14 April 2008
My latest Strange Horizons column has been posted: "The Hero, Pulped". It's all about my latest obsession, The Spider. The article that sparked this obsession, "The Spider: America's Prophetic Epic of Terrorism" by Stuart Hopen, appears in the latest (Spring 2008) issue of Rain Taxi, but unfortunately it's not available online. (You could use this as your excuse to subscribe to RT and get a year's worth of great interviews, articles, and reviews of books you aren't likely to hear about elsewhere...)
The column has some links to various sites of information about The Spider, but if you're curious about where to procure some of the stories, the best source I know is The Vintage Library, which sells books (including all 8 Carrol & Graf editions for $20), pulp replicas, and electronic editions.
A year ago, Baen Books published The Spider: Robot Titans of Gotham, which reprints a few Spider stories, parts of which can be read online via that link. In June, Baen will release The Spider: City of Doom, which includes the story I wrote about in my column, The City Destroyer (half of which is online there).
These are utterly bizarre stories -- very much part of their era in their casual sexism and fascination with all that is exotic to American white males, yet the brutality of their events is so vast that it cannot be assimilated into any sort of simple pulp system of morality, making them almost Existentialist in their effect.