Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links

Thanks as always to all the contributors of the reviews and citations linked to below, and to you readers. If I've overlooked your or someone else's post, please let me know in comments...as usual, there will probably be some additions over the course of the day.  I hope you enjoy this typically fine set (mind you, I'm taking no credit here, except for my own writings, which are pending!...)

Bill Crider: Annie Get Your Gun (1950 film) [trailer]

Brian Arnold: A Friend Indeed: The Bill Sackter Story

B.V. Lawson: Media Murder

Community Cinema (online): Solar Mamas; Shayfeen.com 

Dan Stumpf: Bride of Vengeance

Ed Gorman: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Elizabeth Foxwell: Slightly Scarlet; The Man on the Eiffel Tower

Eric Peterson: Film Discoveries of 2012

Evan Lewis: This Gun for Hire
Mummenschanz cofounders offstage

George Kelley: The Henrik Ibsen Collection (BBC dvd set); Mummenschanz 

Iba Dawson: Midnight Run

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Charley Chase short films; dvd news

Jack Seabrook: John Collier on TV: "Anniversary Gift" (Alfred Hitchcock Presents:)

Jackie Kashian: Wyatt Cenac at NYC PodFest

Jake Hinkson: Booked (the podcast)

James Reasoner: Clubhouse (tv baseball drama 2004-2005)

Jerry House: Shotgun Slade; America's Stonehenge

John Charles: A Bucket of Blood

Juri Nummelin:  Quand la ville s'eveille (aka When the City Awakes)

Kate Laity: Ida Lupino

The Loved Ones
Laura: The Falcon in Mexico; Man in the Dark

Lucy Brown: Bad Day at Black Rock

Martin Edwards: Innocent

Michael Shonk: Casablanca (1983 tv series)

Patti Abbott: The Sterile Cuckoo

Prashant Trikannad: Posse from Hell

Randy Johnson: The Third Man

Rick: The Best Rock Hudson Performances

The Vengeance of She
Rod Lott: The Loved Ones

Ron Scheer: The Wild Bunch

Scott Cupp: The Vengeance of She

Sergio Angelini: Top 10 Film Noir

Stacia Jones: Greetings

Stephen Bowie: Horton Foote on television

Vince Keenan: Nobody Else But You (aka Poupoupidou)

Yvette Banek: Charlie Chan at the Opera;
The Son of Monte Cristo

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Music Club: jazz (and some jazz-pop) for winter

The Modern Jazz Quartet: "Skating in Central Park"

The Dave Brubeck Quatet: "Winter Ballad"

Winter Ballad (Album Versi
The Vince Guaraldi Trio: "Skating"

The Claude Thornhill Orchestra: "Snowfall"

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross: "Deck Us All with Boston Charlie"

The Benny Goodman Orchestra with Peggy Lee: "Winter Weather"

Magaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

3 books I almost completely forgot (two deservedly) and recently finally "found" again online...

However, all three have been haunting my memory...all made an impression, one way or another, in my early reading...

At the fine site, Vintage Scholastics, I finally found a reasonably good accounting of this anthology I read when I was eight or possibly nine, and have nearly zero memory of the contents...I barely remember the Asimov story, one of his more famous and one I'd encountered elsewhere, other than it involves, iirc, a sentient car...

For Boys Only edited by Eric Berger, 5th Scholastic paperback printing, T133,  192 pages.
DESCRIPTION:“Every story a trailblazer. Stories that shock and chill…and some that are just for laughs. Yarns of adventure and mystery…of yesterday, today, and tomorrow…of faraway places and for the girl around the corner. Read one and you’ll want to read them all!” (from the back cover)
The Adventure at the Toll Bridge by Howard Pease
A Good Clean-cut American Boy by Harlan Ware
First Command by Eugene Burdick
The Slip-Over Sweater  
by Jesse Stuart
Caesar’s Wife’s Ear by Phyllis Bottome
Sally by Isaac Asimov
Open Sesame by Ray Harris
The Torn Invitation by Norman Katkov
High Diver by John Ashworth
As the Eagle Kills by Hal G Everts
Alone in Shark Waters by John Kruse
The Rookie Pitcher by John McKlellan
The original cover painting
Nancy Faulkner:  Witches Brew (Curtis Books, 1973)

