Friday, February 22, 2019

FRIDAY'S "FORGOTTEN" BOOKS and more: the links to the reviews: 22 February 2019

This week's books, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles. Founder Patti Abbott is attending to other business, and I will be taking up the list regularly for at least a while (very glad to see an FFB entry from her this week)...if I've missed your review or someone else's, please let me know in comments...

Patti Abbott: Rogue Males: Conversations and Confrontations About the Writing Life interviews by Craig McDonald

Elizabeth Bear: Eight classic fantasy and sf novels of the 1970s: by Phyllis Eisenstein, Diane Duane, Phyllis Ann Karr, Jo Clayton, Joy Chant, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Suzy McKee Charnas, Vonda McIntyre

Paul Bishop: the Webb Carrick series by Bill Knox

Les Blatt: Frequent Hearses (aka Sudden Vengeance) by Edmund Crispin

Elgin Bleecker: They Don't Dance Much by James Ross

John Boston: Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories, February 1964, edited by Cele Goldsmith Lalli

Ben Boulden: "A Real Nice Guy" by William F. Nolan, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, April 1980, edited by Charles Fritch

Brian Busby: 10 Years of the Dusty Bookcase blog

Martin Edwards: The Strange Case of Harriet Hall by "Moray Dalton" (Katherine Dalton Renoir)

Peter Enfantino: Atlas (pre-Marvel) Horror Comics January 1952

Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC War Comics, June 1974

Barry Ergang: God Save the Mark by Donald Westlake (hosted by Kevin Tipple)

Will Errickson: Shadows 4, edited by Charles Grant; Richard Matheson, interviewed by Douglas Winter, Faces of Fear

Curtis Evans: The Capital Murder by "James Z. Alner" (James Alner Tobey)

Paul Fraser: Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1943, edited by John W. Campbell, Jr.; Future Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1943, edited by Robert W. Lowndes (the W squad)

John Grant: Blue Night by Simone Buchholz (translated by Rachel Ward); Tequila Blue by Rolo Diez (translated by Nick Caistor)

Aubrey Hamilton: The Red Castle Women by Margaret Widdemer

Rich Horton: Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem; Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks; stories of David D. Levine; Move Under Ground and stories of Nick Mamatas; The Best of Xero edited by Pat and Dick Lupoff

Jerry House: The Barker, #8, Summer 1948

Kate Jackson: Cat and Mouse by Christianna Brand; There's Trouble Brewing by "Nicholas Blake" (Cecil Day-Lewis)

Nick Jones: Six from Sirius by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy

Tracy K: The Unsuspected by Charlotte Armstrong

Colman Keane: Dispatches from the Cold and Fade to Clear by Leonard Chang

George Kelley: The Great SF Stories #6 (1944) edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg

Joe Kenney: The Scene by "Mike Jahn" (Joseph Michael Jahn)

Margot Kinberg: The Blue Hour by Alonso Cueto (translated by Frank Wynne)

Rob Kitchin: Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark

B. V. Lawson: Death Watch by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Evan Lewis: Los Tejanos by Jack Jackson; Frank Frazetta Happy Comics art

Steve Lewis: Stamped for Death by Emmett McDowell; Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year: Second Annual Edition edited by Lester Del Rey; Winner Take All by James McKimmey; "The Giving Plague" by David Brin, Interzone, Spring 1988, edited by David Pringle and Simon Oursley

Jess Nevins: 20th Century African-American Horror Fiction

John F. Norris: The Silent Murders by "Neil Gordon" (Archibald Gordon Macdonnell)

Juri Nummelin: Missing by Sam Hawken

John O'Neill: The Passing of the Dragons by Keith Roberts

Matt Paust: Miami Blues by Charles Willeford

James Reasoner: The Galaxy Raiders by William P. McGivern

Richard Robinson: The Kelloggs, The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel 

Gerard Saylor: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Scott: A Step Out of Time by Betty Askwith

Victoria Silverwolf: Worlds of Tomorrow, April 1964, edited by Frederik Pohl; Fantastic: Stories of Imagination, January 1964, edited by Cele Goldsmith Lalli

Kerrie Smith: As the Crow Flies by Damien Boyd

Kevin Tipple: A Time to Scatter Stones by Lawrence Block

"TomCat": The Kindaichi Case Files: The Legendary Vampire Murders by Saimura Amagi et al.

