Tag Archives: Dieselpunk

“ANCIENT” SCI-FI ABOUT WORLD WAR ONE

World War One picWorld War OneWorld War OneYes, the first eleven days of November are about World War One here at Balladeer’s Blog – with my other topics thrown in as well.

This blog post combines World War One with my Ancient Science Fiction category to present vintage stories regarding that conflict.

Many of them feature dieselpunk inventions like I covered in my reviews of the pulp magazine G-8 And His Battle Aces.

Blood and IronBLOOD AND IRON (1917) – Written by Robert Hobart Davis & Perley Poore Sheehan. Dramatic depiction of advanced technology being used in World War One. In Germany one of the Kaiser’s scientists is experimenting with replacing lost limbs and organs with mechanical replacements. He has been trying to create cyborgs out of maimed German soldiers from the front lines.

After many failures, Experiment Number 241 is the scientist’s first success. His replacement arms and legs possess superhuman strength plus his replacement ears and eyes have granted him long-range vision and hearing.

Kaiser Wilhelm is thrilled, since this means that previously mortal wounds will now pave the way for cyborg soldiers. The Kaiser interrogates and drills Number 241 and expresses annoyance with the cyborg’s robotic way of speaking.

Number 241 at length has enough and kills the Kaiser, leaving a bloody pulp of a corpse. The horrified scientist’s expression of shock is met with a robotic reply of “Blood – and – iron.” (As in Otto Von Bismarck’s motto.)   

IN THE CHANNEL (1907)- Written by B.T. Stewart. Though penned seven years before the Guns of August blazed this story featured Kaiser Wilhelm’s forces launching an offensive in the English Channel and the surrounding waters.

The short story centers on naval battles, with the Germans unseating the Britons as “rulers of the waves.” The Germans then go on to win the entire war in this combination of the Future War sub-genre with the “are we fully prepared for war” exploitation tales.     Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Ancient Science Fiction

TO THE MOON AND BACK IN NINETY DAYS (1917)

to-the-moon-and-back-in-ninety-daysTO THE MOON & BACK IN NINETY DAYS (1917) – By John Y Brown. Balladeer’s Blog presents more Ancient Science Fiction (or Vintage Science Fiction if you prefer). This story was first penned in 1917 and later published by the Lunar Publishing Company in 1922.

Brown himself pretended to narrate the adventure, which hewed so closely to what was known about the moon back then that it must have both educated and entertained readers. The story says that in 1914 our narrator met Captain Horace Ewald, a brilliant nautical engineer and scientist in Alton, IL.

Captain Ewald invited Brown along on his planned expedition to the moon in what he dubbed his “Ethereal Vessel” but which we would call a spaceship. The craft was 235 feet tall with the shape of a dome fused to prisms. Ewald and his team constructed the Ethereal Vessel out of aluminum plating and used electric batteries to power the anti-gravity pods.   Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Ancient Science Fiction

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: THE FINAL TWO STORIES

THIS IS IT! G-8's FINAL BATTLE WITH STEEL MASK!

THIS IS IT! G-8’s FINAL BATTLE WITH STEEL MASK!

Balladeer’s Blog concludes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This has been a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super-natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin, his two Battle Aces. Here are my reviews of the 109th and 110th issues of this massively underappreciated Pulp magazine.

wings of the death monster109. WINGS OF THE DEATH MONSTER (April 1944) – G-8’s FINAL BATTLE WITH STEEL MASK, the German supervillain who hid his disfigured face behind a metal mask decades before Dr Doom and Darth Vader came along.

Just like our hero’s final encounter with his arch-enemy Doktor Krueger a few issues back this already exciting story gets an extra boost from pure nostalgia, marking as it does the last meeting between G-8 and his second-most memorable foe.

Steel Mask still boasts a talent for weapons design that would shame even the 1960’s-era Tony Stark in Iron Man comic books. The German madman’s Death Monster is a new and improved version of the 100 feet high super-tank that he used a while back. For this new model wings and the element of flight threaten to make it the ultimate super-weapon for the Central Powers. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Pulp Heroes

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES ONE HUNDRED-SIX TO ONE HUNDRED-EIGHT

G-8's final battle with Goulon!

G-8’s final battle with Goulon!

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super-natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin, his two Battle Aces.

