Ron Goulart

Ron Goulart
Ron Goulart in 2009.

Ron Goulart (born January 13, 1933)[1] is an American popular culture historian and mystery, fantasy and science fiction author.

The prolific Goulart wrote many novelizations and other routine work under various pseudonyms: Kenneth Robeson (house name), Con Steffanson (house name), Chad Calhoun, R.T. Edwards, Ian R, Jamieson, Josephine Kains, Jillian Kearny, Howard Lee, Zeke Masters, Frank S. Shawn, Joseph Silva.[2]

Goulart's first professional publication was a 1952 reprint of the sf story Letters to the Editor in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; this parody of a pulp magazine letters column was originally published in the University of California, Berkeley's Pelican. His early career in advertising and marketing influenced much of his work. In the early 1960s, Goulart wrote the text for Chex Press, a newspaper parody published on Ralston Purina cereal boxes (Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Corn Chex). He contributed to P.S. and other magazines, along with his book review column for Venture Science Fiction Magazine. Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazines (1972) is his best known non-fiction book.



F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre illustrated Ron Goulart's story "The Robot Who Came to Dinner" in Analog (July-August 2002).

Goulart's fiction is characterized by several themes, notably humor, technology gone wrong (usually through incompetence rather than malice) and heroes with superhuman powers. His humorous crime and science fiction includes tales about robots and historical Hollywood figures, such as Groucho Marx. In the 1970s, he wrote several Phantom novels featuring Lee Falk's The Phantom for Avon Books, using the pseudonym "Frank Shawn" (a play on his wife and son's names), and he has also written Phantom comic book stories and short stories for Moonstone Books from 2003 and beyond.

It is widely known that Goulart ghost wrote the popular TekWar series of books credited to the actor William Shatner[3] (Shatner is said to have written the outlines for the books).[4] He has also ghosted novels featuring the Phantom, Flash Gordon and the pulp character the Avenger.

A collection of his mystery short stories, Adam and Eve on a Raft, was published in 2001 by Crippen & Landru.

Goulart is married to author Frances Sheridan Goulart and has two sons, Sean-Lucien and Steffan Eamon.


In the early 1970's, Goulart wrote several scripts for Marvel Comics, mostly adaptations of classic science fiction stories. Later in the decade, he collaborated with artist Gil Kane on the Star Hawks newspaper strip. In the early 1990's, he scripted Marvel's TekWar comics series.[5]


Goulart has been nominated twice for the Edgar Award, once for his 1970 science fiction novel After Things Fall Apart.[6]



  • The Hardboiled Dicks: An Anthology and Study of Pulp Detective Fiction (1967)
  • Assault on Childhood (1970)
  • Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazines (1972)
  • The Adventurous Decade: Comic Strips In the Thirties (1975)
  • Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History (1980)
  • The Dime Detectives (1982)
  • The Great Comic Book Artists (1986)
  • Focus on Jack Cole (1986)
  • Ron Goulart's Great History of Comicbooks (1986)
  • The Funnies: 100 Years of American Comic Strips (1987)
  • The Encyclopedia of American Comics (1991)
  • The Comic Book Reader's Companion: an A-z Guide to Everyone's Favorite Art Form (1993)
  • Masked Marvels and Jungle Queens: Great Comic Book Covers of the '40s (1993)
  • Comic Book Encyclopedia (2004)
  • Good Girl Art (2006)
  • Good Girl Art Around the World (2008)



Flash Gordon

  • The Lion Men of Mongo (1974) (as Con Steffanson) (with Alex Raymond)
  • The Space Circus (1969) (as Con Steffanson) (with Alex Raymond)
  • The Plague of Sound (1974) (as Con Steffanson)
  • The Time Trap of Ming XIII (1977) (as Con Steffanson)

Barnum System

  • The Fire-Eater (1970)
  • Clockwork Pirates (1971)
  • Shaggy Planet (1972)
  • Spacehawk, Inc. (1974)
  • The Wicked Cyborg (1978)
  • Dr. Scofflaw (1979)

Fragmented America

  • After Things Fell Apart (1970)
  • Gadget Man (1971)
  • Hawkshaw (1972)
  • Crackpot (1977)
  • Brinkman (1981)