Danielle Torres: Stillmeadow Calendar by Gladys Tabor

David Vineyard: Levkas Man by Hammond Innes; "The Blue Sweetheart" by David Goodis, Manhunt, April 1953, edited by Scott Meredith

Lisa Yaszek: "The Jest" by Dorothy Parker

Friday, February 15, 2019

FRIDAY'S "FORGOTTEN" BOOKS (AND MORE): The Links to the Reviews: 15 February 2019

This week's books, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles. Founder Patti Abbott is attending to other business this week, and I will likely take up the list again next Friday...if I've missed your review or someone else's, please let me know in comments...

Paul Bishop: the Gunships men's adventure novels series by "Jack Hamilton Teed" (Christopher Lowder aka "Jack Adrian")

Les Blatt:  Murder Fantastical by Patricia Moyes

John Boston: Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories, March 1964, edited by Cele Goldmith Lalli

Ben Boulden: At First Sight by Stephen J. Cannell

Brian Busby: Harlequin Books from the beginning

Martin Edwards: The Client by Martin Russell

Peter Enfantino: Atlas (pre-Marvel) Horror Comics December 1951/the Best-Of, 1949-51

Will Errickson: Eat Them Alive! by (Ms. Evelyn) Pierce Nace

Curtis Evans: The Mysteries of "Moray Dalton" (Katherine Mary Deville Dalton Renoir)

Paul Fraser: Weird Tales, July 1943, edited by Dorothy McIlwraith; Astounding Science Fiction, May 1943, edited by John W. Campbell, Jr.; Astonishing Stories, February 1943, edited by Alden H. Norton and Frederik Pohl

John Grant: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Aubrey Hamilton: Foggy, Foggy Death by Frances and Richard Lockridge

Rich Horton: A Window in Thrums by J. M. Barrie; some short fiction of Carol Emshwiller; The Jane Austen Book Club and some short fiction by Karen Joy Fowler

Jerry House: Bill Boyd Western, July 1950

Kate Jackson: Pick Your Victim by Patricia McGerr; The Clock in the Hat Box by "Anthony Gilbert" (Lucy Malleson)

Tracy K: A Chill Rain in January by L. R. Wright

Colman Keane: Stoneburner and Little Sister Death by William Gay

George Kelley: Frantic by Noël Calef (translated by R. F. Tannenbaum)

Joe Kenney: The Inquisitor #6: Last Rites for the Vulture by "Simon Quinn" (Martin Cruz Smith) *small  pb cover reproduction a bit NSFW; Hitman #7: You're Hired, You're Dead! by "Kirby Carr" (Kin Platt)

Margot Kinberg: Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott

Rob Kitchin: The Attention Merchants by Timothy Wu

B. V. Lawson: The Spoilt Kill by Mary Kelly

Evan Lewis: Fast Fiction #2 (1949)/Stories by Famous Authors Illustrated #2 (1950): "Captain Blood" from the Rafael Sabatini novel, illustrated by Henry Kiefer

Steve Lewis: Amends for Murder by M. D. Lake; Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year: Second Annual Edition edited by Lester Del Rey; "Lost, Strayed and Stolen" by Erle Stanley Gardner (Detective Fiction Weekly, 24 February 1934) 

Mike Lind: The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout

Todd Mason: 14 Vicious Valentines edited by Rosalind M. Greenberg, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh

John F. Norris: Death Sends a Cable by Margaret Taylor Yates

Juri Nummelin: She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

John O'Neill: Doomsday Morning by Catherine L. Moore; Classic Science Fiction: The First Golden Age edited by Terry Carr

Matt Paust: In Search of Murder by Roderic Jeffries

James Reasoner: Blonde Verdict by "Carter Brown" (Alan G. Yates)

Richard Robinson: Death in the Old Country by Eric Wright

Gerard Saylor: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Jack Seabrook: "The Fog Closing In" by Ms. "Martin Brooke" (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, April 1956)

Steven H. Silver: Fantasy Newsletter/Review, edited by Paul C. Allen and then by Robert A. Collins

