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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    The Continental Op Dies Hard

    Episode Number: 47

    Setting aside the weighty issue of “is Die Hard a Christmas story?” we ask the more interesting question, “is Dashiell Hammett’s The Gutting of Couffignal a Die Hard story?” Listen in, and hear the most hardboiled final line in all of pulp fiction.

    Episode download: PulpToday047.mp3

    Release Date: December 13, 2021

    Run Time: 14:35
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    Martians and Colonialism

    Episode Number: 46

    H.G. Wells wonders aloud what it would be like to be on the short end of the big stick, in the apocalyptic classic often imitated but never surpassed.

    Episode download: PulpToday046.mp3

    Release Date: December 6, 2021

    Run Time: 14:15
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    Mother Night… and Social Media

    Episode Number: 45

    Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel about how maybe it doesn’t matter who you are inside, if your outside is too convincing. There's a great movie adaptation by Keith Gordon. Listen to this, then go track that down, too.

    Episode download: PulpToday045.mp3

    Release Date: November 29, 2021

    Run Time: 8:42
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    Robert Bloch and Psycho

    Episode Number: 44

    You know the Hitchcock movie, you may even know the sequels, the cable series, or the Gus Van Sant weirdness… but have you read the original, by the great Robert Bloch? You should. Let’s talk about why…

    Episode download: PulpToday044.mp3

    Release Date: November 22, 2021

    Run Time: 21:01
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    Hector Navarro, Warlord of Mars

    Episode Number: 43

    Nerdist’s own Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) joins me to talk John Carter, Tars Tarkas, “planetary romance,” a pretty solid movie sabotaged by its studio… and eventually we get around to a reading from A PRINCESS OF MARS, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    Episode download: PulpToday043.mp3

    Release Date: November 15, 2021

    Run Time: 50:46
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    Life, The Universe, and Everything

    Episode Number: 42

    A special episode to commemorate reaching the cosmically significant Number 42: the brilliant and talented Susy Kane (LODGE 49, HOUSE OF ANUBIS) joins me to read THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, by the late, beloved Douglas Adams. The convo quickly turns into the history of British comedy in general and Spike Milligan, specifically, who was the wellspring of everything that followed him, including the work of Douglas Adams.

    Episode download: PulpToday042.mp3

    Release Date: November 8, 2021

    Run Time: 47:38
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    If On An Autumn Morning A Writer…

    Episode Number: 41

    You’re listening to a podcast on Pendent audio. A show you’ve enjoyed before? Perhaps. Or perhaps you are a fan of Italo Calvino, summoned here by a Google search. You check the length. Fifteen and a half minutes? Too long? Or maybe just right...? Perhaps you could listen. Is the chair comfortable? That's key. And the coffee. Refilled? You don't want to run out. Certainly not halfway through a reading of Italo Calvino's metafictional shenanigans and IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER...

    Episode download: PulpToday041.mp3

    Release Date: November 1, 2021

    Run Time: 15:33
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    Galactic Patrol and the origins of Space Opera

    Episode Number: 40

    So it’s 1978 and you’re a teen and you’ve seen STAR WARS 10 times and there’s no home video or streaming yet, and you’re hungry for more space opera. Where can you go to get it? You go back to the source: E.E. “Doc” Smith and the LENSMEN series. Gather around, and give a listen to thrilling tales of what Jack Kirby called “techno-cosmic war... “

    Episode download: PulpToday040.mp3

    Release Date: October 25, 2021

    Run Time: 14:39
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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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    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