Pulp Today

The Writers Block cover art

Writer, filmmaker and raconteur David Avallone talks about and reads selections from classic pulp fiction. And day-drinks. Sometimes with special guests!

We have voluntarily self-rated this production as PG-13. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Listen to the preview trailer!

Also available on YouTube if you'd prefer to watch!
 

 

Episode Archive

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    Damon Runyon, and the Art of Slang

    Episode Number: 39

    Some thoughts about a particularly vivid flavor of American speech, as expressed and maybe partly invented by Damon Runyon, and how it still echoes today. Plus a few words about the joys of writing in the specific language of a time and place.

    Episode download: PulpToday039.mp3

    Release Date: October 18, 2021

    Run Time: 13:36
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    The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

    Episode Number: 38

    Originally recorded on January 25th, 2020... after the inauguration of Joe Biden, after the insurrection, after the Fall of Trump. That particular American moment we were in got David thinking about the opening of A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and living through challenging historic times. Here's a few pages of Charles Dickens to chew on. Plus... a little something about cultural echoes, and a third rate Ronald Coleman impression.

    Episode download: PulpToday038.mp3

    Release Date: October 11, 2021

    Run Time: 11:32
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    FAHRENHEIT 451, with Mageina Tovah

    Episode Number: 37

    The talented and lovely Mageina Tovah joins David Avallone to talk about a book that meant a lot to both of them growing up: Ray Bradbury's dystopian classic FAHRENHEIT 451! You might remember her from Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN movies or SyFy's THE MAGICIANS... but Mageina also has a long history with Bradbury, which she talks about here... and we read a little section of the book together.

    Episode download: PulpToday037.mp3

    Release Date: October 4, 2021

    Run Time: 28:57
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    Winners, Sore Losers, and GRANT SPEAKS

    Episode Number: 36

    Originally recorded just after a certain orange goon lost and lost “bigly”… it seemed like a good time to pour a glass of whiskey, smoke a celebratory cigar, and read a little something from Ev Ehrlich's comic pastiche of Ulysses Grant's Memoirs, GRANT SPEAKS. A little straight talk from the man who saved the Union. Give a listen...

    Episode download: PulpToday036.mp3

    Release Date: September 27, 2021

    Run Time: 13:33
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    You Only Live Twice, Mr. Bond…

    Episode Number: 35

    I'd been wanting to talk about the James Bond novels since I started this series, and the defeat of Trump, in November of 2020, made me choose the fall of a cartoonish supervillain as my first reading from Ian Fleming's 007 novels. Now and forever… welcome to Hell, Blofeld.

    Episode download: PulpToday035.mp3

    Release Date: September 20, 2021

    Run Time: 21:34
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    Tales of the Frightened, Part Three!

    Episode Number: 34

    DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD! Are you one of the Frightened? Originally “broadcast” last Halloween, the third and final episode of my little TALES OF THE FRIGHTENED mini-series, presents one of the more batshit stories from the collection... and one that haunted me since I read it as a kid. Enjoy!

    Episode download: PulpToday034.mp3

    Release Date: September 13, 2021

    Run Time: 5:17
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    Tales of the Frightened, Part Two!

    Episode Number: 33

    THE HAND OF FATE! Are you one of the Frightened? The second of three episodes from Michael Avallone’s Tales of the Frightened collection. Today, I'm reading one of my favorites: Dad's take on the old Mesopotamian folk tale APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA. I also take a cheap shot at Peter Bogdanovich, who -- let's face it -- had it coming. Give a listen!

    Episode download: PulpToday033.mp3

    Release Date: September 6, 2021

    Run Time: 6:21
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    Tales of the Frightened, Part One!

    Episode Number: 32

    Are you one of the Frightened? Here’s the first of three horror-themed episodes for Pulp Today, reading from Dad's Tales of the Frightened stories. Today, I talk about Dad's many horror novels, and the whole weird twisty history of the Tales of the Frightened project.... and read the first story in the collection. Also, I drink. Because (waves generally around at the world.)

