Monday, May 28, 2018

Gardner Dozois, RIP

Photograph of Gardner Dozois at ClarionWest in 1998 by Ellen Levy Finch
Gardner Dozois, editor and writer, died this afternoon (27 May 2018) in hospital after a brief illness. He was 70 years old.
He was already an accomplished young writer when he began his first high-profile editorial gig, succeeding Lester Del Rey as the editor of the E. P. Dutton hardcover annual THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES OF THE YEAR, the 1977 sixth volume, and continuing to edit that series for five volumes, through 1981, some reissued in paperback. He began editing his current series of best of the year volumes, for Bluejay Books/St. Martins beginning with a volume for 1984; the 35th volume is scheduled for publication in July. In late 1985, he also took on the editorship of ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION magazine, continuing till 2004; his former assistant, Sheila Williams, has been editing the magazine in the years since. He has also edited notable series of anthologies with Jack Dann, George R. R. Martin and others. 


He was a consistently gregarious presence at conventions, and has been among the key editors in the field throughout his career. His wife, writer Susan Casper, died last year; though we both lived in Philadelphia, I had not yet met Dozois, but attended her funeral. I didn't choose to intrude on him at that time, though I was able to speak with fellow attendees I did know such as Ellen Datlow and Scott Edelman. 

First and last Dozois issues

Through our recent correspondence, I'd learned from Dozois that the books and fiction magazines of his, which he had signed in Ex Libris fashion, I bought at a notable local secondhand shop had been gifts to friend he'd come across one afternoon as she was selling them to that same bookshop.
His death was unexpected, and he will be missed by readers and writers who have never met him as well as his family and many good friends.
Todd Mason
first novel:

first collection:

Friday, May 25, 2018

FFM: STREET & SMITH'S DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE, September 1946, edited by Daisy Bacon; ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, September 1945, edited by Frederic Dannay; NEW WORLD WRITING 16: Tillie Olsen, Thomas Pynchon, Anne Sexton, Kingsley Amis, et alia...edited by Stewart Richardson and Corlies M. Smith; EQMM, September 1955, edited by Dannay; EPOCH, Fall 1955, edited by Baxter Hathaway, Morris Bishop, Carl Hartman, Robert O. Brown, Hazard Adams, Herbert Goldstone, and Bruce R. Park

We lost Philip Roth this week, and Laurie Powers has her Daisy Bacon critical biography out for vetting before publication, which seemed to make it a good time for re-excavating these reviews, including a brief one of Roth's first published story:

STREET & SMITH'S DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE, September 1946 (Volume 172, Number 5). Legendary editor: Daisy Bacon. Monthly. 15c ($1.50/year in US/$1.75 Pan American Union/$2.25 elsewhere; no Canadian subscriptions accepted [because of a Canadian edition?]). 

Ads for Calvert Whiskey, Listerine Antiseptic mouthwash, Pepsi-Cola, Ray-o-Vac batteries, Olin Bond flashlights and batteries, Gillette razor blades, Ballco Vacutex blackhead extractor. 

Digest, 130 pp. Cover photograph by Ardean Miller, III.

from one of my contributions to the FictionMags Index, or FMI:

ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, September 1945 (Volume 6, issue number 24). Legendary editor: Frederic Dannay; Mildred Falk, Mng. Ed.; Charlotte Spivak, Ass. Ed. Bimonthly. 25c ($1.50/year US and Pan American Union/$1.75 Canada/$2 elsewhere

Ads for the Detective Book Club and an Inner Sanctum Mystery/Simon & Schuster (LAY THAT PISTOL DOWN by Richard Powell). 

