Monday, May 2, 2016

Underappreciated Music: 2016 so far














The monthly assembly of undervalued and often nearly "lost" music, or simply music the blogger in question wants to remind you reader/listeners of...

Patti Abbott: Night Music; Prince; Beth Orton

Brian Arnold: BatMusic


Jamie Lynn Blaschke: Friday Night Videos

Paul Brazill: A Song for Saturday

Jim Cameron: Ace/BGP: The Message: Soul, Funk, and Jazzy Grooves from Mainstream Records; Shirley Scott: Blue Seven; Elin: Lazy Afternoon

The Scarlet Furies: "David's Theme"


Sean Coleman: Harry Nilsson: A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night; Prince;  Paul McCartney: Tug of War; Les Claypool and Sean Lennon: "The Cricket and the Genie"

Bill Crider: Song of the Day; Forgotten Hits; Forgotten Music; More Music 

Elizabeth Foxwell: Double Indemnity: Film Noir at Paramount


Jeff Gemmill: Top 5; Prince; Opal: Happy Nightmare, Baby; Merle Haggard; Diane Birch: Nous; Albums of the Year: 1978-2015; Rumer: Seasons of My Soul

Jerry House: Josh White; Professor Longhair; Eric Von Schmidt; Peter La Farge; Music from the Past; Hymn Time; Brenda Lee; Sleepy John Estes; Oscar Brand: Presidential campaign songs; Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band: "Jug Band Music"; That Was the Week That Was

Brubeck Quartet: "Somewhere"

George Kelley: Do-Wah-Diddy: Words & Music by Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry; Born to Be Together: The Songs of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil The Very Best of the Eagles; Joe Cocker: One Night of Sin

Kate Laity: Song for a Saturday

B. V. Lawson: Your Sunday Music Treat

Evan Lewis: Howlin' Wolf


Steve Lewis (and Jonathan Lewis and Michael Shonk): Music I'm Listening To

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Make Mine Music; Melody Time


Lawrence Person: Shoegazer Sunday

James Reasoner: Middle of the Night Music

Charlie Ricci: Joe Crookston; I Am Shelby Lynne

Bhob Stewart: Slavko Vorkapich: Crime Without Passion; Art Ford's Greenwich Village Party

Vienna: Lena Horne

from FaceBook: 
In your status update please list 12 record albums that have stayed with you in some way. Probably best if you don't take too long & don't think too hard. Not necessarily the coolest or greatest albums so far, just ones that have touched you throughout life.
And please consider tagging 10 friends and also me to allow seeing your list. Thanks! ....


Jeff Gemmill, who tagged me:

Alicia Keys - Element of Freedom
Bangles - Different Light
Beatles - Revolver
Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis
Jackson Browne - Late for the Sky
Lone Justice - self-titled
Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On
Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Paul Weller - Wild Wood
Peggy Lee - Black Coffee
Rickie Lee Jones - self-titled
Rumer - Seasons of My Soul
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden


Todd Mason:

The Modern Jazz Quartet: THE LAST CONCERT
The Dave Brubeck Quartet: TIME FURTHER OUT: MIRO REFLECTIONS
The Charles Mingus Band: MINGUS MINGUS MINGUS MINGUS MINGUS
Max Roach and company: [WE INSIST!] FREEDOM NOW SUITE
David Amram: NO MORE WALLS
Miriam Makeba: PATA PATA
The Weavers: REUNION AT CARNEGIE HALL 1963
Doc Watson: THE VANGUARD YEARS
Johnny Cash: DESTINATION VICTORIA STATION (CBS train songs album)
THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY
The Zombies: ZOMBIE HEAVEN
The Byrds: FIFTH DIMENSION
X: UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN
Big Star: 3RD/SISTER LOVERS
Husker Du: WAREHOUSE: SONGS AND STORIES
GOD BLESS THE GO-GO'S
The Bangles: DOLL REVOLUTION




Patti Abbott:
TAPESTRY, Carole King, 
TIME OUT, Dave Brubeck, 
RUBBER SOUL, Beatles, 
WEST SIDE STORY, Bernstein and Sondheim, 
FIFTH ALBUM, Judy Collins


Bill Crider:

1. The Kingston Trio -- The Kingston Trio
2. Elvis Presley -- The Sun Sessions
3. Credence Clearwater Revival -- Born on the Bayou

4. Willie Nelson -- Stardust
5. Bob Dylan -- The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
6. Beatles -- Beatles '65
7. Emmylou Harris -- Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
8. Rolling Stones -- Sticky Fingers
9. Tom Lehrer -- Songs and More Songs
10. The Platters -- Greatest Hits
11. Warren Zevon -- Excitable Boy
12. The Kingston Trio -- Goin' Places



Sergio Angelini:

ABBA THE ALBUM - Abba
CITIZEN KANE: THE CLASSIC FILM SCORES OF BERNARD HERRMANN - Charles Gerhardt (cond)
FISTFUL OF DOLLARS / FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE - Ennio Morricone
FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS - Linda Ronstadt & Nelson Riddle
THE GERSHWIN SONGBOOKS - Ella Fitzgerald & Nelson Riddle
LA MER / NOCTURNES - Debussy (Pierre Boulez cond)
PET SOUNDS - The Beach Boys
RUBBER SOUL - The Beatles
RHAPSODY IN BLUE - Andre Kostelanetz (cond) / Alec Templeton (soloist)
THE PLANETS - Holst (Adrian Boult cond.)
TIME OUT - Dave Brubeck Quartet
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON - Matt Bianco



Yvette Banek:

LEONTYNE PRICE - The Blue Album - Verdi and Puccini Arias
THE MERRY WIDOW - Franz Lehar - Beverly Sills (the English version)
TIME OUT - Dave Brubeck Quartet

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS - Vince Guaraldi
THE FOUR SEASONS - Vivaldi (can't remember which orchestra - still have it in tape version, still unpacked)
THE PLANETS - Gustav Holst (can't remember which orchestra - still have the tape version, still unpacked)
WEST SIDE STORY - Leonard Bernstein
THE VERY BEST OF STING AND THE POLICE
SUPERMAN - The Original Soundtrack - John WIlliams (from the first movie)
STAR WARS - The Original Soundtrack - John WIlliams (from the first movie)
STAR TREK - The Original Soundtrack (from the first movie) - Jerry Goldsmith
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 - Chicago Symphony
SWAN LAKE - Tchaikovsky - Probably the NY Philharmonic



James Cameron:

John Coltrane: My Favorite Things
Olatunji: Drums of Passion
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Free for All
The Visitors: In My Youth
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: In This Korner
Charlie Parker: Bird Symbols
John Coltrane: Live at Newport
The Modern Jazz Quartet: The Comedy
Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers
Spanky and Our Gang: Like to Get to Know You
The Allman Brothers Band: Live at the Fillmore
Fats Navarro: Fats Navarro featured with the Tadd Dameron Band



Benjamin Grandizio:

Beck - ODELAY
Ween - PURE GUAVA

Lovage - MUSIC TO MAKE LOVE TO YOUR OLD LADY BY
The Beatles - REVOLVER
The Kinks - ARTHUR (OR THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE)
Mr. Bungle - MR. BUNGLE
Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - SAFE AS MILK
Frank Zappa - HOT RATS
Girl Talk - ALL DAY
Primus - FRIZZLE FRY
The Dickies - DAWN OF THE DICKIES
Nick Drake - PINK MOON



Matt Paust:

Miles Davis Group: Bitch's Brew
Eva Cassidy: complete works


Karin Montin:

The Zombies: Time of the Zombies


Jeff Cantwell: 

Hmm. This list is pitifully similar to what I would have assembled as a freshman undergrad.
Smog – Knock Knock
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion

Magnetic Fields – Charm of the Highway Strip
Pestilence – Consuming Impulse
Sun Ra - Lanquidity
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
Replacements – Tim
Television – Marquee Moon
Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca and the Soul Brother
PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
Silver Jews – American Water
The Bats – Daddy’s Highway



J. Eric Mason:
My brother did a Facebook list of twelve record albums that have stayed with him. Hrm. Mostly there are individual songs that stay with me. Radiohead, Lou Reed, Bad Religion, Nirvana, and many others have multiple tracks on albums I think about nearly as much, but not every track. Entire albums are quite a bit rarer and frankly don't represent exactly what music is most important to me. In roughly chronological order of my first experience here's twelve arbitrary albums where every track comes to mind once in a while, or that I love but no one track is so far ahead of the others.
• Gustav Holst, Die Planeten
• Time Out, Dave Brubeck Quartet
• The Beatles, "White Album"
• The Kinks, Arthur
• Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief
• Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain
• Peter Gabriel, So
• Big Star, #1 Record (though my version was a combo CD with Radio City, strictly speaking #1 Record was more influential on me)
• The Pixies, Doolittle
• Versus, Two Cents Plus Tax
• Gorillaz, debut
• Zoë Keating, Natoma: One Cello times 6




Tom Kraemer:
Prince Big Band: Footprints

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Separated at...



(Popular Library, 1962)
and...

































               (Popular Library, 1965)



































from the Contento index:
    Blood Runs Cold Robert Bloch (Simon & Schuster, 1961, $3.50, 246pp, hc, cover by Tony Palladino)
    Also in pb (Popular Oct ’62).
    • The Show Must Go On · ss Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine Jan 1960
    • The Cure · ss Playboy Oct 1957
    • Daybroke · ss Star Science Fiction Magazine Jan 1958
    • Show Biz · ss Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine May 1959
    • The Masterpiece · ss Rogue Jun 1960
    • I Like Blondes · ss Playboy Jan 1956
    • Dig That Crazy Grave! · ss Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Jun 1957
    • Where the Buffalo Roam · ss Other Worlds Science Stories Jul 1955
    • Is Betsy Blake Still Alive? · ss Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Apr 1958
    • Word of Honor · ss Playboy Aug 1958
    • Final Performance · ss Shock—The Magazine of Terrifying Tales Sep 1960
    • All on a Golden Afternoon · nv F&SF Jun 1956
    • The Gloating Place · ss Rogue Jun 1959
    • The Pin · ss Amazing Dec 1953/Jan ’54
    • I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell · ss F&SF Mar 1955
    • The Big Kick · ss Rogue Jul 1959
    • Sock Finish · nv Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Nov 1957

    Shock! ed. M. C. Allen (New York: Popular Library SP375, 1965, 50¢, 144pp, pb)
    • 7 · The Destructors · Graham Greene · ss Picture Post Jul 24 1954 (+1)
    • 23 · Evening Primrose · John Collier · ss 1940
    • 35 · Miriam · Truman Capote · ss Mademoiselle Jun 1945
    • 48 · Earth to Earth · Robert Graves · ss Punch Feb 1955; ; as “The Steinpilz Method”, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Apr 1956
    • 54 · The Small Assassin · Ray Bradbury · ss Dime Mystery Magazine Nov 1946
    • 73 · The Hunger · Charles Beaumont · ss Playboy Apr 1955
    • 88 · Thompson · George A. Zorn · ss Story v35 #8 1962
    • 112 · Suspicion · Dorothy L. Sayers · ss Mystery League Oct 1933; Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Dec 1950
    • 129 · You Can’t Run Fast Enough · Arthur Kaplan · ss Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine Apr 1958
    • 138 · The Man and the Snake · Ambrose Bierce · ss San Francisco Examiner Jun 29 1890

Saturday, April 30, 2016

1941 Retro Hugo Award Finalists--initial whims

Announcement text courtesy File 770

The finalists for the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards were announced on Tuesday, April 26...
There were 481 valid nominating ballots (475 electronic and 6 paper) received and counted from the members of Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II, and Worldcon 75.
BEST NOVEL (352 ballots)
  • Kallocain by Karin Boye (Bonnier)
  • Gray Lensman by E.E. “Doc” Smith (Astounding Science-Fiction, Jan 1940)
  • Slan by A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction, Dec 1940)
  • The Ill-Made Knight by T.H. White (Collins)
  • The Reign of Wizardry by Jack Williamson (Unknown, Mar 1940)
Mason: The Boye is a dystopian Swedish novel, apparently; Boye perhaps comparable to a combination of Stephen Vincent Benet and Robert Frost in her country, reportedly best and widely known for her poetry.  I'd probably lean toward the White or the Williamson, but haven't yet read either, unless the Boye is very well translated. Reminders of what I need to read. 

BEST NOVELLA (318 ballots)
  • “The Mathematics of Magic” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, Aug 1940)
  • “The Roaring Trumpet” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, May 1940)
  • “Coventry” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1940)
  • “If This Goes On…” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940)
  • “Magic, Inc.” by Robert A. Heinlein (Unknown, Sept 1940)
Mason: I have read "The Roaring Trumpet" and "The Devil Makes the Law" (the original of "Magic, Inc."). Between those, it's almost a toss-up. Really should catch up here, too.

BEST NOVELETTE (310 ballots)
  • “Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates (Astounding Science-Fiction, Oct 1940)
  • “Blowups Happen” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Sept 1940)
  • “The Roads Must Roll” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1940)
  • “It” by Theodore Sturgeon (Unknown, Aug 1940)
  • “Darker Than You Think” by Jack Williamson (Unknown, Dec 1940)
Mason: File 770 readers note correctly that the Williamson in the original is already a novella, so it's weird it's here (the longer form was published as a novel later). I've read all of these, and "It" is it. In the strongest prose field, perhaps. (Bates was the founding editor of Astounding, and this easily his best-known story, perhaps not least as the source of The Day the Earth Stood Still.)

BEST SHORT STORY (324 ballots)
  • “Strange Playfellow” (a.k.a. “Robbie”) by Isaac Asimov (Super Science Stories, Sept 1940)
  • “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by Jorge Luis Borges (Sur, 1940)
  • “Martian Quest” by Leigh Brackett (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940)
  • “The Stellar Legion” by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories, Winter 1940)
  • “Requiem” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Jan 1940)
Mason: I have yet to read either Brackett, and it's odd we have so many clumping finalists here...clearly, we see whose work people are nostalgic about. Borges would probably get my nod. But I really like Brackett.

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (92 ballots)
  • Batman #1 (Detective Comics, Spring 1940)
  • Captain Marvel: “Introducing Captain Marvel” by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck (Whiz Comics #2, Feb 1940)
  • Flash Gordon: “The Ice Kingdom of Mongo” by Alex Raymond and Don Moore (King Features Syndicate, Apr 1940)
  • The Spectre“The Spectre”/”The Spectre Strikes! ” by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily (More Fun Comics #52/53, Feb/Mar 1940)
  • The Origin of the Spirit by Will Eisner (Register and Tribune Syndicate, June 1940)
Mason: I loved the 1970s Spectre, and would need to read the Eisner item, before I probably do opt for the Spirit over even Capt. Marvel. Early Batman interesting but crude, as I recall. True comics fans might well agonize over this shortlist.

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) (250 ballots)
  • Dr. Cyclops written by Tom Kilpatrick, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack (Paramount Pictures)
  • Fantasia written by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, directed by Samuel Armstrong et al. (Walt Disney Productions, RKO Radio Pictures)
  • Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe written by George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Barry Shipman, directed by Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor (Universal Pictures)
  • One Million B.C. written by Mickell Novack, George Baker, and Joseph Frickert, directed by Hal Roach and Hal Roach, Jr. (United Artists)
  • The Thief of Bagdad written by Lajos Bíró and Miles Malleson, directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan (London Films, United Artists)
Mason: I like the Disney and Cyclops is worth a look, but The Thief of Bagdad doesn't need a flying carpet here to outpace the competition.. 

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM) (123 ballots)
  • Merrie Melodies: “A Wild Hare” written by Rich Hogan, directed by Tex Avery (Warner Bros.)
  • The Adventures of Superman: “The Baby from Krypton” written by George Ludlam, produced by Frank Chase (WOR/Mutual Broadcasting System)
  • The Invisible Man Returns written by Joe May, Kurt Siodmak, and Lester Cole, directed by Joe May (Universal Pictures)
  • Pinocchio written by Ted Sears et al., directed by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske (Walt Disney Productions, RKO Radio Pictures)
  • Looney Tunes: “You Ought to Be in Pictures” written by Jack Miller, directed by Friz Freleng (Warner Bros.)
Mason: I guess the third and fourth are shorter than 90'. At the moment, I'd lean "Wild Hare"...

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (183 ballots)
  • John W. Campbell (Unknown Fantasy Fiction, Astounding Science-Fiction)
  • Dorothy McIlwraith (Weird Tales, Short Stories)
  • Raymond A. Palmer (Fantastic Adventures, Amazing Stories)
  • Frederik Pohl (Astonishing Stories, Super Science Stories)
  • Mort Weisinger (Strange Stories, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories)
Mason: I'd lean McIlwraith. Even given the year Campbell's having (though next year would be better). Pohl for pluck; he's 19 years old and has the lowest-budgeted sf magazines in the field, but happily has his fellow Futurians to solicit stories from, and several of the better established writers of the time seem willing to throw him a bone or at least stories sometimes foolishly rejected by their usual markets.

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (117 ballots)
  • Hannes Bok
  • Margaret Brundage
  • Edd Cartier
  • Virgil Finlay
  • Frank R. Paul
  • Hubert Rogers
Note: Category has 6 nominees due to a tie for 5th place.

Mason: Bok by an elegantly elongated nose. Though Finlay would get my nod perhaps tomorrow, as already doing his best work. Frank Paul is a big No, though oddly his abstracts were rather good, as opposed to any sort of figure drawing (every creature in his universe wears jodhpurs). Brundage limited, if good within her compass. Cartier and Rogers doing excellent work. 
BEST FANZINE (63 ballots)
  • Futuria Fantasia by Ray Bradbury
  • Le Zombie by Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
  • Novacious by Forrest J Ackerman and Morojo
  • Spaceways by Harry Warner, Jr.
  • Voice of the Imagi-Nation by Forrest J Ackerman and Morojo
Mason: Bob Tucker the best fannish writer here.

BEST FAN WRITER (70 ballots)
  • Forrest J Ackerman
  • Ray Bradbury
  • H. P. Lovecraft
  • Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
  • Harry Warner
Mason: I might give it to Warner for his utter openness to every sort of literary fannishness. When Tucker's still the best of these as a fan writer. (And novelist.) File 770 folk note HPL is on the ballot several years after death because his work was still trickling out in the fan press.

Friday, April 29, 2016

FFM: Fritz Leiber, Jody Scott, James Sallis; Gary Jennings, Josephine Saxton, Samuel Delany, Judith Merril and Gahan Wilson; Ramsey Campbell, Robert Lowndes and Seabury Quinn: blue covers for some winter/spring fantasy magazines: FANTASTIC, February 1969, edited by Barry N. Malzberg; THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, February 1969, edited by Edward L. Ferman; STARTLING MYSTERY STORIES, Summer 1969, edited by Robert A. W. Lowndes


Three magazine issues, with blue covers. Why care about these first 1969 issues (even the January issue of F&SF would've been on the stands for Xmas '68) from these titles? Some impressive writers whose names you might be able to, and definitely cannot, make out on these covers: 

Fantastic: Among the contributors of new fiction, Fritz Leiber, of course, but also James Sallis, Jody Scott, Pg Wyal (his first story), Robert Hoskins and others. 


F&SF: Josephine Saxton, but also Gary Jennings (before the best-sellers such as Aztec), Samuel Delany (at this point the film columnist, even as the books are handled by Judith Merril and a set of Gahan Wilson's occasional horror/dark fantasy reviews, along with Wilson's cartoon and Asimov's pop-science essay), a recent translation of Yevgeny Zamyatin and another reprint, from (eventually) mostly tv-writer/producer Larry Brody.


SMS: The magazine which "discovered" Stephen King and F. Paul Wilson features in this issue original work by Ramsey Campbell, along with debut stories by the not so prolific Donna Gould Welk and Ken Porter, interspersed with reprints.