    Episode download: PulpToday032.mp3

    Release Date: August 30, 2021

    Run Time: 11:24
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    Star Wars, Mandalorians, and me!

    Episode Number: 31

    A Pulp Today first... David Avallone reads some of his own writing, from his very first professional gig in 1989: writing Star Wars stories for the Role Playing Game, and one story in particular that may still be having a faint echo in the Star Wars Saga... particularly The Mandalorian.

    Episode download: PulpToday031.mp3

    Release Date: August 23, 2021

    Run Time: 22:36
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    I Am Legend

    Episode Number: 30

    Last summer, I thought it was a good time to talk about the late, great Richard Matheson, who brought us everything from half your favorite Twilight Zone episodes to The Incredible Shrinking Man, and specifically... the timeless (or timely) Apocalyptic classic: I Am Legend, aka The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man. I did cut off the personal plea to vote Biden/Harris from the original video, but you can still watch that part on Youtube…

    Episode download: PulpToday030.mp3

    Release Date: August 16, 2021

    Run Time: 10:57
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    The Masque of the Red Death

    Episode Number: 29

    Last summer was… dark. And the episodes I recorded at that time? Whew. Dark. In this one, I talk about how allegory is a beautiful thing. Sometimes... it can be chilling. There's no way Edgar Allan Poe could have predicted President Prospero, but the parallels are there if you listen.

    Episode download: PulpToday029.mp3

    Release Date: August 9, 2021

    Run Time: 14:38
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    KONG!

    Episode Number: 28

    It’s the thrill of a lifetime! In today's exciting episode, we talk about my favorite movie when I was a kid, novelizations, paperbacks that fall apart in your hand, complicated copyrights, and enthusiasm for a life in show business.

    Episode download: PulpToday028.mp3

    Release Date: August 2, 2021

    Run Time: 12:30
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    The Spider! With Andrew Pepoy!

    Episode Number: 27

    In this episode, me and my friend Andrew Pepoy -- an amazing cartoonist and comics creator -- talk about my dad's favorite pulp character... THE SPIDER!  (Originally recorded last year, we also talk about his Simone and Ajax Kickstarter, which is now long over, but you can still buy the book on IndieGoGo.)

    Episode download: PulpToday027.mp3

    Release Date: July 26, 2021

    Run Time: 43:23
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    To Hell and Back

    Episode Number: 26

    This episode of Pulp Today is slightly different. This book is pulp NON-fiction... the combat autobiography of Audie Murphy: TO HELL AND BACK. In 2021, I’m sure we can all sympathize with the title. Originally recorded in 2020, and inspired by Trump’s refusal to visit a military cemetery in France for fear of a light drizzle. Content Warning: some fairly graphic descriptions of combat – and what it does to the human body – in this episode.

    Episode download: PulpToday026.mp3

    Release Date: July 19, 2021

    Run Time: 14:17
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    Pulp Today GOES APE!

    Episode Number: 25

    I started this series with one of Dad's books, and in this age of Apocalypse it seemed appropriate to read BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES, one of the finest novelizations of all time. I’m biased, of course…

    Episode download: PulpToday025.mp3

    Release Date: July 12, 2021

    Run Time: 13:13
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    The First Ever Pulp Adventure

    Episode Number: 24

    I do a little reading from what I'm calling the first pulp novel ever... sex, violence, adultery, jealousy, murder, longing, Gods and monsters. Dive into the wine-dark sea at rosy-fingered dawn, and join me on this... what's that word... trip? Voyage? Trek? It’ll come to me. After all… there’s no place like Homer.

    Episode download: PulpToday024.mp3

    Release Date: June 28, 2021

    Run Time: 7:54
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    Dorothy Parker and Emily Edwards

    Episode Number: 23

    I'm joined by my friend Emily Edwards, host of the amazing F**kbois of Lit podcast, to talk about Dorothy Parker, whose work always appeared on very nice paper... but who had a secret love of Pulp in her heart, frequently expressed by her sharp tongue...