Digest, 128 pp. Cover painting by George Salter.

one of Douglas Greene's FMI contributions: 

While published about a year apart, unlike the last two fiction-magazine issues I've reviewed here [on the discussion list], a few of my beloved parallels obtain, even when in reverse. Aside from both issues being very pleasant reading
experiences overall (and neither being much sought after on the
collectors market--purchase of the DETECTIVE STORY cost me more in
postage than in eBay bid price of $2, the EQMM was a buck in a comics
store; while both are no better than good reading copies, try getting
a merely complete PLANET STORIES for that price), one of the most
striking things about them was how forgotten the DSM writers mostly
are, and how many familiar names (perhaps some more remembered than
read) are in the EQ. The only definitely familiar name to me in the
S&S item is William Campbell Gault, and perhaps unsurprisingly his
"They'd Die for Linda" is the best story in that issue; possibly I'd
heard of Roy Lopez before, whose "You'll Be the Death of Me" is, like
most of the other DETECTIVE stories, what could be called "fake hardboiled": wisecracking 'tecs of various sorts in stories with the trappings of classic BLACK MASK and post-diaspora DIME DETECTIVE fiction, without the bracing sense of hard living or worldly cynicism of Hammett or Chandler. Odder is the issue's 33-page "complete novel," "The Screaming Rock" by John H. Knox (whether a close relation to Calvin M. Knox [Robert Silverberg's most famous pseudonym]
 in spirit, I'm not sure [Jerry House has informed me that Knox was originally a poet, I suspect not a good one, who moved on to shudder-pulp writing and eventually to straightforward crime fiction], which is nothing so much as a weird-menace/shudder pulp story with most of the torture taken out, more wisecracks and politics inserted. The McGuffin is a series of experiments in cryogenics, not so named, that serve as obfuscation for murders at a remote psychiatric clinic, one not too different from the one in FAREWELL, MY LOVELY. William Honest (good old Honest Bill?) offers a reasonably affecting frame for his impossible murder story, "Murder Is Where You Dig It"; Dorothy Dunn's "A Photo Finish" (the cover story) reads like a slightly more wholesome and ultimately upbeat version of a Jim Thompson desperate loser story (before Thompson, at least, was publishing them); "Oswald Has His Night" by Ronald Henderson is an interesting twist on a theme Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (to say nothing of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS the tv series) would eventually beat to death; in this case the henpecked husband is framed for a murder he didn't commit by a third party and has to solve the mystery before his wife returns from a visit as well as before being collared by the police; "Blood Red Rubies" by Roland Phillips is imitation THE THIN MAN, but not too shabby an example. What the
magazine reads like, in its mostly noirish feel but not quite
full-fledged hopeless existentialism (or MANHUNT brutality), is AHMM
in its first decades, even down to the mediocre uncredited line-drawing illustrations.

Gault's use of multiple viewpoints/narrators is the major deviation
from basically serious plain tales wisecrackingly told, and his and
perhaps Dunn's are the stories that most deserve to survive this
issue's shelf life, but one common feature here is in fine pulp
tradition: attention-getting, even when cliched, opening lines:

Lopez: "He was a little guy, wearing a checked suit. He was
bald-headed. And he was scared green."

Honest: "You felt like front table at El Morocco when Marie came in.
Nobody expected her to sing, but it wouldn't have been surprising.
Tycoons like Roger Tillman could afford such a wife."

Dunn: "Tommy Murphy tore up his losing ticket after the eighth race
and left the grandstand. His hopes fluttered down to the cold cement
flooring with the pieces of cardboard. And he felt cold and grey
inside, drained of his laughter and his luck."

Knox: "Plain Sid Wilson felt the sickening pause as the wheels of
his coupe lost their grip on the icy slope."

Unlike [fellow Street & Smith fiction magazines] ASTOUNDING or UNKNOWN, but like WILD WESTDETECTIVE STORY here restricts Ms. Bacon's editorial comment to teaser blurbs, and offers couple of examples of rather sentimental doggerel as space-filling
tags (the better one by Edgar Daniel Kramer, the other by L[ight?]. Breeze).

No such restriction applies to Fred Dannay, of course, whose
introductory essays several times threaten to exceed the length of
the stories blurbed. Fully half the contributions to this issue of EQMM
are reprints, and only one of the originals is bylined unfamiliarly
(as far as I can recall): James Yaffe's "The Problem of the
Emperor's Mushrooms," aside from being a short, decent alternate-to-Graves
modern retelling of the intrigues in the Roman court of Claudius, is
piss-poor example of a crime story, albeit with another draft it
could've been a better one; Dannay flagellates himself in the intro
over Yaffe's previous EQMM story, because it never occurred to either
author nor editor that a toy balloon blown up by a person wouldn't
levitate in normal atmosphere, apparently a crucial plot point (the
flaw in the story at hand is more in telegraphing and awkwardness in
dialog, but, as Dannay notes, it was rushed into print to prove Yaffe
not an idiot).

More experienced hands than Yaffe's are tapping in Morse in this
issue. Agatha Christie's "The Case of the Vulture Women" (a reprint
from a 1939 THIS WEEK magazine [wasn't this a PARADE-like newspaper
insert?][yes, it was--the later me]), is a Hercule Poirot puzzle that probably could've been solved in a few minutes cogitation by Dr. Watson or even Mike Hammer; it was certainly pretty obvious to me, albeit AC's digs at the
English's depredations upon other languages ring true with anyone
who's ever heard what too many Britons do to Spanish words. The other puzzle
stories in this issue are less straightforward, if too often too
easily soluble: John Dickson Carr's quasi-impossible crime tale,
"Will You Walk into My Parlor?", is actually a radio script, previously
broadcast as part of the SUSPENSE series; G. K. Chesterton's "Dr.
Hyde, Detective, and The White Pillars Murder" (ENGLISH LIFE, January
1925) is not atypically as much philosophical rumination as puzzle,
and somewhat guessable in its "surprise"; Lillian de la Torre's
original Samuel Johnson/James Boswell historical mystery, "The
Wax-Work Cadaver," gets only slightly bogged in its attempts at
period color. James M. Cain's non-puzzle, "Pastorale" (AMERICAN MERCURY,
1928), is a minor murder tale with a not particularly deft use of
vaudeville "countrified" dialect (but a cheap inhouse reprint from a
name, and certainly hardboiled enough; inadvertantly Tuckerizing
opening lines: "Well, it looks like Burbie was going to get hung.
And if he does, what he can lay it on is, he always figured he was so dam
smart."). Things look up with Ben Hecht's brief parody, "The
Whistling Corpse," an original (intentionally) as turgid as the "had I but
known" (as Dannay calls them) once and future Gothics (as I tag them)
within the cf tradition, and worth a chuckle; far funnier and more
devastating is H. F. Heard's original Mr. Mycroft (as in Holmes
pastiche) tale, "Adventure of Mr. Montalba, Obsequist," which, in
addition to goosing Doyle a bit, prefigures Waugh's THE LOVED ONE in
most of the latter's best dimensions (this one's use of cutting-edge taxidermy/undertaking practices and arguable positing of long-term self-induced suspended animation sparks an argument--fantasy or no?--between Heard and Dannay which is dutifully detailed in an endnote, and makes for a weak parallel with Knox's proto-cryogenics story in DSM). Philip Wylie's
original "Perkins' 'First Case'" is an amiable mix of NYC
slice-of-life and offbeat detection, far less sententious (as I guess
it would have to be) than what SF by him I've tried (WHEN WORLDS
COLLIDE with Balmer and THE DISAPPEARANCE); anyone read his Crunch
and Des stories? Vying with the Heard for second-best in the issue is
Damon Runyon's "What, No Butler?" (from COLLIER'S in 1933 and  the 1944 collection BLUE PLATE SPECIAL),

like most of the DETECTIVE STORY offerings a basically serious story dressed up with humor, this time from the master of present-tense slang. The best story is unsurprisingly Dashiell Hammett's "Two Sharp Knives" (COLLIER'S MAGAZINE, 1942), which more than any of the other stories in either issue (the Gault and the
Runyon come the closest, but it's not that close) gives the sense of life as it is actually lived by adults. And tells a fine, understated story.

