Tag

The Digest Enthusiast

Browsing

News Digest March 27, 2020

Gamma Feb 1965 and Fantastic Apr 1965

Digest and Book Reviews
Gamma Science Fiction Feb. 1965 reviewed by Mx. Kris Vyas-Myall at Galactic Journey.

Borderline by Lawrence Block reviewed by Jeff Vorzimmer on Goodreads.

Black Coal by Chris McGinley reviewed by Rusty Barnes at Tough Crime.

Fantastic April 1965 reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf at Galactic Journey.

Mar/Apr 2020 Digests

Digest Blogs
Fate magazine is offering lots of back issues: 5 for $22.95; 10 for $34.95; and 20 for $55.95

Dare Segun Falowo on his story “Kikelomo Ultrasheen” at Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Steven Torres on his story “The Care of Widows and Orphans” at Trace Evidence.

Sean Monaghan Q&A at The Astounding Analog Companion.

Preston Lang lists the “Top Eight Jazz Pianists in Film Noir” at Something is Going to Happen.

Pulp Literature is offering 25% off anything in their online shop.

Readin’ and Writin’
Michael Bracken provides background for his short stories for a number of Josh Pachter’s anthologies at SleuthSayers.

Guns + Tacos Vol. 1 & 2

And speaking of Michael Bracken, I finished reading his series (co-edited with Trey R. Barker), Tacos + Guns Season One episodes four to six. Published by Down & Out Books, the stories were originally released as ebooks to subscribers. When the season ended the stories were collected into a two-volume set in print. (Subscribers received a bonus story in Vol. 2 “Platanos Con Lechera and a Snub-Nosed .38” by Mr. Bracken.) The original ebooks and print books (sans bonus) are available from Down & Out and elsewheres. Highly recommended.

Volume One: Gary Phillips, Michael Bracken, and Frank Zafiro.
Volume Two: Trey R. Barker, William Dylan Powell, and James A. Hearn.

On the publishing side of things, I completed the initial story layouts for Pulp Modern Vol. 2 No. 5 this week. Now, illustrator Ran Scott is busy creating story illustrations. so we need to be patient and give him the time and space he needs to complete his part.

Steve Carper wrote a fascinating article about Photoplay Digests, and sent along an excellent collection of cover images for the next issue of The Digest Enthusiast. These are old magazines, so the images require quite a bit of retouch, which I spent several hours working on this week, work that will spill over into next week as well.

Verdict Aug. 1953

Vintage Crime Digest
Verdict Vol. 1 No. 3 August 1953
Despite his name on the cover, there isn’t a story by Frank Kane inside this issue.

Contents Page
Raymond Chandler “Bay City Blues”
Cornell Woolrich “You Take Ballistics”
Damon Runyon “Big Boy Blues” art by Rus Anderson
Anthony Boucher
“QL 696. C9” (Nick Noble)
Rex Stout “Fer-De-Lance” (Part 3 of 5)(Nero Wolfe)
William Lindsay Gresham “A Heart Condition” art by Tom O’Sullivan
Bruno Fischer
“No Escape!” art by Tom O’Sullivan
Craig Rice
“The Dead Mr. Duck” (John J. Malone)
Leonard S. Grey “What’s Your Verdict? No. 2”

Verdict Vol. 1 No. 3 Verdict 1953
Published monthly by Flying Eagle Publications, Inc.
Editor: John McCloud
Managing Editor: E.A. Tulman
Art Director: Chas. W. Adams
Editorial Assistant: Hal Walker
Business Magager: R.E. Decker
5.5” x 7.75” 144 pages 35¢

