Ray Bradbury’s Small Assassin

Dime Mystery Nov. 1946

Stories from Suspense Magazine #1 Spring 1951

The idea that a newborn, a tiny baby could be an assassin aiming his sights on his own caregivers, aka his parents, is absurd. Yet, that is the premise of “Small Assassin” by Ray Bradbury that was reprinted in the first edition of Suspense Magazine. The story’s first appeared in Dime Mystery (Nov. 1946).

Despite the premise, the story is well-written and has been reprinted in multiple anthologies, including one named for the story. It was adapted for an EC comic book and an episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater television series and even has a page on Wikipedia.

Here’s the opening paragraph:
“Just when the idea occurred to her that she was being murdered she could not tell. There had been little subtle signs, little suspicions for the past month; things as deep as sea tides in her, like looking at a perfectly calm stretch of cerulean water and liking it and wanting to bathe in it, and finding, just as the tide takes your body into it, that monsters dwell just under the surface, things unseen, bloated, many-armed, sharp-fanged, malignant and inescapable.”

Image from the Wikipedia page.

James A. Kirch

Stories from Suspense Magazine #1 Spring 1951

An issue highlight, “The Eyewitness Who Wouldn’t See” by James A. Kirch, concerns the owner of a diner and his girl. Both witness a murder, but only the woman is brave enough to make a statement. Before the case goes to trial, she disappears. The police and a gangster pressure the diner’s owner to reveal the woman’s hiding place. Problem is, he really doesn’t know. A tight plot with good dialogue and mounting tension made this yarn one of the issues best stories.

I didn’t find much about Kirch online. His earliest story listed at Galactic Central is “One-Way Ticket” from Detective Fiction Weekly (Aug. 27,1938). Kirch’s short stories appeared often in detective pulps during the 1940s. His last, “Cops Don’t Run” was published in Argosy (Aug. 1957).

Weirdbook #34

With this issue of Weirdbook, editor Doug Draa announces the book-size magazine is now a quarterly. He also reveals the beginning of a special themed annual, which for 2017 will be “Witches.”

From the Editor’s Tower
“The Demon in the Doughnut Shop” by Bret McCormick
“Masks of Babylon” by Steve Dilks (verse)
“A Kiss for the Mirrorman” by Adrian Cole
“Which Remained Untold” by Darrell Schweitzer (verse)
“Mukden by Sean” Patrick Hazlett
“In the Gallery” by J. Michael Major
“Excavation” by Franklyn Searight
“Bunnies of the Apocalypse” by Gregg Chamberlain
“Sephora” by Ashley Dioses (verse)
“Zhar’s Outré House” by Frederick J. Mayer
“The Devil is Anonymous” by Frank Duffy
“Touched” by James D. Mabe
“The Singing Tree” by Lawrence Buentello
“Blood of God” by DJ Tyrer
“Bum Fights and Blood Feuds” by Scott Harper
“Beauty Treatment” by Liam Hogan
“Narda the Czarina” by Ashley Dioses (verse)
“My Personal Dream” by James Ward Kirk
“Mischa in the Window” by Jason Rubis
“The Wrong Daughter” by Lucy A. Snyder (verse)
“Thrill My Soul” by Greg Jenkins
“Trick” by Rish Outfield
“In Silence My Requiem” by Steve Dilks (verse)

Weirdbook Vol. 2 #4, whole #34 published February 2017
Publisher/Executive Editor: John Gregory Betancourt
Editor: Doug Draa
Consulting Editor: W. Paul Ganley
Production Manager: Steve Coupe
Cover: Tonis Pan
182 pages, 6” x 9”
$12.00 in Print, $3.03 in Kindle from Amazon.com
$3.99 from Magzter
Wildside Press website

Found on eBay recently

Description and photos from the listing follow:

What we have up for bid today is a great old magazine with some terrific reading ahead of you. You won’t see a copy of this in a long time so don’t wait for somebody else grabs it. I admit I’m no professional dealer, so make no attempt to rate condition like I am. Your the judge anyway. The photos tell you everything you need to know, which is plenty for any item as old as this thing. Just so we’re clear, I am not responsible for your happyness. You are.

I’m no professional photographer either, but do the best I can, I’d say better than most too. I took these pictures myself with my wife’s phone camera. I didn’t even know it had a camera until I started poking around. Flash too. Pretty cool, you have to admit.

All my books come with dryer sheets. They make any book smell brand new. Some folks don’t like it. Too bad, that’s the way I do it. I’ve been at this a long time too. It gets rid of that musty smell that all old books get. That’s just the way things work.

I don’t live near the post office, so I ship once a week when I go to town. Wait at least two weeks before you send questions about your ordered. One week is for me to get to the post office and the other is for the post office to get it to you. If it hasn’t shown up in two weeks, it’s okay to let me know but you should probably give it another week so be sure. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

I send all books in a envelope for protection for handling by the post office. If your book arrives damaged, that’s not me, that’s the post office. Any problems you have, contact the post office. Once I turn it over, it’s out of my hands.

If you like what you have here, take a look at my other items you could buy from me. I found a bunch of boxes hid behind the water heater on Sunday so there is alot more is coming as soon as I find time to get it all listed. Keep checking, I’ll get there. You can count on it.


Quest for the City of Gold

Fate #358 Jan. 1980

Fate magazine is well known for the “True Reports of the Strange and Unknown” of its byline, but it also enlightens readers on history and little-known places around the world.