Barnum System : Jack Summer

  • Death Cell (1971)
  • Plunder (1972)
  • A Whiff of Madness (1976)
  • Galaxy Jane (1986)

Jack Conger

  • A Talent for the Invisible (1973)
  • The Panchronicon Plot (1977)
  • Hello, Lemuria, Hello (1979)

Phantom (writing as Frank S Shawn)

  • The Golden Circle (1973)
  • The Hydra Monster (1973)
  • The Mystery of the Sea Horse (1973)
  • The Veiled Lady (1973)
  • The Swamp Rats (1974)
  • The Goggle-Eyed Pirates (1974)


  • The Man from Atlantis (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • Red Moon (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Purple Zombie (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • Dr. Time (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Nightwitch Devil (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • Black Chariots (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Cartoon Crimes (1974) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Death Machine (1975) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Blood Countess (1975) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Glass Man (1975) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • The Iron Skull (1975) (as Kenneth Robeson)
  • Demon Island (1975) (as Kenneth Robeson)


  • Bloodstalk (1975)
  • On Alien Wings (1975)
  • Deadwalk (1976)
  • Blood Wedding (1976)
  • Deathgame (1976)
  • Snakegod (1976)
  • Vampirella (1976)


  • Quest of the Gypsy (1976)
  • Eye of the Vulture (1977)

Incredible Hulk (as Joseph Silva) (with Len Wein and Marv Wolfman)

  • Stalker from the Stars (1977)

Barnum System : Star Hawks

  • Empire 99 (1980)
  • The Cyborg King (1981)
  • Star Hawks (1979)

Odd Jobs, Inc.

  • Hail Hibbler (1980)
  • Big Bang (1982)
  • Brainz, Inc. (1985)

Groucho Marx

  • Groucho Marx, Master Detective (1998)
  • Groucho Marx, Private Eye (1999)
  • Elementary, My Dear Groucho (1999)
  • Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders (2001)
  • Groucho Marx, Secret Agent (2002)
  • Groucho Marx, King of the Jungle (2005)


  • Clockwork's Pirates (1971)
  • Ghost Breaker (1971)
  • Wildsmith (1972)
  • The Tin Angel (1973)
  • The Hellhound Project (1975)
  • When the Waker Sleeps (1975)
  • The Enormous Hourglass (1976)
  • The Emperor of the Last Days (1977)
  • Nemo (1977)
  • Challengers of the Unknown (1977)
  • The Island of Dr Moreau (1977) (writing as Joseph Silva)
  • Calling Dr. Patchwork (1978)
  • Capricorn One (1978)
  • Cowboy Heaven (1979)
  • Holocaust for Hire (1979) (writing as Joseph Silva)
  • Skyrocket Steele (1980)
  • The Robot in the Closet (1981)
  • The Tremendous Adventures of Bernie Wine (1981)
  • Upside Downside (1981)
  • The Great British Detective (1982)
  • Hellquad (1984)
  • Suicide, Inc. (1985)
  • A Graveyard of My Own (1985)
  • The Tijuana Bible (1989)
  • Even the Butler Was Poor (1990)
  • Now He Thinks He's Dead (1992)
  • Murder on the Aisle (1996)


  • Broke Down Engine: And Other Troubles with Machines (1971)
  • The Chameleon Corps: And Other Shape Changers (1972)
  • What's Become of Screwloose?: And Other Inquiries (1972)
  • Odd Job 101: And Other Future Crimes And Intrigues (1974)
  • Nutzenbolts: And More Troubles with Machines (1975)
  • Skyrocket Steele Conquers the Universe: And Other Media Tales (1990)
  • Adam and Eve On a Raft: Mystery Stories (2001)[7]


  1. ^ Comics Buyer's Guide #1650; February 2009; Page 107
  2. ^ A preface to the reprint of Goulart's sf story My Pal Clunky in "Year's Best SF 4", by HarperPrism, 1999, ISBN 006-105902-1, p.377
  3. ^ Ashley, Mike (1998). The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers. pp. 265. 
  4. ^ Shatner, William; Fisher, David. (2008). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. Thomas Dunne. pp. 246. ISBN 978-0312372651. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Edgar Awards database
  7. ^

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