News Digest March 20, 2020

F&SF Mar/Apr 2020

March Releases
Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar/Apr 2020
Contents Pages
Dare Segun Falowo “Kikelomo Ultrasheen”
SL Huang “The Million-Mile Sniper”
Matthew Hughes “The Last Legend”
Charles de Lint’s Books to Look For
Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer
A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker
I Know What I Saw by Linda S. Godfrey
In the Heart of the Fire by Dean Koontz
Photographing the Dead by Dean Koontz
The Praying Mantis Bride by Dean Koontz
Red Rain by Dean Koontz
The Mercy of Snake by Dean Koontz
Memories of Tomorrow by Dean Koontz
Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television by Karen A. Romanko
Mingus Fingers by Jacob Weisman
Elizabeth Hand’s Books
Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma
The Muders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
The Survival of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney
Ian Tregillis “Come the Revolution”
John Possidente “Red Sword of the Celiac”
Lauren McBride “To My Shipmates at Journey’s End” (verse)
Amman Sabet “Say You’re Sorry”
Gregor Hartmann “A Solitary Crane Circles Cold Mountain”
Deborah L. Davitt “4 Vesta” (verse)
Amanda Hollander “A Feast of Butterflies”
David J. Skal’s Films: Wet Screams
Jerry Oltion’s Science: Natural Disasters in Utopia
William Ledbetter “Hungry Is the Earth”
Elizabeth Bear “Hacksilver”
Brian Trent “Death on the Nefertem Express”
James Patrick Kelly “The Man I Love”
Coming Attractions
F&SF Market Place
Graham Andrews’ Curiosities: Public Faces by Harold Nicolson (1932)

Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman

Fantasy & Science Fiction Vol. 138 No. 3 and 4, No. 748, Mar/Apr 2020
Publisher: Gordon Van Gelder
Editor: C.C. Finlay
Assistant Publishers: Barbara J. Norton, Keith Kahla
Assistant Editors: Robin O’Connor, Stephen L. Mazur, Lisa Rogers
Contests Editor: Carol Pinchefsky
Cover: Mondolithic Studios
Cartoons: Arthur Masear, Kendra Allenby, Mark Heath, Nick Downes
258 pages, $8.99 on newsstands until May 4, 2020
Fantasy & Science Fiction website

Hard Case Crime released Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman on March 17, 2020. Hardcover $22.99 Kindle $7.99 from amazon.

Digest and Book Reviews
Repo Shark by Cody Goodfellow reviewed by J.D. Graves at EconoClash Review.

Repo Shark & Thunder Wagon

The premise of “single paragraph book reviews” seems apt for this age of browsing. The March 15th review at Mostly Old Books and Rust features Thunder Wagon by James Reasoner and L.J. Washburn.

Worlds of Tomorrow May 1965 reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf at Galactic Journey.

Hell Chose Me by Angel Luis Colon

Hell Chose Me by Angel Luis Colon reviewed by Matthew X. Gomez at EconoClash Review.

Fantasy & Science Fiction April 1965 reviewed by Gideon Marcus on Galactic Journey.

Digest Blogs
Beth Dawkins’
Q&A at The Astounding Analog Companion.

Paul Charles on “Jumping Off a Diving Board” at EQMM’s Something is Going to Happen.

John Possidente on “Red Sword of the Celiac” at Fantasty & Science Fiction.

Interviews
Art Taylor
at Washington Independent Review of Books.

Free Online Fiction
“The Man Who Wouldn’t” by Joseph S. Walker on ToughCrime.

Free Newsletter
The American Bystander is standing by at home with too much time on their hands, so they’ve created Bystander’s Quarantine Cavalcade. Subscribe here.

Readin’ and Writin’
Alec Cizak
added several of the earliest issues of Pulp Modern to Magzter this week. Of course, all of our joint issues from Volume Two are there as well.

And speaking of Pulp Modern, all the stories have been selected for the next issue. I’ll be working on layouts for the final three this weekend.

Finished reading and made notes on the second issue of Fotocrime for my article for the next issue of The Digest Enthusiast. Part of my research included reading True Crime, True North, full review here. Since the book’s focus is Canadian true crime magazines, it’s not directly relevant to Fotocrime, but seeing how the authors approached their topic was useful. Also exchanged a series of emails with John Shirley about Weirdbook No. 42, to provide readers with the backstory on the issue.

Also read Guns + Tacos Volume One, but I write more about that next week.

Verdict July 1953

Vintage Crime Digest
Verdict Vol. 1 No. 2 July 1953
Contents Page
Cornell Woolrich “All at Once, No Alice” art by Tom O’Sullivan
H.H. Holmes
“The Stripper” art by R. Cossette
Dorothy B. Hughes
“Homecoming”
Henry Kane “Kudos for the Kid” art by Tom O’Sullivan
Francis Lewis
“Has Anybody Here Slain Kely?”
Samuel Blas “Revenge”
Rex Stout “Fer-De-Lance” (Part 2 of 5)
Bruno Fischer “The Man Who Lost His Head”
Frank Kane “Suicide”
Leonard S. Grey “What’s Your Verdict?”