(And one wonders if Daisy Bacon and Dannay, both on his own ticket and because he seemed to frequently work with women editors, had for obvious reasons less truck with the misogyny several here have mentioned as impediments to reprinting MANHUNT and at least some BLACK MASK stories....)

FFB (or magazine in book format): NEW WORLD WRITING 16: Tillie Olsen, Thomas Pynchon, Anne Sexton, Kingsley Amis, et alia...edited by Stewart Richardson and Corlies M. Smith (LIppincott Keystone 1960)

New World Writing had been the New American Library's pioneering literary magazine in mass-market paperback book format for fifteen Mentor-imprint (smugly branded "good reading for the millions") volumes beginning in 1951, and then decamped for seven volumes to Lippincott and their somewhat more expensive paperback line, starting with this issue (and its amateurish cover) and folding in 1964.  And while the Mentor editions usually had longer tables of contents than the Lippincott anthologies, this first issue for the new decade has what could be fairly called a rather impressive line-up:

from WorldCat, augmented:
5 * Editor's Note / Richardson & Smith
11 * Tell me a riddle / Tillie Olsen --
58 * Lolita Lepidoptera / Diana Butler --
85 * Low-lands / Thomas Pynchon --
109 * Five poems / Irving Feldman --
115 * Three lonely men / Leslie Garrett (excerpt from The Faces of Hatred and Love...probably that which was published, with serious revision, as The Beasts)
135 * You that love England / Kingsley Amis --
146 * Dancing the jig / Anne Sexton --
154 * Martin the fisherman / John Knowles --
163 * A penny for the ferryman / John F. Gilgun --
188 * A season in paradise / E.N. Sargent --
223 * You have to draw a line somewhere / Judson Jerome --
231 * The law and Lady Chatterly / Harriet F. Pilpel and Nancy F. Wechsler --
241 * The credence table / Jack Richardson --
278 * Two poems / Jack Marshall --
282 * The listener / John Berry

...which thus includes, in their first publication, Olsen's most famous work of fiction, Butler's first published essay (a well-made case that Nabokov's most famous work of fiction is quite intentionally as much about his passion for butterflies as it is a study of pedophilia or a travelogue of the US), Pynchon's second published short story, Sexton's first published short story, and so on through Berry's brief recounting of a charming anecdote remade into not quite a fable.

I've not yet had the opportunity to read most of the second half of this issue yet, though am amused to see, for example, that John Knowles (best remembered for the novel A Separate Peace) was an editor at Holiday magazine, and wonder how well he got on with staff writer Alfred Bester (they might've even dated, for what little I know, if one dated per se in those still unfriendly times). The Olsen was a remarkable and for me rather painful read (as it's about a married couple, parents of adult children, facing their last years with little hope for happiness for either, and the protagonist being a woman who had never managed to live the life she had expected to, after early political adventure and imprisonment, only to find herself limited to a life in service to a husband she's not completely bitterly estranged from, though habituated to, and children she could never find complete fulfillment in raising nor feel comfortable actually interacting with as adults)(this is rather close to my own family situation in several ways at the moment)'s told also in a rather discursive and personalized style that has not been too widely imitated since, distinctive even in comparison to those other writers who've taken a similar tack with the form of their narrative.

The Pynchon is very funny, and if rather indicative of a young man's attempt to take in the estate of a middle-aged married couple, is still energetic and charming in a way that, say, John Kennedy Toole's rather contemporaneous A Confederacy of Dunces is usually credited with...this is how to do antic for adults correctly...Pynchon's affinity with another, somewhat older contemporary, R. A. Lafferty, becomes somewhat clearer than I've recalled previously, and there's yet another reason to be sorry it took Lafferty till middle-age to begin writing for the likes of New Mexico Quarterly and Science Fiction(the magazine of that title, also an important early market for the likes of Carol Emshwiller and peripherally for Edward Hoch)...

