Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday's "Forgotten" Books: the links to the reviews and more...added links and images

This week's selections, reviews of the books and more cited below, include a few duplicates, whether due to review of reissues or announcement of them, or a couple of quick looks at a key, vintage fantasy anthology. Patricia Abbott will be back to hosting next week, before going on to see if she and her daughter Megan win the first parent-and-child duo of Anthony Awards at the world crime-fiction convention in Toronto, the Bouchercon...thanks to all the contributors, and all you readers...

Sergio Angelini: The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Yvette Banek: Death Has Deep Roots by Michael Gilbert

Mark Baker: Murder on Gramercy Park by Victoria Thompson

Bernadette: Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron

Les Blatt: Cat of Many Tails by "Ellery Queen" (Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee)

John Boston: Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories, October 1962, edited by Cele Goldsmith

Ben Boulden: Project Jael by Aaron Fletcher

Brian Busby: Comeback by Dan Hill

Alice Chang: The House of God by "Samuel Shem" (Stephen Bergman)

Bill Crider: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting by Robert Skinner; ReDemolished by Alfred Bester (compiled by Richard Raucci); The Winter is Passed by Harry Whittington (unpublished)

Newell Dunlap and Bill Pronzini: Wycliffe and the Scapegoat by W. J. Burley

Martin Edwards: The Pyx by John Buell

Barry Ergang: Oh, Murderer Mine by Norbert Davis

Will Errickson: The Inquistor series by "Simon Quinn" (Martin Cruz Smith)

Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC war comics, August/September 1970

Curtis Evans: reissue programs for Detection Club members  "Christopher Bush" (Charles Christmas Bush) and Edith Caroline Rivett (aka "ECR Lorac" and "Carol Carnac")





















Paul Fraser: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June 1962, edited by Avram Davidson

Barry Gardner: Corruptly Procured by Michael Bowen

John Grant: The Detective by Roderick Thorp

Christy H: The Bake-Off by Beth Kendrick (courtesy Kevin Tipple)

Rich Horton: The Octangle by Emanie Sachs

Jerry House: Keep the Baby, Faith by "Philip DeGrave" (William DeAndrea)

Nick Jones: Diamond Dogs by Alistair Reynolds (among other Revelation Space novellas)

Tracy K: Hammett by Joe Gores

George Kelley: Swords & Sorcery edited by L. Sprague de Camp

Joe Kenney: Dragon Slay: Nick Carter: Killmaster #261 (and last) by "Nick Carter" (in this case Jack Canon)

Margot Kinberg: Another Margaret by Janice MacDonald

Rob Kitchin: After You Die by Eva Dolan

Richard Krauss: Suspense, Winter 1952, edited by Theodore Irwin

Kate Laity: Truth Always Kills by Rick Ollerman

B. V. Lawson: The Comfortable Coffin edited by Richard S. Prather

Evan Lewis: Bat Masterson (tv-tie-in LP spoken word album) written by Michael Avallone (read by Eddie Bracken)

Steve Lewis: Black Money by "Ross Macdonald" (Kenneth Millar); "The Holes in the System" by Marcia Muller

Gideon Marcus: Galaxy, October 1962, edited by Frederik Pohl

Todd Mason: early 1960s fantasy anthologies: The Unexpected edited by Leo Margulies; The Unknown edited by D. R. Bensen; Swords & Sorcery edited by L. Sprague de Camp; Beyond edited by Thomas Dardis; The Fantastic Universe Omnibus edited by Hans Stefan Santesson

Karin Montin: Grand Trunk and Shearer by Ian Truman
   Early one morning D’Arcy Kennedy gets a call: one of his friends reports that his brother Cillian has been found dead in the canal that serves as a border between Pointe St. Charles and the rest of the city. The very brief police investigation finds that Cillian died of drowning, with a mix of drugs in his system, along with “ammoniated bleach.” It’s an accident, in other words. End of story.
   D’Arcy refuses to believe it was anything but murder. Cillian was a mixed martial arts fighter who followed a strict no-drugs policy. If the police won’t bring the killer to justice, he will. And so D’Arcy and his three loyal friends go on a mission. As they retrace Cillian’s whereabouts on his last night, they tour Montreal’s underbelly--the crack houses, the outdoor drinking spots, the afterhours clubs--talking to punk musicians, neo-Nazis, antiracist skinheads, security guards and many others who live by night.
   
