GAY AND LESBIAN PULPS

GAY AND LESBIAN PULPS – One of my most popular blog posts from last year (6-12-12) covered the topic of the pulp novel along with several of the best covers. Today’s post looks deeper; into the gay, lesbian or bisexual pulp. Let your imagination wander to an era before any celebrity, athlete or even actors and fashion designers were ‘out of the closet’. The lives of ordinary gays and lesbians were rife with subtext, innuendo and mired in the ability to ‘pass’. I love some of these books, not because they are necessarily the greatest writers, or are even all that polished in terms of dialogue/ prose. What makes them great? Imagine the half-world of the mid-fifties up through the early seventies in a time of sweeping activism and social change. If you look up ‘lesbian pulp novel’ on Wikipedia, it lists The Third Sex by Artemis Smith, along with the sensational 1959 cover, in first place. With credits that include spokeswoman, playwright and novelist. Or, consider (what is arguably the best example of) a gay male pulp cover, Caves of Iron by Chris Davidson. He was the author of fifteen novels published between 1967 and 1969, coinciding with the Stonewall riots of 1969, commonly held as the anniversary of the modern gay civil rights movement. These books take you there, in the way only a novel can do, pick up a copy and allow yourself to be transported, if only for an hour or two. 

  • Cutie on Call by Hank Janson 
  • Donnie and Clyde by Sam Dodd 
  • Forbidden: She Walked Strange Paths of Love by JC Priest
  • Go Down Aaron by Chris Davidson 
  • Lost on Twilight Road by James Colton 
  • Man Alone by William Doyle 
  • Satan Was a Lesbian by Fred Haley
  • The Fall of Valor by Charles Jackson 
  • The Strange Path by Gale Wilhelm 


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