Saturday, 5 September 2015

R.W. Daly - Seeker of the Deep

Last week, I reviewed the July 1952 issue of Adventure. I mentioned the story by R.W. Daly. I have read some stories by him in the 1940s too and felt that he was one of the better writers in the forties. He wrote excellent historical naval fiction, but sadly there are none available now. As a sample of his excellent work, here is the story from the 1952 issue for your reading pleasure.

If you read it and like it, leave a note in the comments section.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Adventure, July 1952 - review

Review of one of the last issues of Adventure, this issue was quite undistinguished and I just happened to pick it because it was at the top of the pile. Ratings for each story at the end on a 5 point scale.

Adventure - July, 1952
Adventure - July, 1952

Cover by Monroe Eisenberg, the cover has nothing to do with any story inside as far as I can make out.

Illustration for Soul of the Legion by George C. Appell
Illustration for Soul of the Legion by George C. Appell

Soul of the Legion · George C. Appell · ss 3/5

The harshness of life in the French Foreign Legion is what stands out here. The story is one of revenge, the revenge of a NCO against an ineffective and brutal officer who had caused the death of the NCO's girlfriend. This is set against the backdrop of a retreat by the Legion troops, while being continuously harried by their Bedouin attackers.

Illustration for Ambush by Charles Blakeman (pseudonym of George C. Appell)
Illustration for Ambush by Charles Blakeman (pseudonym of George C. Appell)

Ambush · Charles Blakeman · ss 3/5

A portrait of an officer hated by his men for his cowardice, who knows this and is crumbling under it and the guilt he feels for having needlessly sent his stepson out to die. He goes out to redeem himself in the army's eyes without having to confront the enemy, while having given the appearance of following orders. Another story by George C. Appell in the same issue, and on very similar themes as the first, the characterization is excellent but the ending feels unsatisfactory and contrived.

Illustration for Sunshiner by Arthur C. Carhart and C. C. Staples
Illustration for Sunshiner by Arthur C. Carhart and C. C. Staples

Sunshiner · A. H. Carhart & C. C. Staples · ss Adventure Apr 1939 2/5

Reprints are usually a sign of financial trouble in a magazine; when the reprint is as undistinguished as this one, one has to believe the editor was desperate.

A south seas story. Two white men join forces unwillingly to regain a box of pearls worth a fortune. One is a sunshiner, a white man gone native, and another who despises him and has a girl waiting in the States. Will the brotherhood of white men prevail against the lure of the islands?

Illustration for Seeker of the Deep by R.W. Daly
Illustration for Seeker of the Deep by R.W. Daly

Seeker of the Deep · R. W. Daly · ss 3/5

A southern rebel navy captain has to take command of a Yankee whaler at this stage in his career, but he doesn't look forward to it. That is, until the moment when a Russian threatens the American ship, and it's all hands on deck. R.W. Daly wrote excellent sea stories.

Illustration for The Death Hunter by Steve Frazee
Illustration for The Death Hunter by Steve Frazee

The Death Hunter · Steve Frazee · ss 3/5

Two hunters and a guide are out in the Northern forests. One of the hunters is after big game, but the other one is after him to revenge the killing of his army buddy.

The Higher Challenge · C. Wiles Hallock · pm

Illustration for Soosoo the Slayer by H. S. M. Kemp
Illustration for Soosoo the Slayer by H. S. M. Kemp

Soosoo the Slayer · H. S. M. Kemp · ss 2/5

A story of a hard man and a strong willed dog, set in the Far North during the days of the fur trade. The author, HSM Kemp, was a fur trader himself. His autobiography, Northern Trader, is in print and available from Amazon.

Illustration for Live Steel by T. C. McClary
Illustration for Live Steel by T. C. McClary

Live Steel · T. C. McClary · ss 2/5

High steel workers build bridges, and the men are as tough as the steel. The high handed son of the owner tries to muscle his way into the respect of the workers, but ends up showing a yellow streak when at the top.

Paris Without Springs! · Walt Woestman · ar

A fact article about the 1908 New York to Paris race, which was the basis for the movie The Great Race.

Ask Adventure · Anon. · qa
The Camp-Fire · [The Readers] · lc

Letters from long time readers with suggestions for improving the magazine. The editor at the time, Ejler Jakobsson had asked readers their opinion earlier. It wasn't going to help though, the magazine had only 4 more issues to go before its run as a pulp magazine ended.

Lost Trails · [The Readers] · lc

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Pulp Artist's site: Gloria Stoll Karn

She has done covers for Black Mask, Dime Mystery, Detective Tales, and New Detective. Also Rangeland Romances, All-Story Love, New Love, Love Book, Love Short Stories, Love Novels, Romance, and Thrilling Love magazines.

In addition, she did interior illustrations for Argosy magazine.

Her website at has some of her cover artwork and contact information.

Surely a worthy candidate for guest of honor at a pulp convention.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Stories from pulp authors at the Library of America

Raymond Chandler
Saturday Evening Post
October 14, 1939
Dashiell Hammett
Black Mask
October 1, 1923
Dashiell Hammett
Black Mask
October 15, 1923
Dashiell Hammett
Black Mask
October 15, 1923
David H. Keller
Weird Tales
January, 1929
H.P. Lovecraft
National Amateur
March 1922
Seabury Quinn
Weird Tales
July 1927
Francis Stevens
People’s Popular Magazine
February 10, 1919

The collections these stories were reprinted in are available as well:

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Adventure's failed experiment in 1927

Earlier on this blog, we've talked about the change in Adventure magazine that took place in 1927 when new owners took over the magazine - the magazine changed from this look:

to this:

The contents of the magazine also changed, a books column was added, there was discussion and reviews of the best outdoor equipment etc. The fiction was kept intact, though.

We've discussed earlier whether this was the cause for Arthur Hoffman's departure from the magazine. Walker Martin (see the comments in the link above) feels that Hoffman was supportive of the move, but left because it failed to improve the business. I felt the new ownership was taking it in a direction that Hoffman didn't want, and that was part of the reason that Hoffman left.

Here's something that I found recently that might help - correspondence between Joseph Cox, the editor who succeeded Hoffman and Horace Kephart, an outdoors expert. Cox wanted Kephart to become a part of the Ask Adventure group of experts who answered readers' queries.

While doing so, he mentions that the new ownership wanted to make Adventure into the "trade journal of all the outdoors". That would probably have meant less fiction and more non-fiction. That change in direction, combined with the drop in readership, was (in my opinion), the reason for Hoffman's departure.

As we know, the magazine's circulation didn't improve and Adventure was back in pulp format in 1927. Joseph Cox left as editor in 1928 and the magazine went downhill until Harold Bloomfield took over as editor in 1934.