Victoria Silverwolf: Fantastic: Stories of Imagination, February 1964, edited by Cele Goldsmith Lalli

Kerrie Smith: Quota by Jock Serong

Dan Stumpf: The Fallen Sparrow by Dorothy B. Hughes

Kevin Tipple: Still River by Harry Hunsicker

"TomCat": The Glass Spear by Sydney Hobson Courtier

Danielle Torres: An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel

Prashant Trikannad: On the Run with Fotikchand by Satyajit Ray (translated into English in editions by Lila Ray and by Gopa Majoomdar)

Jeff Vorzimmer: Manhunt magazine, edited by Scott Meredith et al.

Lisa Yaszek: Carol Emshwiller, and "Pelt" (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1958, edited by Robert P. Mills)

FFB: 14 VICIOUS VALENTINES edited by Rosalind M. Greenberg, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh (Avon 1988): Susan Casper, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman, Edward Hoch, Barry Malzberg, William F. Nolan et al.

14 Vicious Valentines ed. Rosalind M. & Martin H. Greenberg & Charles G. Waugh (Avon 0-380-75353-7, Feb ’88 [Jan ’88], $3.50, 192pp, pb) Original anthology of horror, fantasy, and mystery stories.
As too often, still reading this one as the Friday morning arrives...various distractions and other tasks intruded, as we remember the folks we've lost since this Greenberg group anthology was published in 1988...the first anthology credited to Rosalind Greenberg, who has since become Martin Greenberg's widow. 

It also didn't help that the lead-off novelet by Talmage Powell is atrocious (which didn't stop Martin Greenberg from including it in several more anthologies afterward). Clearly paid by the word, Powell lards everything with unnecessary description, characters restating what has just been described, either by Powell as author or through another character's speech, infodumps about Louisiana history (real and story-specific), and has characters grow enraged at each other in the middle of dialog for no reason. The title is essentially meaningless, as well. Thirty pages of discouragement to continue. Powell was never the most precise writer, in what I've read over the decades, and he was usually at his best in writing about obsessed characters just when they've lost all self-control...his rationale for this as horror story and its villain of sorts is less utterly clumsy than most of the rest of the tale, but that's a very low bar.

Isaac Asimov's introduction is a pleasant-enough, if slightly perfunctory, rundown of the origins of the name Valentine (and its predecessors) and, very quickly, the emergence of modern Valentine's Day observation. The loving care with which the book was put together is indicated by no copyright notice for the Asimov introduction anywhere in the text, and a poor choice of typeface and even worse page layout, with "gutters" for the binding of the paperback original way too narrow and almost requiring breaking the spine to being able to read the stories.

However, things pick up immediately with a Sam McBride story by Ed Gorman, signing himself as he often would early on in horror contexts as "Daniel Ransom". The Rick Hautala entry is apparently his first published short story; as with Jane Gaskell and Samuel Delany and relatively few others, he was publishing novels for several years before his first shorter work. And I look forward to better things from such old pros as Bill Crider (the anniversary of whose passing was only days ago), Edward Wellen, Edward Hoch, Barry Malzberg, Steve Rasnic Tem, William Nolan, Nedra Tyre (whose story is the only other one reprinted here along with the Hautala...though sloppy traffic control lists the Hautala as an original here, as opposed to in another Greenberg anthology published the year before) and others. And Susan Casper, the briefly prolific short story writer Jeannette Hopper, Tyre and co-editor Greenberg help qualify this for the Women in Horror Month consideration, along with its obvious seasonal relevance.

More review to come.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

some SF and political magazines, August 1964 (or as close as can be found)

If two queries amount to clamor (we have low thresholds here in blogland), a groundswell of Rick and Paul made me aware that though I thought I had done an August 1964 gallery of science fiction magazines at some point (as opposed to their compatriots in English devoted to fantasy and frequently also sf), as it turns out, I hadn't. And, as there's a remarkable lack of photos online of the summer 1964 issues of the political magazines that meant the most to me as I would read them later, or whose legacy would be important to me, here are some images from as close as I can get so far (I did include the anarchist/libertarian socialist  journal Our Generation, which in 1964 was still Our Generation Against Nuclear War, in with the general-interest intellectual magazines and the politically-savvy satire magazines last part because it has a fine online archive)(and when a magazine, like Dissent, apparently skipped most of 1964 presumably out of budget or staff infighting woes, what can one do? The 1964 Anarchy below, by the way, is the offshoot from the UK anarchist newspaper Freedom, rather than an improbably early issue of the 1980s heavily Situationist/Deep Ecologist Anarchy: The Journal of Desire Armed)(nobody seems to archive/web-write much about The Progressive in the 1960s...).

