Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Gods Hate Kansas

I’d never heard of this book until last week. I picked it because it has a cool title and cover, the Kansas Jayhawks made the Final Four, Leftoverture by Kansas was featured yesterday, and my friend Dave Gladow is from Kansas. What the latter has to do with anything is beyond me but Dave *does* like Star Wars and comic book movies.

The book turns out to have a helluva back story:

Joseph Millard was an American pulp science fiction writer who published nearly a dozen short stories between 1941 and 1943, and then apparently gave up writing for good. Most of his stories appeared in magazines like Thrilling Wonder Stories, Amazing StoriesFantastic Adventures, and other pulps. He died in 1989.

In November 1941, he published his only novel, The Gods Hate Kansas, in Startling Stories magazine. It was reprinted a decade later in the November 1952 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine, and then appeared in paperback in February 1964 from Monarch Books, with a brilliantly gonzo cover by Jack Thurston, featuring a raygun-wielding hero riding bareback on a little red number and giving the business to an earnest-looking bug-eye monster.

Here’s the 1964 edition:

The Gods Hate Kansas became the 1967 British sci-fi flick, They Came From Beyond Space:

 

Here’s the trashy trailer:

We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto.

Procol Harum gets the last word:

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