Weird Menace Volume 1 is Coming!

Weird Menace 1 aI am very pleased to announce that Weird Menace Volume 1 will be published sometime in the next few weeks.  (I’ll let you know the exact date when I know.)

You can see from the cover to the right that it will contain stories by James Reasoner, Bill Crider, John C. Hocking, Robert E. Vardeman, Scott Dennis Parker, and…er…ahem…Your Intrepid Blogger.

Here’s the ToC:

“Bodies for the Brain Butcher”, John C. Hocking
“A Night on Madhouse Mountain”, Bill Crider
“The Curse of the Monster Makers!”, Scott Dennis Parker
“Farmhouse of the Dead”, Keith West
“The Hideous Blood Ray”, Robert E. Vardeman
“Blood Treasure for Satan’s Buccaneers”, James Reasoner

James Reasoner is the editor of the book and publisher of Rough Edges Press.  He also provides an introduction to the book.  I’m honored and humbled to be included with the other authors.  And I love the cover.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, there will be a Volume 2 following soon after the first.  (No, I don’t know who the authors are.)  Watch this space for an announcement.

The first volume contains stories that are essentially period pieces along the lines of what the Weird Menace pulps would have published in the 1930s.  The second volume will be the type of thing the Weird Menace pulps might have published had they survived.

If you’re not sure what Weird Menace is, think of Scooby Doo without the kids and the dog and intended for a more mature audience.  It’s a type of story in which an apparent supernatural menace turns out to have a rational explanation.  Weird Menace stories tend not to be politically correct.  (That’s a good thing IMO.)

Anyway, I’m very excited to be in this anthology and would like to thank James Reasoner for selecting my tale.

6 thoughts on “Weird Menace Volume 1 is Coming!

  1. Keith Chapman

    Most of the original weird menace stories (and many have been reissued in recent years by outfits like Altus Press and Radio Archives) are definitely not politically correct by today’s standards. But from reading the historians, it’s clear the sub-genre’s eventual banning from the marketplace was its tendency to push other boundaries of the time, particularly those concerning violence and challenge to the then-current morals climate. To my mind, a successful revival of weird menace will hinge on stories that might give the present-day fiction reader reason to be shocked … or the perverse pleasure of seeing others expressing shock and disapproval! I also think the modern horror reader finds it hard to accept weird elements explained away by the use of low-tech technology like putty and luminous paint. Indeed, many of the best stories revived from the 1930s heyday of weird menace avoid such dismissal of the truly supernatural and leave it to the reader to wonder …

    1. Keith West Post author

      You make some good points, Keith. For research purposes, I read a few of the original weird menace stories. You’re right about the violence for sure. The ones I read definitely pushed the envelope of the time. I have no idea what the other authors have done in their stories. Mine was a little more risqué than what I generally write. As for the horror element in mine, I’ll let the reader decide how much was real.

      1. Keith Chapman

        I believe you’re very wise to let the reader decide how much was real. I’ve seen a few unflattering comments about Scooby Doo endings at chat forums like Vault of Evil, which has some interesting threads devoted to the “shudder” pulps and various earlier anthologies drawing from them. Personally, I’m fine with trips down older folks’ memory lanes and the list of the story titles in James’ first collection has by itself already sold me a copy. That the weird menace pulps were what we would call politically incorrect wasn’t the reason for their demise. Pulps in all genres contained varying degrees of racism, gender discrimination, and homophobia. From what I’ve read, it seems politicians like the Governor of New York and his cohorts picked on the weird menace titles for their depravity and a perceived ability to corrupt the pure minds of the young and innocent! Standards and tastes have changed. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception James’ Volume 1 receives in the marketplace. Curiosity and that magic “1” will probably give it a sales edge over any later volumes. Let’s hope most of the readers will come back for more.

        1. Keith West Post author

          I’m hoping it becomes a runaway bestseller, but then I’m biased. 🙂

          I love the titles the other authors have come up with. They really capture the over the top aspect of so much of the weird menace genre.

          I understand that the politically incorrect elements weren’t the reasons the weird menace pulps went away. I think think the twisted elements, at least the ones in the stories I’ve read, would be considered tame by today’s standards. As you say, standards and tastes have changed, and it would be the more politically incorrect elements that would be the most objected-to aspect of them.

          Regardless, I’m very much looking forward to reading the stories from the other contributors.

  2. Paul McNamee


    That cover art is getting a lot of mileage, recently. Heh-heh.

    I don’t think a pulp renaissance is a bad thing. Like any tropes, they can be abused – or moved forward, or revisited in a modern homage.

    I’ll be getting this for certain.

    1. Keith West Post author

      Thank you, both for the congratulations and the purchase. James sent me a copy of the whole book for me to copy edit my story. I read Robert E. Vardeman’s tale, and it was great fun. I’ve not read the other stories yet, but I’m looking forward to them. And no, this type of story isn’t a guilty pleasure. Because I don’t for one minute feel guilty reading any of them. There’s so much heavy handed message fiction and pretentious litoorachure out there that I can see an increased interest in pulp, simply because readers are looking for something fun.


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