News Digest July 31, 2020

Switchblade No. 12

New Release
Switchblade No. 12
Russell Highland “The Great Morality” (verse)
Contents Page
Scotch Rutherford: Editor’s Corner

Sharp & Deadly Short Fiction
E.F. Sweetman
:Sorry Not Sorry”
C.W. Blackwell “From Dusk to Blonde”
Jon Zelazny “Radio Sutch”
D.K. Latta “Forwarded Mail”
Walter Sandville “Sealing the Deal”
Elliot F. Sweeney “A Dirt Hit”
William R. Soldan “Like a Diamond in the Sky”
Nathan Pettigrew “Aileen of Savanne Road”
Andrew Miller “They Call Me Cuban Pete”

Quick & Dirty Flash Fiction
Patrick Whitehurst
“Henrietta’s Calming Way”
Albert Tucher “A Glitch in the Universe”
Preston Lang “The High Notes”
Serena Jayne “Checking Out”

Switchblade Person of Interest: Chris McGinley
Author Bios & Acknowledgements

Switchblade No. 12 July 2020
Managing Editor: Scotch Rutherford
5” x 8” 189 pages
Print $7.99 Kindle $2.99
Switchblade Magazine website

Jul/Aug 2020 Digests
Jul/Aug 2020 Digests

Digest Magazine Writer News
Jay Werkheiser
discusses his Science Fact article: Alien Biochemistry for Analog Jul/Aug 2020 at The Astounding Analog Companion.

Joseph S. Walker, whose story “Chasing Diamonds” will appear in EQMM Sep/Oct 2020 muses on “The Page Where It Happens” at Something is Going to Happen.

John Kessel on “Spirit Level” from F&SF Jul/Aug 2020 at Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Ted Kosmatka on “The Beast Adjoins” from Asimov’s Jul/Aug 2020 at From Earth to the Stars.

Alec Cizak
reads three poems by Robert E. Howard at ACTV.

The Untold Legend of Batman No. 1, Batman No. 325, The Brave and the Bold No. 164, and Detective Comics No. 492

TDE Contributors’ Corner
Jack Seabrook
and Peter Enfantino review The Untold Legend of Batman No. 1, Batman No. 325, The Brave and the Bold No. 164, and Detective Comics No. 492 at bare•bones e-zine.

Jack Seabrook’s The Hitchcock Project—Harold Swanton Part Four: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge at bare•bones e-zine.

Kristin Kisska interviews Josh Pachter about the “dying message” at SleuthSayers.

What Ever No. 3

Zine Scene
The third issue of Jim Main’s What Ever is out. This time, features include The Last Omega Men: Legends Compared by Michael House, Origins of Thundarr the Barbarian by Will Murray, a review of the series Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, and Fandom Central reviews. The piece on Thundarr includes artwork by TDE contributor Michael Neno. What Ever No. 3 is available for $8.50 (PPD) from Main Enterprises.

Tales From the Magician's Skull No. 4

Readin’ and Writin’
This week I read Tales From the Magician’s Skull No. 4 with eight all new sword and sorcery yarns. It’s a beautifully designed and illustrated full-size magazine. Included are stories by John C. Hocking, Adrian Cole, James Enge, James Stoddard, C.L. Werner, Ryan Harvey, Tom Doyle, and Milton Davis. Honestly, if you enjoy S&S you cannot go wrong with this issue, it’s terrific. My only complaint is that I wish it were published in an easier-to-handle digest size.

Mourn the Hangman by Harry Whittington

Also read Mourn the Hangman by Harry Whittington this week. The edition shown here is A Graphic Mystery No. 46, a paperback original first published in 1952. A Private Investigator arrives home to find his wife murdered. He immediately puts his worst judgements to work and finds himself suspect number one for the crime. He spends the rest of the novel avoiding arrest and desperately trying to discover who killed his wife. The book is well written, but the PI reviews and reflects on his emotional trauma too many times. Without all the redundancy the pacing and urgency would have made a stronger novel.