An utterly run-of-the-mill "gothic romance" of the sort that really caught fire commercially in the 1960s, including the line Terry Carr edited at Ace Books which featured actually interesting-looking titles from the likes of Joan Aiken (previously, I've run covers from other publishers' attempts to sell Northanger Abbey and Conjure Wife to supermarket gothic fans...Joanna Russ wrote what is the best essay about this kind of work I'm aware of, "Someone's Trying to Kill Me, and I Think It's My Husband").  Faulkner apparently wrote rather better children's books, as well...this one was the example I happened to pick up in a supermarket one day, in my 8yo horror-fiction-seeking missile days, and was sorely disappointed, but educated in that not everything that looked like horror fiction actually was...(Notable, perhaps, as a Curtis book in those rather bleak years for the old Curtis Publishing properties...Curtis Circulation distributed a number of fiction magazines and comics, the revived Saturday Evening Post and the Ladies Home Journal were in others' hands, and I assume the Perfect Film folks, who owned the distributing business, put out this line of paperbacks...)
The only image I found of the cover.

As I noted last week about the earlier book below:

"Managing to dig out information on such somewhat enigmatic and/or influential books on my young reading as Eric Berger's anthology For Boys Only or Emile Schurmacher's Strange Unsolved Mysteries (and further discovering that this journeyman writer had a diverse if obscure career, writing paperback originals, men's sweat magazine articles and, earlier, for Collier's, as well as for the tv series Coronado 9--and, apparently, his daughter became a sort of small-time newspaper magnate)"
Never have actually seen the sequel volume.

Schurmacher's book I read also looking for horror-content...even as a youngster, I was a skeptic about all matters supernatural, but that didn't stop me from being fascinated by all such matters in the arts, particularly the narrative arts (but also music and visuals)...the other thing that I remember clearly about Strange Unsolved Mysteries is that it was easily the most sexually explicit book I'd encountered to that point, though no doubt it would probably seem tame if I was to first encounter it today. That aspect, of course, was fascinating, as well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday's "Forgotten" Books: the links

This week's collection of reviews and citations of the books at the links below is brought to you in part by the fans of "J. J. Connington" (with two books independently reviewed--in late innings, matched by Anthony Gilbert) and a slew of mostly too-unfamiliar titles from a range of our usual contributors and some more occasional, equally-welcome folks. If I've missed your, or someone else's, post, please let me know in comments...and, as always, thanks to all the contributors and all you readers of these. Next week, Evan Lewis will be hosting the links again at his blog Davy Crockett's Alamanack of Mystery, Adventure and the Wild West (please see his review below, among much else, including his continuing galleries of early issues of various literary--including graphic/literary--periodicals), then I will host the following week, then Evan, then me, then founder Patti Abbott (see her review link directly below) will be hosting again.

Patricia Abbott: The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns

Sanford Allen: Restore Point: Scripts for Radio and Film and Gaia to Galaxy: Scripts for Radio by Damien Broderick

Sergio Angelini: Fallen Angel (aka Mirage) by Howard Fast (originally as by Walter Ericson)

Yvette Banek: A Civil Contract, Lady of Quality and The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer 

Joe Barone: Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Juliann Garey

Brian Busby: This Gun for Gloria as by Bernard Mara (Brian Moore)

Bill Crider: The Best from Manhunt, as edited by Scott and Sidney Meredith

Scott Cupp: The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi

William F. Deeck: Murder at the O.P.M. by Leslie Ford; Death Thumbs a Ride by Jean Lilly

Martin Edwards: The Ha-Ha Case (aka The Brandon Case) as by J. J. Connington (Alfred Walter Stewart)

Curt Evans: Murder Comes Home by Anthony Gilbert

Jerry House: The Ghost by William D. O'Connor

Randy Johnson: About the Murder of the Circus Queen by "Anthony Abbot" (Charles Fulton Oursler)