Verdict Vol. 1 No. 1 June 1953
Published monthly by Flying Eagle Publications, Inc.
Editor: John McCloud
Managing Editor: E.A. Tulman
Art Director: Chas. W. Adams
Business Magager: R.E. Decker
5.5” x 7.75” 144 pages 35¢

News Digest March 13, 2020

The Beat of Black Wings editor: Josh Pachter

The Beat of Black Wings, an anthology of crime fiction stories inspired by the music of Joni Mitchell, launches on April 7, 2020. Many of Mitchell’s classics are represented: “Both Sides, Now” by Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski, “Big Yellow Taxi” by Kathryn O’Sullivan, “River” by Stacy Woodson, “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” by Donna Andrews, “The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines” by Amber Sparks, “Ray’s Dad’s Cadillac” by Michael Bracken, etc. The collection was edited by Josh Pachter. The book will be released on April 7, 2020. Preorders are available in Hardcover $29.75, Softcover $19.55, and Kindle $5.99.

Steve Davidson reviews the premier episode of the new Amazing Stories series on AppleTV+ on, what else, the Amazing Stories blog.

Gideon Marcus examines Galaxy April 1965 at Galactic Journey.

Galaxy Apr 1965 & Amazing Apr 1965

John Boston does likewise for Amazing April 1965 also at Galactic Journey.

Tough Crime: “Walker’s Hollow” by John Floyd.

Q&A with Derek Kunsken at The Astounding Analog Companion.

Ian Tregillis on “Come the Revolution” (F&SF Mar/Apr 2020) at Fantasy & Science Fiction blog.

Jack Bunker writes about his debut with “Active Shooter” in the Mar/Apr 2020 issue of EQMM at Something is Going to Happen.

Read J.D. (EconoClash Review) Graves’ latest Flash Fiction “Trojan H” at Shotgun Honey.

Nostalgia Digest Spring 2020

March 2020 Digests
Nostalgia Digest Spring 2020
Contents
Steve Darnall “Hello, Out There in Radioland!”
A Few Moments with . . . Chuck Schaden
Chuck Schaden “Those Were the (Early) Days” (cover story)
“Those Were the Dates” Ten pivotal moments from the 50-year history of Those Were the Days.
Necrology for 2019
Laura Milbraith Stewart “All in the Families” (Tina Cole)
Dan McGuire “At This Theatre Next Week” Chapter Two
Stone Wallace “Everybody Loves Raymond” (Raymond Burr)
Greg Kreinberg “The Daly News”
Wayne Klatt “A Free Soul” (Jean Arthur)
Mail Call

Plus, the Radio Program Guide for Those Were the Days and WGN Radio Theatre

Nostalgia Digest Book 46 Chapter 2 Spring 2020
Editor: Steve Darnall
5.5” x 8.5” 64 pages, b&w interior
$4.50 on newsstands
Four-issue subscription $17
Eight-issue subscription $30
Nostalgia Digest website

Readin’ and Writin’
Finished the audio book of The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. First published in 1896, Moreau is a science fiction classic. Its concept isn’t as revolutionary in 2020 as 1896, but for its era it must have been horrific and shocking. Even today, the prose is terrific, my favorite parts were Wells’ fastidious descriptions of his animal hybrids.

Weirdbook No. 42

Also immensely enjoyed the print edition of Weirdbook No. 42, a special all John Shirley issue, edited by Doug Draa. A triumphant collection of short stories and poetry capped by a sword and sorcery epic that wraps the volume with an enthralling finale.

I completed reading and making notes on the first issue of Fotocrime this week. Still lots to do but it feels good to get this article for TDE12 started.

Rick McCollum sent the cover art for the next issue of Pulp Modern which should see release sometime this Spring. I loved Rick’s artwork for the last PM and the current TDE, but I gotta say, I think this is the best one yet. It’s based on a story called “Ghost Town.”

PM editor, Alec Cizak, has selected another two stories for the issue, so I’ll be working on layout for those over the next few days.

