Ron Goulart

Ron Goulart was born January 13, 1933. His first professional publication was a parody of a pulp magazine letters column called Letters to the Editor. It appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1952. He has been extremely prolific, working under his own name and a large number of pseudonyms. He has written for pulp magazines since his first publication. He had a book review column for Venture Science Fiction Magazine.

Goulart is wildly known to be the ghost writer for William Shatner's TekWar series. He has also ghosted novels featuring Flash Gordon and the Avenger. His best known work is a non-fiction book called Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazines.

The Fire-Eater

"Great scaly dragons roamed the dunes - unreal beasts resurrected daily in the mirage belt. Illusions created bt atmospheric manipulation - and by magic. For although Esmeralda was a backward world, it had a very real and unusual native art - witchcraft! Raker of Soldiers of Fortune, Inc. was being paid well to track down the planet's deadly fire-eater - who visited flaming death upon distant enemies. But Raker found himself battling not one wizard, but a whole pack of sorcerers, plague makers, lycanthropes, and fire assassins. And the ones who couldn't kill him with words went at him with battle axes, swords and the like. Raker began to wonder if even a great fortune was going to be just compensation if he couldn't live long enough to collect..."

Original Publication: Ace, 1970
This Edition: Ace, 1970
Cover Art: Robert LoGrippo
Format: Paperback

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Death Cell

"Hugger-Mugger on Murdstone - It was only a backwater planet, but there were hints of a sensational story somewhere on Murdstone - and Jack Summer, top reporter for Muckrake, the galactic newsmag, drew the assignment. Summer, abated if not aided by Palma, the horniest photographer i nthe known universe, scoured Murdstone for the story, working his way through dangers and damsels with equal enthusiasm. Ron Goulart's acid zaniness is something new in science fiction - and it approaches its ultimate in this first of many exploits of SUmmer of Muckrake."

Original Publication: Beagle Boxer, July 1971
This Edition: Beagle Boxer, July 1971
Cover Art: Vincent DiFate
Format: Paperback

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This is the first in a four book series following incidents in the life of Jack Summer, reporter for Mudrake magazine. At this point in human history, we have expanded throughout multiple systems and inhabit many planets. Jack travels from planet to planet writing stories for the much-lauded magazine and is a very highly regarded journalist receiving both awards, and subpoenas, from everywhere he travels.

In this piece, Summer is sent to the planet Murdstone, a planet known for its wonderful and humane prison system. However, it is rumored that underneath this pleasant exterior lies the deep undercover, conspiratorial "death cell" program. So Jack sets off on assignment with his photographer buddy, Palma. He runs into Cyborgs, androids, a cult of children trying to start an agricultural settlement and many more outlandish characters. He makes a lot of boob jokes and romances a lady, but in the end he and his photographer save the day.

Goulart is a pretty funny writer, creating parodies of social and cultural situations and poking fun at pretty much anything he runs across. He is easy to read and overall quite enjoyable, however his work usually seems pretty rushed. It does contain several interesting ideas. In this case the suicide gas created in the death cell and the plan to deploy it against the enemies of Murdstone. He utilizes science fiction staples, like androids, cyborgs and space travel. The bottom line usually though is a simple, funny story without the great depth of imagination seen in more serious works by the Grand Masters of SF or without the punch from other satirists such as Vonnegut.

I like his work though on the whole and will seek out the rest of the Jack Summer series, if only to see what this crazy journalist gets himself into next.


Shaggy Planet

"Murdstone is the most backward planet in the entire Barnum system, and Peluda is the most backward and fouled-up territory in Murdstone. Sensible people avoid Peluda - unless they are fond of disappeared at unpredictable moments. When that happens to a Barnum secret agent, his frantic wife finds that his government will do nothing to get him back, so she turns to the notorious Mirabius Agency. And that turns loose free-lance undercover agent Peter Tores on one of the wildest chases of his career, where the bad guys keep helping him out of the trouble and the good guys are out to kill him, in the funniest novel yet to come from the fertile imagination of Ron Goulart."

Original Publication: Lancer, January 1973
This Edition: Lancer, January 1973
Cover Art: Mike Hinge
Format: Paperback

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A Talent for the Invisible

"In 2020 A. D. even 20-20 vision wouldn't help you to see Jack Conger when he was working. Because Jack was an operative of the Wild Talents Division of the U. S. remedial Functions Agency - and his particular specialty was making himsef invisible. The RFA sent him where nobody else was able to go. Another one whom nobody was able to set eyes upon was the scientist known as the Sandman. The legenday sandman of childhood myth used to put people to sleep. This one work them up - much to the chagrin of the governments and plotters who had assassinated them. So they sent the Invisible Man to find the Unseen Resurrectionist...and the result is a breathless Ron Goulart pursuit novel across a whacky, wonder-filled future world."

Original Publication: DAW, January 1973
This Edition: DAW, January 1973
Cover Art: Jack Gaughan
Format: Paperback

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Interior artwork by Jack Gaughan
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Spacehawk, Inc.

"In the Barnum system, Malagra was considered to be the most uninviting planet of them all. In fact, among the engineers and androids of Kip Bundy's set, it was known as the pesthole of the universe. Which made things quite sticky when Kip's rich uncle assigned him to Malagra to make certain top secret reforms. Because Kip was no Hercules, and this task would have balked even that muthical fixer. But then there were compensations - if you could call them that - a sex-mad photographer, a couple of lovely maidens in distress, and the ardent guerrillas of the Boy Scout Liberation Army. It's Ron Goulart at his whackiest best."

Original Publication: DAW, December 1974
This Edition: DAW, December 1974
Cover Art: Hans Arnold
Format: Paperback

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Interior Artwork by Jack Gaughan.

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Nutzenbolts & More Troubles with Machines

"The future keeps getting closer.No galactic Conflicts, no alien confrontations, no showdowns with goggle-eyed monsters, or journeys to Mars and Venus.The future will catch most of us in our everyday surroundings, victims of our own technological ingenuity. The mechanical future is Ron Goulart's particular obsession. Once again, in Nutzenbolts & More Troubles With Machines, he juxtaposes future man with future machine. Filled with irony, humor, and horror, his eleven tales of magical science fiction examine the plight which awaits us all. Ron Goulart's man of the future must put up with a lot of mechanical trouble: *His fiancee's cybernetic grandfather wants him to join the family firm. (It's lonely being 70% machinery). *Fully automated credit bureaus hound him with their relentless robot bill collectors. *The T.V. news anchorman doubles as a camera. *Androids fill in for absentee doctors, dispensing medicine and advice from a comfortable distance. *Relics of wars long past continue to threaten his very existence. Ten-speed gigolos, fugitive sex-research androids, and computerized wife-swapping are taking the romance out of his life. Future man's machines displace him, blow him up. In his continuing battle for control, his wits, his emotions, his intellect, his instincts come under constant stress. Future man: Will he win or lose?

Original Publication: Macmillian, February 1975
This Edition: Macmillian, February 1975
Cover Art: Sean Harrison
Format: Hardback

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Contents: Foreword: Popular Mechanics, Gigolo, Down and Out, The Innocence of Father Bangs, Nutzenbolts, Swap, Two Days Running and Then Skip a Day, Whistler, Badinage, Stockyard Blues, Free at Last and Dingbat by Ron Goulart

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When the Waker Sleeps

"LIE DOWN ON ZANZIBAR - You've heard of the mad scientist's beautiful daughter? Well, Nat Kobean made the mistake of taking a pass at the mad scientist's beautiful wife.and thereby became a guinea pig for Dr. Dumpus's Dose. The dose was a serum that would enable one to travel into the future by naps of fifty years duration. The unsolved part of the experiment was that the sleepers would only stay awake a limited time before falling asleep again for another half century. So when Nat woke up fifty years later he had to act fast to find an antidote. But an antidote in a world so changed was a problem that required too much time to locate. So it was back to sleep and up again and back to sleep and up again...And what hept happening to the world while the Waker slept makes Ron Goulart's new novel, a mad, mad verision of the Wellsian classic of when the Sleeper woke."

