Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Short Story Wednesday: Kit Reed, Margaret St. Clair, William F. Nolan, Avram Davidson, Richard Wilson, and others: April 1958 fantasy (and related) stories from THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASTIC UNIVERSE (part 2)

 See this previous post for overviews and complete issue indices: 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)

The apparent source collection for the Lincoln story...

In the rather impressive F&SF and not-bad Fantastic Universe (FU, not at all as an imprecation, from here onward) issues for April 1958, among the most impressive stories is Kit Reed's first published fiction, "The Wait", a grim story that if anything hits home at least as hard in these days of the sense of a Great Running Down of U.S. and world human culture, and anticipates the likes of the recent cable horror series From, only in a far less stupid fashion than that tale of monsters besieging a lonely town told its story. Of course, it hit home hard then, too, as "The Wait" is a ritual in the small town that the protagonists are unfortunate enough to need to stay in, after some set of increasingly common maladies afflict the mother of her soon-to-be-18-year-old daughter on their roadtrip together across the continent, the high school graduation "present" for the daughter. The young woman would've preferred to stay home in NYC, and enjoy the summer with her friends before acquiescing to go to secretarial school, as her mother hopes that she'll catch the eye of a banker or other rising businessman looking for a wife; young Miriam's desire to attend a more traditional college is pooh-poohed. This town puts its young women up for a far more literal sort of not-quite-merchandise ritual. Reed noted that after this issue of F&SF appeared, some of her colleagues at The New Haven Register put a hank of blue yarn and knitting needles on her desk, in imitation of a part of the ritual. Shirley Jackson fans will like this one.

A number of the stories in this issue have been read by me previously, some such as the Reed recently, some such as Robert Arthur's amusing "Obstinate Uncle Otis" in childhood, and Fritz Leiber's cover story in late adolescence (it's at least one other grimly pro-feminist story in this issue, even as its title somewhat prefigures Mitt Romney's famous malapropism about having binders-full of women to choose running mates from)(late note: at the bottom of the page before "A Deskful of Girls" begins, there's an ad for Jesse Jones Box Corp.-style clip-binders to store issues of F&SF in. You read this coincidence here first and perhaps in the Leiber review piece forthcoming and will probably never read it anywhere else again!). But I thought I had read "The Grantha Sighting" by Avram Davidson before, and apparently, unless I've forgotten it altogether over the years, somehow I haven't. It's even more amusing, given how much UFOlogy and alien visitation chatter was about in the late '50s (and not least in FU, where editor Hans Stefan Santesson loved to entertain various sorts of fringe and mystical notions, and presumably the UFO material didn't hurt sales; Anthony Boucher at F&SF wasn't altogether immune to them, either, but didn't take them as at least semi-seriously as Santesson or John W. Campbell at the sf magazine Astounding, later Analog, much less Ray Palmer, who converted his sf magazine Other Worlds into a UFOlogy magazine, Flying Saucers from Other Worlds, a companion to his long-running Fate magazine, for a few final issues in 1957), in that Davidson's story in F&SF and Richard Wilson's in FU tread similar paths toward their mostly humorous points..."Grantha" refers to aliens who (somewhat intentionally improbably) have to stop near a deserted farmhouse in central New York because they need to heat up formula for their baby (very humanoid space travelers, these. and their human contacts sound a lot like those who were actually getting media attention at the time), and there's something awry with their small space-ship's engine. The wife and husband are able to intuit most of the visitors' desires, in part from a sudden incomplete understanding of the alien language, and help as best they can, sending the aliens somewhat effectively on their way...a parody of UFOlogy organizations' representatives, and long-term WOR and WABC radio host "Long John" Knebel, visit the farm couple and encourage a more elaborated report...much of the story is all but transcript from the Knebel-parody's broadcast (Knebel's series was briefly national, and was turned over to Larry King after Knebel's departure). Meanwhile, the Richard Wilson FU story, "Grand Prize", similarly is mostly given over to a parody of What's My Line?, the panel game show, as it was conducted in 1957, with a Steve Allen parody among the most vocal participants, along with the John Charles Daly parody as host to a very dangerous Mystery Guest indeed, one whose intentions can only be thwarted by a certain segment of the populace. Wilson's story isn't as elaborated as Davidson's, but it's a clever, notional story. Likewise, the fairly clever, humorous first-contact with aliens story "Case History" by Nelson Bond, an old hand at various forms of fiction writing for a wide variety of magazines and more.

Meanwhile, Margaret St. Clair has stories in both issues, with her FU story, "Birthright", one of those which pits abortion rights against blithe assumptions about what now is tagged makes its point, and has something to say about medical hierarchies and how to get around them, as well, but, like many FU stories, is more a clever story than a profound one. Santesson's magazine was widely seen as a salvage market for F&SF rejects; not always true, by any means, but too often a likelihood, though also no magazine was more interested in hosting the continuations of Robert Howard's "Conan" story-cycle than was FU--and, in its last issue (in 1960), Santesson's magazine was the only fantasy magazine (so far!) to host the first English translation of a Jorge Luis Borges story, the translation uncredited (possibly by Santesson), one of the vignettes from The Universal History of Infamy. St. Clair's F&SF story, as published under her "Idris Seabright" pseudonym (I'm not sure if any pattern was ever established for which byline went on which of her stories), digs a bit deeper, and is also primarily a medical story, in this case dealing with a war of attrition and how the veterans still in the field are drugged into forgetfulness after each day, and the disabled veterans, including the protagonist's womanfriend, Miriam, left essentially to wither and rot (two key Miriams in two impressive stories in this F&SF). "The Death of Each Day" (as Boucher notes, taking its title from Macbeth) has excellent detail and limns the exploration of personal realities in a manner not altogether unlike Philip K. Dick's work a few years later. 

Victoria Lincoln's "No Evidence" is a graceful approach to concretizing a metaphor, in this case the two identities of a troubled Irish immigrant, brought to the States as a boy, but never happy and never quite able to cope with what he faces in life and in himself, finds himself/themselves literally split into two men after a night of drinking some very suspicious homebrew. The "liberated" self finds his way back to Ireland, and leads a relatively bohemian life; the original self keeps at his sensible job and has a rather good life with his ever more dear wife, whose flaws are part of the attraction for him. This really is one of the best issues of F&SF I've read.  One gets the sense that Boucher, reaching the end of his time editing the magazine, was throwing off all his assumptions about what might be "too sophisticated" for fantasy-magazine readers, and as a result is providing a literate and challenging set of stories this issue even by F&SF's regular standards. 

Rather early on, while co-editing F&SF with J. Francis McComas, Boucher actually slipped in a reference to how he'd like to include, say, a Mark Van Doren story in the magazine, but he doubted that most fantasy-magazine readers would appreciate the subtlety of such work...not, on balance, the wisest sort of slap in the face unless every given reader decided they were of the Sophisticated Minority. "The Witch of Ramoth" is at least a Van Doren story, and in rather fitting company in this issue, dealing as it does in a relatively cozy fashion with a witch who plays rather cruelly with two sibling children who were too preoccupied with arguing to note the witch's offer of roasted chestnuts. Akin to Bradbury's least sentimental tales, or a slightly less doom-laden sort of Ramsey Campbell tale of children facing the Very Strange.

The best story I've read so far in the FU issue is by one of the "Little Bradburys" as they were sometimes dismissed, particularly at the turn of and into the early '60s, as they clustered around The Twilight Zone, similar film work, and the magazine Gamma (which in its brief and erratic run from 1963-65 would take up a similar place to FU in the fiction-magazine gamut). William F. Nolan's "Full Quota" is a crisply-written, straightforward horror story, involving an utterly unsought and involuntary deal with a demon, rather a deceptively unthreatening one, not even as stereotypically sinister as Van Doren's witch...till one looks into her eyes. The kind of horror story crime-fiction magazines could be comfortable buying (and perhaps Santesson dithered over including it here or in his other fiction digest, The Saint Mystery Magazine). Also an example of the utterly non-sf content FU featured as regular part of its remit, despite the fantasy-less "science fiction" tag on the covers.