Verdict June 1953

Vintage Crime Digest
Verdict Vol. 1 No. 1 June 1953
Contents Page
Rex Stout “Fer-De-Lance” (Part 1 of 5)
Craig Rice “His Heart Could Break” (John J. Malone) art by R. Cossette
Dan Stoup’s
Tricks of the Trade: Fingerprints
Henry Kane “A Glass of Milk”
Steve Fisher “Goodbye Hannah”
Chester B. Himes “Marihuana and a Pistol” art by R. Cossette
Fredric Brown
“Don’t Look Behind You”
Edward Clark’s Crime Firsts: The La Rosa Case
Raymond Chandler “Trouble Is My Business”

Verdict Vol. 1 No. 1 June 1953
Published monthly by Flying Eagle Publications, Inc.
Editor: John McCloud
Managing Editor: E.A. Tulman
Art Director: Chas. W. Adams
Business Magager: R.E. Decker
5.5” x 7.75” 144 pages 35¢

News Digest Feb. 28, 2020

Astounding 5-44, Fantastic 3-65

Paul Fraser reviews Astounding Science Fiction Vol. 33 No. 3 May 1944 on SF Magazines.

Victoria Silverwolf reviews Fantastic Vol. 14 No. 3 March 1965 on Galactic Journey.

Guns + Tacos Vol. 1 & 2

The print version of season one of Guns + Tacos season one arrived last Saturday. Each of its two volumes, created and edited by Michael Bracken and Trey H. Barker include three stories around 40 pages each. Volume One: Gary Phillips, Bracken, and Frank Zafiro. Volume Two: Barker, William Dylan Powell, James A. Hearn, and a bonus story by Bracken, making this the thicker of the two volumes. Season Two has been ordered and will begin later this year from Down & Out Books.

Boy Detective, Find the Money

Art Taylor writes about the story order in his new anthology The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74 at Auntie M Writes. (Hat tip Kevin Tipple).

Artist and author Tony Gleeson’s new book, Find the Money, is now available on amazon. The mysterious Vanessa has vanished, and it’s worth a million dollars to a vicious drug lord to get her back. But the ransom disappears, turning up in the hands of a bewildered innocent bystander, while ruthless gangsters and hapless kidnappers alike desperately search for the money. Meanwhile, Detective Marlon Morrison, who only wants to comfortably ride out the final year and a half before his retirement without incident, finds himself involved with a growing succession of murder victims, and a bizarre case growing in complexity by the hour…

Josh Pachter talks to Publisher’s Weekly about his anthologies The Misadventures of Ellery Queen and The Misadventures of Nero Wolfe. (Hat tip Michael Bracken)

Doug Draa announced on Facebook that Weirdbook No. 42 has gone to print!

A.T. Sayre describes his joy and appreciation at having his first story, “Rover,” published in the venerable Analog.

AHMM & EQMM Mar/Apr 2020

Found all four March/April 2020 Dell digests on shelves this week at my local Barnes & Noble’s. Alfred Hitchcock’s features William Burton McCormick’s cover story “Night Train to Berlin.” Ellery Queen’s cover highlights its “Mystery Strangers” theme. Although not listed on the cover, indie favorite Preston Lang also has a story inside—congrats!

Asimov's & Analog Mar/Apr 2020

Asimov’s cover features Nancy Kress’ “Semper Augustus” and Analog continues their retro-look celebration of their 90th year. Note F&SF Editor C.C. Finley’s name on the cover, and inside there’s a new story by Edd Vick* and Manny Frishberg. *Vick as interviewed by D. Blake Werts in The Digest Enthusiast No. 6.

Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2020

Corey Flintoff talks about his “Interlude in Arcadia” (F&SF J/F 2020) on the Fantasy & Science Fiction blog.

Readin’ and Writin’
Finished the audio book version of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and loved it. I listened while driving and more than once got so lost in the gorgeous prose I had to try to remember what was happening in the plot. Narrator Ray Porter’s cadence and inflections are a perfect match to Tom Hanks’.

Also on audio, I listened to Break Shot: My First 21 Years by James Taylor. A intimate memoir with Taylor’s recollections of family dysfunction, fighting addiction, and working with Danny (Kootch) Kortchmar, Peter Gordon, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and Carol King. This guided tour of his early life is interspersed with his gorgeous melodies. Riveting, sad, and unforgettable.

Mike Shayne June 1957

In print, I read Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine June 1957. This issue wraps up the trilogy of the serialized Weep for a Blond Corpse, with more action and excitement than the previous two installments. It also boasts two outstanding novelets by Helen Nielsen and Tedd Thomey, as well as some fine short stories by Fletcher Flora, James Schucker, D.E. Forbes, Murray Wolf, and F. Keston Clarke. A great issue of a great digest magazine! Watch for my reviews in a coming issue of bare•bones.

Jeff Vorzimmer, editor of Stark House Press’ Best of Manhunt, read through the current issue of The Digest Enthusiast and awarded it a 5-Star rating this week on GoodReads. Thanks much, Jeff!