Original Publication: DAW, December 1975
This Edition: DAW, December 1975
Cover Art: Michael Whelan
Format: Paperback

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The Enormous Hourglass

"The time machine was sitting with his feet up on the desk. Tiny clods of dried mud were dropping from his rippled metallic feed and bouncing onto the desk's control panel. Sam Brimmer closed the door behind himself and walked across the airfoam flooring of his office. He picked up a lump of mud, rubbing it to dust between thumb and forefinger. "Ancient Greece," he decided after sniffing at his fingertips. "Around 300 BC? Have you been time jumping again, screwing around back there with Aristotle?" Thus begins one of the funniest science fiction spoofs yet, and private eyes, Greek philosophers, Hollywood starlets - you name it! - will never be the same."

Original Publication: Award Books, 1976
This Edition: Award Books, 1976
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Sam Brimmer is a time detective hired to locate a missing girl who is suspected of being kidnapped and hidden in the past. He and his smart-mouthed time machine robot, Tempo, travel back to find her. They discover a conspiracy to smuggle modern weapons into the past to supply Nazis. Typical of Ron Goulart, there are many action scenes, lots of witty retorts and at the end, the hero saves the day.and gets the girl.

The women in Goulart's novels are always a bit ditzy. The main character always plays the straight man to the side-kick, who is usually over-the-top in wit and behavior. Goulart uses such stringent formula that it's a wonder why anyone, including myself, really find them appealing. Yet, he must have hit upon a formula which works, because I never fail to pick up a Goulart story and I usually read them fairly quickly after I obtain them. It's hard to say that I really recommend his work, because there is no true depth to it, but they are good, light reading which often makes me laugh with their unexpected situations and I continue to enjoy novel after novel.


Challengers of the Unknown

"Deep in the South American jungle, a real and sinister menace lurks in the shadows of the supernatural.In a remote lake, a legendary monster, incredibly vicious, surfaces after a sleep of centuries. Acting to protect its oil stake, the U.S. Government calls in...The Challengers! Men with young faces and old memories move mysteriously in the area, speak in low tones in the capital city. The country's president alerts...The Challengers! A dying man names a desert fort, many miles away...Bizarre mechanisms keep the curious away...Unseen enemies...Strange accidents...Strong-arm assailants...A hair-raising test of the celebrated ingenuity of the Challengers of the Unknown"

Original Publication: Dell, November 1977
This Edition: Dell, November 1977
Cover Art: DC Comics
Format: Paperback

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Nemo

"Ted Briar's life turned inside out overnight. His wife was cheating, his job gave him unexplainable feelings that strangers were snooping around.even his household computer began lying to him. Then he was contracted by one of the most wanted fugitives in the United States. And things began to fall - or float - into place...He was suddenly the leader of a movement to overthrow a vastly dangerous criminal - who happened to be the President of the United States!"

Original Publication: Berkley Medallion, May 1977
This Edition: Berkley Medallion, May 1977
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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The Emperor of the Last Days

"The held the fate of freedom in their hands.Dan Farleigh - a pleasant young fellow with a kinky craving for the company of computers. Janis Trummond - a beautiful young woman reporter out to dig up the dirtiest secrets of man's world. Professor Supermind - mental master of machines. Tin Lizze - a gifted if ungainly bionic teen-ager. Deadend - a Chicago thug whose thoughts were deadly weapons. No human imagination could have conceived this oddly twisted team - and no human imagination had. Their master and mentor used the name of Bernard Maze. But to friends he was Barney - a computer who decided to take charge before it was too late to save the world from - THE EMPEROR OF THE LAST DAYS."

