The "Pulp Awesomeness" Of A. Lee Martinez's Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

When I first laid eyes on the sci fi novel Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez, the first thing that struck me was the epic title and then the amazing cover. A mash-up of different fonts and colors and accompanied by a clean image of what one can only assume is Emperor Mollusk, it’s definitely striking.

RT reviewer Donna M. Carter describes the book as “reading like a cheap ‘50s sci-fi flick, filled with outrageous creatures such as a jelligantic (exactly what it sounds like), this is ridiculously fun.” With that in mind, it's worth noting that in a recent blog post, the author stressed that “ … this is not a silly novel. It is absurd, certainly, but no less absurd than John Carter’s Mars, Doc Savage’s bronze age, or any number of pulp realms … It is unapologetic pulp awesomeness.”

With references to 50s sci fi films and “pulp awesomeness,” I couldn’t help but think about how the cover of Emperor Mollusk is very reminiscent of the movie posters of some seriously fantastic early sci fi films, complete with equally long titles.

What’s so great about these films, you ask? After all, compared to today’s special effects, the sci fi films of the past can come off as feeling cheap and amusingly bad. However, there is something to be said for the unpretentious fun and sneaky humor that can be found in these old movies. Just as there is some seriously outrageous entertainment in Martinez's novel. So don't be shy. Jump right into the world of sci fi pulp. In the words of Martinez, “We don’t have to apologize for liking the fantastic. We can dive in, without irony, without fear. And it can be awesome.”



When Worlds Collide, 1951
Creature from the Black Lagoon,
Invasion of the Body Snatchers,


Two covers for the 1953 alien invasion classic, War of the Worlds.


Do you have a favorite cult classic science fiction movie poster? If so let me know in the comments below. And for more genre coverage be sure to check out RT's Everything Science Fiction Page!