Flashbacks paint a picture of the Point in the Kennedy boys’ youth, a time when Irish kids fought French kids, just because, and doubly because they hated being called English. Those were the good old days. Today the area is being gentrified, and the long-time residents have dead-end jobs that mean they’ll soon be priced out of the neighbourhood.

   Truman has a knack for dialogue and vivid descriptions of streets. You can get to know the Point by following D’Arcy’s movements on a map and picturing the buildings he visits. He also tells a coherent story.
   Unfortunately, the book is marred by dozens of errors of every possible kind, in French, English and even Irish Gaelic.
   As I wrote in my review of Truman's self-published The Factory Line, I had hopes that Down & Out would have a copy editor. Apparently they don’t. And that's why I haven't given it four stars.


Neeru: A Revolutionary's Life by Bandi Jeewan

Steven Nester: Where Murder Waits by E. Howard Hunt

Juri Nummelin: Rafferty's Rules by W. Glenn Duncan

John ONeill: The Spell of Seven edited by L. Sprague de Camp

Matt Paust: Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman

Mildred Perkins: Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

James Reasoner: The Wench is Wicked by "Carter Brown" (Alan G. Yates); Exciting Western, September 1952, edited by David X. Manners

Gerard Saylor: Fender Lizards by Joe R. Lansdale

Victoria Silverwolf: Fantastic: Stories of Imagination, October 1962, edited by Cele Goldsmith

Doug Skinner: Grump magazine, edited by Roger Price

Kerrie Smith: The Good People by Hannah Kent

"TomCat": The Perfect Murder Case by "Christopher Bush" (Charles Christmas Bush)

Prashant Trikannad: "Booty for a Badman" by Louis L'Amour (The Saturday Evening Post, 30 July 1960; reprinted in L'Amour's War Party)
 









































ISFDB index: (cover painting by Ed Eshmwiller)

Friday, September 15, 2017

FFB: some entry points: THE COMPLETE [sic] HUMOROUS SKETCHES AND TALES OF MARK TWAIN edited by Charles Neider (Doubleday 1961); STORIES OF MARK TWAIN, recorded by Walter Brennan and Brandon de Wilde (Caedmon Records 1956); OFFICIAL GUIDE TO THE FANTASTICS/FANTASTIC LITERATURE by Michael Resnick (House of Collectibles 1976)

The HarperAudio omnibus re-issue. Possibly packaged first by 
Caedmon before they were bought out by HarperCollins.







































Well, this week was going to be devoted to the last long fictions published by Joanna Russ and Michael Shaara, but reading about the frustrations of their later careers ended up squeezing out the rereading of the novellas in question...next week, perhaps, while I host FFB while the Abbott family gets ready for the run up, we can hope, to picking up a few Anthony Awards at Bouchercon in Toronto.

I first encountered Mark Twain in very adulterated form, I think...Sid and Marty Krofft offered a typically surreal serialized sequel to Twain's four notable Sawyer/Finn stories as a part of The Banana Splits tv series...and perhaps one or another of the televised film or tv adaptations of the actual Twain stories. But not long after I started reading anthologies, I started reading Twain, and one of the first big fat adult books I tackled was Charles Neider's remarkably foolishly titled Complete Humorous Sketches and Tales (R. Kent Rasmussen notes in his review of the Library of America volumes of Twain's short work, and their predecessors such as Neider's volumes including the sketch and story collection Mark Twain: Life as I Find It, also published in 1961: 'One wonders, incidentally, if Neider recognized the strangeness of calling his Humorous Sketches anthology "complete" while simultaneously issuing another volume [Life as I Find It] which contained sketches that the "Complete Sketches" lacked.'). Nonetheless, even given a similarly ponderous introduction, it was quite the Book of Gold:

