I have a busy lifestyle and as a result, I rarely get to read. So, what does a lover of pulp magazines do if there is no time to read them? Listen to them!
I have been an avid audio book listener for about six years now. There are pros and cons.
You can listen to pulps while stuck in traffic.
Readers are generally very good performers.
You don't have to handle an original pulp to read.
Buying audiobooks can be expensive.
Options are limited.
So, here is the best way to get the most out of the Pros for as cheep as possible.
1) The Public Library. In my opinion the library is the most overlooked resource for a pulp reader (and society in general). It is free unless you return it late. Here are the ways to get audiobooks from the library:
a)You can go into the library and check out anthologies to read or scan their audiobook options to see what they have by pulp authors. You may have luck this way but there is a better way.
b) You can go to your County Library website and search for the audiobook that you want and request that it be brought to the library closest to you. Once that audiobook becomes available and it arrived at your local library, they send you an email informing you that it arrived. Simple. Plus this way you have the selection of the entire County Library and not just your local library.
c) You can also download audiobooks from the website. This last method is, in my opinion, the best and most effective. If you have a smartphone or you listen to audiobooks on your computer then you can do this last method.
Do a web search for "(your county) library audiobook download." This way you can click on the page that will take you right where you need to go on the Library's website. Different counties use different companies for this method. The ones that I am aware of is, One Click Digital, Overdrive and Hoopla. These are third party companies that provide this service for several Libraries. I wish I could provide a link for you but there are too many counties for that. Just follow the directions on the page that your search brought you to.
I use this service on my iPhone. I live in Portland Oregon so my county library is Multnomah County, which uses Overdrive and Hoopla. I just downloaded the apps for these two services, loved in and I could then search, download and listen to a ton of audiobooks.
The great thing about this service is that you will never get a late fee. When your download has expired it automatically gets returned.
So, the next problem is selection. Getting audiobooks from the library does not have the best selection but it is much better then you might think. I did a survey to see how many audiobooks are available from a few pulp authors. Here are the results:
Robert E. Howard: 11
Robert Heinlein: 35
H.P. Lovecraft: 11
Cornell Woolrich: 2
Philip K. Dick: 11
Isaac Asimov: 14
Dashiell Hammett: 8
Raymond Chandler: 4
Philip Jose Farmer: 2
L. Ron Hubbard: 65 (Only stories from the pulps).
Max Brand: 9
Louis L'Amour: 29
Ray Bradbury: 35
E.E. Doc Smith: 10
Plus anthology audiobooks such as:
Black Mask Stories: 4 volumes
Several of the above audiobooks are of stories written after the pulps died out but as you can see, there are many that you can borrow from your library.
2) Audible. Audible is very similar to the above method where you download the audiobook onto your phone or computer. But with audible it will not expire and the selection is massive but you have to pay a monthly fee. I consider it second best to the library method but it is worth the money if you want more then what the library can provide.
3) Buy the audiobooks. There are a few ways of doing this. I think the best quality of the pulp audiobooks is from Radio Archives and Galaxy Press. Radio Archives has a great variety of audiobooks of The Spider, Doc Savage, The Green Lama and collections such as select stories from Terror Tales or Argosy etc. These audiobooks are well worth the money. Galaxy Press makes high quality, multi cast dramas of pulp stories by L. Ron Hubbard. The production quality of these are fantastic. You can get the above on audible as well.
4) Librovox. This is a non-profit group that has volunteers upload recordings that are done of public domain books. There is a phone app for this or you can just go to their website. Their selection is good. You can find audiobooks that have never been professionally done. But, they are amateur recordings. Every once in a while you will get a good reader with good sound quality but most of the time it is not so great.
I hope the above helps. If you have any questions or suggestions on the above please comment. Also comment if you have a recommendation of an audiobook of a pulp story(s) that you enjoyed.
The purpose of this blog is to give pulp collectors updates on upcoming pulps for sale at vintagepulps.com