The Sexton is unsurprisingly almost a prose-poem, and Poetry magazine or American Poetry Review today might be willing to publish it as a poem in prose format...the unnamed protagonist is dancing at an otherwise dull dinner party, and a chair catches her eye, manages to remind her of her tense childhood and particularly of one dinner among many with a controlling mother and a distant, alcoholic father. (As Philip Larkin noted at about this time, "They fuck you up, your mum and dad./They may not mean to, but they do...."--and Sexton herself not the least offensive thus...and this kind of thing can run in families...)

And in the course of calling Brit expatriate writers (and presumably other artists) back home to fight the Gray Tories and other similar things, Kingsley Amis notes that he finds the totality of Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One false, even if every detail is true.  Well, it won't be the last time Amis is wrong, if he is.

Related posts:
FFB: THE AVON BOOK OF MODERN WRITING (1953) and No. 2 (1954) ed. William Phillips & Philip Rahv, among other "paperback magazines"/periodical books

guest essay by Barry Malzberg: NEW AMERICAN REVIEW (later AMERICAN REVIEW), edited by Theodore Solotaroff: the best American literary magazine--among its contents, two of the longer segments of what was eventually reshaped into Philip Roth's most famous novel, still, Portnoy's Complaint (along with short stories published in ESQUIRE and PARTISAN REVIEW).

Friday, August 26, 2011

FFM: EPOCH, Fall 1955; ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE (and F&SF), September 1955

Add caption
I mentioned in an FFB post a few weeks back*** that I'd recently purchased a short stack of Epoch, the Cornell-based literary magazine that in its first, Fall 1947 issue featured a short story by young lion Ray Bradbury and poems by old lion e. e. cummings and early-middle-years lion John Ciardi, and while I didn't have that issue nor the one with Joyce Carol Oates's, well, epochal "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?", I did have the Fall 1955 (8th anniversary) issue with two poems by the late Joanna Russ, who would've been 18 at time of publication and probably newly matriculated. The issue also featured a short story by R. V. Cassill and a poem by Lysander Kemp, and these along with the Russ poems might've been just as much at home on the contents page of EQMM's sister magazine The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, though the Philip Roth short story in the same issue (which Barry Malzberg advises me was his first to be published) might push the TOC in a more Partisan Review direction; scientist-poet Theodore Melnechuk pushes it back a little.

Meanwhile, in this, the 70th anniversary year of publication for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, it only seemed fitting to take up the 14th anniversary issue, September 1955, as close as they could get to accuracy given that the first issue was dated Fall 1941. (The editorial half of "Ellery Queen," Frederic Dannay, or perhaps someone else high up on staff, decided to fudge it inside the magazine, at least, and call this issue, erroneously, the 15th anniversary.)

So, these two would've been on better newsstands at about the same time, with EQMMrunning 35c a copy and Epoch 75c.

As Douglas Greene indexed the issue for the FictionMags Index:

Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (Including Black Mask Magazine) [v 26 #3, No. 142, September 1955] ed. Ellery Queen (Mercury Publications, 35¢, 144pp, digest s/b, cover by George Salter) Managing editor Robert P. Mills. "15th Anniversary issue." [sic]