Table of Contents: 
  • Curing a cold 
  • Aurelia's unfortunate young man 
  • Info. for the million 
  • Killing of Julius Caesar "Localized" 
  • Lucretia Smith's soldier 
  • George Washington's boyhood 
  • Advice to little girls 
  • "After" Jenkins 
  • Answers to correspondents 
  • Mr. Bloke's Item 
  • From California almanac 
  • Scriptural panoramist 
  • Among the spirits 
  • Sketch of George Washington 
  • Complaint about correspondents 
  • Re. chambermaids 
  • Honored as a curiosity 
  • About insurances 
  • Literature in the dry diggings 
  • Origin of illustrious men 
  • The recent resignation 
  • Washington's negro body-servant 
  • Information wanted 
  • My late senatorial secretaryship 
  • Playbill 
  • Back from "Yurrup" 
  • Benton house 
  • Fine old man 
  • Guying the guides 
  • Mental photographs 
  • Beecher's farm 
  • Turkish bath 
  • George Fisher 
  • Article 
  • History repeats itself 
  • John Chinaman in New York 
  • Judge's "Spirited Woman" 
  • Late Benjamin Franklin 
  • Map of Paris 
  • My bloody massacre 
  • Mysterious visit 
  • Note on "Petrified man" 
  • Post-mortem poetry 
  • Riley-Newspaper correspondent 
  • Running for Governor 
  • To raise poultry 
  • Undertaker's chat 
  • Widow's protest 
  • Inspirations of "Two-year-olds" 
  • About barbers 
  • Burlesque biography.
  • Danger of lying in bed 
  • Fashion item 
  • Interview with Artemus Ward 
  • My first literary venture 
  • New Beecher Church 
  • King William III 
  • "Blanketing" the Admiral 
  • Deception 
  • Genuine Mexican Plug 
  • Great landslide case 
  • How the author was sold in Newark 
  • 110 tin whistles 
  • Lionizing murderers 
  • Markiss, King of Liars 
  • Mr. Arkansas 
  • Nevada Nabobs 
  • What Hank said to
  • Horace Greeley 
  • When the buffalo climbed a tree 
  • Curious pleasure excursion 
  • Rogers 
  • Speech 
  • Poems by Twain & Moore 
  • Encounter with an Interviewer 
  • Johnny Greer 
  • Jumping frog 
  • Office bore 
  • "Party cries" in Ireland 
  • Petition re. copyright 
  • Siamese twins 
  • Speech at the Scottish banquet 
  • Speech on accident insurance 
  • Facts re. recent carnival of crime in Connecticut 
  • Letter 
  • Punch, brothers, punch 
  • Notes of an idle excursion 
  • Speech on the weather 
  • Whittier birthday speech.
  • About magnanimous-incident literature 
  • O'Shah 
  • Great revolution in Pitcairn 
  • Speech: the babies 
  • American in Europe 
  • American party 
  • Ascending the Riffelberg 
  • Awful German language 
  • Great French duel 
  • King's encore 
  • Laborious ant 
  • My long crawl in the dark - Nicodemus Dodge 
  • Skeleton for a Black Forest novel 
  • Telephonic conversation 
  • 2 works of art 
  • Why Germans wear spectacles 
  • Young Cholley Adams 
  • Plymouth Rock & the Pilgrims 
  • Re. the American language 
  • Legend of Sagenfeld in Germany 
  • On the decay of the art of lying 
  • Paris notes.
  • Art of inhumation 
  • Keelboat talk & manners 
  • Intro. "The new guide of the conversation in Portuguese & English" 
  • Petition to the Queen of England 
  • Majestic literary fossil 
  • About all kinds of ships 
  • Cure for the blues 
  • Enemy conquered ... 
  • Traveling with a Reformer 
  • Private history of the "Jumping Frog" 
  • Fenimore Cooper's literary offenses 
  • Hell of a hotel at Maryborough 
  • Indian crow 
  • At the appetite cure 
  • Austrian Edison keeping school again 
  • From "London Times" of 1904 
  • My first lie... 
  • My boyhood dreams 
  • Amended obituaries 
  • Does the race of man love a Lord? 
  • Instructions in art 
  • Italian with grammar 
  • Italian without a master 
  • Petrified man 
  • Dutch Nick massacre.
Some of the most famous items before this book was assembled were unsurprisingly among those which have stuck with me the longest, such as "Punch, Brothers, Punch" (my introduction to the notion of "buff" as a color), "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses", "Carnival of Crime in Connecticut" (where my family and I lived at the time) and of course the Jumping Frog, but no few others were more than fitfully amusing, even when they more thoroughly sent me scrambling to fill in data points (aside from what aide Neider provided in his notes). This one I borrowed (several times to get through it) from the Enfield library and not long after, at a yard sale, I picked up a battered copy of Neider's earlier The Complete Stories of Mark Twain (similarly misleading a title) and made my more leisurely way through that volume, as a fine complement to my reading the Sawyer/Finn/Jim stories and the single novels in the Signet Classic editions I gathered while still in elementary school...finishing most of his work in the summer before my 7th Grade matriculation into a new school in Londonderry, NH. The Enfield Central Library also had no few spoken word LPs for members to dig into, and one Caedmon item featured Brandon de Wilde narrating a couple/few chapters of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on the flipside of Walter Brennan reading "Jumping Frog" and "Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn"--this was one of the many I dubbed on cassette or open-reel tape and listened to repeatedly over the years...
One of the few times the HarperAudio package
is better than the Caedmon.




































