Best public domain pulp short stories?
September 18, 2014 3:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for great examples of old, pulpy, short stories in the public domain that, as much as possible, match these criteria: Public domain only, Sci-fi, fantasy, or adventure themed, a small cast of characters, and, bonus if they feature child protagonists (though not a necessity). I want to make either some comic books or home movies with my kids in this vein but don't want to fret about copyright. Thank you!
posted by Mikey51 to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
May I invite you to consider Jules Verne's Les Enfants du Capitaine Grant (the English title is In Search of the Castaways.)? It features a boy and girl. It's um, actually a 3 volume novel, but has that pulpy episodic feel so you could choose the segments you wanted.

Verne died in 1905 and his work is available all over, so I am assuming it is safely out of copyright.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:38 PM on September 18, 2014

Best answer: I suspect something by Lord Dunsany could work. Try The Book of Wonder with maybe some of the characters re-imagined to be teenagers or whatnot. If your kids are old enough to handle a fairy tale with a slightly mean ending, I think there's a young trainee burglar in "How Nuth would have practised his art upon the gnoles," and the gnoles themselves could all be played by children.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:40 PM on September 18, 2014 has lots of stuff from the 1930's, including many juveniles. Probably not much newer stuff, because Mickey Mouse.

For example, just because I know Jack Williamson could write a good yarn, although this is not one I've read:

Another option might be using fan fiction, which is probably under a permissive license.

Alternatively, if you're not going to distribute the result beyond your family, use whatever sources you like.
posted by joeyh at 4:48 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might also look at the Tom Swift books/stories--there were dozens of them and many of them are pre-1920.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 7:25 PM on September 18, 2014

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