Nick Jones: The Anti-Death League by Kingsley Amis

George Kelley: I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay by Harlan Ellison (from the stories of Isaac Asimov) 

Rob Kitchin: Liar Moon by Ben Pastor

B. V. Lawson: Scared to Death as by Ann Morice (Felicity Shaw)

Evan Lewis: Paperbacks, USA (aka The Book of Paperbacks) by Piet Schreuders

Steve Lewis: The Bastard's Tale by Margaret Frazer

Neer: Holocaust House by Norbert Davis

John F. Norris: The Avenging Saint (aka Knight Templar) as by Leslie Charteris (Leslie C. B. Yin)

Juri Nummelin: Weasels Ripped My Flesh! edited by Robert Deis, Josh Friedman and Wyatt Doyle

Patrick Ohl: The Case with Nine Solutions as by J. J. Connington (Alfred Walter Stewart)

Deb Pfeifer: A Sight for Sore Eyes and The Vault by Ruth Rendell

James Reasoner: And the Rain Came Down by S. A. Bailey

Karyn Reeves: The Department of Dead Ends by Roy Vickers

Gerard Saylor: Captains Outrageous by Joe R. Lansdale (read by Phil Gigante)

Ron Scheer: The Wind Before the Dawn by Dell H. Munger; The Drift Fence by Zane Grey; The Boss of Wind River by A. M. Chisholm

Michael Slind: The Door Between as by Ellery Queen

Kevin Tipple: Blood of My Blood by Ralph Pezzullo

"TomCat": Die in the Dark by Anthony Gilbert

Prashant Trikannad: The Hardy Boys novels as by Franklin W. Dixon (and offshoots)

James Winter: He Who Hesitates and Doll as by Ed McBain

"Wuthering Willow": Evelina by Fanny Burney

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saturday Music Club on Wednesday: some more cover versions

Girls' Generation: "Dancing Queen" (a Korean-language cover of "Mercy" by Duffy)

The Carolina Chocolate Drops: "Hit 'Em Up Style"

The Bangles: "How Is the Air Up There?" 

Susanna Hoffs, Richard Lloyd, Matthew Sweet et al.: "Cinnamon Girl"

Rainy Day: "I'll Keep It with Mine"

Lucy Wainwright Roche and the Roches: "America"

Miriam Makeba: "A Piece of Ground"

Richard Thompson, Judith Owen & Debra Dobkin: "Cry Me A River" 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links

Zhang Yimou and Gong Li
Thanks as always to all the contributors of the reviews and citations linked to below, and to you readers. This is just a bit after the second anniversary of this weekly exercise, and it seems to be thriving...even if this week is heavier than usual on Not So Overlooked items...worse things can happen! If I've overlooked your or someone else's post, please let me know in comments...as usual, there will probably be some additions over the course of the day.  Thanks very much!

The Corrupt Ones
Bill Crider: The Blob (1958) 
"The Blob" song

Brian Arnold: Bizarre

BV Lawson: Media Murder

Dan Stumpf: The Corrupt Ones

Ed Gorman: Remembering Charles Beaumont; with Bob Levinson, about John Ford

Elizabeth Foxwell: The Man on the Eiffel Tower

Evan Lewis: Touch of Evil (recut)
Touch of Evil

George Kelley: The Django westerns;  Zero Dark Thirty

How Did This Get Made?: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Iba Dawson: Searching for Sugar Man

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: the checklist;
Fort Laramie

Jackie Kashian: Ophira Eisenberg

Jake Hinkson: Films of Zhang Yimou and Gong Li

Love Monkey
James Reasoner: Love Monkey 

Jerry House: Thrilling Stories of the Railway; Zulu 

John Charles: They Might Be Giants

Juri Nummelin: The Paperboy; Django Unchained

Laura: You Can't Beat Love

"The Andersonville Trial"
Lucy Brown: The Sky's the Limit

Martin Edwards: The Girl; The Iron Lady

Marty McKee: Target Earth; Hollywood Television Theatre: "The Andersonville Trial"

Patti Abbott: What Movies Have You Walked Out On?