Original Publication: Popular, April 1977
This Edition: Popular, April 1977
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Calling Dr. Patchwork

"Ron Goulart is science fiction's supreme funnyman writer.and among his best creations is the remarkable agency Odd Jobs, Inc. This astounding organization takes assignments that have baffled the best establishments of the rather cockeyed world of the year 2002. If it was whacky, impossible, or simply incredible, it was their oyster. It was whacky that a stage magician could spring a murder trap for them without any reason. It was impossible that the great talents of dead actors could appear again. It was incredible that the work of the fictional Doctor Frankenstein could be bettered two hundred years later. So this was a case for Odd Jobs, Inc. Someone was piecing together the best parts of the greats of stage and pix to make a super-Frankenstein monster that would dominate the entertainment world - and maybe everything else. Meet Goulart's Ghoul-artist, Dr. Patchwork!"

Original Publication: DAW, March 1978
This Edition: DAW, March 1978
Cover Art: Josh Kirby
Format: Paperback

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Cowboy Heaven

"Andy Stoker, troubleshooter for a talent agency, is pursuing lovely Alicia Branble, a gossip columnist for Screenfreak magazine. During an indiscreet moment, Andy is interrupted by Bronc Swanley, a former stuntman and now plugging for the Cowboy Heaven Museum in Texas. Bronc is concerned for aging cowboy star Jake Troop, one of Andy's clients. Jake's behavior and possible bad health may jeopardize their multimillion-dollar upcoming picture. Andy's boss decides to make sure the picture will get shot, and sends Andy out to Cowboy Heaven with an imitation Jake Troop - an android. Unfortunately, they made too good a replica, and the android does everything the real Jake does, right down to getting drunk. Andy's hands are constantly full - but not of Alicia. Their relationship deteriorates and the festivities increase. Happily he meets the pretty Frankie Bentin, but the girl is an investigator for the insurance company underwriting Jake's picture. SO he has the added problem of trying to keep Frankie near to himself but away from the android...Its another fun and games wacky novel from Woody Allen of science fiction."

Original Publication: Doubleday, February 1979
This Edition: Doubleday, February 1979
Cover Art: One Plus One Studio
Format: Hardback

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Dr. Scofflaw

"Dr Scofflaw - The master criminal was spread all over the place - an arm here, a leg there - and Silvera was obsessed with reassembling Scofflaw. After all, a scattered collection of spare parts can't pay off a ten-grand debt. / Outerworld - They framed Dunjer as professionally as if he'd been a Picasso original - the dead gang boss, the looted safe - and the evidence that could clear him was long gone, into the enemy-states of the Outerworld."

Original Publication: Dell, August 1979
This Edition: Dell, August 1979
Cover Art: George Tsuii
Format: Paperback

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Binary Star No. 3 - Dell Double with Isadore Haiblum's Outerworld

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Hello, Lemuria, Hello

"When Ron Goulart gave the publisher of this book the original outline for it, he promised it would be the one of the very few novels ever written to be based on the famous "Shaver Mystery" that agitated the world years before the UFO's appeared in the sky. He also promised that it would give the real reason for the death of Elvis Presley. Well, we have searched this novel through and we can't find Elvis Presley, so we cannot claim to give the real reasons for his sudden death. On the other hand, there is a pop singer named Amos Binky who comes to a sudden demise. But since this is all taking place in the 21st Century and involves Jake Conger, who has a talent for the invisible, this obviously sheds no light on the late Elvis. Or does it? As for the Shaver Mystery, yes, indeed, that part of Goulart's promise has been fulfilled. Now You Will Know All! Hello, Lemuria, Hello deserves indeed to be the Award-winning book of the C.W.A. at its 2022 Convention."

Original Publication: DAW, March 1979
This Edition: DAW, March 1979
Cover Art: Josh Kirby
Format: Paperback

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Star Hawks: Empire 99

"Far above the planet Esmeralda whirls an awesome satellite nicknamed The Hoosgow. Headquarters of the Interplan Law Service, it is home of the cleverest, most powerful secret agents in the universe. They go where they are needed, bringing law and order, triumphing over evil. This time, an explosive crisis on dread Empire 99 must be defused. Unfortunately the last agent to try that was sent back in an ashtray. Dare the service try again? Now their last hope lies with: Rex: our daredevil of the airways Chavez: He'd rather make love and war Sniffer: a robot dog with a foul mouth - Our heroes? You must be kidding..."