Completed the initial layouts on Gary Lovisi’s article on Falcon Books and my review of Sword & Sorcery Annual for The Digest Enthusiast No. 13 this week. Also spent several hours retouching Mystery Book Magazine covers.

Fotocrime from The Digest Enthusiast No. 12

The unique phenomenon of pocket-size (4” x 6”) magazines propagated newsstands in the 1950s. Most filled their pages with pin-ups of models, aspiring actresses, and stars of burlesque. Only a handful were dedicated to true crime stories like Fotocrime.

The brainchild of editor and publisher Jackson Burke, Fotocrime sought the sensational horrors of butchers, mobsters, and serial killers amping up fears of trill-killing juries and a continually degenerating society.

Read the whole sensational report in The Digest Enthusiast No. 12, available in print from Lulu.com and digital formats for Kindle and Magzter.

Sure Fire April 1958

Vintage Crime Digest
Sure Fire Detective Stories April 1958
Contents Page
Pete McCann “A Challenge for the Killer!”
Art Crockett “Death Couldn’t Reach Me!”
Ray Dunham “The Edge of Terror!”
Jack Oleck “Death with a Stranger!”
Don Unatin “Dead: Do Not Disturb!”
Mitch Clark “Murder is an Accident!”
Bill Ryder “Hell on Wheels!”
Al James “Steel Clad Alibi!”
Hal Crosby “The Face of Death!”
G.G. Revelle “Love Me Hard!”

Sure Fire Detective Stories Vol. 2 No. 2 April 1958
Pontiac Publications
Cover: Carl Pfeufer
5.5” x 7.5” 112 mags 35¢ cover price

News Digest March 6, 2020

Analog March 1965

Gideon Marcus reviews Analog March 1965 at Galactic Journey.

Essa Hansen answers a few questions about her story “Save, Salve, Shelter” (F&SF J/F 2020) on the Fantasy & Science Fiction blog.

J.M. Landels, Managing Editor of Pulp Literature shares a draft of “The Queen of Swords” via Google Docs.

Hats off to Steve Alcorn of Writing Academy for his 5-Star review of The Digest Enthusiast No. 11 on amazon. He notes the upgrade to full color and the timeline of Leo Margulies’ digests, which I had fun putting together. The visual helps understand when each title appeared in relationship to each other. Turns out Steve was a big fan of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Kraj the Enforcer by Rusty Barnes

Matthew X. Gomez reviews Rusty Barnes’ Kraj the Enforcer. Scotch Rutherford describes it: “Kraj is a human wrecking ball, hiding a tactical mindset, along with his sense of humor.” The collection of fourteen stories is detailed on the EconoClash Review blog.

Fiction Market Window April 15–25
“Submissions for Switchblade reopen on tax day, for a 10 day window. April 15–25. Crime/Noir short Fiction (2k-4.5k), Flash (up to 1k), and Noir poetry (3 pages max). This will be the only submissions call this year for regular issues. We’ll be filling Issues 12 and 13. (issue 12 will be out in June, 13 will arrive in October) Please see our guidelines at switchblademag.com.

“Remember that Switchblade is a no limit gutter noir mag. We publish the stuff no one else will. Not the best of the best. Switchblade is the lowest of the low. (wouldn’t have it any other way) You don’t see “lit” in the title, do you? Right. And you won’t find our authors listing their literary agents in their bios. If you’re working on your Rizzoli&Isles style commercial novel for the NY5, but would like to slum with us, remember this: gutter noir will always get preference. Vulgarity (something other mags despise), words you’re not supposed to use, amoral protagonists–these are tools you can utilize to forge outlaw fiction. Ten days is a big submissions window for us. There will be a lot of competition. Good storytelling about dark corners, bad people, and worse situations to the front.”

C.C. Finlay announces the March/April edition of Fantasy & Science Fiction and hightlights its contents on the F&SF blog.