Prashant Trikannad: ViewMaster;
Six Days Seven Nights
Randy Johnson: The Circus Queen Murder; Red Light

Richard Pangburn: "Old Rivers"
The Dunwich Horror

Rick: Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Rod Lott: The Dunwich Horror: Fatal Visions

Ron Scheer: Major Dundee

Scott Cupp: The Vengeance of She

Sergio Angelini: Top 10 Film Noir

The Thirteenth Guest
Stacia Jones: Orchestra of Exiles; Bette Davis on Wagon Train

Stephen Bowie: Turkeys Away [WKRP in Cincinnati]: An Oral History

Todd Mason: Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

Walter Albert: Fool's Paradise

Yvette Banek: The Thirteenth Guest

Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Day Music Club: some songs and pieces

Happy King Day! May there be peace, freedom and justice for all of us.

A decent slideshow of MLK, Jr. quotations (courtesy Bill Crider). [Now vanished.]

The Staple Singers: "Freedom Highway"

Charles Mingus: "Original Faubus Fables"

Gil Scott-Heron: "Johannesburg"

Harry Belafonte: "Don't Stop the Carnival"

Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte: "Khawuleza"

Nina Simone: "Backlash Blues"

Abbey Lincoln: "Tears for Johannesburg"

Tom Lehrer: "National Brotherhood Week"

The Weavers: "If I Had a Hammer"

Dave Brubeck/Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Paul Desmond: "Truth"

from the choral work Truth Is Fallen by Brubeck, memorializing the students killed at Kent State and Jackson State

Sweet Honey in the Rock: "We Are the Ones"

Miriam Makeba: "A Piece of Ground"

Mahalia Jackson: "Keep Your Hand to the Plow"

live version with the Duke Ellington Orchestra

Mavis Staples: "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

FFM: some first issues of fantasy magazines

Actually, the second issue, 1950, w/expanded title...
Cover by George Salter
This week, the "forgotten" books links are being compiled by Evan Lewis (who goes by Dave Lewis in some circumstances) at his blog, Davy Crockett's Almanack of Mystery, Adventure and the Wild West. I'll be hosting the links the following Friday, and then Evan, and then me, and one more pass before founder Patti Abbott can regain access to reliable blog-propagation

Meanwhile, I hope I shall be able to put my mind back together for next week's links, but it's currently blown by the ease with which I was able to find information on three or four books online which had been eluding me for years, when I cast about for substitutes for the book I intended to do this week, which I haven't had time to finish, much less think about even long enough for a slapdash entry. Managing to dig out information on such somewhat enigmatic and/or influential books on my young reading as Eric Berger's anthology For Boys Only or Emile Schurmacher's Strange Unsolved Mysteries (and further discovering that this journeyman writer had a diverse if obscure career, writing paperback originals, men's sweat magazine articles and, earlier, for Collier's, as well as for the tv series Coronado 9--and, apparently, his daughter became a sort of small-time newspaper magnate) or Nancy Faulkner's Witches Brew could've made for a decent entry...if any of these books but the Berger were actually good...and remarkable the paths this kind of engine-searching can take one down, so that coming across a Reader's Digest imitation called This Month led indirectly to Pacific, a literary magazine at Mills College, indexed by Dennis Lien at the FictionMags Index pages, that published such diversely influential people on my life as Charles Neider (he of the large Mark Twain collections from Doubleday that I plunged through when about 10), Woody Guthrie, George P. Elliott and a slew of major poets, and Iola Brubeck, already married to husband Dave who was just starting to catch fire in the SF Bay area as a jazz musician and composer. Perhaps it's notable that Fantasy Records, formed to offer recordings of Brubeck's bands, stole its first label logo from the Salter-designed title logotype of F&SF.

But, for now, what I'm going to do is steal an excellent notion Evan has been engaging in at his blog, in showing early issue covers (in all their often off-point glory) of such important magazines as Weird Tales (a magazine that in its first year was only a very poor representative of how great and important it would become--not altogether unlike Black Mask in its first year), and run some of the covers from the subsequent first issues I have read...with some bare-bones comments I hope to augment later. 

