Tag Archives: The Digest Enthusiast

Art Taylor’s “A Voice from the Past”

Speaking about real life events, Art Taylor shared a few memorable incidents drawn upon for his stories like the one that appears in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine August 2009:

AT: “A Voice from the Past” centers on some hazing incidents very similar to the rat system at the boarding school I attended. All those* are pretty heavily fictionalized beyond those core elements, of course, but building from that foundation has helped to fuel the imagination.

*Art mentions several others in his full interview that appears in The Digest Enthusiast book four.

The origins of Pulp Literature magazine

Pulp Literature #10

Why start a magazine? I asked Jennifer Landels, one of the founders of Pulp Literature, what she and her co-editors set out to accomplish:

“We felt there was a gap in the market for well-written multi-genre stories. Literary magazines tend to ignore genre fiction, and other fiction platforms tend to be narrowly genre-specific. We wanted to create a smorgasbord where all genres are welcome, and the only criteria are good writing and good storytelling.”

Pulp Literature #14 is coming soon.

The above excerpt, from “Digital Digest Magazines” interviews with the editors, appears in TDE4.

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.

Art Taylor’s first story for EQMM

EQMM Dec. 1995

“My first paid publication, however, was my first story in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine—“Murder on the Orient Express” (December 1995)—a story that wasn’t originally intended as a mystery at all. Instead, it focusses on a couple honeymooning aboard the Orient Express and fumbling along a little from mishap to mishap, while the husband builds stories in his mind about the other passengers—all of it imaginary, fueled by the spirit of Christie’s novel of the same name. The story is about that imagination and how imagination suddenly helps the new marriage click, and— spoiler alert—ultimately there’s no real crime in the story at all.”

Excerpt from the 14-page interview with Art Taylor in The Digest Enthusiast book four.


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.

Free eBook: The Digest Enthusiast #1

Get a free copy of The Digest Enthusiast #1 on Magzter when you sign-up for updates about the series and other Larque Press projects.

TDE1 Contents:
Interviews with Gordon Van Gelder (editor/publisher of F&SF), Phyllis Galde (editor/publisher of Fate magazine) and Matthew Turcotte (Archie Digest enthusiast)

Articles on Galaxy Science Fiction, Walter B. Gibson’s true crime digest The Big Story, Myron Fass’ Foto-rama, etc., In Defense of Digests and protective sleeves for your digest magazines.

Reviews of Fate #725, Coronet June 1950, Fate trading cards and Paperback Parade #85.

Fiction by Lesann Berry, Richard Krauss and Joe Wehrle, Jr.

Plus, Editor’s Notes, digest indexes, trivia and more.

Includes nearly 100 full color cover images in over 100 pages of great reading.

The Digest Enthusiast is “highly recommended” by writers/editors like Steve Alcorn, Bill Crider, Ron Fortier, Gary Lovisi, John O’Neill, James Reasoner; and reviewers like Rod Lott.

Join us today! You’ll receive an email with a link and passcode from Magzter for your free issue soon after you sign-up.

We won’t share your information or bombard your email inbox with frequent solicitations. Our updates are sent once every few months when something you actually want to hear about, like a new issue, is announced. Sign-up here.

The Digest Enthusiast: now on Magzter

Magzter is the world’s largest digital magazine newsstand with over 8,500 magazines in its catalog, and you can now read a digital version of The Digest Enthusiast there as well.

Like other ePub apps, you can purchase, download and read your books through the Magzter app or web browser on your tablet, smartphone or computer. But what’s different is that Magzter’s magazines are based on PDF files not html like Kindle, iBooks and Nook. This means the layout of the Magzter digital version of a magazine matches the printed version.

Every issue of The Digest Enthusiast is available through Magzter for $2.99 each. And you can also subscribe for $5.99 for two of our twice yearly issues beginning with the current issue, #5. Issue 6 is already in development and scheduled for release in June 2017.

Read The Digest Enthusiast in the format you like best: Print, Kindle—and now on Magzter.

Change is great

The Digest Enthusiast #5 Jan. 2017 cover by Joe Wehrle, Jr.

One of life’s illusions is that stasis is the desired state. In truth, you’re either moving forward or losing ground. Stasis is an illusion. Despite the emotional yen for balance and normalcy, change is actually a better route to growth, or that magical place that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow.

Sometimes change is intentional. Other times your subconscious cooks up a solution to a problem you didn’t realize you had. That was the case for the new column in The Digest Enthusiast.

In past editions we had Editors Notes and a round-up of social media comments. As of book five these two sections are consolidated under a new title: News Digest. And most importantly, we added news from our editorial and writerly contacts from the newsstand digests themselves. The first column is just the start, a spark from the subconscious. Next time we intend to grow the coverage and keep improving.

The Digest Enthusiast #5

The Digest Enthusiast #5 Jan. 2017 cover by Joe Wehrle, Jr.

TDE5 is now available in print and Kindle editions. Here’s the lineup:

• Interview with Bill Crider: The inside story on Dan Rhodes, EQMM’s Blog Bytes and Bill’s storied career with digests—with special coverage of the beloved DAPA-EM.

• Digest News: the latest from Dell, Fate, F&SF, Nostalgia Digest, Video WatcHDog and our contributors; readers’ response to TDE4; plus Tom Brinkmann’s portraits of synchronicity.

Peter Enfantino’s overview and synopses of Martin Goodman’s Justice Amazing Detective Mysteries.

Steve Carper cracks the riddle of the remarkable Ellery Queen Selects series.

Peter Enfantino reports on the editorial insights of Robert A.W. Lowndes on his ultimate manifestation: the Magazine of Horror.

• RAWL on Writing for Publication, a summary by Richard Krauss.

• Reviews of the UK’s Worlds of Fantasy #4, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by Peter Nicholls, Charles Beckman, Jr.’s Honky Tonk Girl by Gary Lovisi, and Marvel Science Stories May 1951.

• Genre fiction by Lesann Berry, Richard L. Kellogg, and Joe Wehrle, Jr.; with illustrations by Brian Buniak, Michael Neno, and Joe Wehrle, Jr.

• Plus contents lists and sources; digest magazine checklists; Haiku by Clark Dissmeyer; cartoons by Brad Foster and Bob Vojtko; and more.

Print version, $8.99, includes nearly 100 B&W cover images, 152 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″ digest.
 Kindle version, $2.99, includes over 50 color cover images.

For information on previous editions visit the Larque Press website.

(Please repost if you love digest magazines.)

Farewell 2016, Welcome 2017

Naked Villainy by Carl Hodges, Suspense Novel #3

I read over two dozen digest magazines in 2016 and expect to do the same in the new year. The best of the crop was Carl Hodges’ Naked Villainy, the final Suspense Novel, which I wrote about in TDE4.

I sampled several true crime digests and found most of them to be superior to their sensational covers. True Crime Detective and Crime Lab were the stand outs.

On the psychic sciences front I read an issue of Beyond, Exploring the Unknown, Search, and several Fate magazines. There’s a good reason Fate is still around. It’s the best.

Gary Lovisi and Richard Greene published five issues of Paperback Parade this year. All excellent, but for me the highlight was #92. You had me at Humanoid Puppets on the cover.

We lost Video WatcHDog and Thuglit this year. Fortunately, the work of Tim and Donna Lewis continues online, and Big Daddy Thug, Todd Robinson, published Rough Trade.

TDE5 is very nearly complete and will be out soon, perhaps as soon as next week. Watch this space for the announcement. Happy New Year!