga since the 1970s. Michael not only made his pulp library available for this project, he provided the photographic images of these rare magazines so that a manuscript could be produced. He has also lent his years of experience digitally restoring damaged pulp art to restore the original covers.
Robert Allen Lupton ( https://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Allen-Lupton/100022680383572 ) is a prolific author, pulp historian, and commercial hot air balloon pilot. He has published nearly 200 short stories across numerous anthologies, including the New York Times Best Selling Chicken Soup For the Soul series, and has published several anthologies and novels. His most recent novel, “Dejanna of the Double Star” was published in December 2020. Robert has been an active Edgar Rice Burroughs historian, researcher, and writer since the 1970s, including at ERBzine ( www.erbzine.com/lupton/ ), where several of his articles and stories are published. Robert has painstakingly recreated the texts as they were originally published from the digital images provided from Michael’s and his collection.
I’ll admit, I was incredibly apprehensive when I first saw that the most fabled name in pulps was yet again being resurrected for another zombie run cash-in on pulp nostalgia.
You guys know how I feel about that sort of stuff.
But to add insult to injury, Weird Tales is being relaunched with the editor explicitly condemning the original title as sexist, racist and homophobic.
If you think Weird Tales was such a bunch of regressive reprobate garbage, why did you buy it? Why are you selling it with an homage to a cover by the woman who made the magazine famous with tawdry paintings of lesbians flogging one another?
It’s because nostalgia sells.
It seems like a common modus operandi today to get ahold of a property just to crap it up.
I hate this sort of thing, because this is the sort of denigration of the pulps that actively discourages new readers from actually digging into them and seeing what they were really like. “Oh, don’t buy that old Weird Tales with its bad wrongthink stories; buy the new one, we promise we won’t offend your modern sensibilities!”
If you’re an author who would otherwise have considered submitting to Weird Tales, give us a look instead. We pay semi-pro rates for fiction [0.0125 per word] and will be opening in the October. Details are available in our submissions guidelines linked at the top of the page.
Lastly, don’t forget Wild Stars! If you want us to be able to continue doing what we’re doing, and especially want to support us in a way that will give us more funds to acquire stories in the Fall, be sure to back Wild Stars back Wild Stars! Money we make from this project WILL be available in time for us to figure it into our acquisitions budget.
In her post, Cora talks about how the Golden Age of Science Fiction was more diverse than it’s generally given credit for as she takes a look at the 2019 and the 1944 Retro Hugo Awards nominees (the latter of which includes a couple Brackett stories!).
One of the focuses of our own pulp review series at Castalia House (rerunning here through the end of the year) was to illustrate that the pulps were not what people have thought they were by showing what they actually were. And few if any of the nearly 150 stories we reviewed were anything like the strawman of the pulps one often hears about.
Several stories we reviewed, including Spider Men of Gharr, the Stark Stories, and more recently The Dead-Star Rover, featured non-white protagonists and/or explicitly interracial couples. Women not only were reading the pulps, they were writing them too, and we proved that “Leigh Brackett hid her gender behind her ambiguous name” was a myth, with fans referring to her as “Miss” and editors correcting letter writers who used “he.” We’ve looked at the “unexplored colonialism” meme and found that, at least in 1940s Planet Stories, the morality of colonialism and native plight were being explored, often with native Martians or Venusians as stand-in for indigenous peoples, seeking to answer the question of “How could we have done things better and treated these people with dignity?”
As for why Stark is black in our edition of Leigh Brackett’s Stark books: We love Leigh Brackett, we love Stark, and we love these stories, and we wanted to do them justice with art and illustrations from StarTwo that truly depict the stories and bring them to life. It would’ve been ridiculous for us to do it any other way!
In the pulps, even Mars had its strange and fey races:
He had knelt on the bank, and was just parting the rushes, when a reflection in the water before him made him look up. A huge black bat was pursuing what at first glance appeared to be a large butterfly. Apparently disabled, the smaller creature fluttered groundward, falling into the rushes not ten feet from Thorne.
In a steep spiral, the bat swooped toward its fallen prey. Leaping to his feet, Thorne saw the futile fluttering of a pair of lacy, opalescent wings above the rushes, and knew that in a moment more the bat would claim its victim. He jerked a javelin from his quiver and hurled it at the descending monster. It struck the black, furry neck with such force that the barbed head emerged from the other side.
Now it was the bat which tumbled into the rushes, only a few feet from the creature it had struck down.
Having satisfied himself that the ugly thing was dead, Thorne stepped over for a closer look at its intended prey. But as he did so, the lacy wings suddenly rose above the bushes, and he stifled a cry of amazement when he saw that they were attached to the shoulders of a slender, perfectly formed girl about three feet in height.
Save for a girdle of filmy, pale green material drawn tight at the waist by a belt of exquisitely wrought golden mesh and ending in a short skirt, she was nude. Her silky skin was a perfect flesh tint, and covered with fine down, delicate as peach bloom. Her golden yellow hair was bound by a fillet of woven green jade links, circling her forehead just below two delicate, feathery antennae, which swept upward and backward like a pair of dainty plumes.
As he stood staring down at her, scarcely believing his eyes, she suddenly faded from his view.
The Earthman blinked and looked again. But where she had stood he now saw only the rushes which had been bent downward by the weight of her tiny body.
Faintly he heard the fluttering of wings overhead. He looked up and saw only the empty sky. Suddenly a little pixie voice, musical as a silver bell, broke the silence.
“I know you now, man of the Old Race,” it said. “You are Sheb Takkor, the younger. You have saved the life of Eriné, daughter of the Vil of the Ulfi, and she is not ungrateful. Hold out your hand.”
In obedient wonder, he extended his hand. A glittering something dropped into his palm. He saw that it was a tiny ring fashioned from platinum and set with a sparkling green gem.
“If you should ever need the Ulfi, rub the jewel and if there is an Ulf within scent of the ring he will be yours to command.”
“Very kind of you,” said Thorne, “but…” He suddenly realized that the fluttering had stopped. He was talking to empty air.
Yirl Du had come down the bank and was surveying him quizzically. “Your pardon, my lord. Were you speaking to me?”
“Yes. No. I was speaking to an Ulf – that is, to an Ulf maiden.”
“Has one of the Little People paid us a visit?”
“Not intentionally, I guess. You see, she was struck down by that bat.” Thorne indicated the carcass. “I saw her fall, thinking her only a butterfly, yet I pitied the creature and so slew the bat with a javelin. She became invisible and presented me with this.” He held out the ring.
Yirl Du exclaimed with astonishment. “Why, that is indeed a precious thing, my lord, and such a gift as only the Vil of the Ulfi or a member of his family might present to a man.”
“She named herself Eriné, daughter of the Vil.”
Thorne was brimming over with questions about the Little People, but resolved to curb his curiosity until he could talk to Thaine or Lal Vak. Sheb Takkor, he reasoned, would be supposed to know these things. To question Yirl Du about them would be to make him suspect either that he was not Sheb Takkor, or that he had taken leave of his senses.