Thanks to Evan for the inspiration...and apologies for any encroachment!  One thing I note in looking at the issues below, is how often some of the same bylines appear in various first issues  (and, with some stretching, including the second for F&SF)...Manly Wade Wellman, H. L. Gold,  Kris Neville, Theodore Sturgeon, Damon Knight...of course, all were either major writers, even if at the time up and comers, or in Gold's case, and perhaps in Neville's as well, examples of people who could've done even better as writers if they'd allowed themselves, or if life had allowed them, to do so...

1949; cover by Bill Stone
F&SF began life with a slightly goofy-looking photo cover (stablemate EQMM's photo covers were a mixed bag as well), and an issue that featured Theodore Sturgeon's charming, funny sf story "The Hurkle is a Happy Beast" (so the immediate expansion of the title wasn't too taxing) and a slew of reprints...Perceval Landon's "Thurnley Abbey" being the one which resonated enough with Ramsey Campbell to make his Fine Frights rarities anthology...though I remember enjoying that story, I can't for the life of me remember details.

The second issue includes Ray Bradbury's revised "The Exiles" (which had in an earlier form, "The Mad Wizards of Mars," appeared in the Canadian magazine Maclean's)  and Damon Knight's first story he was proud to claim, "Not with a Bang," a solid, grim joke story in the mode of his "To Serve Man"...and a more distinctively F&SF cover, by the staff genius, George Salter. (And...the first Gavagan's Bar story by Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague de Camp...and a fine Robert Arthur, in his "Murchison Morks" series...and the first and best of the Papa Schimmelhorn stories by R. Bretnor...all firmly establishing a fine tall-tale tradition of fantasy and borderline sf in the magazine. Interesting how much of the horror fiction in the first two issues comes from reprints...but there was so much more good horror fiction to reprint than either gentler fantasies or sf.)

Contents of the first two issues, courtesy ISFDb:

The Magazine of Fantasy, Fall 1949
Publisher: Mystery House, Inc. (The American Mercury, essentially, and Mercury Mystery, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and offshoots)
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Winter-Spring 1950
Publisher: Fantasy House, Inc.

1939; cover by H.W. Scott
The first issue has the cover novel by Russell, and, perhaps even more brilliant, "Trouble with Water" by H. L. Gold and "Where Angels Fear..." by Manly Wade Wellman. Unz.org lets you read this issue. John W. Campbell, already well on his way to revolutionizing the sf field with his work as editor of Astounding Science Fiction, reportedly in his heart of hearts preferred fantasy fiction, or at least seized upon the excuse of the relatively paranoid premise of Russell's novel (which is sf by any reasonable measure) to launch a magazine that would specialize in the kind of one-fantasticated-element fantasy that H. G. Wells and , latterly, Thorne Smith had specialized in (Smith being a consistent bestseller before his rather early death, in the years just before this magazine's founding). Despite encouraging better-written and, famously, more realistically extrapolated (or "hard") sf in his sf magazine, JWC was also a lifelong fan of fringe science, and would also push that in both fiction and nonfictional work in the magazine...with some not altogether healthy effects, eventually. His colleague, Ray Palmer, at Ziff-Davis's fiction magazines, tended to push rather more adventure-oriented and stereotypically "pulpy" fiction, but also had some interest in fringe science and mysticism that would eventually make its mark in his magazines, and beyond...Palmer was one of the great early advocates of UFOs as alien visitors, for example. Palmer would eventually leave fiction-magazine publishing (per se) in favor of such titles as Fate, and turn his last sf magazine, Other Worlds, into Flying Saucers from Other Worlds for its last issues.

