“Quick. What’s the bestselling digest paperback of all time? Here are some hints. It appeared in 1941. It was self-published. It sold four million copies. And you’ve probably never heard of it.
“If none of those things seem at all probable, here’s the wholly improbable story of Bob Hope’sThey Got Me Covered.”
A sample of the quips inside:
“I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance—waiting for the bathroom.”
“I get letters written in all languages: French, Spanish and unmentionable.”
“You know what a fan letter is—it’s just an inky raspberry.”
Steve Carper’s website <FlyingCarsandFoodPills.com>, a history of the Future as seen through 19th and 20th century eyes, led to a book in progress, the first comprehensive history of robots in popular culture. That led to a semi-regular column about robots on <BlackGate.com>. His digest novel collection has passed the 1000 milestone.
“There was a lot of weirdness concerning Tate’s first movie, 13, aka Eye of the Devil, which starred David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Donald Pleasence, David Hemmings, and introduced Sharon Tate. ‘Look at her long enough and she may be the last thing you ever see!’ claimed an early version of the print ad.”
Manhunt blazed onto newsstands with Mickey Spillane’s “Everybody’s Watching Me,” serialized over its first four issues. Reprinted in June 1955, and in January 1964 as “I Came to Kill You,” it became one of the few stories ever to run three times in the same magazine.
“A new science-fiction magazine with a new concept in publishing. Each issue will be filled with stories by Foreign Authors. International Science Fiction Will give American readers a chance to read the science-fiction stories by Authors popular in the rest of the world. Written and translated by top writers throughout the world.”
–Inside front cover, International Science Fiction #1 Nov. 1967
“Dread Exile” by Paul Ernst (Strange Tales June 1932)
“The Testament of Athammaus” by Clark Ashton Smith (Weird Tales Oct. 1932)
“The Vespers Service” by William R. Bauer
“The Artist of Tao” by Arthur Styron (Strange Tales Oct. 1932)
“The Key to Cornwall” by David H. Keller (Stirring Science Stories Feb. 1941)
“The Executioner” by Rachel Cosgrove Payes
“The Settlement of Dryden vs. Shard” by W. O. Inglis (Harper’s Magazine Sep. 1902)
“The Grisly Horror” by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales Feb. 1935)
Although not labeled officially with the “Ellery Queen Selects” banner, Bestseller Mystery B128 follows the series’ formula: a short story collection edited by Queen, with his introduction. It’s also the last of the series.
Bestseller Mystery, B128, Nov. 1, 1950
“The Monkey Murder and other Hildegarde Withers Stories” by Stuart Palmer
“The Monkey Murder,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jan.1947
“The Purple Postcards,” The Detroit Free Press, July 2, 1939 as “The Riddle of the Purple Postcards” with slight differences in text
“Miss Withers and the Unicorn,” Aug. 3, 1941*
“The Riddle of the Double Negative,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March 1947
“The Long Worm,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Oct.1947
“The Hungry Hippo,” 1943**
“Tomorrow’s Murder,” The Detroit Free Press, June 2, 1940 as “Riddle of the Beggar on Horseback” with slight differences in text.
“Fingerprints Don’t Lie,” Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov. 1947
* date of copyright registration: no findable publication previous to this volume.
** 1943 is copyright date given in the book; earliest findable publication: The Australian Women’s Weekly, Feb. 19, 1944. The text has numerous differences.
“The Altar of Melek Taos” by G. G. Pendarves (Weird Tales Sep. 1932)
“The Chenoo” by Stephen Goldin
“Old City of Jade” by Thomas H. Knight (Weird Tales Oct. 1931)
“A Rendezvous in Averoigne” by Clark Ashton Smith (Weird Tales Apr/May 1931)
“The Mystery in Acatlan” by Rachael Marshall & Maverick Terrell (Weird Tales Nov. 1928)
“In the Lair of the Space Monsters” by Frank Belknap Long (Strange Tales Oct. 1932)
Here’s the splashpanel of a 4-page comic story about a robot from 1962 by the late Joe Wehrle, Jr. This is one of his earliest works that I’ve seen, created when he was 21 years old. If it looks familiar please let me know. I wonder if it was ever printed in a fanzine, most likely a science fiction fanzine.
The Digest Enthusiast book eight will feature a pictorial tribute to Joe and his work, with lots of samples and quotes from correspondence and interviews. It’s due in June 2018. I also intend to add his bibliography to the website as soon as I carve out some time. In the meantime, isfbd has one focused on his science fiction work.
“The Headless Miller of Kobold’s Keep” by Irvin Ashkenazy (Weird Tales Jan. 1937)
“Bride of the Wind” by Stephen Goldin
”A Song of Defeat” by Robert E. Howard (verse)
“The Emergency Call” by Marion Brandon (Strange Tales June 1932)
“Feminine Magic” by David H. Keller, M.D.
“The Whistling Corpse” by G. G. Pendarves (Weird Tales July 1937)
“Camera Obscura” by Ted H. Straus
“The Bride Well” by David H. Keller, M.D. (Weird Tales Oct. 1930)
“Ligeia” by Edgar Allen Poe (The American Museum 1838)
“The Nameless Offspring” by Clark Ashton Smith (Strange Tales June 1932)
“Back Before the Moon” by S. Omar Barker (Strange Tales Mar. 1932)
“The Road to Nowhere” by Robert A. W. Lowndes (Science Fiction Quarterly Fall 1942)