Tag Archives: Unknown/Unknown Worlds

Three by de Camp

So earlier this evening I was reading the comments in a thread about whether or not someone new to the fantasy and science fiction fields should read Asimov, Heinlein, and Tolkien.  More than a few of the comments said that not only should a new reader not read bigoted dead white guys, those authors should go out of print.

Personally, I found many of the comments to be bigoted, at least as much if not more than the authors the comments were directed toward.  Rather than get into a fight with idiots people I don’t know on the internet, I decided I was in the mood to read some dead white guys. And since there has been a bit of discussion about the works of L. Sprague de Camp in the comments here since yesterday’s post, I  was wanting to revisit his work.  I thought I would read some of his short stories.

Here are my thoughts on what I read: Continue reading

Birthday Reading: Manly Wade Wellman

Manly Wade Wellman was born, this day, May 21, in 1903 in Portuguese West Africa.  He was one of the greatest writers of horror and dark fantasy of the 20th Century, although he’s not as well known today as he should be.  His best known literary creation was John the Balladeer, and wandering minstrel of the Appalachian mountains.  Wellman began writing in the 1920s, and sold a number of stories to Weird Tales.  He was still writing in the 1970s and 1980s, and a number of his short stories were published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

In honor of his birthday, I’m going to look at two short stories.  Both were published in the pulps in the late 1930s.  I read both of them in Sin’s Doorway and Other Ominous Entrances, published by Night Shade Books in 2003.  It’s volume 4 of the 5 volume The Selected Stories of Manly Wade Wellman. Continue reading

A Look at Theodore Sturgeon’s “It”

“It”
Theodore Sturgeon
First published in Unknown, August 1940

After posting the birthday tribute on Theodore Sturgeon yesterday, I downloaded a copy of his Selected Stories (after paying for it, of course).  I thought I’ve got all of them in paper and wasn’t sure which one I wanted to get an electronic copy of.  So I went with the selected stories.  Some of my favorites are missing, such as “Shottle Bop”, but this volume contains some good stuff.

Like the horror classic “It”, which even though it seems to end on an upbeat note, has one of the most chilling last lines you’ll find anywhere. Continue reading

“Philtered Power” by Malcolm Jameson

Unknown March 1940“Philtered Power”
Malcolm Jameson
First published in Unknown, March 1940
Available free in Amazing Future Tales From the Past, Vol. 5

As a follow up from yesterday’s post about the Retro-Hugos, here’s a look at one of the stories that’s eligible.  It’s a fun fantasy romp about the misuse of a potion, one that’s misused with the best of intentions.  There will be spoilers, just in case you care.

Afterwards I’ll have a few things to say about Malcom Jameson, whose career was tragically cut short by cancer. Continue reading

Blogging Kuttner: A Gnome There Was

A Gnome There WasA Gnome There Was
Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore)
Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 276 pg., $2.50
Cover drawing by Ed Cartier

I’ve got about half a dozen posts I need to write, including one for another blog, but with the blizzard, we’ve been cooped up in the house.  That means between my wife watching TV with the volume up too loud and my son monopolizing the laptop everytime I have to do something responsible, I’ve not gotten much done as far as reading, blogging, or writing is concerned.  I’m typing this after everyone else has gone to bed.

I started A Gnome There Was just before Thanksgiving.  I tracked down a copy some years ago simply because I was trying to find a copy of the short story “Jesting Pilot”, and this was the easiest way.  Turns out there is another story in it that I discovered last night has never been reprinted since this book was published.  At the time I thought “Jesting Pilot” was the only story I hadn’t read.

Anyway, I was getting tired of some of the stuff I was being sent to review, something I’ll discuss in my year end post in a day or so.  I decided to revisit some of my favorite Kuttner stories (something like literary comfort food).  Since many of them are in this book, that’s the one I chose.   Continue reading

If You Were Stranded on a Desert Island…

If you were stranded on a desert island and could have one complete run of a pulp magazine to help you while away the hours, which one would it be?  For those of you who are anal retentive, assume that food, water, and shelter are not an issue.

Oh, and you’re alone.  I don’t want to know what type of harem you would have on a desert island.  That’s a different blog post on a different blog written by a different blogger.  The thought of what some of you people might come up with on that one frankly scares me.

For the purposes of this thought experiment, any pulp that survived after the early 1950s (I’m thinking Astounding here) when the pulp market collapsed can only be included up through 1953.  Any magazine that started in the 1950s (F&SF, Galaxy, etc.) is outside the bounds of consideration.  Here are my top ten choices: Continue reading