TDE12 Update: Met with my writing group on Thursday and shared my review of Paperback Fanatic No. 43, which will appear in TDE12. Also completed the initial layout of my interview with Tony Gleeson for the issue. Thanks to Tony, it’s loaded with beautiful artwork—mostly from vintage digests.

True Crime Detective Summer 1953

From the Vault
Ad copy on page 2: “. . . if you enjoy this issue let us enter a subscription for you so that True Crime Detective may be delivered to you on or before publication date without extra cost. You will find each issue a little better than the one before—an anthology of the best detective true crime stories new and old.” Cost? $1.40 for 4 issues. In 2020 dollars that’s $13.53. I have a feeling it would be more, but I’d get it if it were still being published today. Next week: the final issue.

True Crime Detective Vol. 3 No. 3 Summer 1953
Contents Page
W.T. Brannon “Rendezvous at Rondout”
Joseph Shillips “They Wrote Their Own Convictions”
Homer Croy “Cherokee Bill”
William Roughead “The Merrett Mystery”
Manly Wade Wellman “The General Dies at Dusk”
Miriam Allen deford “The Reluctant Lover”
Frank Mullady “Judgement for a Messiah”

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: Dirone Photography from “Rendezvous at Rondout”
5.5” x 7.75” 128 pages 35¢

News Digest Feb. 21, 2020

Analog masthead, Matthew Hughes

AnLab Reader’s Award Finalists posted on Analog SF. (Hat tip to Mary Burgess.)

Catherine Wells, who has a story in the March/April 2020 issue of Analog called “Respite,” writes about arrogance on the magazine’s blog.

Matthew Hughes gives insights into “Air of the Overworld” in the current issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Gideon Marcus declares F&SF March 1965 “is a dud” at Galactic Journey.

John Floyd discusses his story “Crow’s Nest” from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Jan/Feb 2020) at SleuthSayers.

Mystery Scene No. 163, The Pulpster No. 29

Mystery Scene magazine No. 163 is out. Full contents list, with links to order a single issue or subscription information here.

Have something to share about a Weird Tales, H. P. Lovecraft, Margaret Brundage, or anyone or anything else related to “The Unique Magazine?” Or something about vintage paperbacks and pulps? Bill Lampkin, the editor of the award-winning PulpFest program book, The Pulpster, would like to hear from you. Check out the post, “The Pulpster Wants You in 2020!” on the PulpFest website.

bare•bones No. 1
Front and back cover of bare•bones No. 1 Winter 2020

The reboot of bare•bones No. 1 (Winter 2020), covering vintage, forgotten and overlooked horror/mystery/sci-fi/western/weird films, paperbacks, comics, pulp fiction, and video, arrived this week.

Contents Page
Peter Enfantino, John Scoleri: Dueling Editorials
Thomas Deja “An Introduction to Ed Noon—The Worst Detective Ever Created”
Matthew R. Bradley “The Martian Chronicles on Screen”
Thomas W. Flynn, Jr. “The Spaghetti Western/Martial Arts Mash-Ups of the 1970s”
John Scoleri “Born of I Am Legend”
Gilbert Colon “Book Two of Lin Carter’s ‘People of the Dragon’ Saga”
Peter Enfantino “Digging into Crime Digests”
John Scoleri “Christian Stavrakis: The bare•bones Interview”
J. Charles Burwell “A Survey of Key Hardboiled/Noir Anthologies”
Peter Enfantino “Sleaze Alley”
John Scoleri “What’s on the Tube: January 1–7, 1972”
David J. Schow “R&D”
About the Contributors

Editors: Peter Enfantino, John Scoleri
Layout: John Scoleri
6” x 9” 102 pages
Print $9.95

Bonnie Hearn Hill, whose “Feliz Navidead” appeared in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of EQMM, discusses the books that helped shape her writing at Something is Going to Happen.

Also from EQMM (hat tip Josh Pachter): contents for the May/Jun 2020 issue which goes on sale April 21, 2020.

Rick McCollum's WIP

Readin’ ’n Writin’
Rick McCollum
was busy (well, he’s always busy) this week working on the cover of the next Pulp Modern. He posted the photo of his WIP on his Facebook page. The image is based on a scene from one of the yet-to-be-announced stories.

