Among his other accomplishments, Mr. Nolan is a leading authority on pulp fictioneers Max Brand and Dashiell Hammett as well as the other Black Mask contributors who flourished under the regime of editor Joseph T. Shaw.
The Nolan announcement linked with a mention of Hammett brought back memories. The first time I ever heard William Nolan speak was at a function in the LA Central Library in 1969 around the time his critical study Dashiell Hammett: A Casebook appeared. He introduced us to some of the sf field’s great anecdotes that morning. For example, it was the first time I heard about the FBI visiting the Astounding offices to find out if Cleve Cartmill’s fiction about an atomic bomb might have come from a leak at the Manhattan Project.
Nolan is still going strong, often mentioned here as a featured participant in local book signings. He should be an excellent guest for PulpFest.
(Incidentally, if you want to know any more history about the Pulpcon/PulpFest rift, I just recently discovered that Curt Phillips wrote a fine account in Dave Locke’s zine Time and Again #10.)