Monthly Archives: January 2017

Super-Science Fiction Aug. 1959

The third monster issue of Super-Science Fiction, August 1959 is also a portfolio of terrific illustrations by Ed Emshwiller, who starts things off with his cover painting. And here’s what’s lurking inside:

“The Horror in the Attic” by Alex Merriman, art by Emsh
Science Shorts by Edgar P. Straus
“Monsters That Once Were Men” by Eric Rodman, art by Emsh
“Birth of a Monster” by Richard Stark, art by Emsh
Toward Absolute Zero
“Man-Hunting Robot” by James Rosequest, art by Emsh
“Planet of the Angry Giants” by Dirk Clinton, art by Emsh
“World of Creeping Terror” by J.W. Rose, art by Emsh
“Which was the Monster?” by Dan Malcolm, art by Emsh
“Specimens” by George H. Smith

Hat Tip Time

Online ad on Black Gate

“Thank you” to all the folks who have purchased The Digest Enthusiast book five. And thanks also to all those who have helped spread the word about it through your support:

Mike Chomko Books
DreamHaven Books

Bill Thom’s Pulp Coming Attractions
John O’Neill Black Gate
Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Machine
James Reasoner’s Rough Edges
J. Kingston Pierce’s Killer Covers

Amazon Reviewers
Steve Alcorn

Social Media Likers and Sharers
David J. Bell
Lesann Berry
Ben Boulden
David Brinkmann
Mary Burgess
Pat Capasso
Don Coffin
Steve Cooper
Rick Drofdarb
Peter Enfantino
Brad W. Foster
Tim Goebel
Jeff Harper
Javier Hernandez
Troy Hickman
Daniel Higgins
Tom Johnson
George A. Lane III
Robert Lopresti
Jim Main
Kurt Martin
Marc Miyake
Mary Neno
Michael Neno
Keith O’Brien
Chet Jasper Reams
Lori-Ann Reif
Jack Seabrook
Kipp Poe Speicher
Art Taylor
Dan Taylor
Bill Thom
Bill Widener
Edd Vick
Bob Vojtko

Sorry if I missed anyone! Book Six is in development with a target release planned for June 2017!



Analog Jan/Feb 2017

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Vol. 137 #1 & 2 Jan/Feb 2017

Among other things, the author notes reveal Alec Nevala-Lee’s non-fiction book Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, for Dey Street Books is due next year.

Editor Trevor Quachri, writes about the new double-issue, bi-monthly format in his “In Times to Come” piece: “Right off the bat, you’ll see more novellas, longer book review columns, and more variety in the themes that thread through the stories.”

Guest Editorial by James Gunn
“The Proving Ground” by Alec Nevala-Lee
“New Planet Landscape 38” by Ken Poyner (verse)
Rendezvous with a Comet by Richard A. Lovett (science fact)
“Twilight’s Captives” by Christopher L. Bennett, art by Eldar Zakirov
“Orbit of Fire, Orbit of Ice” by Andrew Barton
“Long Haul” by Marie DesJardin, art by Josh Meehan
“Catching Zeus” by Tom Jolly
“Drifting Like Leaves, Falling Like Acorns” by Marissa Lingen
“Throw Me a Bone” by Stanley Schmidt
“Dall’s Last Message” by Antha Ann Adkins
“The Last Mayan Aristocrat” by Guy Stewart, art by Josh Meehan
The Alternate View by John G. Cramer
“The Shallowest Waves” by Thoraiya Dyer & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
“Necessary Illusions” by Tom Greene
Biolog: Tom Greene by Richard A. Lovett
UFOlogy by F.J. Bergmann (verse)
“Paradise Regained” by Edward M. Lerner, art by Eldar Zakirov
“Briz” by Jay Werkheiser
“Split Signal” by Joel Richards
In Times to Come (preview)
“After the Harvest, Before the Fall” by Scott Edelman
“Whending My Way Back Home” by Bill Johnson (Martin and Artie series)
The Reference Library by Don Sakers
Classified Marketplace
Brass Tacks—Readers’ Letters
2016 Issue Index
AnLab Reader’s Favorites Award Ballot
Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis

Analog’s statement of ownership appears on page 149. Filing date Sept. 2016. The average number of copies printed during the preceding 12 months: 21,515, with 19,975 of those comprising total average distribution.

