Memories by Tom Johnson: This is a short biography of Tom’s early school years and military. Written for his extended family at their request. Published in paperback by FADING SHADOWS.
FADING SHADOWS began as a publishing imprint in June 1982 with the publication of ECHOES, a pulp hobby magazine. In 1995, the imprint added genre magazines, publishing fiction titles for the next nine years, including CLASSIC PULP FICTION STORIES, ALIEN WORLDS, DETECTIVE MYSTERY STORIES, WEIRD STORIES, DOUBLE DANGER TALES, STARTLING SCIENCE STORIES, and EXCITING UFO STORIES, plus pulp reprint titles like BEHIND THE MASK and ACTION AND ADVENTURE STORIES, until the magazines went on hiatus in December 2004. We have since returned with Kindle and paperback releases. By clicking on the cover picture along the side of the Page, the Link will take you to each book, and ordering instructions. Reviewers, if you have a Blog and can post reviews on Amazon, and anywhere else, and wish to review any of the FADING SHADOWS books, I can supply pdf copies of most. If more information is needed, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, January 25, 2016
Sunday, January 24, 2016
FADING SHADOWS was a small-press publishing house that began in June 1982 with the publication of ECHOES, the hobby magazine for the pulp enthusiast. It was originally published out of Knox City, Texas, but in May 1983 the operation moved to Seymour, Texas where it remains to this day. ECHOES lasted for 100 issues before becoming a newsletter, finally ceasing in December 2004.
In June 1995, FADING SHADOWS branched out to fiction magazines with the first issue of CLASSIC PULP FICTION STORIES. That first issue contained a number of stories written in the pulp tradition, from a Vietnam War story to the start of a science fiction serial. Also in the first issue were new stories of Ki-Gor, Doc Harker, Bill Barnes, and the Phantom Detective. In coming issues, there were more of the same, though the characters still under copyright were quickly dropped. But the writers continued to send in new adventures of the Black Bat, Phantom Detective, Doctor Death, and even a Jim Hatfield western by James Reasoner. We did not coin the phrase, NEW PULP, but we were certainly publishing new pulp in 1995.
Soon it became apparent that one magazine could not contain all of the stories coming in, so more titles were quickly added: WEIRD STORIES for the weird menace genre, STARTLING SCIENCE STORIES for the science fiction (title later changed to ALIEN WORLDS), DETECTIVE MYSTERY STORIES for the detective mystery fans, EXCITING UFO STORIES for the UFO crowd, and DOUBLE DANGER TALES for the new hero stories. There was no shortage in writers and artists, only in subscriptions.
There were only a few established authors, like James Reasoner, Will Murray, Clayton and Patricia Matthews, and maybe one or two others. But many of the new writers that got their start with FADING SHADOWS went on to become established writers in their own right. They sharpened their writing skills while turning out great yarns for the genre magazines, and are now writing novels for larger markets.
What discouraged most writers and artists was the lack of recognition from readers. Not only couldn’t the magazines bring in subscriptions, it was almost impossible to get letters of comment from readers.
Each issue contained approximately 40,000 words. There were 91 issues of CLASSIC PULP FICTION STORIES, 32 issues of STARTLING SCIENCE STORIES, 39 issues of ALIEN WORLDS, 55 issues of DETECTIVE MYSTERY STORIES, 63 issues of DOUBLE DANGER TALES, 26 issues of WEIRD STORIES, and 6 issues of EXCITING UFO STORIES, for a total of 312 issues. You do the math. That adds up to a lot of words for a small-press publishing house. I figure something like 1,248,000 words. That was a lot of new pulp.
Publishing on a monthly schedule made it impossible to get special art for each issue. Although there were over a dozen topnotch artists contributing to the magazines, by the time a story came in, there wasn’t time to ask a specific artist for special art, so artists were asked to send generic art, i.e., a science fiction, a detective, or a general piece, or just a flying saucer or cowboy illustration, and when there was a story that sort of matched, that’s where the art went. Artists and writers were all treated the same. There were no favorites played. The only reason the same author might appear in six straight issues was because that author got his stories in on time. But even then, attention was given to each issue, and what authors and art was on hand, and what artist or author should be next.
There were problems. The magazines were a two-person operation, Tom and Ginger Johnson, both sharing in typing stories to format. The early years were done on manual typewriters, and then word processors, until finally, Ginger was using a computer. Most authors sent their manuscript in double-spaced, and each story had to be retyped to format. There was no time for a proofreader, and one was desperately needed, as typos appeared in every issue, if not every story! The magazines were amateurish at best, but the stories and art were top notch.
FADING SHADOWS paved the way for the current trend in new pulp titles. Genre magazines like ours closed out the last century and started the new century before ceasing publication. In March of 2002, Tom had a stroke, which limited his workload, and Ginger was not able to take on more of the responsibility, so it was decided to plan on stopping the magazines. So one at a time, the titles folded, until they were all gone by December of 2004.
FADING SHADOWS returned in 2012, and has since published eight paperbacks and numerous releases on Kindle format.
Some day I would like to compile an index to the authors and stories that were published under the FADING SHADOWS imprint, but that would be a massive task, and I’m not sure I am up to it. However, all of the data is available, thanks to Bill Thom’s.
By clicking on the covers along the side of the Blog, it will take you to information on each book/series. Tom’s FADING SHADOWS are avialable in pdf for reviewers. We need reviews on Amazon and your Blogs. Contact us, if interested.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Deposed from her Balkan kingdom, the Spider Lady rules a new kingdom in America. Taking over the New York underworld, she operates from a hidden underground cavern. Those who oppose her are forced into her deadly web. But one man and his fighting team take up the trail to bring justice to the Queen of the underworld. The Shadowhawke!
With the ever-rising cost of pulp-related books in 2012, Tom & Ginger re-launched their old FADING SHADOWS imprint to see if it was possible to produce a book for under $10.00. With Gail McAbee’s birthday coming up in November, Tom chose their action-packed pulp story, “Shadowhawke: First Flight” as an experiment.
This 128-page (4 x 7) paperback is the result. Printing isn’t cheap, but we’ve eliminated the middleman. With only a few copies ordered for this experimental product, Tom is offering them on a first come basis at $7.00, plus postage. This is only available from the authors.
Friday, January 22, 2016
NEW PULP HEROES Compiled by Tom & Ginger Johnson, listing 71 essays on new pulp characters, plus 3 essays on villains, and data on research books; also lists new and original pulp heroes, and fanzines. Also included are new pulp fiction stories: “The Mind Master” by Tom, and “The Origin of Mr. Minus” by Ginger. This will also be sold in paperback through FADING SHADOWS. This is very likely the first of several books that will detail the history of new pulp heroes, and their creators. For fans of old pulp and new, this is a must have for all researchers and those looking for specific pulp characters. Paperback is available from the authors for $12.00, plus postage, or on Kindle for $3.99.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
GUNS OF THE BLACK GHOST by Tom Johnson: Kindle book cover is by Teresa Tunaley. This is my tribute to Walter Gibson and The Shadow. Set in contemporary times, Jimmy Malone dons a black hood and cape sending fear into the hearts of evildoers, as he battles the underworld in the tradition of a modern day Shadow or Spider. Burning eyes, a mocking laugh, and blazing automatics announce his entrance into an affray. Gangsters cringe when they come up against the guns of the Black Ghost! Contains 7 novelettes featuring the crime fighter. Available on Amazon Kindle for $3.99.