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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paperback Cover Cavalcade 3

A couple of very different thrillers today...

The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr (Penguin 0-14-008306-5, 6th printing, n.d. Cover by Jonathan Gibbs)
Two murders are committed in such a fashion that the murderer must not only have been invisible but lighter than air!
__According to the evidence, this person killed his first victim and literally vanished, and then struck again in the middle of an empty street - with watchers at either end who saw nothing and no footprints in the snow.
__It was a problem that Dr. Gideon Fell - huge, rumpled, with flowing cloak, eyeglasses and cane - regarded as one of devilish illusion and impersonation.
A classic locked-room murder mystery, named by Edward D. Hoch as his favourite impossible crime novel. Carr was one of the masters of this kind of novel, wherein the murder appears to have been performed by some supernatural means until the detective finally unravels the solution. This particular novel is famous as its detective, Gideon Fell, offers a lengthy lecture on the general mechanics and development of the "hermetically sealed chamber" in which Carr knowingly has Dr Fell admit: "We're in a detective story, and we won't fool the reader by pretending we're not."

Dark Journey by Sydney Horler (Hodder & Stoughton C129, 1953)
An invitation to the country home of Baron Arnheim Wulfran, ambassador of a hostile foreign power, was the beginning of a dark journey for Ruth. Hoping to wrest from the infatuated Baron the secret of the whereabouts of Dallas Kerr of the Secret Service, she was plunged into an adventure fraught with terror.
Horler is almost forgotten nowadays, although he was hugely popular in his time. A workmanlike writer, he was the creator of Tiger Standish and various other series characters.

Gil Brewer

I mentioned recently that Brewer deserved a little investigation over his year of birth. The results are in and I'm in favour of 1922... in fact I can reveal that his full name was Gilbert John Brewer and he was born on 20 November 1922 in Canandaigua, New York. He was the son of Gilbert T. Brewer, a New Jersey-born pulp writer, and his wife, Ruth, and his year of birth can be firmly established thanks to the 1930 census which lists his age quite precisely as 7 years 4 months. (If anyone wants to check this, Brewer is erroneously listed as Brener at The census was taken on 15 April 1930, which means he was born between 16 November and 15 December 1922. (And, I should add, that 1922 is the year of birth his widow gives in an essay on her husband's life.)

His name is given in Florida death records as Gilbert J. Brewer—which also correctly identify both his date of birth and date of death (9 January 1983). His middle name, John, is revealed by US enlistment records: he enlisted in the army on 8 March 1943 in Rochester, New York. At that time he was living in Ontario, New York.

His father, Gilbert T. Brewer, I believe was born 12 May 1898 and died 19 July 1967, at Saint Petersburg, Pinellas Co., Florida, as did his son some 15 years later. Again, the Social Security Death Index seems to be in error—it lists his birth as 1897 and his death as occurring on 14 July. However, according to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites register, the former dates apply and he was buried at Stones River National Battlefield, in Tennessee. 1898 for his year of birth ties in with his age (31) on the 1930 census.

Gilbert T. wrote primarily for air war pulps War Stories, Sky Riders, Airplane Stories, Zeppelin Stories, Frontier Stories, Thrilling Stories, Air stories, Battle Stories and Dare-Devil Aces in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The birth of a younger sister to Gilbert in 1927 was, perhaps, the inspiration, and two more siblings followed (another sister and a brother). They had a fairly impoverished upbringing, their father addicted to drink and was later committed to a VA hospital after a mental breakdown.

Brewer spent three years at high school before dropping out to work. He was wounded in action whilst serving with the army in Belgium and France, which meant he received a VA disability pension. His family had moved to Florida and Brewer went through the usual variety of jobs—warehouseman, cannery worker, bookseller, gas-station attendant—associated with those learning their trade as a writer. With money an issue, Brewer's mother insisted he get a proper job. When he refused she ordered him to leave.

Brewer found a boarding house where the other residents would help feed him; he was already a heavy drinker but was also young, handsome and dynamic. He was involved in an affair with a married woman, Verlaine Morris Lee, who subsequently divorced her husband. The two married in South Carolina, telling no-one.

Back in St. Petersburg, Florida, he sold tales to Detective Tales and Detective Fiction before trying his hand with a novel, written in a white heat and completed in five days. He wrote a second almost as quickly and this was placed with Gold Medal (Fawcett Publications) who had then recently launched a line of original paperbacks and were seeking the best writers from the pulps, both established writers and new. Satan Is A Woman was published in 1951, followed quickly by So Rich, So Dead—Brewer's five-day novel—and 13 French Street, which was his first million seller.