Original Publication: Playboy Press, April 1980
This Edition: Playboy Press, April 1980
Cover Art: Gil Kane
Format: Paperback

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Hail Hibbler

"His name as Adolph Hibbler and he had excaped the doom of Hitler's Reich by inventing the cryogenic deep freeze long before the rest of the world. As a human icicle he had been just a circus sideshow for many decades until finally thawed out - in the 21st Century. The trouble began with a series of mysterious events and the government had to call in Odd Jobs, Inc. But when Jake and Hildy Pace started uncovering the clues they found in an odder job than any previous capers. There were the lost cassettes of the world's greatest sex fiend to locate. There were model planes that fired real bullets. There was the amry-of-baby-doll killers. And there were the revolutionary gas station attendants and the Arabian shiek who had ignited them. Only Odd Jobs, Inc. could have connected all these cockeyed clues and come up with Hibbler. When they did it sure looked as if they - and the world - were on a spinoff orbit into infinite disaster!"

Original Publication: DAW, August 1980
This Edition: DAW, August 1980
Cover Art: Josh Kirby
Format: Paperback

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Upside Downside

"Zack Tourney didn't know he'd been murdered. It had happened on Thursday, January 13, 2033, up in the Coldzone, but he didn't have so much as a hint until weeks later. And he wasn't the only one - half a dozen top political and financial figures throughout the world had also been infected with the slow virus which was doing Zack in. All Zack's friends, the crooks, spies, double agents, sneaks, wild talents, freaks and mewts couldn't do a thing for him. Even Timpany Quarls, Zack's junk-food-heiress girlfriend couldn't help him...where was Timpany, anyway? Zack had to go it alone. Find his murderers, find the antidote, and while he was at it, find his girlfriend before he dropped in his tracks. After all, it was his murder!"

Original Publication: DAW, January 1982
This Edition: DAW, January 1982
Cover Art: Josh Kirby
Format: Paperback

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Ron Goulart's Upside Downside was a lot of fun! The villains in the novel have created a slow virus that they are using to infect those that own the majority share of the United States in order to get them to bargain their lives in exchange for their properties. The main character, Zack Tourney is a cop who has been accidentally infected with the virus and must find out who was behind it in order to save himself. To do this, he switches sides from the police to the underground rebels and hunts down the culprits.

Through it all the reader is drenched in good science fiction staples like robot watchmen, cyborg alterations, high tech weaponry and ninja-skilled female bodyguards. While a full picture of the future isn't painted, Goulart has definitely created a world in this novel. One can see the class structure and the overwhelming presence of the authorities, as well as glimpses of the pop culture that has evolved this is where the true charm of the novel lay. The dialog isn't great and the characters are pretty shallow, but it has a good pace and overall is decently written.


Hellquad

"Years ago an infamous couple had been executed for selling solar secrets to an extra-galactic enemy.then the sentence was reversed and the victims resurrected. The two had stowed away a planet's ransom from their treason and their heiress had long disappeared with the loot. So Soldiers of Fortune, Inc., went to John Wesley Sand and asked him to find the missing maiden, who was last seen in the Hellsquad sector. To Sand, however, Hellquad meant, in his own words, "Slavers, space pirates, welfs, mewts, madmen, psychotic cyborgs, lunatics at large, brokedown andies, lycanthropes, alfies, senile servos, zombies, the dregs of every other planet in the universe." But the money was too good to pass up and so Sand took the job - and found everything he expected. plus some mind-boggling things that he didn't."

Original Publication: DAW, August 1984
This Edition: DAW, August 1984
Cover Art: Frank Kelly Freas
Format: Paperback

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Suicide, Inc.

"Mission: unknown. Destiny: suicide. No one knew who, where, or what Whistler was - except that "he" was the mastermind of the Interplanetary Investigation Agency, otherwise known as Suicide, Inc. Its orders were issued through floating terminals and executed by androids and humanoids. And one human ex-criminal named Smith..."

Original Publication: Berkley, March 1985
This Edition: Berkley, March 1985
Cover Art: James Warhola
Format: Paperback

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