Bombs from the Murder Wolves106. BOMBS FROM THE MURDER WOLVES (October 1943) – As the G-8 series nears its end get ready to meet an all-new addition to our hero’s Rogue’s Gallery of foes: Dr Marlott! This mad doctor has his secret laboratory in a swamp where he has been performing macabre experiments on human guinea pigs.

At long last he has succeeded in perfecting his ultimate goal: living “Suicide Men” mutated and shorn of all self-preservation instincts. These Suicide Men will coldly and unfeelingly carry out destructive attacks on the Allied forces, completely unmindful of any potential harm to themselves.

Dr Marlott’s creations are sent forth in conjunction with the Murder Wolves. Those Murder Wolves are larger-than normal Central Powers aircraft which carry huge red bombs with cockpits. The Suicide Men will make these red bombs the ultimate in “smart bombs” by literally piloting them toward Allied planes, making evasive maneuvers nearly hopeless and blowing themselves up along with their targets.

In a way you could say that with this story Robert J Hogan eerily anticipated the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of a few years later.   Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Pulp Heroes

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES ONE HUNDRED-THREE TO ONE HUNDRED-FIVE

THIS IS IT! G-8's FINAL BATTLE WITH DOKTOR KRUEGER!

THIS IS IT! G-8’s FINAL BATTLE WITH DOKTOR KRUEGER!

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super-natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin, his two Battle Aces.

Wings of the Hawks of War103. WINGS OF THE HAWKS OF DEATH (April 1943) – G-8 and Nippy Weston get court-martialed in this tale! The two are framed for stealing and gambling away a small fortune in Allied war funds.

Found guilty, the two make a dramatic escape from the courtroom and add assaulting a General Officer to the list of charges while doing so.

With the pair on the run a puzzled Bull Martin and G-8’s British manservant Battle do what they can to help G-8 and Nippy try to unravel the masterful deception. The threads eventually lead them to their newest foe – Baron Von Heidt: the German Empire’s greatest sportsman.

Von Heidt has taken on the ultimate challenge. Namely, disgracing and ultimately killing G-8 and his Battle Aces as revenge for the countless times they’ve thwarted the super-villains of the Central Powers.      Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Pulp Heroes

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES ONE HUNDRED TO ONE HUNDRED-TWO

Patrol to End the WorldBalladeer’s Blog resumes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super-natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin, his two Battle Aces.

Wings of the Gray Phantom100. WINGS OF THE GRAY PHANTOM (October 1942) – Yes, it’s the 100th issue of the G-8 Pulp magazine! An old foe – Mr Matsu – returns for the occassion. As a quick reminder to people unfamiliar with World War One during THAT war Japan was on the side of the Allied Powers, not the Central Powers.

The Japanese Mr Matsu is a traitor who took his scientific inventions to the Central Powers because they offered him more money than his native Japan did. This time around Matsu’s come up with a way of making fighter planes virtually invisible.

These Gray Phantoms are mowing down Allied planes at an incredible rate and as always it’s up to G-8, Bull and Nippy to find a way of defeating Mr Matsu’s creations. G-8 manages to steal a helmet that enables its wearer to see the Gray Phantoms, but will it be enough to turn the tide?   Continue reading

61 Comments

Filed under Pulp Heroes

PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES NINETY-SEVEN TO NINETY-NINE

Featuring the return of Doktor Krueger!

Featuring the return of Doktor Krueger!

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super-natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin, his two Battle Aces.

Raiders of the Death Patrol97. RAIDERS OF THE DEATH PATROL (April 1942) – This story features the return of G-8’s old foe Herr Butscher! The crazed genius who was thrown out of medical school so long ago has been busy since his last appearance devising a deadly green liquid that destroys the metal of tanks as easily as it destroys human flesh!

Herr Butscher’s Death Patrol are deployed along the Western Front, armed with modern-day catapults that hurl glass containers filled with the green liquid. As the containers are catapulted into the Allied lines the soldiers and armored weapons are devastated, threatening to change the entire course of the war.

Desperately, General Pershing and his subordinates try to locate G-8, the one man they are sure can save the Allies once again. Our hero can’t be found, however, as he’s already deep behind the Central Powers lines, risking his life to find a way of defeating Herr Butscher’s ghastly chemical weapon.  Will he survive? And if so how many will die before he can convey his vital information to the Allied High Command?     Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Pulp Heroes