When the conversation turned to some of the more unique pulps, a connection was made between pulp writers and their hobby of stage magic, which both Brian and Jeffro Johnson of Castalia House found significant.
To support this connection, let me reprint the comments I left on the Castalia House article:
Will Murray pointed out the connection in his introduction to the reissues of the Diamondstone stories:
“FOR some unexplained reason, magic fascinated the pulp writers of the 1930s and ’40s.
“The king of them all was Walter B. Gibson, who created The Shadow out of a mesmerizing radio voice and his close association with Blackstone, Thurston, Houdini, Dunninger and other notable magicians. Gibson was as famous for his books on stage magic as he was for his prolific pulp output. He knew all the tricks, from Hypnotism to escape stunts, and employed them freely in spinning his Shadow stories.
“If being a denizen of the Pulp Jungle made a writer part of a special subculture, then there was a subset of that subculture where pulpsmithing and sleight of hand intersected. An amazing number of them were amateur or performing magicians.”
Fleming-Roberts, G.T.. Diamondstone: Magician-Sleuth . Altus Press. Kindle Edition.