And if sense-of-wonder sf is what you seek in your reading, Stanton Coblentz hoped to oblige you with the rather accurately-titled "Microcosm", in which a physicist experimenting with a viewer of sub-atomic particles finds himself transported into a series of microscopic recapitulations of planetary history, including the development and destruction of human civilization (sorry, those hoping for techno-optimism from our stars of '30s sf...perhaps the nuclear arms race as well as the more pessimistic elements of models including H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon would out). As mentioned at the top of this post, Robert Arthur's "Obstinate Uncle Otis" also has a bit of an old-fashioned feel to it, only fitting in that it was reprinted in the F&SF from a 1941 issue of the hugely popular pulp version of Argosy, not as dominant a presence in publishing as it was when it ushered in pulp magazines as a format around the turn of the century, but still potent, and still publishing some of the most popular writers in the country...Arthur's story, part of his Murchison Morks series of tall-tales told by Morks in bars, does share a few characteristics with Theodore Sturgeon's "The Ultimate Egoist" (published earlier in 1941) and considerably more with Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life--" (from the first volume of Frederik Pohl's new-fiction anthology series Star Science Fiction in 1953, and a captive creature of The Twilight Zone and thus also eventually The Simpsons by the end of the '50s)...Otis Morks is the kind of Utter Skeptic who chooses to not believe people and things he finds unpleasant or annoying actually exist...which has some unfortunate consequences when he's magically imbued with the ability to make his willful disbelief reality. I first read the story in one of  Robert Arthur's surprisingly few collections, Ghosts and More Ghosts, from 1963, or his initial volume in Random House's young readers' "Alfred Hitchcock" anthology series (parallel to Random's adult Alfred Hitchcock Presents: anthologies, also edited in the '60s by Arthur), 1962's Alfred Hitchcock's Ghostly Gallery. 

For more of today's Short Story Wednesday entries,
 please see Patti Abbott's blog

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Some of my favorite rock/related music videos: Saturday Music Club

Jawbox: "Savory"

Fanny: "Place in the Country"

The Breeders: "Safari"

The Roots w/Erykah Badu: "You Got Me"

Miriam Makeba: "Mbube"

The Bangles: "The Real World" and "Want  You"

Thievery Corporation: "The Richest Man in Babylon"

Miriam Makeba: "Into Yam"

The Ex: "Soon All Cities"

FLiP: "Karto Niago" (or "Kāto Niago")

The Go! Team (with Bethany Consentino and Angèle David-Guillou): "Rolling Blackouts"

Light in Babylon: "Hinech Yafa"

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

SSW: Jean Goldschmidt: "The Testament of Uncle George", STORY: THE MAGAZINE OF DISCOVERY, May 1967, edited by George Dickerson; Dennis Etchison:"The Pitch", WHISPERS, October 1978, edited by Stuart David Schiff: Short Story Wednesdays

 This issue can be read here.

The Etchison story can be read here.

Jean Goldschmidt's "The Testament of Uncle George" and Dennis Etchison's "The Pitch" are disturbing if also extremely ultraviolet/gallows-humorous stories, about the results of rather bad family dynamics, to put it mildly. Goldschmidt's was written at the beginning of a very short career, abruptly terminated by a 1971 traffic accident that killed her and her husband James Kempton about four years after their marriage; her husband was Murray Kempton's son. Her story was published in the first (perhaps only?) Scholastic Magazines-owned issue of Story, given a new subtitle and with this issue once again Volume 1, No. 1, purchased in 1966 from the Burnetts with Hallie Burnett now officially a Consulting Editor and Whit Burnett demoted to Advisory Editor and still the "Director of the STORY College Creative Awards", one of which was bestowed upon the Goldschmidt story for 1967.  Etchison's is the product of a writer in a successful midpoint of his career, if not as successful as he deserved; it was published in the horror and fantasy magazine Whispers, probably the most influential horror-fiction magazine of its time, and was reprinted in Gerald W. Page's The Year's Best Horror Stories volume for the following year, despite not being an actual horror story, any more than Robert Bloch's Psycho was, but instead an intense yet somewhat offhanded suspense story, as a number of Etchison's stories were. Similarly, Goldschmidt's story involves a young woman, Gwendolyn, alienated from her family (her father dies when she is very young; her mother marries her husband's brother, though not out of 19th Century tradition, and soon gives birth to a half-brother/half-cousin to the young woman, before divorcing her second husband and leaving Gwendolyn in the care of various family, their son Rudy with his father (who revels in the name George Washington Bridge while publishing Irving Wallace-style novels as "G. W. Bridgeport"), before she conducts various affairs which end poorly, and then commits suicide. Gwendolyn and Rudy, long separated, finally meet in their late teens, and have a multiply unfortunate romantic affair. 