The move to color for the print edition of The Digest Enthusiast has garnered mostly positive feedback, but I have heard a couple of concerns about the higher price. One reader suggested offering both a color and black-and-white version. If anyone cares to weigh-in please send an email or leave a comment on the Larque Press Facebook page.

Mike Shayne April 1957

Read the second part of Brett Halliday’s serialized Weep for a Blond Corpse in the April 1957 issue of Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine this week. Although the issue includes a nice collection of novelets by Frank Ward and Richard Deming; short stories by Lawrence Treat, Walt Sheldon, C.L. Sweeney, Jr., William R. Cox, and Arthur Feldman; and part two of Halliday’s novel, it wasn’t quite as good at the previous issue. My favorites were Deming’s creepy crime novelet, Sweeney, Jr.’s “Soft, White Body,” and Treat’s humorous yarn. I also enjoyed Halliday’s prose and Cox’s trouble with gangsters.

From the Vault
A correction to last week’s True Crime Detective stats. The Winter 1953 issue is incorrectly labeled as Vol. 2 No. 5 inside. It is actually Vol. 3 No. 1, as labeled correctly on its spine. Now onto this week’s digest:

True Crime Detective Spring 1953

True Crime Detective Vol. 3 No. 2 Spring 1953
Contents Page
Walter Wanger “What I Found in Jail”
Joseph A. Shay as told to Robert P. Wilmot “A Rake’s Progress”
Kurt Singer “The Man Who Sank the Royal Oak”
Anthony Boucher “Do You Believe . . . ?” A department of criminous mythology
Stuart Palmer “Death and the Farmer’s Daughter”
F. Tennyson Jesse “The Importance of Spelling”
A.P. Herbert “Rex v. Puddle: Blackmail”
Verdict of Two: a book review department by the Editors
Anthony Boucher “The Tragedy of Samuel Savile Kent”
“The Truth About Lizzie Borden”
Stewart H. Holbrook “Death and Times of a Prophet”
Richard Brennan “The Case of the Talking Reindeer”

Publisher: Lawrence E. Spivak
Editors: Anthony Boucher, J. Francis McComas
General Manager: Joseph W. Ferman
Managing Editor: Robert P. Mills
Advisory Editor: Charles Angoff
Consulting Editor: Edward D. Radin
Art Director: George Salter
Cover: Dirone Photography from “The Tragedy of Samuel Savile Kent”
5.5” x 7.75” 128 pages 35¢

News Digest Feb. 8, 2020

Mystery Weekly Magazine Feb. 2020

The new Mystery Weekly Magazine Feb. 2020 was released on the first. Included are stories by Arthur Davis, Jeff H., Jill Hand, Anthony Lowe, Susan Oleksiw, Eric B. Ruark, and Michael Wells. MWM is edited by Kerry Carter and published by Chuck Carter. Cover by Robin Grenville-Evans. The 82-page print edition is $6.99, Kindle $2.99.

Kieran Shea decides to “Shake It Up” at EQMM’s blog Something is Going to Happen.

A.J. Ward joins Analog’s 90th anniversary celebration with “1942 and the Power of Names” at The Astounding Analog Companion blog.

Alex Irvine discusses his story “Chisel and Crime” with F&SF.

Tough Crime features William R. Soldan’s fiction “King of the Blue Rose” and SleuthSayers features Robert Lopresti’s story “Shot By Your Partner” part one and part two.

J.D. Graves reviews Norco ’80 by Peter Houlahan over at EconoClash Review.

Tony Gleeson and I connected on Facebook, which led to an interview that will be included in The Digest Enthusiast No. 12. He sent a nice collection of scans, so his comments will be well illustrated.

I read the first edition of Amazing Selects this week, featuring Allen Steele’s novella “Captain Future in Love.” It’s the first part of a larger story: The Return of Ul Quorn, which is the follow-on to his novel Avengers of the Moon. Look for my review in TDE12, coming in June 2020.

Also coming up is a piece on Ray Palmer’s Science Stories, an interim title that ran for four issues after he sold his interest in Clark Publishing which had published Other Worlds. It is, in effect, a short-lived continuation of that title.

The mailing of contributor copies of TDE11 wrapped up this week, and Michael Neno gave us a shoutout on Facebook. Michael contributed a beautiful illustration for the late Joe Wehrle, Jr.’s story “Zymurgy for Aliens.”

Collectors of comics and digest magazines may want to check out by storefront in eBay: Arkay37’s Vintage Collectables If I do say so myself, the prices are bargains.