Brewer's career was off to a good start. He was represented by Capt. Joe Shaw, the one-time editor of Black Mask, and had a publisher eager for his work. When Shaw died suddenly in 1952, Brewer was represented by Scott Meredith Agency. None of his early novels took longer than two weeks to write and film rights were sold to four of them. In between, Brewer wrote for crime pulps Manhunt, Accused, Trapped, Murder, Pursued, Guilty and Mystery Tales, amongst others. In the mid-1950s he also adopted the pen-names Bailey Morgan and Eric Fitzgerald to keep up with his output. Unfortunately, it was not to last.

As the 1950s progressed, Brewer's career began to unravel. His friends were fellow writers—Day Keene, Harry Whittington, Talmage Powell, Jonathan Craig, Robert Turner and others—who would drink and play cards. Brewer coasted between books, spending money recklessly. He wrote only when the money had almost run out, driving himself mercilessly, drinking black coffee and smoking heavily to keep himself alert. One novel took only three days to write, another five days. When finished he would collapse from nervous exhaustion, using pills and drink to help him sleep.

In the late 1950s, he and Verlaine moved to Colorado and then New Mexico, but alcohol was taking its toll. Around 1962 he had a mental breakdown, which resulted in hospitalisation in Arcadia, Florida. Brewer recovered slowly and began to pick up the reins of writing again, a handful of crime thrillers and three novelisations based on the TV series It Takes A Thief under his own name, a novel ghosted under the name Ellery Queen and another published under the name of Hal Ellson, who was more saleable at that time.

These were not easy years. The market had changed considerably and Brewer was not in touch with it. He slid back into alcoholism. In 1970 he totalled his Porsche, breaking eight ribs, fracturing 28 other bones and tearing in lung. Faced with another long climb back to full recovery, Brewer used alcohol and pills to kill the pain so that he could keep writing. He wrote pornography and stories for adult magazines; he wrote Gothic romances as Elaine Evans, ghosted two novels as Al Conroy for Marvin Albert's Soldato series and five novels for a former Israeli soldier, Harry Arvay.

Sales began to become fewer. Alcohol dominated his life and he split from his wife, although she continued to live in the same apartment and she continued to support him. He voluntarily attended AA meetings but always slid back to the bottle. He sold to Hustler and other men's magazines, but none of the book projects he worked on came to anything. He was hospitalised again on a number of occasions, his recovery always complicated by drink. In 1982, he was dropped by the Scott Meredith Agency. He died on Sunday, 9 January 1983, at his apartment at 3301 58th Avenue South.


Novels (series: Al Mundy)
Satan Is a Woman. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 169, 1951; London, New Fiction Press, Oct 1952.
So Rich, So Dead. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 196, 1951; London, New Fiction Press, Sep 1952.
13 French Street. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 211, 1951; London, New Fiction Press, Aug 1952.
Flight to Darkness. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 277, 1952; London, Alexander Moring, Oct 1956.
Hell’s Our Destination. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 345, 1953; London, Fawcett Gold Medal 94, Jun 1955.
A Killer is Loose. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 380, 1954; London, Alexander Moring, 1956.
Some Must Die. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 409, 1954; London, Alexander Moring, Mar 1956.
77 Rue Paradis. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 448, 1955; London, Red Seal 126, Jun 1959.
The Squeeze (and Love Me To Death by Frank Diamond). New York, Ace Double D-123, 1955; Bridlington, Priory Books, 1973?.
—And the Girl Screamed. New York, Fawcett Crest 147, 1956; London, Fawcett Gold Medal 366, Nov 1959.
The Angry Dream. New York, Bouregy, 1957; as The Girl from Hateville, Rockville Centre, New York, Zenith ZB-7, 1958.
The Brat. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 708, 1957; London, Fawcett Gold Medal 292, Jan 1959.
Little Tramp. New York, Fawcett Crest 173, 1957; London, Red Seal 141, 1959.
The Bitch. New York, Avon 830, 1958.
The Red Scarf. New York, Bouregy, 1958; London, Digit D277, Jul 1959.
Wild. New York, Fawcett Crest 229, 1958; London, Fawcett Gold Medal 348, Sep 1959.
The Vengeful Virgin. New York, Fawcett Crest 238, 1958; London, Muller Gold Medal 411, May 1960.
Angel. New York, Avon 866, 1959.
Sugar. New York, Avon T335, 1959.
Wild to Possess. Derby, Connecticut, Monarch 107, 1959.
Nude on Thin Ice. New York, Avon T470, 1960.
Backwoods Teaser. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 950, 1960.
The Three-Way Split. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal 987, 1960; London, Muller Gold Medal 520, 1961.
Play it Hard. Derby, Connecticut, Monarch 168, 1960; Bridlington, Priory, 1973?.
Appointment in Hell. Derby, Connecticut, Monarch 187, 1961; Bridlington, Priory, 1973?.
A Taste of Sin. New York, Berkley G509, 1961.
Memory of Passion. New York, Lancer 70-008, 1962.
The Hungry One. New York, Fawcett Gold Medal D1647, 1966.
The Tease. New York, Banner B50-102, 1967.
Sin for Me. New York, Banner B50-108, 1967.
It Takes a Thief #1: The Devil in Davos (Mundy, novelisation of television play). New York, Ace, 1969.
It Takes a Thief #2: Mediterranean Caper (Mundy, novelisation of television play). New York, Ace, 1969.
It Takes a Thief #3: Appointment in Cairo (Mundy, novelisation of television play). New York, Ace, 1970.
13 French Street and The Red Scarf (omnibus). London, Blue Murder, 1988.
Wild to Possess / A Taste of Sin (omnibus). Eureka, CA, Stark House, 2006.
A Devil for O'Shaugnessy / The Three-Way Split (omnibus). Eureka, CA, Stark House, 2008.