Etchison's story features a loner who is nonetheless a very adept demonstrator and pitchman for several kinds of slicing and dicing food-processing who tolerates no sort of condescension nor rudeness directed at himself, and who seems oddly reticent to demonstrate the knives that are to be sold with the devices, and never takes off his gloves. It seems that as a young boy, his mother, overbearingly monitoring his piano practice from the kitchen, once was too incautious in how she let him know of her displeasure. Things do not come to what would be considered a conventionally happy conclusion in either story, either in the slow build of the strangeness of the Etchison protagonist, who likes to go by "C-Note", nor between Gwendolyn/Wendy and her uncle and her brother/cousin, told in a somewhat showily arch but not off-putting manner, as each of her characters tries and fails to find a comfortable role in day-to-day society.

These two writers began as essential contemporaries, with Etchison beginning to publish in the campus and then professional press in 1963, Goldschmidt in 1966 and with this story in '67; Etchison had his own rather less drastic bad luck in 1971, when the publishing house that was to issue his first collection went bankrupt just as his book was going to press, just after publishing the first edition of Karl Edward Wagner's first collection, Darkness Weaves. Etchison began to write scripts and novels by the late '60s, based as he was in Los Angeles, and began to edit anthologies, including both those devoted to horror and related work as Cutting Edge and Metahorror, and the much more eclectic small press anthology Lord John Ten, celebrating a decade of the Lord John Press's various interests. While Goldschmidt contributed to various magazines and The Village Voice during her foreshortened career...a retrospective of her work and some brief memoirs, My View is Incomplete, was published in 2001 with an introduction by Grace Paley. Etchison published a career retrospective, Talking in the Dark, in 2001, but continued to publish until shortly before his death from cancer in 2019. 

In a sense, one can see how both of their work grew out of some similar influences, such as Robert Bloch and Shirley Jackson (and Evelyn Waugh), but notably both the younger writers, in these stories among others, start at a point a bit beyond where the characters in the most typical work of Bloch or Jackson might still be attempting to pretend to be somewhat conventional or not prone to disconcerting urges; there's little pretense thus among the characters in these and other works by the '60s kids, who are also drawing in part on such writers as Donald Barthelme and Robert Coover, and fellow, slightly older '60s kids Joyce Carol Oates and Barry Malzberg (the latter two at Syracuse rather than at Etchison's Berkeley or Goldschmidt's Sarah Lawrence), or the slightly elder Carol Emshwiller and Patricia Highsmith. 

Etchison might be the single most influential writer of his generation on the current horror and suspense-fiction field, in the way he explores characters who are not anchored to conventional empathy nor to consensus reality any more than our more disturbing fellow citizens are; I shall have to read more of Goldschmidt's small body of surviving work, to see if she would've likely continued to take a slightly more antic approach to the same sort of neo-Gothic that fascinates Oates, and not too dissimilar from that which has driven the darker visions of Kate Wilhelm, Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood or Octavia Butler.

For more of today's short-fiction reviews, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

The Fictionmags Index listing for this issue of Whispers:

Index to the Story issue forthcoming...

Thursday, August 18, 2022

SSW: "The Girl with the Green Skin" by Mickey Spillane (and why it's missing from FANTASTIC, November/December 1952, and replaced by "The Veiled Woman" as ghosted by FANTASTIC editor Howard Browne)

 An entry submitted to the FictionMags Index:

    Life [v32 #25, June 23, 1952] ed. Henry R. Luce; managing ed. Edward K. Thompson; associate ed. Sally Kirkland [Sr.; Jr. is her actor daughter]  (Time, Inc., 20¢, 136pp+front/back cover pages, 10½″ x 13″, cover: [photo] by Christa (cover model: Rosemarie Bowe) This issue can be read here (thanks to Ward Saylor for the pointer).