Feature Novel 
Sinister Barrier by Eric Frank Russell, pp. 9-94 - PDF

Short Stories 
Who Wants Power? by Mona Farnsworth, pp. 95-106 - PDF
Dark Vision by Frank Belknap Long, pp. 107-116 - PDF
Trouble With Water by H.L. Gold, pp. 117-130 - PDF
"Where Angels Fear---" by Manly Wade Wellman, pp. 131-136 - PDF
Closed Doors by A.B.L. Macfadyen, Jr., pp. 137-150 - PDF
Death Sentence by Robert Moore Williams, pp. 151-164 - PDF 

Cover by H.W. Scott, - PDF

1939; cover by Rudolph Belarski

Strange Stories is my entry for this title at the PulpWiki; as noted there, it was founded in 1939, a very good year for fantasy-fiction pulp titles in the US (Unknown, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, and the originally sf-oriented Fantastic Adventures were all launched that year, as well, as was Startling Stories at the same house as Strange, though Startling would last much longer and only very occasionally mix in anything more fantasy than sf). The Thrilling Group didn't seem to have much faith in this title...Mort Weisinger's editorial byline was nowhere in evidence  (and they folded the magazine as soon as he left to edit DC Comics), it didn't get house ads with the sf title Thrilling Wonder Stories nor its other stablemates, and while it wasn't a first-rate magazine to judge by the first issue, the only one I've read, it was certainly on par with their other titles under Weisinger. Even the cover of this issue is more suggestive, to me at least, of the "shudder" pulps, which emphasized fake-supernatural villains often torturing (with graphic description) their victims--S&M Scooby-Doo fiction, as it's often been referred to (and it has had some continuing influence and heirs). The Manly Wade Wellman story is the best here (and the best-remembered work the magazine would publish), though the pair each from Bloch and Kuttner are certainly pleasant enough, though not by any means either writer at the top of his game.

From ISFDb: Contents:

1952; cover by Barye Phillips and Leo Summers
Fantastic, of course, would end up serving as one of the most durable of fantasy-fiction magazines in the US, and two years after its founding in 1952 was merged with Fantastic Adventures, giving it roots going back, as noted above, to 1939. But it was launched as a departure by publishers Ziff-Davis and editor Howard Browne (also a writer who a bit of a Raymond Chandler disciple), who had been noting the falling fortunes of their pulp line (by 1952, they had folded all but FA and their sf title Amazing Stories; such once-profitable items as Mammoth Mystery and Mammoth Adventure were long gone), and they were well on their way to becoming what Ziff-Davis/ZD has been over the decades since, a publisher of large-format specialized nonfiction magazines (and their offshoots on cable television and the web)...but B.G. Davis, particularly, had an affection for fiction magazines, and Browne, who had succeeded Ray Palmer as fiction magazine editor for ZD, was never a great fan of sf, and particularly pulp sf, and more than game to attempt a semi-slick new fantasy/sf magazine that might feature crime-fiction crossover appeal...Ziff-Davis had even had aborted plans to remake Amazing thus in 1950, going as far as to produce an "ashcan" (non-distributed dummy) issue of what that might look like, but they waited till launching Fantastic to remake Amazing as its slightly less-interesting twin (Amazing's first semi-slick issue had as a cover story a sfnal joke, theoretically written by then-hot gossip-mongers Lait and Mortimer, called "Mars Confidential!"...in the manner of their bestselling books such as New York Confidential! and such, which presumably lent their name to the hugely successful Confidential! magazine soon thereafter). Fantastic got the big prize in its first year, a story from Mickey Spillane (easily the bestselling fiction writer in the world at the time) which had been mentioned in a Life magazine profile of Spillane...and there was part of the rub, the story Spillane submitted was apparently 1) completely "spoiled" in the Life article and 2) extremely awful, by Browne's lights, so he ghosted another (much to Spillane's apparent eventual irritation), "The Veiled Woman," and the third issue of Fantastic reportedly sold over 300,000 copies (an enormous amount for a fiction magazine at any time). The Browne is a good pastiche that only rarely ventures over into parody. But, for this first issue, Browne's relatively nonchalant attitude toward sf and perhaps editing generally was still on display...for the fiction, while paid for at a then impressive 5c/word (the other US fiction magazines in sf and fantasy were then able to pay 3c/word as their regular top rate, and most didn't pay that well), was a very mixed bag:

Contents (from ISFDb)("fep" is front endpaper, or inside the front cover..."They Write" being author blurbs attributed to the writers themselves; a reproduction of Pierre Roy's painting "Danger on the Stairs" is on the back cover, an odd attempt at "class"):
The most memorable story in the issue is the Asimov, a charming fantasy about What If a young married couple, riding on a train on a seat facing that of a man capable of showing them alternate realities, had never met. Ray Bradbury's "The Smile" is probably the best-known story from the issue, which seems to assume that 1) the Mona Lisa is painted on canvas, and 2) it was likely to have been on loan to some midwestern US gallery when armageddon struck. The Neville and the Outlaw are solid, decent fantasy stories, while the Gold and the Miller are examples of the weaker work by these writers; Gold, particularly, is better remembered as an editor (see directly below) than as a writer, despite such occasional brilliant work as "Trouble with Water" (see above).  The Hickey and the Fairman are utterly routine sf stories, from writers (like Browne) who had been part of Ray Palmer's stable of regular contributors, and while Sam Martinez's fantasy is slightly less overfamiliar, only very slightly less, in its account of a woman so annoying that Hell won't have her. This is the only story credited to Martinez in ISFDb, so I wonder idly if this is another Browne ghost job.  I must admit I have no memory of the Chandler (a "classic" reprint from a little magazine from only a year or three previous), despite reading it when I read the rest of the issue, some 35 years ago...I barely remember the Outlaw, other than thinking it was a better Bradbury than the Bradbury was.

1953; cover by Richard Powers
Of course, one of the inspirations to Ziff-Davis in attempting a "slicker" set of fiction magazines was the breakout commercial as well as artistic success of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, launched 1950, with H. L. Gold as editor. Magazines which are in the black financially within the first several issues were as rare then as they are now, and Galaxy had made every effort to have a sophisticated package of design and content, though being published on relatively lesser-grade paper hampered that a bit. Gold, like Browne, only less casually so, (and like Campbell, probably) preferred good fantasy even to good sf, and a few years into Galaxy's run was secure enough to attempt an Unknown-like companion to the sf title...the then-smashing success of Fantastic for ZD probably didn't hinder the timing of Beyond's release, in 1953, with a cover format that aped that of Galaxy (only with a black half-border around the cover illustration rather than a white one), and a first cover from Richard Powers, in his Surrealist (particurlarly Tanguy)-influenced mode. 

Contents (from ISFDb):

  • 2 • Beyond • essay by H. L. Gold
  • 4 • . . . And My Fear Is Great . . . • novella by Theodore Sturgeon
  • 4 • . . . And My Fear Is Great . . . • interior artwork by Ashman
  • 60 • All of You • short story by James V. McConnell
  • 60 • All of You • interior artwork by Balbalis
  • 69 • The Day the World Ended • short story by Frank M. Robinson
  • 69 • The Day the World Ended • interior artwork by James
  • 79 • The Springbird • short story by Roger Dee
  • 79 • The Springbird • interior artwork by Barth
  • 92 • Babel II • novelette by Damon Knight
  • 92 • Babel II • interior artwork by Ed Emshwiller [as by Emsh ]
  • 116 • Share Alike • short story by Jerome Bixby and Joe E. Dean
  • 116 • Share Alike • interior artwork by Kossin
  • 128 • The Wedding • short story by Richard Matheson
  • 128 • The Wedding • interior artwork by John Fay
  • 136 • Eye for Iniquity • novelette by T. L. Sherred
  • 136 • Eye for Iniquity • interior artwork by Sibley