Mystery Weekly Magazine March 2020

Likewise, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine announces their March/April lineup on Trace Evidence.

Tony Gleeson will be signing books and artwork at the upcoming Vintage Paperback Collectors’ Show in Glendale, CA on Sunday, March 8, 2020.

Mystery Weekly Magazine No. 55 March 2020 is now available, with stories by Scott Forbes Crawford, Denise Robbins, E.R. Brown, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, L.A. Wilson, Jr., Andrew McAleer, and a You-Solve-It by Eric B. Ruark. MWM is published by Chuck Carter, and edited by Kerry Carter. Cover by Robin Grenville-Evans. Kindle $2.99 (Print edition coming soon)

“The Big Ticket” by Stefen Styrsky was published online this week at Tough Crime.

Amman Sabet’s “Say You’re Sorry” is a story about the power that apologies hold over us. For more about it, see the Fantasy & Science Fiction blog.

Weirdbook No. 42

Weirdbook No. 42, the special John Shirley issue is now available. The issue includes a novel, five short stories, and five poems by John Shirley. Editor Doug Draa introduces the issue with resounding praise for the author’s work, “Mr. Shirley has such sights to show you!” Supporting imagery by Allen Koszowski and John Betancourt—plus a wraparound cover by Fotolia. Print $12.00

Worlds of If April 1965

David Levinson takes the April 1965 issue of Worlds of If on a Galactic Journey.

Brenda Kalt talks about her story “Lemonade Stand” in the March/April issue of Analog on the The Astounding Analog Companion.

Edith Maxwell stars a hyperpolyglot in her story “One Too Many” (EQMM Mar/Apr 2020). Read more on Something is Going to Happen.

Matthew Hughes gives insights into “The Last Legend” in the Mar/Apr 2020 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Readin’ and Writin’
Best of the Small Magazines: John O’Neill provides a detailed overview of The Digest Enthusiast No. 11, Pulp Modern: Tech Noir, and Weird Fiction Review No. 9 on Black Gate.

Mike Chomko Books and Modern Age Books are both stocked with copies of the full color print edition of The Digest Enthusiast No. 11.

The Living End by Frank Kane

Read The Living End by Frank Kane (Black Gat Books No. 22) this week. One of Kane’s standalone novels. It details the rise and roil of sociopath Eddie Marlon as he corrupts his way to success in the music business of the late 1950s. A roadmap for an insecure egomaniac whose inflated sense of entitlement and grievance grants him license to destroy any challenger or lackey who fails to kowtow. He strikes back tenfold to the few who defy his commands, doing his best worst to destroy their careers and lives. But this is fiction, so comeuppance is more easily dealt on the page than its real life reflection.

Started work on an article about Fotocrime, a pocket-size true crime magazine from 1954/55. The last time I wrote about a true crime book was for the debut issue of TDE, on The Big Story.

From the Vault
I believe this is the final issue of this digest’s remarkable twelve-issue run. Several times I’ve been surprised by the writers who show up in its pages. This final issue is no exception with Fredric C. Wertham, M.D.

True Crime Detective Fall 1953

True Crime Detective Vol. 3 No. 4 Fall 1953
Contents Page
Kevin Wallace “The Great Screwball Bank Robbery”
Frank Mullady “The Red Circle Murders”
Monster of Monsters:
I The Question: The Kidnapping of Grace Budd by Capt. John Ayers & Carol Bird
II The Answer: The Sanity of Albert Fish by Fredric C. Wertham, M.D.
Stuart Palmer “The Ministering Angel”
Forbes Parkhill “The Strange World of Alex Miller”
Verdict of Two: a book review department by The Editors
Edgar Lustgarten “Small H, Mr. Pigott!”
Irwin Ross “Boom in Counterfeiting”
Robert Tallant “I’m Fit as a Fiddle and Ready to Hang”

Publisher: Lawrence E. Spivak
Editors: Anthony Boucher, J. Francis McComas
General Manager: Joseph W. Ferman
Managing Editor: Robert P. Mills
Advisory Editor: Charles Angoff
Art Director: George Salter
Cover: Uncredited, but likely Dirone Photography from “I’m Fit as a Fiddle and Ready to Hang”
5.5” x 7.75” 128 pages 35¢

The Future is Noir

Scotch Rutherford and Alec Cizak preview the future of criminal takes on technology in special editions of Switchblade and Pulp Modern. Available now in print and digital.

Switchblade: Tech Noir

Switchblade: Tech Noir
Contents Page
Scotch Rutherford: Editor’s Corner
Eric Beetner “Killer App”
Callum McSorley “Baby on Board”
John Moralee “Bad Score”
Mandi Jourdan “Folie à Deux”
Hugh Lessig “Muscle Memory”
Nick Kolakowski “Night Mayor”
Alec Cizak “Post-Biological-Stress-Disorder”
Matthew X. Gomez “Galatea in the Garden of Eden”
James Edward O’Brien “Torna Nails, Mindbender”
Rob D. Smith “Sundown”
Author Bios & Acknowledgements

Switchblade: Tech Noir October 2019
Editor: Scotch Rutherford
Cover Photos: Scotch Rutherford
Cover Model: Kiana Gonzalez
5” x 8” 222 pages
Print $8.99 Kindle $2.99
Switchblade Magazine website
Switchblade Merchandise

Pulp Modern: Tech Noir

Pulp Modern: Tech Noir
Contents Page
Alex Cizak: From the Editor
C.W. Blackwell “A Deviant Skin”
Nils Gilbertson “The Moderator”
Tom Barlow “Love in the Time of Silicone”
Deborah L. Davitt “Leaving Red Footprints”
Angelique Fawns “A Time to Forget”
J.D. Graves “Three, Two, One Zebra-Stripe Shake-Off”
Don Stoll “15 Minutes”
Jo Perry “Lights Out”
Zakariah Johnson “Walking Out”
Contact and Links

Pulp Modern: Tech Noir Fall 2019
Chief Editor: Alec Cizak
Guest Editor: Scotch Rutherford
Design: Richard Krauss
Cover and Interior Art: Ran Scott
Cartoons: Bob Vojtko
5.5” x 8.5” 132 pages
Print $6.99 Kindle $2.99
Pulp Modern website

Ray Palmer’s Digest Dynasty

The Digest Enthusiast No. 9 pages 58 and 59

Inside The Digest Enthusiast No. 9 January 2019:

Vince Nowell, Sr. charts Ray Palmer’s digest dynasty from 1948 to 1958, followed by the bibliography of S.J. Byrne, one of Palmer’s go-to SF storytellers.

Special thanks to this issue’s advertisers:
Bud’s Art Books
Fantasy Illustrated
Mike Chomko Books
Modern Age Books
Pulp Modern
PulpFest 2019
Stark House Press

Ads in The Digest Enthusiast and very reasonably priced. Check out our rates and specs here.

Ellery Queen March/April 2014

An excerpt from the interview with Bill Crider, from The Digest Enthusiast book five:

Bill Crider: “At an Armadillocon some years ago, I was on the “Apes” panel, along with Joe Lansdale, Rick Klaw, Mark Finn, Chris Nakashima Brown, and probably some others I’m forgetting. The talk turned to a legendary pulp cover for a story called “Gorilla of the Gas Bags” in a pulp called Zeppelin Stories. As anyone knows, there are only a couple of copies of the magazine still around, so nobody had read the story. Joe Lansdale challenged the panelists to write a story based on the cover. He sold his, and I sold mine. I don’t know if anyone else wrote a story.”

Ellery Queen April/March 2014 cover
Ellery Queen March/April 2014 with Bill Crider’s “Gorilla of the Gasbags” with Hollywood detective Bill Ferrell

Attn. Writers: Sandra Seamans reminds us Switchblade magazine is open for submissions.