    Warning : as you might notice, the name of Emily’s podcast leads to some Adult Language in this episode…

    Emily’s Amazing Podcast: https://www.fuckboisoflit.com/episodes

    Episode download: PulpToday023.mp3

    Release Date: June 21, 2021

    Run Time: 31:35
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    A Little Something Romantic, From Ed Noon

    Episode Number: 22

    Back to basics: I read a few pages of THE VIOLENT VIRGIN, which -- despite that title -- is one of the more romantic Ed Noon novels by Michael Avallone. This one is dad’s tribute to THE MALTESE FALCON. For more Ed Noon goodness, follow @EdNoonPI on the Twitter.

    Episode download: PulpToday022.mp3

    Release Date: June 14, 2021

    Run Time: 9:21
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    Sex, Murder and Actuarial Tables… in DOUBLE INDEMNITY

    Episode Number: 21

    Only James M. Cain could make insurance policies sexy and violent... but he does just that. Give a listen. And ask yourself... is this the most drunk Avallone ever was while recording one of these?

    Episode download: PulpToday021.mp3

    Release Date: June 7, 2021

    Run Time: 9:34
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    David F. Walker reads Donald Goines

    Episode Number: 20

    Note: this episode contains some adult language in the book excerpt. When I started adding guests to PULP TODAY, I knew I wanted to talk to David F. Walker: an exceptional writer, a thoughtful human being, and one of my favorite people to run into on the convention circuit. Here, we talk about our career paths, we talk about Donald Goines, and he reads a passage from CRIME PARTNERS. Then we riff on pop culture – in particular Batman and James Bond --- for a bit, as we do... enjoy!

    Episode download: PulpToday020.mp3

    Release Date: May 31, 2021

    Run Time: 34:25
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    History of the Pulps, Part Three

    Episode Number: 19

    The final chapter of my conversation with acclaimed literary historian JESS NEVINS. In part three, we talk about how the Pulps influence the pop culture of today, "ideasplosions," emotion over logic, and I tell an anecdote about Roger Corman. (Apologies again: the audio gets a little crackly here and there. The challenges of the Zoom interview…)

    Episode download: PulpToday019.mp3

     

    Release Date: May 24, 2021

    Run Time: 14:19
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    History of the Pulps, Part Two

    Episode Number: 18

    Continuing my conversation about pulp history with acclaimed pop culture historian JESS NEVINS. In part two, we talk about Pulps around the world, sweat mags, the atomization of culture... and what killed the Pulps. (Again, sorry the audio gets a little crackly here and there: the challenges of the Zoom interview…)

    Episode download: PulpToday018.mp3

    Release Date: May 17, 2021

    Run Time: 13:19
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    History of the Pulps, Part One

    Episode Number: 17

    Acclaimed pop culture historian JESS NEVINS educates me about all things pulp... in a wide-ranging conversation that I'll be splitting into multiple episodes. Here we start off with the origins of the form, and the artificial gap between High Art and Low Art. (Sorry the audio gets a little crackly here and there: the challenges of the Zoom interview…)

    Episode download: PulpToday017.mp3

    Release Date: May 10, 2021

    Run Time: 10:16
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    You Can’t Win Part Two, With Salt Chunk Mary

    Episode Number: 16

    Another reading from the 1926 true crime memoir YOU CAN'T WIN, and an indelible character out of hobo legend, Salt Chunk Mary.

    Episode download: PulpToday016.mp3

    Release Date: May 3, 2021

    Run Time: 7:21
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    You Can’t Win Part One, and Mother’s Day

    Episode Number: 15

    Today's book is the amazing crime memoir YOU CAN'T WIN, from 1926. And in its way, this reading of the first chapter is all about the importance of Mothers… so this one was originally recorded for Mothers' Day.

    Episode download: PulpToday015.mp3

    Release Date: April 26, 2021

    Run Time: 10:32

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