Attention pulp fans. Do you like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, John D. MacDonald? Perhaps Ross Macdonald? Maybe Jim Thompson and John Fante? Even dug up Charles Willeford and David Goodis? (If you haven’t read all of these guys, go on ahead and do it.) If you’re like me, maybe you’ve struggled to find your next favorite purveyor of pulp. Let me throw one you might not know into the mix: Fredric Brown.
Brown was a master of science fiction and detective pulps in the 40s and 50s. Many of his stories and novels became the inspiration for later writers like Philip K. Dick and basis of TV programs like The Outer Limits and Star Trek. (Wikipedia will tell you about that in further detail if you’re interested.) If you’re into science fiction, try his classic short story, “Arena,” for free here. (I remember reading that one in middle school.)
We’re thrilled to offer fans of pulp three of Fredric Brown’s early detective novels through Sunflower eLibrary, a new consortium of Kansas public libraries we’ve joined. I considered writing brief synopses, but you either like pulp or you don’t. I’ve found that I rarely care about plot when it comes to my consumption of pulp. So, give old Fredric Brown a try. And if there are other authors of detective pulp and noir not mentioned here, please include them in the comments for us all to discover!