If there's a magazine among sf magazines in English in 1964 that was providing the most bang for the pence without much attention given, it was probably the UK edition of Venture Science Fiction, which flourished briefly for several years after the similarly impressive, shortlived US original and in the mid-'60s was the de facto UK edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Perhaps an unfair comparison, as it was able to draw on the contents of both the US Venture and F&SF ranging back a number of years, cherry-picking as they might (and this Venture did run a scrap of fantasy...but, then, so did all the other sf magazines below):

And we can note the presence of one of the recently late Carol Emshwiller's stories. "Pelt", along with her nearly contemporaneous "Hunting Machine", is and are strong indictments of the ethics and cruelty of hunting for sport, at very least, and among her many vivid short stories.

And to run through the rest of the field almost alphabetically and definitely by how long they had run by 1964:

Amazing, during all its years running alongside Fantastic and to some extent Fantastic Adventures, was almost always not quite as good as its stablemate, in part because there usually was more magazine competition for sf stories than the fantasy fiction the companion was more open  to...but the August issue has a hell of a lineup, aside from the odd choices of Young and Rohrer, the latter about as new on the scene as Le Guin and Gottlieb, for the cover...and the September contributors are as impressive.

And another quick memorial, for the recently late George Locke.
Pretty good issues (at least the August, which I've read, but the September looks good) of the large-format Analog, albeit light on fiction...but if you're going to run only three pieces of fiction in an issue, having two of them be by Mack Reynolds and Damon Knight is a good idea (Knight's notable story "Semper Fi", which Campbell changed the title of, and Knight changed it back when it was reprinted). Haven't read the serial...I've only owned the August issue, and the author seems typical of the Analog writer who hasn't published much outside the magazine.

Mass-market paperback-sized issues of New Worlds, early in the editorship of Michael Moorcock, and the July/August issue featuring the most famous story of his ex, Hilary Bailey, a brilliant writer. Eclectic mixes of writers...for example, few tend to refer to Joseph Green as a "New Wave" writer, but he's right at home here...and E. C. Tubb in the next issue...of course, the big arguments came later.

New Worlds SF, July-August 1964
Editor: Michael Moorcock (2/6, 128pp+, pb, cover by Cawthorn)
Frederik Pohl was probably at his editorial height at this point, as he as getting Galaxy and If about where he wanted them, except not monthly, and was given Worlds of Tomorrow as a sop for not being allowed to up the frequency of the other magazines...not what he was hoping for, but WoT became a place for long novellas and other items that literally or thematically wouldn't fit in the other magazines (though If was saddled with the atrocious Heinlein novel, and had a sudden switch to monthly for the August issue, then bimonthly again for September-October, then monthly in November for several years--publishers Robert Guinn and Sol Cohen were nervous); the only issues of The Best Science Fiction magazines were a bit of a trial balloon...the Best from WoT item probably not released till year's end, but this isn't clearly documented (the FictionMags Index suspects it was intended for 1965 release)...probably the best cover designs of this set, save the August If and the utterly functional Best Science Fictions.

If, August 1964 
Editor: Frederik Pohl  
Cover: If, August 1964 (1964) • by Fetterly

And, for the hell of it, here's the 1964 Hugo Award balloting results order for the professional magazines in sf and fantasy, World SF Convention membership tending to favor sf but not always, and demonstrating the dangers, for Cele Goldsmith, John Carnell and Frederik Pohl, at least, of having to run against yourself...

The second example from the left above dates from 1965.

A rather impressive issue, beyond the most famous contribution, Susan Sontag's "Notes on 'Camp'"

And, like The Paris Review, with CIA funding: