- 1 • Introduction (A Century of Horror 1970-1979) • essay by Stefan Dziemianowicz
- 7 • Duel • non-genre • (1971) • novelette by Richard Matheson
- 30 • The Dripping • (1972) • short story by David Morrell
- 39 • The Events at Poroth Farm • (1972) • novella by T. E. D. Klein
- 81 • Come Dance with Me on My Pony's Grave • (1973) • short story by Charles L. Grant
- 94 • Something Had to Be Done • (1975) • short story by David Drake
- 100 • Sticks • [Cthulhu Mythos short fiction] • (1974) • novelette by Karl Edward Wagner
- 120 • Belsen Express • (1975) • short story by Fritz Leiber
- 133 • Ladies in Waiting • (1975) • short story by Hugh B. Cave
- 143 • Armaja Das • (1976) • short story by Joe Haldeman
- 161 • A Case of the Stubborns • (1976) • short story by Robert Bloch
- 177 • It Only Comes Out at Night • (1976) • short story by Dennis Etchison
- 190 • The Viaduct • non-genre • (1976) • short story by Brian Lumley
- 207 • Night-Side • (1977) • novelette by Joyce Carol Oates
- 232 • Best Interests • (1978) • short story by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
- 245 • Gotcha! • (1978) • short story by Ray Bradbury
- 253 • The Man Who Was Heavily into Revenge • (1978) • short story by Harlan Ellison
- 267 • Divers Hands • [Julian • 11] • (1979) • novelette by Darrell Schweitzer
- 292 • Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory • (1979) • novelette by Orson Scott Card (variant of Eumenides in the Fourth-Floor Lavatory)
- 308 • Red As Blood • (1979) • short story by Tanith Lee
- 319 • Mackintosh Willy • (1979) • short story by Ramsey Campbell
- 334 • Seasons of Belief • (1979) • short story by Michael Bishop
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Short Story Wednesday: Three Items (Arguably) in Three Books and a Magazine: Ethel Rosenberg's "So Take Your Diamonds With You", George Woodcock's "Raven, the Prometheus of the Indians" and A CENTURY OF HORROR (1970-1979) edited by Dennis Etchison and M. H. Greenberg
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Short Story Wednesday: VAMPIRES, ZOMBIES, WEREWOLVES AND GHOSTS: 25 CLASSIC STORIES OF THE SUPERNATURAL edited by Barbara H. Solomon and Eileen Panetta (Signet Classics 2011)
Or, How Things Can Go Very Wrong for a reasonably good anthology. Consider the timing, for a book edited by two feminist literature professors, who dedicate this book to their daughters, with the contents of their hefty new anthology, a relative rarity in the Signet Classics line (which has always run to new introductions to novels and short story collections of some venerability) arranged in alphabetical order by last name of writer:
- xi • Introduction (Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves and Ghosts) • essay by Eileen Panetta and Barbara H. Solomon
- 1 • Count Dracula • (1971) • short story by Woody Allen
- 7 • The Room in the Tower • (1912) • short story by E. F. Benson
- 21 • The Man Upstairs • (1947) • short story by Ray Bradbury
- 35 • The Brood • (1980) • short story by Ramsey Campbell
- 49 • The Company of Wolves • (1977) • short story by Angela Carter
- 61 • The Lawyer and the Ghost • (1837) • short story by Charles Dickens
- 65 • Lot No. 249 • (1892) • novelette by Arthur Conan Doyle [as by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle]
- 99 • The Shadowy Third • (1916) • novelette by Ellen Glasgow
- 125 • The Third Option • (2007) • short story by Derek Gunn
- 135 • 20th Century Ghost • (2002) • short story by Joe Hill
- 155 • The Ghostly Rental • (1876) • novelette by Henry James
- 189 • Home Delivery • [Little Tall Island / In the Path of the Eclipse] • (1989) • novelette by Stephen King
- 217 • The Mark of the Beast • (1890) • short story by Rudyard Kipling
- 231 • The Girl with the Hungry Eyes • (1949) • short story by Fritz Leiber
- 247 • Cool Air • (1928) • short story by H. P. Lovecraft
- 257 • For the Good of All • (2009) • short story by Yvonne Navarro
- 267 • Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly • (1992) • novelette by Joyce Carol Oates
- 295 • Excerpt from Dying to Live • [Dying to Live; 2007] • short fiction by Kim Paffenroth
- 315 • The Master of Rampling Gate • (1984) • novelette by Anne Rice
- 333 • The Ghost • (1978) • short story by Anne Sexton
- 339 • Excerpt from Dracula • [Dracula Excerpts] • short fiction by Bram Stoker
- 353 • Excerpt from The Wolfen • short fiction by Whitley Strieber
- 365 • The Canterville Ghost: A Hylo-Idealistic Romance • (1997) • novelette by Oscar Wilde (variant of The Canterville Ghost 1887)
- 395 • Disturb Not My Slumbering Fair • (1978) • short story by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
- 409 • Green Messiah • (1988) • short story by Jane Yolen
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Short Story Wednesday: "The Altruist" by Charles Portis, TRUMPET #1, February 1965, edited by Tom Reamy; Portis celebration online tonight
Library of America, to hype their new omnibus of Portis novels, a few short stories and other writing, are offering an online event live today, 17 May 2023, at 6-7pm ET, and now archived in video and audio-only versions here, to which they've invited Roy Blount, Jr., Roz Chast, Ian Frazier, Mary Roach, Paul Theroux, Ed Park, Calvin Trillin, "and other special guests" (including recurring Portis anthology editor Jay Jennings)...how much anyone gets to say in an hour is anyone's guess, but that's a good bunch to hear from. Registration here. They'll post it online at their site after the recording, barring the flood...their self-congratulatory title for the event is "‘The Best American Writer You’ve Never Heard Of’: A Tribute to Charles Portis", which is an odd claim, given True Grit alone and its lasting impressions on the culture. "The Altruist" is the earliest piece of fiction per se cited in the FictionMags Index that Portis saw published, and as far as I can tell it hasn't ever been reprinted.
Trumpet was a relatively elaborate fanzine (a relatively low-budget magazine published for distribution mostly to fellow fantastic-fiction fans), begun in 1965 by editor and publisher Tom Reamy, who had published an earlier fanzine and decided to try something a bit more adventurous with this title, which he would publish sporadically for a decade (and win two Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine with, in 1967 and '69) and then move on to a more elaborate magazine with some, if limited, newsstand circulation, Nickelodeon, which had a much shorter run due to Reamy's early death, from a heart attack in 1977. Reamy had by the mid '70s begun to write increasingly warmly-received fiction, most of it fantasy, and won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1976. Reamy was one of the earlier "openly" gay fantastica writers in the fantasy/sf community, and his continuing interest in film had led to some work in that industry.
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
SSW: EPOCH, Fall 1955 ed. Ronald Sukenick among many; ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE ed. Frederic Dannay and THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION ed. "Anthony Boucher", September 1955 issues
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. Can be read here.
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 (see above)
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 [the late] 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 this week's short fiction reviews, please see Patti Abbott's blog.
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Short Story Wednesday: Wilma Shore: WW2 stories in McCALL'S: "You Can't Tell Your Mother", "A Woman in Love", "Something of Her Own"
Wilma Shore as a writer has been of continuing interest to me, and the recent citations in the FictionMags Index which included links to the full texts of McCall's magazine, in the Internet Archive, made for a rather good couple of hours' reading. She didn't collect any of these three stories in her one book of fiction, Women Should Be Allowed, but they are nearly as good as those that are, particularly the last of them. I have to wonder if she sent her stories to the Ladies' Home Journal first, on her market list of women's magazines, and if the possible title change of her first story for McCall's (as it would make a bit more sense if titled "You Can't Tell My Mother") or some more conservative tilt in the magazine made it less-favored by Shore for her best work in this wise.
"You Can't Tell Your Mother" is the first and slightest of these three, dating from the May 1942 issue of McCall's, just far enough into US direct combat in the war for a bulletin elsewhere in the issue about how rayon stockings are Almost as good as nylon or silk, but special care must be taken with them. It's a mostly charming, if sad, story about a young girl (a bright 8yo), who confesses to one of her mother's coworkers her own terror of Uboats/submarines generally, as well as other war-driven fear, and how she doesn't dare share these with her mother, despite the protagonist encouraging her to do so, for fear of burdening her mother unduly...which gets the childless protagonist thinking about how very terribly complex as well as terrifying the current crises can only seem to all of us. I suppose, if the title is Shore's, it was meant to suggest that the girl would advise us thus, but I suspect Shore might've found a more deft way of doing so.
"A Woman in Love" (from the April 1943 issue) is a much longer and more complex story, focused on the relationship between a married couple of their early middle years, and how they are drawn into direct participation in the war effort, and the stresses this (and external stresses from coping with the demands of wartime activity more generally) places on their relations...told from the wife's point of view, the story is somewhat less thoroughly supportive of her somewhat cooling response to how her husband begins to disappoint her, for the first time in their marriage, in his less than self-sacrificing commitment...without damning her or him from Shore's perspective. But I think Shore wanted us to be a bit disappointed in her for the nature of her disappointment in him.
While the best of the three is her last in McCall's (ever, as far as the FictionMags Index, or FMI, is aware), from the March 1944 issue, "Something of Her Own", a rather fully-realized account of the somewhat confusing cautious slide into a romantic relationship between two somewhat unconventional young professionals, she working as a stenographer, he as a slightly dissatisfied but obligated junior corporate lawyer, and both always not quite sure of what they genuinely want from life, and never fully at ease with the choices they make or have thrust upon them. It rather expertly deals directly with the complex of emotions wartime separation inflicts on couples, along with the other matters of family, worklife and other pressures that most of us have faced to one degree or another in this country (and most if not all others, in somewhat differing ways) over the last century.
These are sensitively-written stories, with relatively little if any Forced Uplift (much less Happily Ever After/For Now strictures that are placed on most romance fiction over the decades), and interesting to see in the context of even the sober times they were published in, in a magazine that wasn't (perhaps correctly, but not completely correctly) seen as fully advancing the cause of women as whole persons...but particularly in those days, when they were interested in Wilma Shore contributions, along with those from a relatively few people whose names might strike similar faint bells (such as Rachel Field or Faith Baldwin), doing what they and the magazine staffs (and it's notable how many of the executive editors were men in this decade, and for the next couple of decades at least) felt they could to provide various sorts of service to their readers. (Shore on the new sobriety of the women's magazines and other "slicks" as World War 2 ground on.)
From the FMI:
- McCall’s [Vol. LXIX No. 8, May 1942] ed. Otis L. Weise (McCall Corporation, 15¢, 126pp, cover: [photo] by Nickolas Muray)  (Full Text)
- 13 · Don’t Let Me Go Alone · Mary O’Hara · ss; illustrated by Harry Anderson
- 16 · I Knew His First Wife · Barbara Aldrich · ss; illustrated by Walter Klett
- 18 · Orphan Train · Martha Cheavens · nv
- 22 · Experience Not Necessary · Mona Williams · ss; illustrated by Michael
- 24 · This Is Our Day · Ursula Parrott · na; illustrated by Valentino Sarra
- 28 · And Now Tomorrow [Part 4 of 5] · Rachel Field · sl; illustrated by Andrew Loomis
- 30 · You Can’t Tell Your Mother · Wilma Shore · ss; illustrated by Frank Bensing