    page 79 · "Death's Fair-Haired Boy: Sex and Fury Sell 13 Million Gory Books for Mickey Spillane" · Richard W. Johnson · iv
    · [Mickey Spillane] illustrated with photos by Peter Stackpole [Spillane summarizes his story "The Girl with the Green Skin", which he had sold to Fantastic for its 3rd (Nov/Dec 1952) issue; Howard Browne notes in several memoirs that he needed a story not previewed/spoiled in one of the US's largest-circulation magazines, so he ghosted "The Veiled Woman" for the magazine, attributed to Spillane, apparently without Spillane's approval. In the later memoirs, Browne notes also he thought Spillane's a terrible story, further incentive.]

as originally sold:

How Spillane summarizes his story "The Girl with the Green Skin" as quoted in Life:
"A reporter visits an artist, and he's fascinated by this portrait of a woman he sees hanging up in the studio. There's this girl, see--she's beautiful, she's stark naked, only she's all green. Even her hair is a dark bottle green. The reporter can't stand it. He asks the artist to tell him about her. The artist says he brought her into the country. She's so beautiful that men who make love to her are never satisfied with another woman. But women hate her. The artist says he had to send her back where she came from. The reporter leaves. The artist is staring out the window. And then he says, 'All right, dear. You can come out now.' And this green hand comes out and touches him on the shoulder. That's all. Nothing more. Keep it mysterious."

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

8 (+1) Examples of Trombonists in Action (for Jackie Kashian and THE DORK FORESTers): Saturday Music Club on Tuesday

Jack Dostal aka Antonio Portela was the guest on Jackie Kashian's 2 August 2020 podcast episode of The Dork Forest, discussing his adventures in the trombone trade, as a performer with and repairer of (instruments including) trombones. Jackie will take a samples list of eight examples of a music she is unfamiliar with (like many people who played in high-school bands, she has never become enamored of music as a whole nor even beyond certain examples), and much of her series is about being informed about one area or another of obsession or fascination by her guests, as well as by other manqués such as myself who are just enthusiastic and importunate (and was the world's third worst trombonist in 8th and 10th grades--the interregnum didn't help, as didn't the change of venue and instructor, from New Hampshire with Andrew Souci (and David ?something on the classical side) and Hawaii with Don Morosic--and as I used to note at the time...I knew the two worse ones, and they weren't good, either). Here are Dostal's eight and below are mine--some of mine seek to supplement the choices put forward by Dostal, and are not as keyed to virtuosity nor historical importance as they might be, so much as examples of those who might well be unknown to the casual music or even trombone fan:

The J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding Band: "Blue Monk"

Toshiko Akiyoshi and the SWR Big Band: "Harlequin's Tear"

Trombonists: Ernst Hutter, Georg Maus, Ian Cummings, Marc Godfroid; not sure which took the solo as yet (probably Hutter).

Melba Liston and the Quincy Jones Orchestra: "My Reverie"

The Duke Ellington Orchestra featuring Juan Tizol: "Caravan"

The University of Maryland Brass Trio: Three Fantasies for Brass Trio (Alan Hovanhess)

The Teo Macero Ensemble: "Neally"

trombonist: Eddie Bert

Don Drummond and the Skatalites: "Man in the Street"

Greg Boyer: go-go jam excerpt, 2013; unknown band, apparently playing Parliament-Funkadelic's "Thumpasaurus"

The Gerry Mulligan (Bob Brookmeyer/Wyatt Ruther/Gus Johnson) Quartet: on Jazz Casual

(July 18, 1962) Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone); Bob Brookmeyer (valve tromone); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Gus Johnson (drums). 1. Four for Three
Mulligan interviewed 2. Darn That Dream 3. Open Country 4. Utter Chaos
And a late addition...the National Educational Television (PBS before PBS in the US) series Jazz Casual, put together at KQED San Francisco with Ralph Gleason as on-screen interviewer. This episode at the current link has been uploaded at not the best audio level, causing trombonist Brookmeyer's tone to be distorted audibly at times...but useful to be seen and heard as not piecemeal, including Mulligan somewhat typically grumpy in his interview about the emerging tendencies in jazz in the early '60s--not too sanguine about third stream, free jazz, hard bop, nor early, relatively funky proto-fusion.

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 Engel; 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!

Part 2: reviews of stories from the F&SF and Fantastic Universe issues.

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)...