Pulphouse Publishing

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Pulphouse Publishing was an American small press publisher based in Eugene, Oregon, and specializing in science fiction and fantasy. It was founded by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch in 1988. The press was active until 1996. Over that period, Pulphouse published 244 different titles.[1]

Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine

From 1988 through 1993, Pulphouse published a quarterly magazine in hardback form edited by Rusch. In addition to twelve issues, each of them themed, they published an "issue 0" which was a hardcover filled with blank pages to use as a sample to show prospective buyers. Pulphouse included stories by notable science fiction and fantasy authors including Charles de Lint, Michael Bishop, Michael Swanwick, and Harlan Ellison. In addition, each issue included essays on a variety of subjects. In 1989, Smith and Rusch won the World Fantasy Award in the Special Award: Non Professional category for their work on Pulphouse. From 1992 through 1994, Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine.

The Best of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine was by published by Tor Books in 1991 and collected stories which had already appeared in the magazine as well as stories which were slated for later publication.

Pulphouse Weekly

In 1991, Pulphouse announced plans to publish a weekly fiction magazine, also called Pulphouse. Although they published 19 issues between 1991 and 1995, the magazine never achieved weekly status and after the fifth issue the subtitle was changed from A Weekly Magazine to A Fiction Magazine. Pulphouse Weekly was initially edited by Smith and later by Jonathan Bond. Over the course of its run, the magazine published stories by George Alec Effinger, Mike Resnick, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Andre Norton, O'Neil De Noux and Jeff VanderMeer. In addition to short stories, Pulphouse included serials by Spider & Jeanne Robinson and Robert Sheckley.

Starting with issue zero March 1, 1991, and running through issue 19. Issue 9 started giving a month, instead of a date, and Issues 15 through 19 were undated.

Author's Choice Monthly

Smith edited a series of twenty-nine monthly chapbooks for Pulphouse under the collective title "Author's Choice Monthly" from 1989 through 1992. Each of these books were published in a limited edition and included stories by a single author. Authors in the series included Karl Edward Wagner (#2 Unthreatened by the Morning Light), Damon Knight (#21: God's Nose), and Esther Friesner (#23: It's Been Fun).

Short Story Paperback/Hardback

Short Story Paperback ($1.95) (Short Story Hardback [SSH]; 40 titles)

  1. Loser’s Night by Poul Anderson (SSH #1)
  2. A Case of Painter’s Ear by John Brunner (SSH #2)
  3. Xolotl by Robert Sheckley (SSH #3)
  4. All the Clocks Are Melting by Bruce Boston
  5. Blossoms by Kim Antieau
  6. Ecce Hominid by Esther M. Friesner
  7. A Case of Mistaken Identity by L. Timmel Duchamp
  8. The Cutter' by Edward Bryant (SSH #4)
  9. The Girl Who Fell into the Sky by Kate Wilhelm (SSH #5)
  10. Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper by Robert Bloch (SSH #6)
  11. The Steel Valentine by Joe R. Lansdale (SSH #7)
  12. The Quickening by Bishop, Michael
  13. The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth by Roger Zelazny (SSH #8)
  14. More Than the Sum of His Parts by Joe W. Haldeman (SSH #9)
  15. No Way Street by Bruce Clemence
  16. The Spider Glass by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (SSH #10)
  17. Uncle Dobbin’s Parrot Fair by Charles de Lint (SSH #11)
  18. Dinosaurs by Walter Jon Williams (SSH #12)
  19. Listening to Brahms by Suzy McKee Charnas
  20. Black Air by Kim Stanley Robinson
  21. The Dark Country by Dennis Etchison (SSH #13)
  22. Journey to the Goat Star by Brian W. Aldiss
  23. Piecework by David Brin (SSH #15)
  24. I Remember, I Remember... by Mary Caraker
  25. Sedalia by David J. Schow (SSH #16)
  26. Slumming in Voodooland by Brian M. Stableford
  27. The Sword & the Stone by Jane Yolen (SSH #14)
  28. The War of the Roses by Karen Joy Fowler (SSH #18)
  29. The Cat With the Tulip Face by A. R. Morlan
  30. Twilight Time by Lewis Shiner (SSH #17)
  31. Where the Summer Ends by Karl Edward Wagner (SSH #19)
  32. Into Gold by Tanith Lee
  33. Daisy, in the Sun by Connie Willis (SSH #20)
  34. Inuit by M. Shayne Bell
  35. The Shade of Lo Man Gong by William F. Wu
  36. Buckets by F. Paul Wilson
  37. The Pear-Shaped Man by George R. R. Martin (SSH #24)
  38. The Evening & the Morning & the Night by Octavia E. Butler (SSH #23)
  39. The Peacemaker by Gardner R. Dozois (SSH #21)
  40. The Hero as Werewolf by Gene Wolfe (SSH #22)
  41. The Bingo Man by Joyce Carol Oates
  42. Schrödinger’s Kitten by George Alec Effinger (SSH #25)
  43. Sisters by Greg Bear (SSH #26)
  44. The Ghosts of Tivoli by Nancy Holder
  45. Dr. Pak’s Preschool by David Brin (SSH #27)
  46. Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man’s Back by Joe R. Lansdale (SSH #28)
  47. Fiddling for Waterbuffaloes by S. P. Somtow
  48. Rachel in Love by Pat Murphy
  49. Unaccompanied Sonata by Orson Scott Card (SSH #29)
  50. Nine Lives by Ursula K. Le Guin (SSH #30)
  51. The Skull of the Marquis de Sade by Robert Bloch (SSH #31)
  52. Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood by Charles de Lint (SSH #32)
  53. The Price of Oranges by Nancy Kress (SSH #33)
  54. If This Is Winnetka, You Must Be Judy by F. M. Busby (SSH #34)
  55. My Brother’s Keeper by Pat Cadigan (SSH #35)
  56. The Thermals of August by Edward Bryant (SSH #36)
  57. Paper Dragons by James P. Blaylock (SSH #37)
  58. Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick (SSH #38)
  59. Candles on the Pond by Sue Ellen Sloca (SSH #39)
  60. Shaunessy Fong by William F. Wu (SSH #40)

Axolotl Press

In 1989, Pulphouse Publishing acquired Axolotl Press (founded by John Pelan in 1986) and began using it as an imprint. From 1989 through 1994, 26 titles were published using some form of the Axolotl name.

Series numbering seemed to begin with #09 and end with #30, there are two #16's printed in 1990. "Special editions" were also included.

