Wed 15 Aug 2012
Reviewed by Marv Lachman: SHELDON JAFFERY, Editor – Selected Tales of Grim and Grue from the Horror Pulps.Posted by Steve under Editors & Anthologies , Pulp Fiction , Reviews
SHELDON JAFFERY, Editor – Selected Tales of Grim and Grue from the Horror Pulps. Bowling Green University Popular Press, hardcover/softcover, 1987.
A [recent] collection of stories, Selected Tales of Grim and Grue from the Horror Pulps, edited by Sheldon Jaffery, is wonderfully nostalgia-producing. Jaffery has collected eight novelets from magazines of the thirties like Terror Tales and Horror Stories. Some of the big names in the mystery field wrote for weird-menace pulps, including Cornell Woolrich, Frank Gruber, Bruno Fischer, and Steve Fisher.
Jaffery apparently couldn’t get them, but the writers he does include are probably more representative of the genre. Typical is Wyatt Blassingame’s “The Tongueless Horror” from Dime Mystery for April 1934. Don’t expect a great deal of subtlety, but they’re all readable, and the authors don’t rely on cop-outs. The seemingly impossible is explained rationally, even if the reader’s credulity is stretched a bit.
The book is loaded with wonderful cliches like the one in G. T. Fleming-Roberts’ “Moulder of Monsters” (Terror Tales, July-August 1937): “Then he turned into the room where horror dwelt.” From Wayne Rogers’ “Sleep with Me — and Death” (Horror Stories, April-May 1938) we read, “Then the shaggy-haired head lifted and I caught a glimpse of a scarred and battered face, hardly recognizable as human — a face in which the eyes of a madman gleamed triumphantly.”
All stories are reproduced from the original magazines, which means they include the wonderful pulp ads plus the interior illustrations of monsters slavering over scantily clad women. A bonus is a fine introduction and lengthy index by the late Robert Kenneth Jones, one of the real scholars in this aspect of the pulps.
Who can resist lists of the complete contents of the single issue, in 1937, of Eerie Stories and the five issues of Uncanny Tales published in 1939 and 1940? Certainly not I.
Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 1989.