“It wasn’t a lot of money at first, barely covered enough to buy into a small stakes game.”
“Bad Debt” by Jonathan McGoran Grift Magazine #2 Spring 2013
Stories from Marvel Science Stories May 1951: “The Ones” by Betsy Curtis
“The Ones” opens in the luxurious Venusberg Club where importer Ebon Macklure reveals his slavery sideline when he kidnaps Galactic Guardsman Arnaud Grath and the beautiful dancer, Aleesa, transporting them to the Ones of Crae for the handsome profit of five thousand units.
Forced into hard labor on the surface of the cruel planet, both captives soon find themselves brought before the Ones for their insolence. The terrible secret of the Ones belies the aliens’ true nature and Arnaud, with the help of another Guardsman, Marco Neery, strikes a bargain that saves the day for all concerned. “The Ones” provides an entertaining space adventure, most memorable for its supporting lead, Aleesa, who projects strength and courage as a defiant captive, in a welcome relief from the female stereotypes so typical of this era.
Bestseller Mystery B59, from 1944, featured “The Case Book of Ellery Queen.” “It contained five short stories reprinted from the collection The New Adventures of Ellery Queen, never reprinted in digest form, and three radio scripts unavailable anywhere.”
“The Seeds of Death” by David H. Keller (Weird Tales June/July 1931)
“The Seeking Thing” by Janet Hirsch
“A Vision of Judgement” by H.G. Wells (The Time Machine and Others)
“The Place of the Pythons” by Arthur J. Burks (Strange Tales Sep. 1931)
“Jean Bouchon” by S. Waring-Gould (A Book of Ghosts)
“The Door” by Rachel Cosgrove Payes
“One Summer Night” by Ambrose Bierce (Can Such Things Be?)
“Luella Miller” by Mary Wilkins-Freeman (The Wind in the Rose-Bush)
“They That Wait” by H.S.W. Chibbett
“The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow)
“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.”
Episode two appears in TDE6, and I’m pleased to report Kiefer will return in TDE7, due out in December 2017, which no longer seems so far off. Each episode of the Alternate History Archive includes an illustration by Michael Neno.
Justice Amazing Detective Mysteries made its debut on newsstands with Vol. 1 No. 1 dated May 1955.
“The pulplike covers and well-printed interiors were among the better of the many similar magazines appearing at the time . . .”
–Michael L. Cook, Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Magazines, Greenwood Press 1983
Stories from Worlds of Fantasy #4 (John Spencer and Company 1951): “Doomed World” by Ray Mason
Errant planet Atlanta is torn from its orbit due to intense volcanic activity and suddenly appears on the plexoid instrument panel “right in the recognised traffic lane between Earth and Mars.” First spotted by Radd Baker, in charge of the space freighter LS4K, he and his space-hardened second-in-command, Peter Lorrimer, decide to investigate.
Upon landing they find the planet populated with human beings who escaped from the destruction of Altantis thousands of years ago. Now their descendants face oblivion again at the hands of mother nature.
Radd saves the day with a minor assist from Peter, all while winning the heart of Juda. “They didn’t come any lovelier, not in all the Earth!”
The plot of “Doomed World” is its main asset. The characters are as uninspired as its writing. Only through some combination of nostalgic charm and guilty pleasure can readers plod through to reach “the end.” But man, you gotta love the cover of this digest magazine!
“The Space-Eaters” by Frank Belknap Long (Weird Tales July 1928)
“The Faceless Thing” by Edward D. Hoch
“The Red Room” by H.G. Wells
“Hungary’s Female Vampire” by Dean Lipton
“A Tough Tussle” by Ambrose Bierce (Can Such Things Be?)
“Doorslammer” by Donald A. Wollheim
“The Electric Chair” by George Waight (Weird Tales Jan. 1925)
“The Other One” by Jerryl L. Keane
“The Charmer” by Archie Binns
“Clarissa” by Robert A. W. Lowndes (expanded version of “Gourmet” from Renascence 1946)
“The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes” by Rudyard Kipling (Under the Deodars)
“It was when I was in junior high that I really hit my stride, though, and that was thanks to one of those big Groff Conklin anthologies of SF stories, The Big Book of Science Fiction. I thought the stories were wonderful, every one of them. I’ve always been one to read everything in the book, so I read the copyright page and discovered that all the stories had been published in magazines. The next day I was at the local bookstore (yes, even my small East Texas town had one), where I located a couple of digests, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Astounding Science Fiction. I bought those and was soon off on a real binge. I bought every SF digest that I could get my hands on.”
Here’s the pencil sketch Joe Wehrle, Jr. sent in for the cover of The Digest Enthusiast book five. I added the outlined type.. We decided to overlap the masthead when the final artwork was complete.
Joe is working on the cover for book seven, which is scheduled for release in December.