Monday, August 1, 2022

Fantasy/Horror/SF fiction magazine issues from the 1950s fantastica "End of Summer": THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION April 1958 edited by "Anthony Boucher"; FANTASTIC April 1959 edited by Cele Goldsmith; FANTASTIC UNIVERSE April 1958 edited by Hans Stefan Santesson; TALES OF THE FRIGHTENED August 1957 edited by Lyle Kenyon Engle; SCIENCE FANTASY April 1958 edited by John Carnell (and INSIDE SF's F&SF/Mercury Press parody issue/September 1958, edited by Ron Smith, and MACABRE, Summer 1958, edited by Joseph Payne Brennan)

Key and/or rare and/or early stories from Kit Reed, Kate Wilhelm, Margaret St. Clair, Fritz Leiber, Harlan Ellison, Avram Davidson, Robert Arthur, Richard Wilson, Mack Reynolds, C. B. Gilford, Gordon Dickson, Victoria Lincoln, Poul Anderson, Mark Van Doren, Jack Williamson, Katherine MacLean, Harry Harrison, Brian Aldiss, Chad Oliver, James Gunn, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Rog Phillips, Nelson Bond, E. C. Tubb, David R. Bunch and others...Cover illustrations by Kelly Freas, Virgil Finlay, Brian Lewis, Dan Adkins, not really Mondrian and a sloppy typesetter, and a bonus by Hannes Bok...

As occasionally with these extensive "multimedia" posts I attempt, not only is the current pre-analysis text+ lengthy (and I need to get the analysis done!), but it's taxing Blogspot's per-post least with the aging Mac Air I'm currently working with.

So, this will be The Apparatus post, with the reviews post to come!

slightly (or more) revised/updated contents lists from and The FictionMags Index offered below:

Can be read here.

Can be read here.

Can be read here.

  • Tales of the Frightened, August 1957
     (View All Issues) (View Issue Grid)
  • Editor: Lyle Kenyon Engel
  • Date: 1957-08-00
  • Publisher: Republic Features Syndicate, Inc.
  • Price: 
  • Pages: 132
  • Format: 
  • Type: MAGAZINE
  • Notes: Vol 1, No 2. The cover contains no artwork, just a listing of the stories in rectangular colored boxes. 'The Queen's Bedroom' is listed as 'The Queen's Bedchamber' on the table of contents. The cover manages to ascribe Poul Anderson's story to Mack Reynolds's pseudonym, and the "Mallory" story to a "Paul" Anderson.
Can be read here.

  • Science Fantasy, April 1958 
  • (View All Issues) (View Issue Grid
  • Editor: John Carnell
  • Date: 1958-04-00
  • Publisher: Nova Publications Ltd.
  • Price: 2/-
  • Format: digest
  • Type: MAGAZINE
  • Cover: Science Fantasy, April 1958 (1958) • by Brian Lewis
  •  2  •  Web of the Norns • novella by Harry Harrison and Katherine MacLean (as noted at the FictionMags Index, 'revised from “Web of the Worlds”, Fantasy Fiction Nov ’53'; I've submitted an update accordingly to ISFDB, after checking the texts of the two very similar-looking forms. The novella has been reprinted by Armchair Fiction under the older title, and presumably from the older edit.)
  • 59 • The Locusts • short story by R. Whitfield Young
  • 75 • An Affair of Gravity • [Hek Belov] • short story by Edward Mackin
  • 89 • Return Visit • short story by E. C. Tubb
  • 107 • The Carp That Once... • short story by Brian W. Aldiss
  • 112 • Out of Control • short story by Kenneth Bulmer

  • Can be read here.

    General observations:
    Somewhat randomly gathered issues, with a focus on April 1958 issue dates, built up around having my attention drawn to the F&SF issue again in a Facebook discussion (mostly focused on the Aldiss and to a slight extent the Leiber  cover story), and a desire to look at four US and the sole UK fantasy-oriented newsstand magazines of the latest '50s...though Tales of the Frightened only had two issues, thus was barely a presence on the newsstands (along with its sf and espionage-fiction stablemates, similar two-issue mayflies). F&SF and Fantastic Universe and Science Fantasy by default eschewed interior illustration, and Tales in its two issues mostly did (extending to the cover on this second and last issue); Fantastic usually had about half the fiction or so illustrated, and I wonder if the tumult around former editor Paul Fairman leaving, and former assistant Cele Goldsmith (not yet married and Cele Lalli and then Cele Goldsmith Lalli in her subsequent Ziff-Davis editorial career) taking the editorial reins led to the sparseness of the illustration in this issue and those produced shortly before and after. And while Lyle Kenyon Engle's editing (if he was, and not simply leaving the task to Michael Avallone, who presumably wrote at least some of the stories not yet credited to him but to utterly obscure writers/bylines) was as casual as Paul Fairman's, his magazines did manage to snag some work from talented writers who weren't quite--or usually--in the yardgoods business (as in, I want your stories/copy Tuesday more than I want them good) that Fairman had encouraged his core stable of reliable (in fact, pretty brilliant: Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Milton Lesser just about to legally change his name to Stephen Marlowe, Randall Garrett and Henry Slesar) young writers to engage in. As they did, apparently, for Fairman's three 1957 issues of the Fantastic spin-off Dream World: Stories of Incredible Powers, which Jerry House (in the comments) has previously warned us are rather dire to trudge through, so I've saved myself the wear and tear (though the first has a minor, then-new P. G. Wodehouse story)...and chose issues with rare/unreprinted (and often early) stories by the likes of Kate Wilhelm (a sort of Goldsmith "discovery" in her role as assistant editor at Fantastic) and Margaret St. Clair and C. B. Gilford.  The MacLean/Harrison novella in the Science Fantasy issue was in fact essentially a reprint, from the November 1953 (and final) issue of the US magazine Fantasy Fiction, an issue edited by Lester Del Rey (apparently) as "Cameron Hall" (some sources credit Harrison as editor "Hall"; Del Rey had quit before it was published, but perhaps it was already "put to bed"; the previous issues of the short run were edited by Del Rey in the clear), and has been reprinted by the small press  Armchair Fiction, presumably from the earlier edit, under the original title and in a double volume with Damon Knight's novella "Rule Golden".
    And it dawned on me that there were at least two "semi-pro" magazines in 1958 in English devoted in whole or in part to fantasy fiction, Joseph Payne Brennan's Macabre and Ron Smith, et al.'s, Inside Science Fiction; Inside is coming close to being completely online; Macabre, alas, hasn't even had a best-of anthology nor other reprint package created, even though it published some interesting work in its nearly two-decade run. (Such other major labors of love 'zines as Amra weren't publishing much or anything in 1958, though soon would make up for that.)
    The FictionMags Index listing for this issue of Fantasy Fiction.
    This issue can be read here.

      Inside [#53, September 1958] ed. Ron Smith (25¢/30¢, 64pp, digest s/s, cover by Dan Adkins; cover as by “Mel Humdrum” after Mel Hunter). Back cover by Neil Austin. Details supplied by Ned Brooks, as revised by TM here.
      • · “The Magazine of Science Fiction Fantasy And” with spoof contents page/colophon/house ads; parody headnotes and ad copy throughout F&SF lampoon by Dave Foley and Ron Smith
      • _5 · Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo · Dave Foley as Henna Zenderson (Zenna Henderson) · ss
      • _8 · Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Fakeout · Dave Foley as Grundoon Briarpatch (Grendel Briarton aka Reginald Bretnor) · ss
      • _9 · Bleak Fate Intervenes · Bob Leman as Thomas Hardy · ss
      • _10 · The Night After We Land on Mars · Ron Smith as R. S. Dickson (R. S. Richardson) · hu
      • _11 · The Story More Dull Than the Dullest Story Ever Written ·  Ron Smith as Pocahontas Smith (perhaps meant to riff on "Cordwainer Smith"/Paul Linebarger) · vi
      • _12 · Recondemned Reading · Dave Foley as Anthony Twin (Anthony Boucher) · hu
      • _13 · The Man from Out There ·  Dave Foley as Nonah McClunkrak (Winona McClintic)  · pm
      • _14 · Platitudes · Dave Foley as Walter Jose Alverez (Philip Jose Farmer) · ss
      • _18 · House ad for other Quicksilver Publications and "Gone Last Issue" · Dave Foley and Ron Smith · hu
      • _19 · Song of the Spaceways · Dave Foley as Fredric Beige (Fredric Brown) · ss
      • _20 · Censured (parody of F&SF sibling magazine Venture Science Fiction) house ad: “The Same Old Story…” · Dave Foley and Ron Smith · hu (illustrated by Dan Adkins)
      • 21 · Book Reviews · [Various] · br
      • 21 · Review: The Third Level by Jack Finney · review by James E. Gunn · br
      • Novels:
      • 22 · Review: The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick and Sargasso of Space by "Andrew North" (Ms. Andre Norton) · review by Bob Leman · br
      • 22 · Review: A Case of Conscience by James Blish · review by Larry Harris (aka Laurence Janifer) · br
      • 23 · Review: Man of Earth by Algis Budrys · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 23 · Review: Cycle of Fire by Hal Clement · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 23 · Review: VOR by James Blish · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 23 · Review: Who? by Algis Budrys ·  review by Larry Harris · br
      • 24 · Review: Slave Ship by Frederik Pohl · review by Dave Foley · br
      • 25 · Review: Occam's Razor by David Duncan · review by Robert E. Briney · br
      • 25 · Review: Doomsday Morning by C. L. Moore · review by Dick Ellington · br
      • 25 · Review: World Without Men by Charles Eric Maine · review by Martin Jukovsky · br
      • 25 · Review · Big Planet and Slaves of the Klau by Jack Vance · review by Dan Adkins · br
      • 26 · Review · High Vacuum by Charles Eric Maine · review by Bill Donaho · br
      • 26 · Review · Twice Upon a Time by Charles L. Fountenay and The Mechanical Monarch by E. C. Tubb · review by Bill Donaho ·  br
      • 26 · Review · An Elephant for Aristotle by L. Sprague de Camp · review by Lin Carter · br
      • Short Stories:
      • 26 · Review · The Graveyard Reader edited by Groff Conklin · review by Ron Smith · br
      • 27 · Review · The Third Galaxy Reader edited by H. L. Gold · review by Ron Smith · br
      • 27 · "Joe sent me." · Gene McIntyre · cartoon
      • 28 · Review · On an Odd Note by Gerald Kersh · review by Ron Smith · br
      • 28 · Review · The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction (Seventh Series) edited by Anthony Boucher · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 28 · Review · The Variable Man and Other Stories by Philip K. Dick · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 29 · Review · The Earth is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 29 · Review · Robots and Changelings by Lester Del Rey · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 29 · Review · Starburst by Alfred Bester · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 30 · Review · Those Idiots from Earth by Richard Wilson · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 30 · Review · Time in Advance by William Tenn · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 30 · Review · Pilgrimage to Earth by Robert Sheckley · review by Dave Foley · br
      • 30 · Review · Fantastic Memories by Maurice Sandoz · review by Lin Carter · br
      • 30 · "To the greatest goddam mother on Earth." · Bob Miller · cartoon
      • Nonfiction:
      • 31 · Review · Theories of the Universe: From Babylonian Myth to Modern Science edited by Milton K. Munitz · review by Robert Silverberg · br
      • 31 · Review · Discovery of the Universe by G. de Vancouleurs · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 31 · Review · The Sun by Giorgio Abetti (translated from Italian by J. G. Sidgwick) · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 31 · Review · Guided Weapons by Eric Burgess · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 32 · Review · Satellite! by Erik Bergaust and William Beller · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 32 · Review · The World in Space by Alexander Marshak · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 32 · Review · Once Around the Sun by Ronald Fraser · review by Larry Harrisx · br
      • 32 · Review · The Inexplicable Sky by Arthur Constance · review by Lin Carter · br
      • Reprints:
      • 32 · Review · Children of the Atom by Wilmar H. Shiras · review by Dave Foley · br
      • 33 · Review · Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke · review by Dave Foley · br
      • 33 · Review · Satellite E-One by Jeffery Lloyd Castle · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 34 · Review · 2nd Foundation: Galactic Empire (vt. of Second Foundation) by Isaac Asimov · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 34 · Review · The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 34 · Review · The Martian Way by Isaac Asimov · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 34 · Review · City by Clifford D. Simak · review by Larry Harris · br
      • 34 · Review · The Short Reign of Pippin IV by John Steinbeck · review by Bill Donaho · br
      • 34 · Review · Worlds Apart by J. T. McIntosh · review by Bill Donaho · br
      • 34 · Review · Invaders from Earth by Robert Silverberg and Across Time by "David Grinnel" (Donald A. Wollheim) · review by Bill Donaho · br
      • 34 · Review · City on the Moon by Murray Leinster and Men on the Moon edited by Donald A. Wollheim · review by Bill Donaho · br
      • 34 · Review · The Skylark of Space by E. E. Smith · review by Bill Donaho · br
      • 35 · Blurb Happy · Bob Tucker · hu (illustrated by Jerry Prueitt)
      • 40 · Sound the Anti-Tocsin · Walt Willis · hu (illustrated by Art Castillo)
      • 42 · Letters Found in an Author’s Drawers · Robert Bloch · hu
      • 46 · The Slitherer from the Slime · (as by H. P. Lowcraft) Lin Carter & Dave Foley · hu; satire
      • 51 · Miller by Moonlight · Bob Miller · cartoons
      • 56 · How They Did the Doggie at the Curbside · David R. Bunch · ss (illustrated by Cindy)
      • 62 · Khartoum · Anthony Boucher · vi ("a prose limerick")   Stefantasy August 1955
    Can be read here.

    Can't be read online (and barely can be found otherwise)...

    Wednesday, June 1, 2022

    Short Story Wednesday: DOLLS ARE MURDER edited by Harold Q. Masur (an MWA Anthology, Lion Books 1957)

    (a redux post)

    index put together from various, mostly Contento and Stephensen-Payne sources:

    Dolls are Murder, "from the Mystery Writers of America," edited by Harold Q. Masur. Lion Books, 1957, "by arrangement with Revere Publishing Corp." 126 pp. 25c mm pb. Cover by Mort Kuntsler.

    7 · Human Interest Stuff · Brett Halliday · ss Adventure Sep ’38; EQMM Sep ’46
    20 · The Homesick Buick · John D. MacDonald · ss EQMM Sep ’50
    34 · I’ll Be Waiting · Raymond Chandler · ss The Saturday Evening Post Oct 14 ’39
    51 · Mind Over Matter · Ellery Queen· ss Blue Book October 1939
    73 · The Doctor Makes It Murder [Dr. Paul Standish] · George Harmon Coxe · ss Cosmopolitan Sep ’42 (reprinted in The Saint Detective Magazine as "The Doctor Calls It Murder," Oct '57)
    92 · The Dog Died First · Bruno Fischer · nv Mystery Book Magazine Fll ’49
    115· Affaire Ziliouk [Monsieur Froget] · Georges Simenon; trans. by Anthony Boucher · ss Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, May 1944; translated from Les 13 Coupables (1932).
    122· Cop’s Gift · Rex Stout · ss What’s New Dec ’53 [as “Tough Cop’s Gift”]; EQMM Jan ’56 [as "Santa Claus Beat"]

    So here's a slim, inexpensive (even for the time) paperback with at best a misleading title (but, thoughtfully, the MWA was kind enough to leave all the women writers out of this antho), inasmuch as some of these stories, such as "Brett Halliday"'s deft excursion into "B. Traven" territory, have no women to speak of in them (oh, wait...a minor character at the beginning is killed by the father of a young woman the mc insulted...dat's a deadly dame, doncha know). Likewise, the woman character in the JDMc story is notable mostly for being the only female character, and far less deadly than several of the males; she in fact commits no murder. But it's a solid little book, filled with stories that have become at least borderline chestnuts in the succeeding years, such as the Bruno Fischer story I first read in the Hitchcock Presents: volume I FFB'd the other week, a series, I'll note (somewhat redundantly) that Masur would eventually edit after founding editor Robert Arthur died. And the book rounds out with its shortest story, published under three different titles (I'm guessing that the title here, "Cop's Gift," might've been "Rex Stout"'s preferred one), a neat if not exactly challenging little mystery set on Christmas Eve, with the typical Stout wit and eye for small details (and not a Wolfe/Goodwin story). Much as this book itself was part of a seasonal gift from Kate Laity.

    For more of this week's Wednesday's Short Stories, please see Patti Abbott's blog.


    Jerry House said...

    I used to enjoy the MWA anthologies, but haven't read one in quiet a few years. This was a good one.

    Cullen Gallagher said...

    How are JDM's short stories generally? I've only read his novels.

    Todd Mason said...

    Indeed, Jerry, despite the half-assed attempt to package it salaciously.

    Cullen, MacDonald was an excellent short story writer, as well as novelist. As Bill Crider and James Reasoner might note (I think they have, and I'd agree), his revisions of his pulp-magazine stories for inclusion in such collections as THE GOOD OLD STUFF were unnecessary, to say the least. He was good from jump.

    C. Margery Kempe said...

    Useful gift, eh? Anything that provides content. Glad you're enjoying.

    Todd Mason said...

    Not to mention contentment!

    Wednesday, May 11, 2022

    Fritz Leiber, J. G. Ballard, Avram Davidson, Ron Goulart, Ray Bradbury, Karen Anderson, Roger Zelazny, John Jakes, David R. Bunch, Doris Pitkin Buck, Félix Martí-Ibáñez, Sharon Webb, R. Bretnor: May 1963: FANTASTIC: STORIES OF IMAGINATION edited by Cele Goldsmith and THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION edited by Avram Davidson: Short Story Wednesday

    The first issue of Fantastic to retail for 50c (up from 35c for the April issue; they all but apologize in a footnote on page 70, and note the subscription price remains $2.99 for a year's 12 issues), not, in 1963, an insignificant jump; F&SF would not go to 5oc an issue till the January 1965 number...but it had held at 40c for a while.  The second of the irregularly-appearing special author-highlighting F&SF issues, after Theodore Sturgeon's in 1962. A Fritz Leiber issue of F&SF would appear in 1969; Fantastic had an issue devoted entirely to Leiber fiction in 1959, and the notable horror/fantasy little magazine Whispers would highlight Leiber in 1979

    Slightly augmented listings from ISFDB:

    One obvious fact of these two issues is how many examples of two stories in the same issue by writers we have here...not surprising in the Ray Bradbury issue of F&SF that there are two by him, though others so far have restricted themselves in their special issues to one story each (except for Harlan Ellison, with three and an essay), nor are two nonfiction items in a Bradbury issue by William Nolan. Two stories by Reginald Bretnor in the F&SF not too uncommon, nor two each by Roger Zelazny and John Jakes in Fantastic (with another Jakes in the F&SF), but altogether, more double-dipping than usual.

    The first Nolan item, a rundown and celebration of Bradbury's life and career, is smoothly written (also unsurprising, considering its source) and generous, though slightly annoying in the degree to which it cites various assessments of Bradbury's work without choosing to give the names of the assessors. Inasmuch as these are direct quotes, not citing the presumably handy bylines is a bit odd, and as common with the praises as with the damnations.

    "Bright Phoenix", as Bradbury notes in Davidson's typically thorough headnote, was a story that failed to sell to the more high-profile magazines it was submitted to in 1949 or so (Harper's Bazaar when it still dealt, if peripherally, with matters beyond fashion in clothes, The Atlantic Monthly) but which has the germ of Fahrenheit 451 in it; set in April 2022, it involves a rather Trumpian ex-military man and militia leader invading a library to burn half the books, with the help of his toadies, hoping to rid us of their Dangerous Ideas, only to be met with gentle mockery and sweet reason by the librarian and his various fellow readers, who demonstrate the literature survives in them. Though the chief thug's query, How do you know I won't start burning people, as well? is allowed to hang in the air, one of the few subtle aspects (in comparison) in this brief example of  (slightly revised from its earlier unpublished form) sadly overripe prose, Bradbury almost parodying Bradbury, while having his heartfelt fun.

    "To the Chicago Abyss" is a better example of his work, the prose a bit less precious and better controlled, not quite up to Theodore Sturgeon at his best, but definitely Bradbury nearer his slightly more Technicolored version of Sturgeon or Leigh Brackett, his primary mentors in fantastica. As Davidson takes pain to note, citing an observation of Jack Kerouac's that mass culture as well as "high" culture shape us irresistibly, this story is about recalling the quotidian details of life before societal collapse, and how their recitation by a wandering (and, in a typical Bradbury touch, illicit) storyteller/oral historian can fascinate even the very young, much less those who share some of the memories of life as it was once lived in the U.S. (Amusingly, this story is almost an inversion of Harlan Ellison's most prominent story in his later special F&SF issue, "Jeffty is Five"...where the agent of a lost past is a preternatural un-aging child rather than an 80-year-0ld vagrant impulsively reminding others of some of the small pleasures of life in decades past.)(Even more amusingly, perhaps, given one of Ellison's other stories was a lament for the lack of good recent work from a lightly-disguised analog of a burnt-out Bradbury.)

    Nolan's rather good, if not quite actually complete, bibliography of Bradbury's work follows--perhaps decidedly intentionally, RB's comic-book scripting and his fanzine work goes unmentioned (even as the latter was discussed in the more formal first essay).

    More to come, later today, and for once in recent months I intend to do more in the promised time frame.

    For more of today's short stories, please see Patti Abbott's blog here.