Here's Brennan reading "The Celebrated Jumping Frog"...which was released, despite the assertion of the WFMU blogger who posts the audio file, by Caedmon Records in 1956, the year before Brennan began his run with The Real McCoys television series.

And here's Brennan reading "Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn" (from A Tramp Abroad, not "Tramps Abroad") and there's a weird little second-long glitch in this YT post recording that isn't present in this slightly scratchy WFMU post taken from a copy of the lp.





One development that came along with the relocation to New Hampshire was the discovery of how many interesting fiction magazines were still being published in 1978, and I gathered most of those I could find at a store in Derry called Book Corner, which also had a small alcove of remainders in the back, one of which was stray copy or so of this item (with one title on the cover and another on the title page), by a writer I hadn't previously encountered, before he was most likely to sign himself Mike Resnick, providing us with a price guide full of warnings that prices in this field were widely variable and extremely dependent on condition...but which, along with such other purchases as Brian Ash's The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, gave a vivid sense of the history of these fascinating magazines and their stablemates and fallen fellow-travelers over the years. Resnick also missed a trick or two, noting without explication that the great expense of the citation for The Ship That Sailed to Mars by William Timlin was no typo...no mention of the gorgeous artwork in the one published edition then extant being part of the allure. But it was useful and fun for a catalog,,,and I, not long after picking this book up for 50c, started collecting older back issues with a grab-bag from dealer and small-press publisher Gerry de la Ree at not Too much more per good-to-reading-copy items.

For somewhat less capsule, and perhaps less nostalgic, reviews of this week's books and more, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

Some illustration from The Ship That Sailed to Mars:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

FFM: 1960 crime fiction magazines in English (augmented)

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
Ellery Queen's Anthology
Bestseller Mystery Magazine
London Mystery Selection
John Creasey Mystery Magazine
Manhunt
The Saint Mystery Magazine
The Saint Mystery Library
Tightrope!
77 Sunset Strip
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine
Trapped Detective Story Magazine
Guilty Detective Story Magazine
Web Detective Stories
Off Beat Detective Stories
Two-Fisted Detective Stories
Keyhole Mystery Magazine
Shock
Double-Action Detective Magazine (on the cover)
Ed McBain's Mystery Book
Mystery Digest

...and most of them good or good enough...
Most issues pictured below cover-dated June 1960 or as close as could be found, courtesy the FictionMags Index.

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
Ellery Queen's Anthology
...EQMM was in 1960 a couple of years into its ownership by B. G. Davis and his still relatively new Davis Publications, founded in 1958 after he left Ziff-Davis, after the death of his cofounding partner William Ziff. Davis Publications would continue until 1992, buying Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in 1975, launching Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (shortened after the Dell purchase to the current Asimov's Science Fiction) in 1977, and buying Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact in 1978; when losses on a personal finance magazine led Joel Davis, B. G. Davis's son and heir, to fold or sell his magazines to various other publishers, Dell Magazines bought the Davis fiction magazines, briefly added Louis L'Amour Western Magazine to their number, and then sold their magazine group to current publishers Penny Press in 1996. 

Stefan Dziemianowicz thinks the cover model on this issue is Robert Arthur, and he might be right (the angle is rather different from those of the few other photographs of Arthur I've seen)--no mention is made in the magazine itself, if so. Frederic Dannay, the half of "Ellery Queen" the writing duo of cousins who edited the magazine from founding till his death, goes on to a tiresome extent about how EQMM didn't reprint much of anything from other crime-fiction magazines, in the course of introducing the Holly Roth story, a fairly recent (1957) reprint from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. James Holding's first story is in this issue, as well.
A hardbound presentation copy of the magazine issue
Meanwhile, one of the innovations Frederic Dannay and B. G. Davis introduced at Davis Publications in 1960 was the originally annual, then semi-annual Ellery Queen's Anthology magazine, where the (usually) reprinted contents in an issue would also be sold as a package to book publishers to be offered in hardcovers with more elaborate titles. Davis Publications would eventually extend this kind of companion magazine to its other fiction titles as they were acquired or launched. 

Bestseller Mystery Magazine

EQMM had been purchased from Mercury Press, created to continue publishing The American Mercury, the skeptical right-wing politics and arts journal founded by H.L. Mencken. By 1960, Mercury Press had sold or folded all their magazines except The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (which had just absorbed its short-lived companion magazine Venture Science Fiction) and Bestseller Mystery, which had absorbed Mercury Mystery Book-Magazine, and became, along with a few Dashiell Hammett short story collections which Mercury Press would also offer in the early '60s, the last vestiges of their long-running newsstand/digest-sized paperback series Mercury Mysteries and Bestseller Mysteries, among others.  (There had also been a short run of Bestsellers magazine in the mid-'40s, competing with Book Digest and similar magazines.)

This was the last Mercury Mystery:

London Mystery Selection
John Creasey Mystery Magazine
The two notable UK crime fiction magazines in 1960, along with UK editions of US titles, and I have a copy of one issue each I hope to read soon. The London magazine was notable for having a fair amount of horror fiction in its remit, along with the crime; the Creasey was a bit more purist but nearly as wide-ranging, and by 1960 published by Creasey himself. Ziff-Davis had published a facsimile US edition of London Mystery briefly in the mid 1950s, and Norman Kark continued to send some copies west on their own later;  there had been a brief effort to import the Creasey to US newsstands in 1959.

Manhunt

The bloom was definitely off the rose for Manhunt by 1960...it, as now a bimonthly, hadn't been the bestselling crime-fiction magazine for some years by then, though it's a claim it would leave on its increasingly cheap-looking covers for at least another several years...but still publishing some good writers and some good fiction in 1960, which would be less true by its last issues in 1967. All of its stablemates had folded by the end of the '50s, though several of its downmarket imitators muddled on...as it slid downhill to join them.

The Saint Mystery Magazine
The Saint Mystery Library
Tightrope!
77 Sunset Strip

Great American Publications bought King-Size Publications' two notable fiction magazines, The Saint and Fantastic Universe, as part of an ambitious plan for expansion into fiction-magazine publishing in 1960, which also included their launch of a horror-fiction magazine, Fear!, and a US edition of the UK sf magazine New Worlds. Unfortunately, Great American's licensed television-series-tie-in pulp-sized magazines both folded quickly...though Tightrope! magazine lasted longer than the tv series did...and presumably under-capitalization led to the folding of nearly all their properties by 1961, aside from some sold to other publishers...only the Saint magazine managed to find a new publisher among the fiction titles, and the magazine ran till 1967 (as opposed to the library, in mass-market paperback format though issued as periodicals, which folded with GAP in 1960). Editor Hans Stefan Santesson had been editor of the Unicorn Mystery Book Club before hiring on at King-Size and continuing with The Saint till its end.

The last story in the Tightrope! issue is by Harlan Ellison (see the indices at the end of this post) and has a bad-taste twist ending that he has mentioned not being proud of.




Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Founded in 1956 in part to capitalize on the appearance of the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents the same year, this was published for its first two decades by HSD Publications, then sold to Davis Publication who began publishing it in 1976. At HSD, Patricia Hitchcock, AH's daughter, usually had some title and presumably had a hand in to watch out for her father's interests. AHMM is the only other of these magazines to still be publishing, along wth its long-term stablemate EQMM; happily, the current publishers have long since given up on the often hideously-composed covers, mixed in with a few good ones, which featured some photograph or caricature of Hitchcock, the photos particularly leaning toward the poorly-cropped and awkwardly "cute"...nonetheless, AHMM rather comfortably outsold all the other cf magazines aside from EQMM, and briefly EQMM as well, over most of its run so far. A series of Alfred Hitchcock's Anthology, similar to the EQA, began in 1977 at Davis. 

Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine
Also founded in 1956, as Michael Shayne Mystery Magazine but going less formal by the next year, this one was also a durable title and throughout the '60s, '70s and early '80s other magazines would come and go, but the reliable US digests were EQMM (and EQA), AHMM and MSMM, till it finally folded in 1985. While all three magazines published a range of crime fiction, EQMM in the late '70s when I began reading new issues was still overseen by Frederic Dannay, and still leaned toward coziness and classic detection, though no little suspense and espionage fiction was in the mix; AHMM was a bit more noirish in general tone, certainly still prone to sardonic twist endings in its stories, while MSMM was the most hardboiled of the trio and the one least likely, till final editor Charles Fritch took over in the '80s, to mix a horror story in with straightforward crime fiction. Also notable were the levels of language policing...I noted that in 1978 someone could be "called an epithet" in EQMM, be "a stupid bastard" in AHMM, and could be a "fucking son of a bitch" in MSMM. Shayne founding publisher Leo Margulies had attempted to continue, introduce or revive a number of other fiction titles in his years with his publishing company Renown, but none other than MSMM lasted more than a few years, including mid -'60s The Man from UNCLE and The Girl from UNCLE magazines (and three Mike Shayne Annual issues in the early '70s, which reprinted short stories heavily from the UNCLE magazine back pages), the quasi-revival Zane Grey Western, Shell Scott and Charlie Chan Mystery Magazines and the first revival of Weird Tales, which Margulies had purchased the rights to in the course of buying, and publishing the last issues of, its stablemate Short Stories. Shayne, like most Margulies magazines, also paid less for fiction than the industry leaders, and the lead novellas attributed to "Brett Halliday" (originally Shayne-creator Davis Dresser) were usually written by a range of others, often younger writers such as James Reasoner. This, however, put it ahead of AHMM in transparency, where the editorials and blurbs attributed to Hitchcock were written exclusively by others. 

Trapped Detective Story Magazine
Guilty Detective Story Magazine
Trapped and Guilty were also launched in 1956 (about three years after Manhunt came roaring onto the marketplace), and both were edited by W. W. Scott, whom Harlan Ellison has eulogized for his acumen at putting together intentionally rather déclassé magazines, but not bad ones (see Web Detective for bad), and particularly for Scott's ability to replace an author's story title with one more lurid, or, if that wasn't practically possible, at least with one that was punchier. Ellison was also rather happy with the magazines' mid-range pay rates and prompt payment, not always guaranteed to freelancers. While both magazines would continue till 1962, I'm guessing by the dressing-down visible between these two sequential covers and those which followed (fewer colors used, less-professional art) that the publishers were already feeling the pinch by early 1960. 

Web Detective Stories
Off Beat Detective Stories

Peter Enfantino, in the course (for his critical magazine bare*bones) of reading through and rating each story in the short run of Web Detective, as it abruptly changed from Donald A. Wollheim's Saturn sf and fantasy magazine into DAW-less Saturn Web Detective, then Web Detective, and after a break re-emerged as Web Terror Stories--the last a full-on sadism-fiction magazine in the "shudder-pulp" tradition--didn't find too much to enjoy, even when, as in this issue, a young Edward Hoch has a story (though some of those stories by writers with talent were a bit of relief from the all-but-pure and clumsy sadism and nihilism that Web featured, as a very downmarket near-parody of Manhunt, striving to get a piece of the latter's audience as well as those who found the "men's sweat" "true adventure" magazines a bit tame). Perhaps the worst sustained and admitted fiction magazine (as opposed to various "true"-story titles) of the late '50s and early '60s, after the Saturn/Wollheim issues. But certainly one that tried to find its niche audience (and Peter does find one 1961 issue surprisingly good--two issues before the conversion to "shudder"). Its publisher would also buy the next two magazines' titles (see below), and produce similarly atrocious magazines to sully the memory of their good, first short run.

A fairly typical example of what Peter found in reading the stories:

"You'll Die Laughing!" by Arnold Sherry * (2100 words)

Marvin, a decorated war hero, and his wife Donna are closing up the diner they own for the night when two thugs enter. The men beat Marvin and rape Donna repeatedly, all in the name of chuckles. A pointless, nasty exercise in torture and degradation. Brian De Palma would probably want to take out an option on this one.


And one I did forget: the even less notable companion to Web Detective, Off Beat Detective, which began its run as as Sure-Fire Detective. Pontiac Publishing hacks predominate, with the previous issue to this one featuring an Edward Hoch story and a Talmage Powell appearing a couple of issues later, being among the rare contributions from a writer of any consequence. One gathers they hope, with the consistent cover blurb "All New Sock Stories," to give the sense of fiction with punch, but one can't help but wonder if the masturbatory pun was intentional.