“Quest for El Dorado” by Jane M. Loy was featured in Fate #358 January 1980. It was a reprint that originally ran in Americas, a monthly magazine published by the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.

The search for El Dorado and its golden treasure rose to feverish heights in the 1500s. Both Germans and Spaniards led expeditions with hundreds of men across mountainous terrain, through torrential rains and dense forrest in hopes of discovering the mythical fortune of “the golden king.” Hundreds of men and dozens of pack animals lost their lives before the fever finally cooled.

“It would seem that by the end of the 16th Century Europeans had proved conclusively that El Dorado was not located in the Ilanos.” As the years progressed, the quest fell to smaller and smaller groups of men, but the legends of the lost city persisted, as did the few who risked their lives against the wilderness to prove its existence.

The El Dorado page on Wikipedia shows a color photograph, with greater clarity than the b&w image, in this issue of Fate. “Discovered in 1969, an exquisitely crafted pre-Columbian gold raft carrying [the] tall gilded chieftain seems to confirm [the] origins of [the] Chibcha legend.”

Analog Mar/Apr 2017

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Vol. 137 #3 & 4 Mar/Apr 2017

Guest Editorial by Nickolas Falkner
“Nexus” by Michael F. Flynn
Sustainability Lab 101 by Stanley Schmidt (Science Fact)
“Barriers” by J. Northcutt, Jr. (verse)
“Europa’s Survivors” by Marianne J. Dyson, art by Vincent DiFate
“Eli’s Coming” by Catherine Wells
“Time Heals” by James C. Glass
“Shakesville” by Adam-Troy Castro & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, art by Kevin Speidell
“Hypothesis/Assertion” by Daniel D. Villani (verse)
“Host” by Eneasz Brodski
“The Snatchers” by Edward McDermott
“Unbearable Burden” by Gwendolyn Clare
Testing the Neutrino Hierarchy by John G. Cramer (Alternate View)
“Hidden Intentions” by Mary E. Lowd
“Grandmaster” by Jay O’Connell
In Times to Come (preview)
“Alexander’s Theory of Special Relativity” by Shane Halbach
“Concerning the Devastation Wrought by the Nefarious Gray Comma and Its Ilk” by Tim McDaniel (Men in Tie-Dye Adventure), art by Josh Meehan
“Ecuador vs. the Bug-Eyed Monsters” by Jay Werkheiser, art by Joel Iskowitz
“The Human Way” by Tony Ballantyne
“Plaisir d’Amour” by John Alfred Taylor
The Reference Library by Don Sakers
Brass Tacks—Readers’ Letters
Upcoming Events by Anthony Lewis
Classified Marketplace

Publisher: Peter Kanter
Editor: Trevor Quachri
Assistant Editor: Emily Hockaday
Senior Art Director: Victoria Green
Cover: Tomislav Tikulin for “Nexus”
208 pages, $7.99 on newsstands until Apr. 25, 2017
Analog website


A science-storyette from S. Fowler Wright

Stories from Suspense Magazine #1 Spring 1951

“Obviously Suicide” by S. Fowler Wright
. A prolific author who wrote dozens of science fiction, mystery and historical novels between 1924 and 1954. In addition to his own name, Wright often wrote under the names Sidney Fowler and Anthony Wingrave.

His novel, The Adventure of Wyndham Smith (1938) was reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries June 1950.

At the time he wrote “Suicide” for Suspense, he was the magazine’s senior contributor at age 70. It’s not exactly science fiction—Suspense labels it a science-storyette (a short or shortened story)—in this case three pages. The opening passage serves as a good summary:

“In about two seconds the Earth would dissolve in a blaze of fire,” the research worker at the N.U. Laboratory told his wife. “There would be a burst of light and—one planet less in the universe. The amazing aspect is its very simplicity. Ii could be made in a backyard shed. All one needs is a combination of three substances, all easy to obtain, and then nothing more than a loop of heated wire.”

The Digest Enthusiast #6 progress report

The sixth edition of The Digest Enthusiast is coming along very well. I’ll focus first on the content on-hand and then get into things in development or planned. Peter Enfantino has turned in one article on Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and another on my favorite digest, Manhunt. Despite being buried with work on his robot book, Steve Carper managed to write a piece about an old self-published digest crica 1941. Tom Brinkmann returns with gusto with an article on Sharon Tate. I’m deep into a piece on International Science Fiction, a title suggested by Tore Stokka.

In the fiction arena, we have “Atomic Fuel” by Alex Cizak with art by Brad Foster, “The Eihkarrad Talisman” by Joe Wehrle, Jr. and the second episode of Lesann Berry’s Alternate History Archive is planned.

D. Blake Werts has an interview with a SF writer in development and I’m lining up one with a crime writer. Joe Wehrle, Jr. has an article in progress, plus we’ll have a few reviews including one on another set of digest magazine trading cards. I’m hoping Bob Vojtko will have time to give us another page of his wonderful gag cartoons. We’re on schedule for a June release in print and digital versions for Kindle and Magzter.

Shock Mystery Tales Dec. 1961

Shock Mystery Tales Vol. 2 #1 December 1961

“Brides for the Devil’s Cauldron” by Don Unatin
“I Am the Monster” by Art Crockett
“Curse of the Serpent Goddess” by Bill Ryder
“Vengeance of the Undead” by Anthony Stuart
“Hell’s Photographer” by Jim Burnett
“The Damned of Terror Island” by Jim Arthur
“Her Killer’s Waiting” by Seymour Shubin