True Crime Detective Fall 1952

From the Vault
True Crime Detective Fall 1952

The inside front cover features a full-page ad for the magazine with actor Ralph Bellamy extolling it’s virtues.

The many detective parts I’ve played have naturally made me somewhat of a student of criminology. For a long time I wished for a magazine that would present true crime cases in a straight-forward, exciting way—but without sensationalism and trick photography. When True Crime Detective came along I knew I had my wish!

True Crime Detective Vol. 2 No. 4 Fall 1952
Contents Page
The Borderlands of Sanity:
Miriam Allen deFord “1. The Case of Leopold and Loeb”
Anthony Boucher “2. The Case of Neville Heath”
Joseph Henry Jackson “Give a Man a Horse”
Frank Mullady “Murderers on the Loose”
Edward D. Radin: Here’s the Answer (readers’ crime-related Q&A)
Janet Flanner “The Murder in Le Mans”
Lenore Glen Offord “The Red Barn Revisited”
Edgar Lustgarten “The Trial of William Herbert Wallace”

Publisher: Lawrence E. Spivak
Editors: Anthony Boucher, J. Francis McComas
General Manager: Joseph W. Ferman
Managing Editor: Robert P. Mills
Advisory Editor: Charles Angoff
Consulting Editor: Edward D. Radin
Art Director: George Salter
Cover: Dirone Photography from “The Case of Neville Heath”
5.5” x 7.75” 128 pages 35¢

Lake County Incidents

Lake County Incidents by Alec Cizak

After several years of daily blog posts, I’m switching to weekly. Check out the first official weekly installment next Saturday.

News Digest features the week’s new releases from the world of digest magazines, with a few ancillary titles I can’t resist like The American Bystander and Amazing Stories.

From the Vault spotlights a vintage digest magazine.

TDE Updates provides a peek behind the scenes about the coming issue of The Digest Enthusiast and any new developments on the current issue such as reviews.

Reading Pile
Last Saturday, I finished reading Alec Cizak’s latest anthology Lake County Incidents. A terrific read, highly recommended for students of the unusual.

Nostalgia Digest Winter 2020

On Monday, the Winter 2020 issue of Nostalgia Digest. Another excellent mix of Americana and nostalgia—celebrity bios, word origins, movie serials’ rise to popularity, Sunday dinner traditions, readers’ reactions, and Lucy and Ricky’s heyday that includes synopses of their later hour-long specials. A wonderful issue!

Stovepipe

Stovepipe

Excerpt from my tribute, “The Creative Works of Joe Wehrle, Jr.” from The Digest Enthusiast No. 8, June 2018:

“One of the things I worked out [for Cartoon Trader] was a strip I called Stovepipe,” Joe wrote in 2010, “which mostly showed the positive but funny aspects of being the tallest kid in the neighborhood. It wasn’t until sometime after we’d ended the Cartoon Trader that I got the idea of doing a couple of adventure stories with Stovey as the hero.”

By 1993, Joe had completed two stories and published them in a handmade volume, an early, independently produced graphic novel. He submitted the project for publication to Kitchen Sink, who declined the offer with much regret. Editor James Vance wrote: “‘Heart’ is a quality that’s missing from most of the submissions we receive…” and despite not seeing it as commercially viable for Kitchen Sink “…I’d be very happy to see it in print and available…”

Stovepipe

Joe’s bibliography appears on the Larque Press website.

Murder in the House with the Blue Eyes

Murder in the House with the Blue Eyes

At first glance, J.N. Darby’s digest-sized Murder in the House with the Blue Eyes may appear as a singleton. But the lower right corner of its cover reveals it’s “A Thrilling Mystery Novel,” from Atlas Books, produced under their Margood Publishing Company imprint in 1944, and therefore not an elusive One-and-Done.

For further candidates and their fates read Steve Carper’s series “One-and-Dones” that appears in The Digest Enthusiast No. 7–9.

Now Available from McFarland: Steve Carper’s Robots in American Popular Culture, a comprehensive reference volume that includes a companion website: robotsinamericanpopularculture.com.

Self Publishing in Color

If there’s one thing readers of The Digest Enthusiast’s print edition want, it’s color. Me too. It’s something I’ve worked the numbers on many times over the past five years. With KDP (formerly CreateSpace aka Amazon) a printed color equivalent of the b&w TDE would run $25 or more. The “or more” would be another $6 to earn 35¢ a copy in expanded distribution (Barnes & Noble, etc). I played with page counts and page sizes, but the numbers never worked.