Two-Fisted Detective Stories
Another yet I'd forgotten, that might or might not actually have been published by another firm, or just the Pontiac people doing business as Reese...every story title, at least in the table of contents features an exclamation point. Or ! 

Keyhole Mystery Magazine
Shock
Two rather good, even impressive, respectively crime fiction and horror/suspense magazines, though apparently undercapitalized and probably too wedded to cute gimmicks, such as Shock having no credited (human) editor and Keyhole featuring a cover story about singer Fabian Forte as a detective. Both were apparently edited by writer Dan Roberts. And both titles folded after three 1960 issues, only to be "revived" in traduced form as sadistic sex-crime digests, with slightly revised titles, in 1962, when they didn't last too long, either.

Double-Action Detective Magazine
Robert A. W. Lowndes was reaching the end of his long tenure at Columbia Publications in 1960, after nearly twenty years of editing all sorts of fiction magazines, pulps and digests, western, sports, sf and fantasy (those the closest to his primary interest) and crime fiction...and this was the last issue of their last cf title. Edward D. Hoch had been one of Lowndes's two big 1950s "discoveries" as an editor--the other had been Carol Emshwiller--and Hoch never forgot, and contributed stories to Lowndes's new, no-budget Health Knowledge Publications magazines in the '60s (which would also publish the first professional-magazine stories by Stephen King and F. Paul Wilson, among others) as well as contributing stories about his Simon Ark series character, which were offered as the star feature in the last issues of Double-Action. The next closest to major among the writers in this issue is Basil Wells, not too close, or a pseudonymous reprint by fellow ex-Futurian (along with Lowndes) Walter Kubilius--and one does wonder how many of the contributors might be Lowndes himself in disguise. (The last issue of Lowndes's Columbia magazine Science Fiction is somewhat more impressively staffed...thus:
Ed McBain's Mystery Book
One wonders why this magazine didn't do better than it did, seeing only three undated issues in two years...given the talent boasted of in each issue, and the sharpest interior design of any of these magazines, I have to wonder if it simply was a matter of publisher Pocket Books not being sure they wanted to be in the magazine business...and if not, why start one, and so half-heartedly support it? Unlike some of the other featured titles here, I know where my copies of the first two (1960) issues are, and hope to read them soon and perhaps have more to say. 

Mystery Digest
While I'm not at all sure where I set down my short stack of this relatively eccentric digest, here caught in the middle of its 1957-63 run, and featuring essentially no Big Names nor famous stories once we're past this issue's Wilkie Collins reprint (one of several over the years). Another case where I hope to have more to say later...I will note that Donald Westlake did contribute "Richard Stark"-signed stories to both earlier and later issues...wonder if this magazine was a better market for him than the more obviously "hardboiled" magazines...

Have any thoughts you'd like to share about this class of '60? Which, if any, magazines did I foolishly overlook? (Two added from initial post.)


For more of today's books and perhaps other non-books surveyed, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

The indices for the June bugs above:
A Man Named Thin and Other Stories by Dashiell Hammett, edited and with an introduction by Frederic Dannay as Ellery Queen 
Series Title: Mercury Mysteries, no. 233 (1963).

 * A Man Named Thin [Robin Thin], (nv) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Mar 1961
 * Wages of Crime, (ss) Brief Stories Feb 1923, as “The Sardonic Star of Tom Doody” by Peter CollinsonEllery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Nov 1957
* The Gatewood Caper [The Continental Op], (ss) The Black Mask Oct 15 1923, as “Crooked Souls”; .Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine May 1953
* The Barber and His Wife, (ss) Brief Stories Dec 1922, as by Peter Collinson; .Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Apr 1958
* Itchy the Debonair, (ss) Brief Stories Jan 1924, as “Itchy”; Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Nov 1958
* The Second-Story Angel, (ss) The Black Mask Nov 15 1923
* In the Morgue, (vi) Saucy Stories Oct 15 1923, as “The Dimple”; Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Aug 1959
* When Luck’s Running Good, (nv) Action Stories Nov 1923, as “Laughing Masks” by Peter CollinsonEllery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Dec 1959

    Guilty Detective Story Magazine [v4 #6, June 1960] ed. W. W. Scott (35¢, digest) “I’m Not Chicken” by Dan Malcolm, “Motel Girl” by Mark Ryan" and “Thanks for Killing Me” by Richards are listed on the cover, but all appeared in the May 1960 issue of Trapped Detective Story Magazine (the first as by Charles D. Hammer).
Bonus: