Friday, September 28, 2012
"Friday's Forgotten Books": new links and content
Sergio Angelini: Salt River by James Sallis
Yvette Banek: Mairgret and the Wine Merchant
Joe Barone: Buffalo Bill's Dead Now by Margaret Coel
Bill Crider: Red Dragon by "Wade Curtis" (Jerry Pournelle)
William Deeck: The 7th Mourner by Dorothy Gardiner
Martin Edwards: The Man in the Net by "Patrick Quentin"
Ed Gorman: An Accidental Novelist by Richard S. Wheeler;
The Innocent Mrs. Duff by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Jerry House: The House of the Wolf by Basil Copper
Randy Johnson: Gunman's Chance by "Luke Short"
Nick Jones: Ripley's Game by Patricia Highsmith
George Kelley: The Big Book of Ghost Stories edited by Otto Penzler
Margot Kinberg: Baptism by Max Kinnings
Rob Kitchin: A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis
B.V. Lawson: The Hanging Doll Murder (aka Face Value) by Roger Ormerod
Evan Lewis: Say Yes to Murder (among other titles) by "W. T. Ballard"
Steve Lewis: The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece by Erle Stanley Gardner
Todd Mason: Alternate Worlds and other work by James Gunn (please see below).
Neer: Death Knocks Three Times by Anthony Gilbert
John F. Norris: A Gentle Murderer by Dorothy Salisbury Davis
Richard Pangburn: A Philosophical Investigation by Philip Kerr
David Rachel: Redheads Die Quickly and Other Stories by Gil Brewer
James Reasoner: The Shudder Pulps: A History of the Weird Menace Magazines of the 1930s by Robert Kenneth Jones
Karyn Reeves: I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne Du Maurier
Gerard Saylor: Columbine by David Cullen
Ron Scheer: The New Missioner by Nancy Mann Waddell Woodrow, as by Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
Michael Slind: Thou Shell of Death by Nicholas Blake
Kerrie Smith: Spinsters in Jeopardy (aka The Bride of Death) by Ngaio Marsh
Kevin Tipple: Still River by Harry Hunsicker
Mike Tooney: Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
"Tomcat": The Red Scar by "Anthony Wynne"
Prashant Trikannad: The Mighty Marvel Superheroes' Cookbook "presented" by Stan Lee
John Kessel passes along the sad news that James Gunn's wife Jane Gunn died yesterday; Prof. Gunn, now retired, and their son are among the survivors. Gunn, 89 (and who shouldn't be confused with the younger film director and cartoonist James Gunn) has been contributing interesting fiction and nonfiction (and some documentary film) to the sf/fantasy field since the 1950s, when among his earlier publications was his doctoral dissertation, serialized in Robert Lowndes's magazine Dynamic Science Fiction as "The Philosophy of Science Fiction" in 1953. Among his better-known fiction published over the years has been "The Cave of Night," The Joy Makers, The Listeners, and The Immortals, the last adapted for an ABC-TV television film (1969) and a subsequent tv series (1969-1971) both titled The Immortal. His The Road to Science Fiction anthologies make for both fine texts and simple good reads, and Alternate Worlds (1975) was his first book-length stab at a history and survey of sf. He makes some rather controversial assertions here (the most puzzling to me being that sex has no place in sf...a bit like saying that sf can't be about human beings), and the book is flawed (not least in the common failing, among particularly the earlier histories of sf, of trying to pack as many then-contemporary sf writers as possible into the later chapters, thus not leaving much opportunity to discuss much about any of them), but it was both a useful and enjoyable first example of sf history I was to read, not too long after I inhaled Les Daniels's similar volume about horror in literature and popular art, Living in Fear.
We can spare a thought for the Gunns, in this sad time.