In November, Lulu.com sent me an invitation to their work-in-progress Beta site, which offered two color options, Standard and Premium. The Premium looked as high as KDP, but the Standard option looked promising. I worked up a color version of TDE10, submitted the files, and ordered a proof. It looked great. In comparison, Lulu’s cover didn’t have quite the depth of KDP’s, but the step up to a color interior was more than worth the trade-off.

cover comparison
Scans from the TDE10 printed books, Left: KDP, Right: Lulu.com

I was ready to switch to Lulu until I found out their Beta site wouldn’t go live until late in the first quarter of 2020. I may try them in June for TDE12, but TDE11 was due in January. I thought about continuing with KDP in b&w, but having seen what’s possible, I couldn’t go back.

Alec Cizak had explored working with IngramSpark (IS) a year earlier for Pulp Modern, but didn’t end up using them. They offer a full service to publishers, but unlike KDP, they aren’t selling to end users, they’re selling to booksellers. That means a built-in bookseller margin that’s substantially larger than the publisher’s. Still, their distribution channel is significantly larger than amazon’s, and amazon is included. They also offer both Standard and Premium color options.

Moving from a direct channel like amazon, to an indirect channel is risky. Sales numbers will lag, so I won’t have a good idea how a color TDE is being received until months after the fact. The price increase to $18.99 may kill its appeal. It’s a gamble, but also a chance to learn more about publishing and potentially reach a wider audience, which includes libraries—an area where the book could do very well if given the chance.

Getting started with KDP offers no overhead. The whole production process and the ISBN number is free. With IS you need to bring your own ISBNs, purchase the setup ($49), and incur a charge to revise your book file if a last-minute change is required ($25 ea.). It’s not cost prohibitive, but does give you pause if you’re not confident you can get it right the first time.

Unlike Lulu, IS requires 1/8” clear space in the gutter of pages that bleed, to ensure the best adhesion in bindery. I was a little concerned it would show, but it was undetectable on the printed proof.

Manhunt spread
Manhunt inside spread showing the 1/8” clear space in the gutter.

IS also provides a conversion service to convert your book’s PDF print file into an ePub file which it uses to distribute your book to a wide range of eBook vendors—Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc. Their fee is $60 a page, so a 160-page book costs $96.00. You can supply your own ePub file, but that’s the only format they’ll accept. I couldn’t figure out how to generate an ePub file that would maintain TDE’s page design, like the Kindle Create tool. I considered hiring IS to convert the PDF file, but they don’t have an option to upload a PDF that’s specifically for the ePub. They use the print book file. I couldn’t do that. I create a separate file for the eBook layout with even margins all around. (Printed book files have a generous margin on the gutter side of pages to allow for bindery. Plus with IS, you’ve got that 1/8” white space on all the pages that bleed. Not acceptable.) Finally, you need a separate ISBN number for the ePub version of your book.

eBook page comparison
Most eBook readers display pages individually, not in spreads. Left: The print file with a wider margin and 1/8” clear space in the gutter, Right: The adjusted digital file with page elements centered.

For TDE11 I moved to IS for the printed book, and stayed with KDP for the Kindle version, using the Kindle Create tool to produce the print-replica look I wanted. I’m missing out on all the other eBook platforms, but maybe Lulu will offer an alternative when their Beta site goes live.

I ordered a printed copy of the book from IS before I released the file for distribution. They offer several print production and delivery options. The costs to speed up production of the book are reasonable, but I thought their quicker delivery options were overpriced. I selected their least expensive shipping option, about $4.25, It took ten days for the proof to arrive, not including the production time. A speedier delivery would have cost many times that. A little book like TDE11 can ship first class for about $5.50 and arrive in three days, so I don’t understand their shipment pricing.

IS also charges a $1.99 handling fee for every publisher’s order. So plan ahead, if you order one copy or ten, you’ll pay the $1.99 handling fee.

After I approved the printed proof, I enabled distribution. The book showed up on amazon a couple of days later. Three days out it is not available from Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or Quimby’s, but I’m hopeful it will be soon.

The Digest Enthusiast No. 11

Overall, I’m very happy with IngramSpark. They offer a quality color printing service and a distribution reach that includes amazon and beyond. I hope their services will enable TDE11 to reach more readers. We’ll find out in the months ahead.

Print $18.99 Kindle $4.99