  • I also bought and first read this issue 35 years ago...in 1978, when these relics from the early 1950s seemed ancient, in their quarter-century-old status (I was just over half as old as they, after all). My memory over the years has faded heavily in regard to the Robinson, the Dee (which I remember as wistful), the Bixby and Dean (which I remember as clever),  and the Matheson. "All of You" seemed both heavyhanded and funny, but certainly is memorable enough, as a sort of inversion of "The Lovers" by Philip Jose Farmer (published not too long before to much attention in Startling Stories); "Babel II" (which I had seen in an anthology a few years before) was deft and funny and, like Sinister Barrier, could easily slip into any sf context. Sherred's "Eye for Iniquity" remains my second-favorite story by him, sharing with his debut sf story "E for Effort" not just a title format but a healthy disrespect for authority figures. The Sturgeon was impressive to me at the time, as well, and I should reread it, dealing as it did with repressed sexuality and envy in a way that would turn out to be very common coin in Beyond, a magazine more than any other I've read (though the comic magazine Help! came close) that clearly desperately wanted to be more open about its sexual concerns than it thought it was allowed to be (similarly, there's a not quite blatantly sexualized context to the vampire story by Bixby and Dean). If fantasy fiction if often even more fraught thus than most other forms of fiction (reaching as does so openly into the subconscious), few if any magazines in the field have felt that so intensely than Beyond...edited by the very hands-on, psychologically-oriented, and, at the time, extremely afflicted (by agoraphobia and an obsessive perfectionism, most obviously) Gold.

    1973; cover by Tim Kirk
    Skipping ahead a couple of decades, in part because I never have gotten around to picking up the first issues of such 1960s magazines as the Magazine of Horror,  Worlds of Fantasy, Shock, nor Gamma, nor such important little magazines in the field as Macabre nor Space and Time nor Trumpet nor Weirdbook, it's notable to me how relatively modest the soon clangorous Whispers magazine (edited and published by Stuart David Schiff) was at the beginning of its run as probably the most important of 1970s little magazines in the fantasy and horror fields:

    -which in no way is meant to slight the contents of the first issue (including short fiction from Joseph Payne Brennan, Brian Lumley and David Riley...though I'm least fond, in Lumley's work, of his Lovecraftian pieces). But soon Whispers would be packed with fine fiction (and relatively little of the amusing verse of this first issue, that last rather a pity).

    1993, cover by David Malin
    And we then jump ahead another two decades (as I never have gotten around to picking up the first issues of even such likely titles as The Twilight Zone Magazine, its offshoot Night Cry, and such notable other little magazines as Grue or Cemetery Dance...to another little magazine that impressed even more than such contemporaries as Strange Plasma and Century, the unfortunately-titled Crank! (edited and published by Bryan Cholfin, d/b/a Broken Mirrors Press in the latter capacity)...I managed to miss the first issues of these others, as well, and even of the magazine that would publish my first short story, Algis Budrys's Tomorrow Speculative Fiction...it was too easy to miss the first issues in those days...but Crank! was even better than the Budrys magazine, or the rather good, with bad covers, sf magazine Science Fiction Age, or its eventual fantasy companion, for a number of years filling the hole left on newstands by the folding of Fantastic (in 1980--officially, Amazing incorporated it) and Twilight Zone (in 1989), Realms of Fantasy (1994-2011)...I missed their first issues, too...


  • 3 • Clap if You Believe • short story by Robert Devereaux
  • 11 • Punctuated Evolution • short story by Garry Kilworth
  • 21 • Mortal Remains • short story by Rosaleen Love
  • 32 • Wax Me Mind • short story by A. A. Attanasio
  • 44 • His Oral History • short story by Jonathan Lethem
  • 49 • Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor • short story by Carter Scholz
  • 57 • The Thief, the Princess, and the Cartesian Circle • short story by Gwyneth Jones
  • 70 • Hymenoptera • short story by Michael Blumlein

  • It's also a sad fact of my memory that I clearly remember reading this issue, and enjoying all the stories (though future issues would be even better) but even the story by my friend A. A. Attanasio doesn't resolve clearly enough for me to say what it was about at this moment...as I could for his story "Ink from the New Moon" published a year before...so, at least to this extent, these are indeed "forgotten" stories...very good forgotten stories (at least I thought so at the time) I should reacquaint myself with...some day! Crank! had an impressive roster of contributors throughout its run, and The Best of Crank! volume as well as its issues are highly recommended.

    Related post: Fantastic's 6th editor, Barry Malzberg, interviews its third, Cele Goldsmith/Lalli.
    Also: October 1978 issues of the four bestselling US fantasy magazines at that time...