Publisher: Peter Kanter
Editor: Trevor Quachri
Assistant Editor: Emily Hockaday
Senior Art Director: Victoria Green
Cover: Kurt Huggins for “The Proving Ground”
208 pages, $7.99 on newsstands until Feb. 21, 2017
Analog website

The Barber and His Wife

One of Dashiell Hammett’s earliest stories, “The Barber and His Wife,” written as Peter Collinson, first appeared in Brief Stories, December 1922. It was reprinted in Ellery Queen’s anthology, Mercury Mystery #233 in 1962.

Queen’s introduction to the story states, “An early and ‘unknown’ Hammett yarn in which the characters are once again a foreshadowing of the great ones to come . . .”

Here’s the opening paragraph: “Each morning at seven thirty the alarm clock on the table beside their bed awakened the Stemlers to perform their daily comedy—a comedy that varied from week to week in degree only.”

Asimov’s Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2017

Asimov’s Science Fiction Vol. 41 #1 & 2, aka #492 & 493, Jan/Feb 2017, the first issue of Asimov’s new double-issue, bi-monthly schedule. This is the 40th anniversary of the magazine, which they’ll be celebrating all year. Editor Sheila Williams gives a few hints as to what’s in store in her editorial.

Among other things, the story introductions reveal the first new Captain Future novel since 1946, Avengers of the Moon by Allen M. Steele, is coming in March from Tor Books.

Here’s the issue’s full contents:

Editorial: Forty Years!
Reflections: Two Cheers for Piltdown Man by Robert Silverberg
On the Net: Ask Me Anything by James Patrick Kelly
“Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” by Sean Monaghan
“Tagging Bruno” by Allen M. Steele (Coyote series)
“The Infinite Abyss” by Peter Payack (verse)
“Still Life With Abyss” by Jim Grimsley
“Fatherbond” by Tom Purdom
“Winter Timeshare” by Ray Nayler
“Imperatives” by Jane Yolen (verse)
“The Catastrophe of Cities” by Lisa Goldstein
“Pieces of Ourselves” by Robert R. Chase
“Telepath’s Lament” by John Richard Trtek (verse)
“Destination” by Jack Skillingstead
“Hubble’s Constant” by Marian Moore (verse)
“The Meiosis of Cells and Exile” by Octavia Cade
“Prince Ever After” by Jane Yolen (verse)
“Starphone” by Stephen Baxter (Xeelee universe)
“William Carlos Williams Variation #3” by Robert Frazier (verse)
“Blow, Winds, and Crack Your Cheeks” by John Alfred Taylor
Next Issue
“The Speed of Belief” by Robert Reed
“William Carlos Williams Variation #4” by Robert Frazier (verse)
On Books by Paul Di Filippo
Thirty-First Annual Readers’ Award guide & ballot
2016 Issue Index
Classified Marketplace
SF Conventional Calendar by Erwin S. Strauss

Asimov’s statement of ownership appears on page 103. Filing date Sept. 2016. The average number of copies printed during the preceding 12 months: 15,183, with 13,978 of those comprising total average distribution.

Publisher: Peter Kanter
Editor: Sheila Williams
Assistant Editor: Emily Hockaday
Editorial Assistant: Deanna McLafferty
Senior Art Director: Victoria Green
Cover: Maurizio Manzieri for “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles”
208 pages, $7.99 on newsstands until Feb. 21, 2017
Asimov’s website

A monstrous edition of Super-Science Fiction

Emsh illo for “Beasts of Nightmare Horror” by Richard F. Watson, Super-Science Fiction June 1959

Robert Silverberg’s novelette, “Beasts of Nightmare Horror,” written as Richard F. Watson, didn’t garner a cover caption on the June 1959 edition of Super-Science Fiction. But it was the headline story on the contents page, and opens with a wonderfully monstrous illustration by Ed Emshwiller. The story gets off to a roaring start:

“The strange monsters made their first appearance on what was otherwise a pleasant early spring afternoon on the Terran colony-world of Cameron. Cameron had been settled three years before; its population consisted of some five thousand hard-working settlers. They had built themselves a neat, well-constructed village in the heart of the fertile plain of Cameron’s largest continent, and for three years the colonists had known no trouble. Then, out of nowhere, the monsters came.”

Silverberg wrote “The Day the Monsters Broke Loose” under his own name for the issue, which also includes stories by Russell Thompson, James Rosenquest, Bill Wesley and Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2017

Fantasy & Science Fiction Vol. 132 No. 1 and 2, aka #729, Jan/Feb 2017

“Vinegar and Cinnamon” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
“The Regression Test” by Wole Talabi
“A Gathering on Gravity’s Shore” by Gregor Hartmann (Franden series)
Books To Look For by Charles de Lint
Books by James Sallis
“Homecoming” by Rachel Pollack (Jack Shade series)
“One Way” by Rick Norwood
“On the Problem of Replacement Children: Prevention, Coping, and Other Practical Strategies” by Debbie Urbanski
“Dunnage for the Soul” by Robert Reed
Science: Brainless Robots Stroll the  Beach by Pat Murphy & Paul Doherty
Television: Stranger (Yet Oddly Familiar) Things by Tim Pratt
“Kingship” poem by Mary Soon Lee
“Alexandria” by Monica Byrne
“Wetherfell’s Reef Runics” by Mark Laidlaw
“There Used to Be Olive Trees” by Rich Larson
Coming Attractions
Curiosities by David Langford

F&SF’s statement of ownership appears on page 190. Filing date Oct. 2016. The average number of copies printed during the preceding 12 months: 16,744, with 11,108 of those comprising total average distribution.

Publisher: Gordon Van Gelder
Editor: C.C. Finlay
Assistant Publishers: Barbara J. Norton, Keith Kahla
Assistant Editors: Robin O’Connor, Stephen L. Mazur, Lisa Rogers
Contests Editor: Carol Pinchefsky
Film Editor: Harlan Ellison
Cover: Charles Vess (Vinegar and Cinnamon)
Cartoons: Bill Long, Arthur Masear
258 pages, $8.99 on newsstands until March 6, 2017
Fantasy & Science Fiction website

Feed the Beast by Lesann Berry

The last remnants of comfort slid off Kiefer, leaving him exposed and naked, fearful.

The Digest Enthusiast’s mission is to explore the world of digest magazines—past and present. First, we’re making a record of this corner of publishing history. Second, we want to generate interest for current newsstand digests like Nostalgia Digest, EQMM, Fate, AHMM, F&SF, Analog and Asimov’s—and those today’s technology makes possible like Weirdbook, Paperback Parade, Betty Fedora, Pulp Literature, Crime Syndicate, Morpheus Tales, etc.

We’re celebrating short genre fiction, and balancing each edition with coverage of non-fiction titles like Beyond and Borderline, plus a few original fiction stories of our own. Most of the feedback supports this approach, but some digest enthusiasts see our fiction pages displacing other features. I appreciate that perspective, but I think the variety helps make the total package better. James Reasoner summed it up precisely in his review of TDE2 on Rough Edges: “Rounding out the issue, appropriately enough, are four short stories by Joe Wehrle Jr., D.D. Ploog, Richard Krauss, and John M. Kuharik. These are excellent crime and fantasy yarns.” AirShip 27 publisher Ron Fortier wrote on Pulp Fiction Reviews: “…[TDE] features a wonderful balance of articles, interviews and short fiction.”

The Digest Enthusiast book five includes three short stories by Lesann Berry, Richard L. Kellogg and Joe Wehrle, Jr. Lesann’s is the first episode of her Alternate History Archive, “Feed the Beast.” Here’s the opening:

“Kiefer turned his back but the cops kept talking. Shoulders hunched down, he shuffled away. He hated pity. The last thing he wanted to deal with right now was some yahoo’s good intentions. The bottle in his pocket victimized him enough. Blinking, he counted off three breaths before scanning the alley entrance.


“Relief flooded through him. Sometimes the creatures skulked in the shadows, watching and wait- ing. On occasion the thing stared directly at him, snapped its pointed teeth like a rabid dog. Every so often he believed they might even be real.”

And let’s not forget the great artwork that accompanies the fiction. Three beautiful pieces from Michael Neno, Brian Buniak and Joe Wehrle, Jr. Shown here are the pencils for Michael’s finished piece that appears in the issue.

TDE5 is available in print, Kindle and Magzter.

Evan Hunter in Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke #2 August 1953

It’s not uncommon for the hero or the villain in Gunsmoke’s stories to get things started by riding into the scene with a few hints about the trouble ahead or the setting. In “Snowblind” the great Evan Hunter opens with the cold slap of winter:

“He rode the big roan stiffly, the collar of his heavy mackinaw pulled high on his neck. His battered stetson was tilted over his forehead, crammed down against his ears. Still, the snow seeped in, trailing icy fingers across the back of his neck.”

This issue of Gunsmoke, August 1953, came out only a year and a few months after Salvatore Albert Lombino (1926–2005) had legally changed his name to Evan Hunter, which it’s been suggested came from his days at Evander Childs High School and Hunter College. Hunter also wrote under the names John Abbott, Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, Ezra Hannon, Richard Marsten, and his most famous, Ed McBain.