3 · For Men Only [Insp. Kyle] · Roy Vickers · nv; continued on p. 125.
22 · Murder at the Poe Shrine · Nedra Tyre · ss
35 · The Most Exciting Show in Town · Cornell Woolrich · nv Detective Fiction Weekly May 16 1936, as “Double Feature”; In EQMM’s Black Mask Magazine section.
50 · Turtle Race · Paul W. Fairman · ss; In EQMM’s Black Mask Magazine section.
60 · Star Witness · Allan Vaughan Elston · ss Dime Detective Magazine Aug 1 1934; The American Magazine, May 1952, as “Caballero Alegre”.
70 · The Devil and Mr. Wooller · R. J. Tilley · ss; Department of “First Stories”.
77 · Double Your Money [Ellery Queen] · Ellery Queen · ss This Week Sep 30 1951, as “The Vanishing Wizard”; collected in Queen’s Q.B.I.: Queen’s Bureau of Investigation (Little, Brown, 1954).
83 · What Did Poor Brown Do · Mark Twain · ex (r); from chapter II of Following the Equator.
90 · A Very Odd Case Indeed [John Appleby] · Michael Innes · vi (r); Probably from The Evening Standard.
93 · The Man Who Made People Mad · Mark Van Doren · ss
105 · Killers Three: (3) First Time Machine · Fredric Brown · vi; The title in the TOC is “The First Time Machine”.
106 · EQMM’s Detective Directory · Robert P. Mills · br
108 · Dead Pigeon · Jules Archer · vi Esquire Dec 1951
111 · The Splinter · Mary Roberts Rinehart · ss

A fairly typical mix of reprints and new fiction for EQMM in those years, with its "Black Mask" section (a feature recently revived after some decades' absence in the magazine) populated by a Woolrich reprint and a Paul Fairman original, with accompanying note that fudges Fairman's career history a bit as well, soft-pedaling his work with Howard Browne at the Ziff-Davis pulp and digest magazines and omitting his very short tenure as the founding editor of If, the sf magazine Fairman did his best to make a weak echo of Browne's Amazing...which by 1955, Fairman would be editing, along with its companion Fantastic, as almost inarguably the worst editor of either. In the late 1950s, Fairman would serve for some years as Managing Editor of EQMM, as well.

Fredric Brown's vignette, the third in a sequence that year, "Killers 3," "The First Time Machine," is indicative of Dannay's fondness for the fantasticated crime story, mixed in with the contemporary and historical items; he would publish horror fiction from time to time, as well. The Tyre and the Twain are charming.

The Epoch issue runs thus:

Epoch [v. VII, #1, Fall 1955] edited by Baxter Hathaway, Morris Bishop, Carl Hartman, Robert O. Brown, Hazard Adams, Herbert Goldstone, and Bruce R. Park. "Non-Resident": John A. Sessions and Harvey Shapiro; Assistant Editors: Steven Katz, Barbara D. Long, Ronald Sukenick and Nina Zippin. (Epoch Associates, publishers; quarterly; $3/year; approx. 8.5 x 5.5"; 64pp plus covers).

3· When Old Age Shall This Generation Waste · R.V. Cassill· ss
20· Savors · T. Melnechuk · pm
21· False Autumn · Rosanne Smith-Robinson · ss
33· Tenebrae: Seven Variations · Frederick Eckman · pm
35· Two Poems · Joanna Russ · pm
· Botanical Gardens · pm
· A La Mode · pm
36· Where the Tiger Walks · Chris Bjerknes · pm
37· The Contest for Aaron Gold · Philip Roth · ss
51· Orpheus Again · Lysander Kemp · pm
53· Sing, and Singing Praise · Peter Cohen · pm
54· Two Poems · Richard Hugo · pm
· Anti-Social Easter · pm
· The Gull Hardly Explained · pm
55· War in the Pacific · Bruce Cutler · pm
60· Notes, Reviews, Speculations · Anon. · ed

The Cassill is a fine representation of the more cosmopolitan society of the mid-'50s, and how said folks had to tread carefully among the louts so easily stirred up all around them (among other points about the Literary Scene in NYC at that time); the Russ poems are very promising, the Melnechuck poem very clever in its cummings-esque usage of typography for multiple layers of meaning. The Roth story is decent early work, rather more sentimental than he was later likely to indulge in.