There were more fantasy-fiction magazines publishing in the US than usual in 1969, not least because Sol Cohen, who'd left the Galaxy Magazine Group to buy Fantastic and Amazing from Ziff-Davis in 1965, and with the magazines he'd bought the unlimited serial (magazine) reprint rights to all the stories Ziff-Davis had purchased as a default for their magazine fiction since the late 1930s...as well as the legacy copyrights from earlier publishers of Amazing...Cohen was at the height of his issuing reprint magazines filled with fiction he didn't legally need to pay any royalties for, and a few of those titles he slanted toward fantasy fiction. Strange Fantasy was the first and the best of these (bettered only by a much later one-shot Sword and Sorcery Annual), and took over the volume and issue numbering for two years from Science Fiction Classics beginning in '69. Robert A. W. Lowndes added Weird Terror Tales to his growing line of no-budget, mostly-reprint magazines in '69 (Bizarre Fantasy Tales would begin its brief run in 1970); Arthur Landis got his new digest Coven 13 onto some newsstands, and while Joseph Payne Brennan produced no issue of his boutique project Macabre in '69 (and Lester del Rey's fully professional Worlds of Fantasy offered one issue each in 1968 and 1970 but none in '69), there was a second issue of W. Paul Ganley's Weirdbook among the little or semipro magazines, even if no others offering as impressive a set of contributors of fiction. But aside from Lowndes's Magazine of Horror, the elder sibling to the more psychic-detective- and borderline horror/suspense-oriented SMS, whose March 1969 issue I don't have to hand (it does contain a new R. A. Lafferty story, however) and which doesn't even have a blue cover (the nerve), the three most visible US fantasy-fiction magazines in early '69 were the three I discuss below. 


Barry Malzberg was never too happy during his short term as editor of the Cohen/Ultimate Publications versions of Fantastic and Amazing, though he had managed to get his last issue of Fantastic, this February issue, about half full of original fiction (and the balance an odd mix of relatively random 1950s reprints, including one story each from Clifford Simak, Kendell Crossen and the house
the third issue; contents below
name "Lawrence Chandler," who could've been in this case nearly anyone in a small stable of regular contributors, including founding editor Howard Browne). In fact, the precipitating argument that ended Barry's employment was over whether cover artist William Baker would be paid for his cover image, a not-extraordinarily good nor bad pastel that Cohen apparently hated (and not notably worse, I'd suggest, than the other minor work on the other covers). With the inclusion of Robert Silverberg's essay (though Silverberg had been a columnist for Amazing as edited by Cele Goldsmith Lalli at Ziff-Davis), and fiction by such Malzberg favorites as (Ms.) Jody Scott and Robert Hoskins, Barry was clearly already starting to make his mark on the magazine, even if he wouldn't have much chance to do much more; Ted White would be installed as the new editor with the next issue, and Barry's inventory was probably exhausted with Ted's first issues of the two magazines. Poet Margo Skinner, Leiber's good friend after the death of his wife, wrote two of the reviews without credit in the table of contents, but a byline on the text. Barry's headnotes and "coming next month" are full of praise for the contributors, aside from the diffidence he employs in introducing his own work.

Edward Ferman and his family business (his father, Joseph Ferman, would still be publishing the magazine for the next few years) were readying themselves for the release of the revival of Venture Science Fiction, which would begin with an issue cover-dated May 1969. (Another, shorter-lived project, a magazine about proto-New Age matters, Inner Space, would soon follow.) However unkind fate might be to their other publications, F&SF continued to steadily appear on a monthly basis, and while it didn't have the kind of financial support Analog (as a publication of Condé Nast) had, it faced less instability than any of the other magazines in the fantastic-fiction field; the monetary inflation of the Nixon era, very much including that faced by publishers specifically in terms of paper and postage among other expenses, helped doom both the other titles, however.  This is a solid issue of the magazine, featuring a lead novella by the somewhat underrated James Schmitz, who nonetheless had allowed his fiction to fall into a bit of a rut by this point in his career, and featuring such F&SF frequent or at least repeat contributors as Gary Jennings, who published a string of short stories with the magazine in the 1960s and '70s well before becoming a bestselling novelist and for a while after; that only his series of Crispin Mobey stories from the magazine have
been collected (and they published under a pseudonym in book form as if a novel) is an odd sort of oversight, even if they might not appeal so readily to his novels' larger audience, and Vance Aandahl, Josephine Saxton, Doris Pitkin Buck (with a rather slight bit of verse, not one of the stronger poems she'd publish with the magazine), and Patrick Meadows (who like Schmitz came to F&SF from Analog, but Meadows only published a single story in John Campbell's magazine before placing a handful with Ferman over a short period). F&SF, like Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine on which it was modeled, was never afraid to include interesting reprints, and this issue includes two from rather different sources: television writer Larry Brody provides a fantasticated spy story, reprinted from 1967 first issue of the comics fanzine Gosh! Wow! (both the story and the fanzine won Alley Awards for that year, then the comics equivalent of a Hugo Award)(Ferman notes a weakness for this kind of thing, and the previous Xmas issue had featured Harlan Ellison's send-up "Santa Claus vs. S.P.I.D.E.R."; Delany's review column is devoted to the film of Barbarella), and the enormously influential Soviet dissident writer Yevgeny Zamyatin's 1920 story "The Cave" is offered in a 1968 translation by consistent 1960s translator Mirra Ginsburg, with an introduction by Sam Moskowitz.  It's notable that both Fritz Leiber, in the 
Maybe the best # of this Ultimate
title, thanks to the Bloch reprint.
Fantastic, and Judith Merril have engaging takes on Clifford Simak's science-fantasy novel The Goblin Reservation in these issues; Samuel Delany's film column for the magazine was sadly short-lived, and their first since Charles Beaumont had conducted one in the late 1950s (with "William Morrison"/Joseph Samachson contributing a more occasional column on stage drama alongside Beaumont's); radio dramatist and bookseller Baird Searles would soon follow Delany at the magazine  for more than a decade, and be succeeded by Harlan Ellison, Kathi Maio and Lucius Shepard, sometimes in alternation. Gahan Wilson's cartoon was already a regular feature, one of Ferman's first innovations in the magazine, and it would appear in every issue till the two had some sort of falling-out in the early '80s...only Isaac Asimov, with his science column, was a more durable regular than Wilson and his cartoons in the magazine's history. 


If Fantastic in those years had relatively randomly-selected reprints, and F&SF rather more carefully-chosen ones that usually ran to relatively recent but (to most fantasy/sf readers, probably) obscure sources, Robert A. W. Lowndes's magazines for the very marginal Health Knowledge Publications managed to get by through Lowndes combing through his collection of pulps and anthologies and collections of fantasy and other sorts of fiction, looking for public-domain items of various sorts and checking with the Copyright Office for records of renewals on the pulp items, often taken from such orphaned magazines as Strange Tales. 

The Magazine of Horror was the first of the fiction magazines Lowndes was able to launch at HK, which was mostly in the business of publishing imitations of the magazine Sexology and the like (after HK collapsed in 1971, Lowndes would be hired at that magazine, at Gernsback Publications). Startling Mystery Stories and Famous Science Fiction followed, and a small slew of others followed those, before the collapse...what distinguished SMS from its elder sibling, as noted above, was that it was devoted more to psychic detective stories, such as those of  Seabury Quinn, once the most popular contributor to Weird Tales (outpacing the likes of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith and Edmond Hamilton by some distance during Farnsworth Wright's editorship), who retained quite a following among the more nostalgic readership of the MOH; SMS not only served as outlet for Quinn stories, so that not so many need appear in the elder magazine, but also served as a place to run stories by horror fiction aspirants whose work wasn't Quite what Lowndes wanted
Lowndes's '69 3rd fantasy title.
for the mothership title (hence the "first stories" by King and Wilson appearing in Startling Mystery rather than Horror; Terry Carr and Ted White's somewhat surreal "The Secret of the City" had appeared in an earlier issue). But aside from some engaging pulp (and earlier p.d. fiction) reprints, some first-rate originals appeared in SMS, as well, including this issue's "The Scar," one of the better early Ramsey Campbell short stories, marking his beginning to take on his own voice and becoming somewhat less simply a promising acolyte of H. P. Lovecraft, and one of August Derleth's most treasured discoveries thus. Much of the issue, as in part with all Lowndes magazines going back through the not quite as low-budget but still low-budget Columbia fiction-magazine days, was devoted to a long editorial (in this issue discussing Poe's contribution to mystery fiction, sparked in part by an article in an early issue of The Armchair Detective), a bibliography of Quinn's Jules de Grandin stories, a Lowndes book and magazine review piece, and a long letter column (free copy, aside from the time spent transcribing letters and answering them). 


The ISFDB indices to these issues, slightly corrected:

the first issue, 1969
the 2nd, and only 1969, issue
For more of today's (actual) books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

And...the contents of the third Strange Fantasy, "#10", pictured above (courtesy the FictionMags Index):