INTRO. This is the fifth and final story in the February 1936 issue of Dime Detective that I covered in its entirety in my column “Speaking of Pulp” in the April/May/June, 1979 issue of The Not So Private Eye.

   The cover illustration is taken from the final story, a long novelette by T. T. Flynn entitled “Bride of the Beast,” which sounds more like a horror story from Dime Mystery than it docs a detective story. Flynn was an extremely prolific detective story writer from the pulps. He’s never seemed to have gathered much attention, but his stories are always filled with action, and more, they seem to know where they’re going.

   In this one, a circus is about to go bankrupt — strange things are happening on the midway! Trouble-shooter Steve Waring is sent out by the bank to find out what’s going on, and on his first night on the job an elephant rider in the opening procession is decapitated, almost in full view of the horrified audience.

   The circus atmosphere is excellent, the menace is effectively scary, and no holds are barred in producing sudden and violent death. It ends with a furious train ride through the night and with the nightmarish capture of a crazy killer about to torture Joan Wells, tied and helpless, running the circus in her father’s absence, with a twisted replica of love. Hence the title. I guess it sounds like corn, but it’s still the best story in the magazine.

   As you’ll have already gathered, if you’ve been paying attention, the emphasis [in the stories in this issue of this magazine] has not been on ordinary detective work, This had probably been even more true in earliest days of Dime Detective, which was first published in the early 1930s but the trend away from grotesque mystery had not yet eliminated it from the magazine by 1936, as we’ve just seen. Many people tell me they prefer the 1940s version of DD, when the accent changed slightly from the incredibly fantastic to the merely screwy.

   Give me a hand, will you? Help me clean up these little shreds of brown paper that are all over the floor here …

GALAXY SF – June 1967. Editor: Frederik Pohl. Cover artist: Gray Morrow. Overall rating: ***

POUL ANDERSON – To Outlive Eternity. Serial; part 1 of 2. See review following the July 1967 issue.       [NOTE: Expanded in 1970 and published as the novel Tau Zero.]

GARY WRIGHT “Mirror of Ice.” More a sports story than SF, but an exciting account of a new form of bobsledding. (4)

R. A. LAFFERTY “Polity and Customs of the Camiroi.” Further investigation of politics, religion, and life on Camiroi. (3)       [NOTE: This follows the story “Primary Education of the Camiroi” in the December 1966 issue.]

ROGER ZELAZNY “The Man Who Loved the Faioli.” The gravekeeper of the universe meets a comforter of those who are about to die. Wish I understood. (3)        [NOTE: This story has been collected and anthologized many times.]

C. C. MACAPP “Spare That Tree.” Novelette. A detective tries to regain a stolen tree by disguising himself as a tree himself. Goes from bad to worse. (1)

JIM HARMON “Howling Day.” The advance publicity releases for an invasion of Earth are mistaken for scripts. (2)

LARRY NIVEN “The Adults.” Novella. An alien in search for a lost colony brings Earth the roots and seeds for the tree-of-life, but the discovery is no longer needed or wanted by mankind. The alien’s culture is brought out piecewise and sympathetically, and its death, while necessary, is also regrettable. However, the story is clumsily written, and even worse, poorly edited. Much too long [at 70 pages]; the ending is best. ***        [NOTE: This story was expanded in 1973 and published as the novel The Protectors.]

CHARLES V. DeVET “Alien’s Bequest.” An alien invader was sent with the best wishes of another intelligent race. (3)

— April-May 1968.

IF SCIENCE FICTION – June 1967. Editor: Frederik Pohl. Cover art by Paul Wenzel. Overall rating: ***

ANDRE NORTON “Wizard’s World.” Novelette. While being hunted down as as Esper on Earth, Craike somehow crosses over to another world, one where the power is accepted and used. His adventures put him on the side of the young witch Takya, and together they defeat the Black Hoods. The wandering plot line and indiscriminate magic does not enthuse. (3)

FRED SABERHAGEN “Berserker’s Fury.” Knowledge of agriculture helps captives take over a ship controlled by berserkers. (3)

HOWARD L. MORRIS “All True Believers.” Novelette. A historical take of a parallel “Briden.” Too bad the reader isn’t let in on the story. A waste. (0)

JACK B. LAWSON “The Castaways.” Prospective colonists from Earth may not really be prepared for difficulties. (3)

KEITH LAUMER “Spaceman!” Serial, part 2 of 3. A review will follow that of the July 1967 issue.

STAN ELLIOTT “Family Loyalty.” First story. Colonists for the stars are not always on the best of terms with relatives left behind. (3)

SAMUEL R. DELANY “Driftglass.” Novelette. An amphiman scarred for life meets a youngster about to attempt the same job. Moving but not involving. [Nominated for a Nebula for Best Short story of 1968.] (4)

— April 1968.

ANALOG SF – June 1967. Editor: John W. Campbell. Cover artist: by John Schoenherr. Overall rating: ** ½.

MACK REYNOLDS “Computer War.” Serial, part 1 of 2. See report following that for the July 1967 issue.

LLOYD BIGGLE, JR. “The Double-Edged Rope.” Iron Curtain censorship can “protect” the populace or keep important news from coming out. (2)

JOSEPH P. MARTINO “Security Measure.” A spy inside the USSR finds it necessary that US security measures be declassified to protect Russian missile sites from the underground. Interesting, but not science fiction. (3)

LAWRENCE A. PERKINS “Project Lion.” Analogous to Analog editorials: scientists who don’t know the rules make the greatest discoveries. (1)

CHRISTOPHER ANVIL “The Dukes of Desire.” Novelette in Anvil’s ‘Federation of Humanity’ series. Sequel to”Strangers in Paradise” in the October 1967 issue, would not seem to stand well by itself. Roberts and his crew return to that planet with the want-generator to help correct the damage they had done there. They must have a feeling of power along with their altruistic motives, but they manage to get the planet’s population working together again. Fun, if the previous story has been read. ***

— April 1968.

ELLERY QUEEN’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE – June 1967. Overall rating: ***

CORNELL WOOLRICH “Divorce – New York Style.” Serial, part 1 of 2. This story will be reported on in my review of the July 1967 issue. [Note: This installment is only ten pages long.]

GEORGES SIMENON “Inspector Maigret Thinks.” [First published in English in Argosy (UK) December 1961, as “Dead Man’s Barge.”] Two hangings on a barge in the Seine require Maigret’s attention. (3)

GERALD KERSH “A Game Played in the Twilight.” [Reprinted from The Saturday Evening Post, October 10 1959, as “Duel in the Dusk.”] A young Wild Bill Hickok learns how a near-sighted woman avenged the murder of her husband. (2)

EDWARD D. HOCH “The Theft from the Onyx Pool.” Nick Velvet is hired to steal 10,000 gallons of water from a swimming pool. (4) [Note: I reviewed this story separately on this blog here.]

AVRAM DAVIDSON “The Memory Bank.” Attempts to retire an aged clerk fail because of the old man’s memory. (4)

AGATHA CHRISTIE “Ask and You Shall Receive.” [Reprinted from The Royal Magazine, May 1928, as “The Thumb Mark of Saint Peter.” It was later collected in The Tuesday Club Murders.] Miss Marple’s niece is suspected of murdering her husband, and pilocarpine is mistaken for a heap of fish. (3)

MIRIAM SHARMAN “Battle of Wits.” A headmaster is confronted by the father of a student who was expelled. Good moments, but too confused. (3)

COLIN WATSON “Return to Base.” An American returns to an abandoned British air base where a girl had disappeared, Moody, languorous and uninteresting. (2)

ROBERT LADNER, JR. “Choice of Evils.” [Appears in EQMM‘s Department of First Stories- and was the author’s only published work of crime fiction.] The owner of a gas station slowly going bankrupt finds robbery the solution to his problems. (4)

JAMES HOLDING “The Photographer and the Columnist.” Manuel Andradas works out a plan to get all the money due him for working for the Big Ones. [Note: Under the guise of a photographer, Andradas is a professional assassin.] (3)

NEIL MacNEISH “Lament for a Scholar.” [Author’s real name is Norma Schier; an anagram of Michael Innes is used as the stated author.] Pastiche of Sir John Appleby. (0)

MICHAEL INNES “Dead Man’s Shoes.” Novelette. [Reprinted from Lilliput, August/September 1953; later included as the title story of a US hardcover collection.] A young real estate agent has a strange adventure traveling back to London, involving him with a murdered scientist wearing different colored shows. Sir John Appleby is the detective in this story of international espionage. Too clever a plot on the part of a murderer leads to his downfall. (3)

— April 1968.


IF SCIENCE FICTION, May 1967. Editor: Frederik Pohl. Cover art: Jack Gaughan. Overall rating: ***½ stars.

KEITH LAUMER “Spaceman!” Serial, part 1 of 3. To be reviewed after the July issue.

TERRY CARR “The Robots Are Here.” Novelette. Robots from the future are busily blocking alternate time tracks in the interest of man. Pleasant, but short and hence inconsequential. (3)

CHARLES W. RUNYON “The Youth Addicts.” Novelette. An attempt to enter the dream memories of a friend’s wife ends in a very strange love triangle., Derivative, but a slightly new twist. (4)

H. H. HOLLIS. Novelette. “The Long, Slow Orbits.” Novelette. A man and woman operate an “underground railroad” for maltreated cyborgs, or “coggers.” Analog to Black situation clear but not pushed. Can anyone be imprisoned in a Klein bottle? (3)

B. K. FILER “The Hole.” First story. Fossils are being destroyed – to hide the secret of the formation of intelligent life on Earth. (4)

A. BERTRAM CHANDLER. “The Road to the Rim.” Serial, Part 2 of 2. To be reported on soon.

– March 1968

WORLDS OF TOMORROW – May 1967. Editor: Frederik Pohl. Cover artist: [Douglas] Chaffee. Overall rating: ***½.

FRED SABERHAGEN “Stone Man.” Novelette. One planet in the universe is such that time is a variable capable of physical control. The berserkers’ attempt to destroy life there takes them back to the time of the first colonists so that the race can be exterminated at once. Very human story of conflict and life in wartime. (4)

      ADDED UPDATE: Taken from Wikipedia:

   “The Berserker series is a series of space opera science fiction short stories and novels [begun in 1963] by Fred Saberhagen, in which robotic self-replicating machines strive to destroy all life.

   “These Berserkers, named after the human berserker warriors of Norse legend, are doomsday weapons left over from an interstellar war between two races of extraterrestrials…”

DOUGLAS R. MASON “Squared Out with Poplars.” A mad scientist uses human brains for his computers. A strange excuse for a love story. (2)

DAVID A. KYLE “Base Ten.” Novelette. A missing little finger keeps a man marooned in space for eighteen years. A different story of “first contact.” (5)

SIMON TULLY “Whose Brother Is My Sister?” Novelette. Alien scientists combine with those of Earth to prove a theoretical relationship between space and time. Their efforts to stop time do not succeed entirely, as the flow of time is simply reversed. The alien culture is superbly created. (4)

MACK REYNOLDS “The Throwaway Age.” Novelette. A spy who thinks of the enemy as “commies” is assigned to infiltrate a new group concerned with the waste of America’s resource and man-power. Reynolds has good points, but tells a poor story. (3)

– March 1968

STREET & SMITH’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE. May 1942. Overall rating: *

NORMAN DANIELS “Murder Nightmare.” Novella. After having dreamed of a friend’s death, Winton turns to his detective friend Taggart, only to become a murder suspect when the dream comes true. But it is only part of a complicated plot in the world of art that Taggart takes upon himself to solve. Stretches the imagination too far. (1)

W. T. BALLARD “A Toast to Crime.” [Red Drake] An investigation for the State Racing Commission becomes entangled with a mysterious bomber and antagonizes the local police. Too much running around with no purpose. (0)

WALLACE BROOKER “The Flashing Scimitar.” A ghost in a hunting lodge wields a bloody sword, but Lieutenant believes there must be a better explanation. Meanwhile, many men die with their throats cut. Wild, with a certain appeal. (2)

GARY BARTON “Will of the Devil Gods.” A Caribbean cruise, a a foreign agent, and a story of a sacred cloth. (1)

MARK HARPER “A Dead Hand Will Strike You.” Nard Jason takes on a case which has everyone shooting at him, including a dead man. Absolutely unreadable! (0)

JACK STORM “Ghost Fingers.” An inventor is murdered but his luminous paint helps capture his killer. (1)

– March 1968

ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION May 1967. Editor: John W. Campbell. Cover art: Kelly Freas. Overall rating: ***

RICHARD GREY SIPES “Of Terrans Bearing Gifts.” Novelette. Quite predictable Analog story of warlike planet defeated by traders from Earth, bringing psionic inventions, especially so since the story begins with the ending. Adequate but annoying. (2)

CHRISTOPHER ANVIL “Experts in the Field.” Another Analog type – bringing in an outsider to solve a problem. This time, that of a culture without a spoken language. (3)

BOB SHAW “Burden of Proof.” Slow glass (*) has another possible use: evidence in a court of law. Excellent idea; good development here. (4)

MIKE HODOUS “Dead End.” Earthmen trick a planet of centaurs into accepting a false FTL drive, Too much scientific terminology thrown around. (2)

HARRY HARRISON “The Time-Machined Saga.” Serial; part 3 of 3. See review of complete novel soon.

– March 1968


(*) From an online website: “Slow glass was an amusing scientific toy. Light traveled through it so slowly that, looking through a pane of it, you might see what had happened five minutes ago on the other side — or five years.”

ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. September 1948. Editor: John W. Campbell, Jr. Cover artist: Chesley Bonestell.  Overall rating: ***

GEORGE O. SMITH “The Catspaw.” Novella. Two people are given conflicting information about a possible space-drive in their dreams. Tom Barden is given knowledge of the necessary science; Edith Ward is warned by an opposing faction that the drive is unstable and dangerous. Are they guinea pigs? The plot line is cleverly worked out, but the scientific jargon can be skipped. (4)

PETER PHILLIPS “Dreams Are Sacred.” A sports writer is sent into the dreams of an overworked fantasy writer to bring him back to reality. Excellent except for lack of an effective ending. (4)

RENE LAFAYETTE “The Great Air Monopoly.” Novelette. Ole Doc Methuselah stops over on a planet where one man has control of the only drugs useful against hay fever, and the machinery to keep ragweed circulating. Not much of a story and indifferently told. (1)

MACK CHAPMAN LEA “The Gorgons.” The natives on an uncharted planet were friendly, but their mental screens came down at night. (3)

JOHN D. MacDONALD “Dance of a New World.” A recruiter for a projected colony and a dancer in a tavern on Venus go to that world together. (2)

ARTHUR C. CLARKE “Inheritance.” Realistic story of the first space probes, by a man and his son. Point not clear. (2)

– March 1968

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