Will Murray's Pulp Classics #33
G-8 and His Battle Aces #18 Audiobook
The Death Monsters
by Robert J. Hogan
Read by Nick Santa Maria. Liner Notes by Will Murray
Out of war-torn skies soars…G-8 and His Battles Aces! The greatest combat pilot of the War to End All Wars, G-8’s true name was stricken from all official records. Flying a supercharged warplane, backed by his wild wingmen, Bull Martin and Nippy Weston, G-8 fought the most horrific foes the Kaiser could throw at him. The creation of writer Robert J. Hogan, G-8 and His Battles Aces appeared in the magazine of that same name for over a decade.
Eighty years ago in the summer of 1933, Popular Publications President Harry Steeger and his executive editor, Rogers Terrill, decided to enter the new field of pulp magazines built around a single hero. They enlisted popular aviation fictioneer Robert J. Hogan to help conceive G-8 and his Battle Aces, which debuted late in August.
Steeger recalled, “I can remember that Bob Hogan and I picked “G-8” because G-8 was the hero of his first novel and I added “Battle Aces” so that people would know what type of magazine it was and also because Battle Aces had been a very successful book.”
G-8 was born in the front seat of a car crawling through the Holland Tunnel. His father was Robert Jasper Hogan, who had made quite a name for himself as a prolific pulp writer specializing in aviation fiction during the glamorous era of aircraft now styled Between the Wars. Among practitioners of that now-lost art, this school of writing was styled Yammering Guns, after the sound of contending synchronized cockpit-mounted machine guns in furious action.
Steeger and Hogan hashed out an idea. It was part Eddie Rickenbacker and part What Price Glory?—which was a popular Maxwell Anderson stage play turned into a motion picture. Price stressed the horrors of war as counterpoint to the sentimental comradeship of the Allies in the trenches. Only in this case, by horror, Popular Publications meant something far more horrific than mustard-gas trench warfare atrocities.
For, envisioning the expected strain on the writer’s imagination a monthly novel would enact, Steeger and Hogan agreed that the new series would soon grow stale of they didn’t spice it up with elements of the fantastic. This recipe ranged from merely super-scientific death rays to unabashedly supernatural manifestations. Nothing was taboo in G-8. Hogan was a pioneer of over-the-top plotting generations before the term was invented.
Driving home to New Jersey from Manhattan, Hogan passed through the Holland Tunnel. While in traffic, he worked out the details of G-8’s first wild adventure. He named his hero after a Colorado ranch where Hogan worked one summer. G-8 never had another name. His wingmen, Bull Martin and Nippy Weston, were modeled on a pair of real-life flyboys named Bull Nevin and Nippy Westover.
The premier G-8 tale, which appeared in the October, 1933 issue of G-8 and His Battle Aces, exemplified the outrageous approach Steeger and Hogan envisioned for the series. Hogan called it The Bat Staffel. Therein he introduced a twisted German genius who would bedevil his new hero the length and breadth of the series—some eleven tortured years. This first time out, the Kaiser’s maddest mad scientist, Herr Doktor Kreuger, unleashed monster bats as big as bi-planes on Allied Sopwith Camels and Spads. It made for fearsome reading.
Before it was all over, G-8 battled weird menaces ranging from Martians to Zombies, with assorted undead minions of the Kaiser sandwiched in between. If Hogan couldn’t concoct a fresh beast-man, why, a clutch of cave men or freshly-defrosted Viking berserkers would keep readers riveted. Recurring foes came and went. G-8 finally vanquished Herr Doktor Krueger late in the series. Or did he? Maybe they renewed their feud for World War II. If so, Hogan failed to record those encounters. No doubt they would have captivated ever-loyal fans of the one and only Flying Spy.
For our second G-8 release, and to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the magazine’s founding, we’ve selected one of the wildest and weirdest novels in the series’ long run. The Death Monsters is taken from the pages of the March, 1935 issue of G-8 and his Battle Aces. In this nightmare story, Herr Doktor Kreuger, frustrated at being thwarted by the Master Spy time and again, deploys his most diabolical creations yet––the Ulp. What are they? Let’s just say that Kreuger may have gotten his inspiration from reading the works of H. P. Lovecraft....
This stupendous audiobook is brought to life by Nick Santa Maria, with Roy Worley and Milton Bagby reading the exciting short stories, “Too Old to Fight!” and “The Wolf Ace,” also by Robert J. Hogan. Prepare to follow a sky-trail of terror with G-8 and his unflappable wingmen...
Nick DeGregorio composed the music for the G-8 and His Battle Aces series of audiobooks.
#18 The Death Monsters
by Robert J. Hogan
Read by Nick Santa Maria
Chapter 1: Herr Doktor Krueger
Chapter 2: Secret Agent
Chapter 3: Spy Bait
Chapter 4: Elephant Tracks
Chapter 5: Night Flight
Chapter 6: Death Reaches Down
Chapter 7: Hell Trap
Chapter 8: Captured
Chapter 9: Prison
Chapter 10: The Beast Factory
Chapter 11: The Ulp
Chapter 12: Death of the Ulp
Chapter 13: The Wireless Set
Chapter 14: Escape
Chapter 15: The Ulp Drive
Chapter 16: Ulp Poison
Too Old to Fight!
by Robert J. Hogan
Read by Roy Worley
The Wolf Ace
by Robert J. Hogan
Read by Milton Bagby
Will Murray is the Series Producer for Will Murray’s Pulp Classics line of Pulp Audiobooks and Pulp eBooks. Will is the author of over 50 novels in popular series ranging from The Destroyer to Mars Attacks. Collaborating posthumously with the legendary Lester Dent, he has written to date twelve Doc Savage novels, with Skull Island, Death’s Dark Domain, Desert Demons, Horror in Gold, and The Infernal Buddha now available. For National Public Radio, Murray adapted The Thousand-Headed Man for The Adventures of Doc Savage in 1985, and recently edited Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent for Moonstone Books. He is versed in all things pulp.
Nick Santa Maria Nick was born early in life in Brooklyn, NY. His theatrical background is based in Comedy Improv. He was a long standing member of the late lamented Miami based, Mental Floss, where he served as head writer/composer. From there he began his career in commercials, voice-overs, TV, Film, and theatre. He has performed in many roles on the stage including his award winning turn as Nick in Over The River And Through The Woods, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee as Mr. Panch (3-D Theatricals), Mr. Bromhead in No Sex Please, We’re British at The Norris, and as Pseudolus in, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Norris Theatre. Television: The Buffalo Bill Show, B.J. Stryker, and two Disney Christmas Specials. Off Broadway: Writer/Composer/Performer on Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, Soundtrack on RCA Victor. Broadway: Vince Fontaine in Tommy Tune’s production of Grease. He also appeared in every domestic company of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, understudying everyone from Nathan Lane and Jason Alexander, to Tony Danza and David Hassellhoff. He was the original Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular, soundtrack on Disney Records. Nick is a resident of Los Angeles and is currently writing a book about classic film comedians, Nick’s been a long time film historian, and has written several articles on the topic.
Nick DeGregorio is a composer and conductor with over 100 theatrical musical direction credits including a Helen Hayes Awards, Best Musical Direction nomination for his work on DeafWest’s Big River at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. Nick’s conducted and/or played for Randy Newman, Bernadette Peters, Marvin Hamlisch, Lorna Luft, Juliet Prowse, Morey Amsterdam, John Denver, Carol Channing and Glen Campbell and was MD for Hal Linden, Dorothy Lamour (5 years) and the LA Friar’s Club roast of Carl Reiner. He’s provided musical direction at many regional theatres around the country and was associate conductor for the Broadway tours of 42nd Street and Big River and the PCLO/Nederlander tour of Doctor Dolittle.
Nick’s conducted the Phoenix Symphony, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra and Les Brown’s Band of Renown and has played piano with the St. Louis, San Jose, Utah, Ottawa, Rochester, Baltimore, Winnipeg, Florida and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. On Broadway, Nick played piano for 42nd Street. Off-Broadway, Nick wrote the orchestrations for Fanny Hill and orchestrated for Lorna Luft’s show and Barry Manilow produced recording, Songs My Mother Taught Me. He’s done orchestrations for the Key West Pops and also for Mitzi Gaynor’s new show, Razzle Dazzle. As a composer, Nick has worked on projects for BBC-TV, Random House Entertainment, Mike Young Productions, Scholastic Entertainment, Coyne Communications and Paramount Pictures. He has also written seven musical comedies, the latest, High School Reunion, was recently listed in the Samuel French catalog.
Roy Worley was born in Memphis, TN where he grew up. Storytelling was part and parcel of his childhood as he heard his grandfather tell many funny stories of life as a poor boy growing up in the delta of Mississippi. It was just natural that he would pick it up. His storytelling ability has been fine-tuned over a thirty-five year ministry as a preacher, both in the US and in South America.
Roy has narrated books via ACX.com that can be found on Amazon.com, iTunes and Audible.com. They range from works of fiction, to Christian theology to civil war history. He was sought out in 2012 by mystery author Chinle Miller to narrate her Bud Shumway series.
Milton Bagby is a veteran radio announcer and voiceover specialist who first turned to audiobooks in 2010. Since then, Milton has worked on over two dozen audiobook projects as a narrator or producer. Drawing upon years of stage acting and the occasional bit part in films, Milton uses his experience to create characters that stand out in the ear of the listener.
“I am very much aware that a perfect stranger is going to invest eight or ten hours listening to me tell a story. I do my best to give the listener an experience in which the characters in that story come alive and sound real.”
When not behind a microphone, Milton is a writer, having authored dozens of magazine articles and two non-fiction books on topics ranging from Colonial history to the Civil War to architecture. He lives in Nashville.