The Best of Adventure, Volume 1—A Review by Morgan Holmes
One of my Pulpfest pick ups was The Best of Adventure, Volume 1—1910-1912 from Black Dog Books. This is the first of an ambitious series of "Best of" volumes covering Adventure magazine. Those of us who made their way to Adventure by way of Robert E. Howard are generally familiar with 1920s reprints— Harold Lamb Cossack stories, Talbot Mundy's "Tros" and "Jimgrim" novels, Arthur D. Howden Smith's "Gray Maiden" stories etc. The first decade of Adventure is terra incognita. I have read a few things such as Arthur Nelson's Wings of Danger ("The Adventurers") and I even have a 1960s reprint paperback of John Buchan's Prester John originally from 1911.
This book is an education. Adventure could be subtitled "The Jack London Experience" at this time. It goes to show how revolutionary London was in changing fiction. At this time, you have some writers who straddled the pulp-slick divide such as Donn Byrne, Morgan Robertson, and William Hope Hodgson. Jack London himself appeared in pulps such as Street & Smith's The Popular Magazine and Top-Notch. These stories don't read like what I think of as pulp. It is more like cracking open an anthology of classic adventure stories.