Meanwhile, the September issue of F&SF, arguably its sixth anniversary issue, featured (as per ISFDb)--edited by Anthony Boucher; cover by Chesley Bonestell (Vol 9, No 3, Whole No 52 ". . . Nearly in the Usual Manner" is an anecdote about Robert Fulton from "Temple of Reason"; it was contributed by Rita Gottesman.):

3 • The Man Who Cried "Sheep!" • novelette by J. T. McIntosh
32 • ". . . Nearly in the Usual Manner" • (1801) • (filler) essay by uncredited
33 • The Fourth Man • (1933) • short story by Agatha Christie
47 • The Science Screen • reviews by Charles Beaumont
52 • Personal Monster • short story by Margaret St. Clair [as by Idris Seabright]
63 • Too Many Bears • (1949) • short story by Eric St. Clair
68 • Old Story • short story by Ward Moore
83 • The Music on the Hill • (1911) • short story by Saki
88 • Recommended Reading • reviews by Anthony Boucher
93 • Rudolph • (1954) • short story by Thyra Samter Winslow
99 • Pottage • [The People] • novelette by Zenna Henderson
127 • Too Far • vignette by Fredric Brown

--the Saki being another of his most telling horror stories, the Henderson a key story in her "the People" series, the St. Clairs fine examples of what they could do, and the Brown one of the best recomplicated punning vignettes I can recall reading.

So, that would've been a good month...

***I'd mentioned this in the FFB post noting Carol Emshwiller's retrospective collection, and yesterday this news about Emshwiller, from her son, Stony, on FaceBook:

My 90-year-old mom, Carol Emshwiller, had a "cardiac event" (which
apparently is, to a "heart attack," what "breaking wind" is to "farting").
She's doing okay, thankfully. Since she's a life-long atheist (second
generation), asking for your prayers would no doubt piss her off royally. So
instead I'll ask you to track down one of her stories or books on-line (or
even in a bookstore) and give a few lines (or more) a read. She's awesome.

Get well soon, Mom!

for more of today's books and more, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Newsstand, somewhere in or around Detroit, ca. December 1964

What first caught my eye about this photo, as posted in the Facebook paperback/pulp/related discussion forum by Kevin Brubaker some weeks back, were the Winter 1965 issues of the digest-sized fiction I noted there, aside from CORONET (an inoffensively bland general-interest magazine, as I recall it in the 1970s), these digests were all major sources of joy and influence for me at some point in my life, and the surviving magazines, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION and ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, remain so (a few issues I had of CHILDREN'S DIGEST and its younger-skewing companion HUMPTY DUMPTY when I was about four or five probably predisposed me permanently toward digest-sized fiction magazines).

My guess is that with the open display of Midwood porn novels of the mid '60s amid Mickey Spillane and Ian Fleming paperbacks, and Macfadden-Bartell low-budget items mixed in, and the fact that the Men's Sweat magazines are getting more prominent placement, packed on the upper magazine rack while THE SATURDAY EVENING POST and SEVENTEEN issues are on the lower rack (along with a German "film revue" magazine, not altogether unlikely to have been of the Kind Men Like...or at least to have some photos that wouldn't appear in a US film magazine of the era), that this newsstand was in a tobacco shop or a truck stop in or around Detroit; the slide's purchaser/Facebook poster Kevin Brubaker thought it was shot in February 1965, but it was probably taken, as The Saturday Evening Post on the stand is the 12 December issue, in the first week of December 1964 (see last photo below).

All the 1964 issues...December at bottom right... much for inoffensive, as late as 1964, when Negro was beginning to
 give way to Black as the value-neutral/non-pejorative term for African-Americans...

Oddly enough, I call Margolin Early Media Crush of Mine (she's not the cover model...
who also has a coterie following still...)

Turns out this, the 12 December 1964 issue, of SEP was the issue on sale here...
so, probably, the photo was taken in the first week of December...

This issue of SEP's contents: 
...almost a pity it wasn't the next issue, which featured a short story by Gina Berriault, previously blogged about here...then again, J. B. Priestley has gotten some attention here...