Books, Culture and Society

When the West Was Wild!

Out beyond the sagebrush the trail leads to danger. Out beyond the cactus and ghost towns there are bank robbers, train robbers, embezzlers, cattle rustlers, and hard, cold men whose hearts are black as coal. This is not a safe haven and only the strongest will survive out here.

When the West Was Wild!

* Thomas McNulty is the author of Trail of the Burned Man, Wind Rider, and Death Rides a Palomino. Visit him online at thomasmcnulty.com. He is also a passionate advocate of lifelong learning through audiobooks on cd collections from http://www.goldensagestories.com.

This is the American West between 1834 and 1899; a tough and unrelenting landscape that is both beautiful and harsh. By itself the landscape is breathtaking – the deep woodlands and majestic mountains, the rolling prairie and the thriving rivers and streams are but a paradise to the artistic eye. The western expansion that blossomed after the Civil War altered this landscape. The Pony Express, the stagecoach and the Iron Horse conquered the land and gave birth to a new breed of man – the outlaw.

This is the landscape and these are the men and women whose stories are told in a series of action packed novels and stories from the Golden Age of pulp magazines. And of all of the writers that cast their creative eye on the western one became so popular that readers wrote the magazine editors demanding more of his stories.

This was L. Ron Hubbard, born in 1911 in Nebraska and raised in Montana when events like those which he would soon write about were a recent memory. Hubbard wrote pulp adventure stories between 1934 and 1950, encompassing multiple genres, of which his westerns were especially popular, such as “Branded Outlaw, Six-Gun Caballero, Under the Diehard Brand and The Baron of Coyote River.”

There are outlaws aplenty in Hubbard’s tales, but his best characters are the hard- working, honest men whose strive daily to provide for themselves and their families. And they possess an unerring sense of justice. His swift, vibrant style drives home the action for his larger than life characters. These are timeless tales of good versus evil, made real by a master storyteller.

Another pulp fiction classic is Owen Wister’s, “The Virginian.” Originally published in 1902, Wister’s novel is considered by many to be a literary pioneer for western novels. His corny cliches were highly unusual but became very popular with readers and western writers thereafter.

Another favorite was Louis L’Amour. His writing career began with the pulps but over his lifetime he wrote more than one hundred novels earning him a place with Wister and Hubbard as true American writing icons.

The Western genre of pulp fiction shaped the way the world looked at the Wild West! In mans history, the western way of life was unlike any other that came before and readers could not get enough of it, as evidenced by the millions of copies flying off the shelves.

At times the American west was incredibly dangerous, fraught with peril, testing the will of the men who came to forge a nation. Pulp Fiction western writers take readers back to that perilous time with these action-packed tales of daring-do and blazing six-shooters.
These classic pulp stories are an integral part of our cultural heritage, beautifully re- presented, and loaded with buckshot.

You’ll enjoy each and every one, so saddle up and let’s ride!

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