  1. "Axolotl Special Number One" by John C. Pelan, Feb 1989
  2. “Westlin Wind” by Charles de Lint (Axolotl Press Series #09), Mar 1989
  3. “Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thubana” by Michael Bishop (Axolotl Press Series #10), Jul 1989
  4. "Solip:System" by Walter Jon Williams (Axolotl Press Series #11), Oct 1989
  5. “Look Away” by George Alec Effinger (Axolotl Press Series #12), Mar 1990
  6. “Lion Time in Timbuctoo” by Robert Silverberg (Axolotl Press Series #13), May 1990
  7. “Ghostwood” by Charles de Lint (Axolotl Press Series #14), Aug 1990
  8. “Bully!” by Mike Resnick (Axolotl Press Series #15), Sep 1990
  9. "Midnight Mass" by F. Paul Wilson (Axolotl Press Series #16), Oct 1990
  10. "Minotaur Maze" by Robert Sheckley (Axolotl Press Series #16), Dec 1990
  11. "Beggars in Spain" by Nancy Kress (Axolotl Press Series #18), Feb 1991
  12. "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" by Charles de Lint (Axolotl Press Series #19), Apr 1991
  13. "The Gallery of His Dreams" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Special edition), Jul 1991
  14. "Fetish" by Edward Bryant (Axolotl Press Series #20), Aug 1991
  15. "Kill The Editor" by Spider Robinson (Special edition #2), Aug 1991
  16. "Our Lady of the Harbour" by Charles de Lint (Special edition #3), Oct 1991
  17. "Stopping at Slowyear" by Frederik Pohl (Axolotl Press Series #21), Jan 1992
  18. "Thebes of the Hundred Gates" by Robert Silverberg (Axolotl Press Series #22), Jan 1992
  19. "Damnbanna" by Nancy Springer (Axolotl Press Series #23), Mar 1992
  20. "I Wake from a Dream of a Drowned Star City" by S. P. Somtow (Axolotl Press Series #24), May 1992
  21. "Resurrection" by Katharine Kerr (Axolotl Press Series #25), May 1992
  22. "Naming the Flowers" by Kate Wilhelm (Axolotl Press Series #26), Jun 1992
  23. "Unmasking" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Axolotl Press Series #27), Nov 1992
  24. "The Wishing Well" by Charles de Lint (Axolotl Press Series #28), Aug 1993
  25. "Wall, Stone, Craft" by Walter Jon Williams (Axolotl Press Series #29), Sep 1993
  26. "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" by Mike Resnick (Axolotl Press Series #30), Oct 1994

Other imprints

In addition to Axolotl, Pulphouse introduced Mystery Scene Press, which published a handful of mysteries in 1993, including the first two volumes in an Author's Choice series focused on mysteries. Pulphouse also used Writer's Notebook Press from 1990 through 1994 for four titles which focused on non-fictional aspects of the science fiction writing business.

Mystery Scene Press Author's Choice Monthly

(Single Author Collections) (Trade Paperback $5.95 Limited Cloth $25.00)

  1. Deceptions by Marcia Muller
  2. Stacked Deck by Bill Prozini
  3. Opening Shots by Stuart M. Kaminsky
  4. Mostly Murder by Joe Gores
  5. Dark Whispers and Other Stories by Ed Gorman
  6. Suspended Sentences by Brian Garfield

Mystery Scene Press Short Story Paperback


  1. The People of the Peacock by Edward D. Hoch
  2. Eight Mile and Dequindre by Loren D. Estleman
  3. Lieutenant Harald and the Treasure Island Treasure & My Mother, My Daughter, Me by Margaret Maron
  4. Cat's-Paw plus Incident in a Neighborhood Tavern by Bill Pronzini
  5. Ride the Lightning by John Lutz
  6. Afraid all the Time by Nancy Pickard
  7. The Perfect Crime by Max Allen Collins
  8. The Reason Why by Ed Gorman
  9. Outlaw Blues by Teri White
  10. My Heart Cries for You! by Bill Crider



Pulphouse collapsed after wildly over-expanding the number of titles published every year, including several commercially unviable lines (such as the Short Story Paperback/Hardback line), leaving at least one title (Harlan Ellison's Ellison Under Glass) paid for but undelivered.[3]

In the Fall of 1996, Jerry Oltion published an anthology entitled Buried Treasure, subtitled "An Anthology of Unpublished Pulphouse Stories," which, with the approval of Rusch and Smith, was designed to look like an issue of Pulphouse Hardback.

Many of the authors who got their start publishing in Pulphouse publications or working for Rusch and Smith have gone on to have successful careers as science fiction and fantasy authors. Some authors who debuted in Pulphouse magazines include Adam-Troy Castro and Marina Fitch. Oltion and Nina Kiriki Hoffman were also closely connected to Pulphouse


  1. ^ Smith, Dean Wesley, "Introduction," Buried Treasures, edited by Jerry Oltion, Wordshop, p.1
  2. ^ Richard Gombert Collection
  3. ^ Jack Chalker and Mark Owings, The Science-Fantasy Publishers: A Bibliographic History, CD-ROM version, 2000
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