Novels as Harry Arvay (ghost-writer; series: Max Roth in all)
The Moscow Intercept. London, Corgi, 1975; New York, Bantam Q6345, 1975.
Eleven Bullets for Mohammed. London, Corgi, 1975; New York, Bantam Q7626, 1975.
Operation Kuwait. London, Corgi, 1975; New York, Bantam Q7759, 1975.
The Piraeus Plot. London, Corgi, 1975; New York, Bantam Q2048, 1975.
Togo Commando. London, Corgi, 1976.

Novels as Mark Bailey
Mouth Magic. New York, Barclay House 7230, 1972; as My Hot Lipped Lovers by Mark Bailey, Brandon House 6437, 1975; as Strange Ecstasy, 1979; as Cum One, Cum All by Nancy Mitchner, Explicit Library EXL147, 1980.

Novels as Al Conroy (series: Johnny Morini) [Note 2]
Soldato #3: Strangle Hold!. New York, Lancer 75433, 1973.
Soldato #4: Murder Mission!. New York, Lancer 75459, 1973.

Novels as Hal Ellson (ghost-writer)
Blood on the Ivy. New York, Pyramid T2257, 1970.

Novels as Elaine Evans
Shadowland. New York, Lancer 74705, 1970.
A Dark and Deadly Love. New York, Lancer 75403, 1972.
Black Autumn. New York, Lancer, 1973.
Wintershade. New York, Popular Library 00530, 1973.

Novels as Day Keene (ghost-writer)
Love Me—And Die. New York, Phantom, 1951.

Novels as Luke Morgann
More Than a Handful!. New York, Beeline 785T, 1972.
Ladies in Heat. New York, Beeline, 795T, 1972.
Gamecock. New York, Beeline 837T, 1972.
Tongue Tricks!. New York, Beeline 876T, 1972.

Novels as Ellery Queen (ghost-writer)
The Campus Murders (The Troubleshooter #1). New York, Lancer 74-527, 1969.

(* Much of the above biographical information is derived from two essays, one by Verlaine Brewer and one by Bill Pronzini; and Lynn Munroe's List 29 is the prime source for bibliographical information. The photograph is from the official Gil Brewer website.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Comic Cuts - 30 October

With nothing much to report, apart from a case of the sniffles, I thought I'd run a bit a news about upcoming releases ahead of our regular Recently Published and Upcoming Releases columns, which will be appearing Sunday and Monday respectively. I try not to overcrowd those lists with illustrations as I used to, but there are sometimes quite a few images for interesting books available long in advance. So here's a brief round-up of a few of the titles that are being added to the list this month...

DFC Library

From David Fickling Books come the first three titles reprinting material from The DFC comic. Titles are: Good Dog, Bad Dog by Dave Shelton, Mezolith by Beg Haggarty & Adam Brockbank and Spider Moon by Kate Brown.

Prion Books

The three titles I put together for Prion have been given a release date: 1st April. The titles are: Hit the Dirt: Six of the Best from Battle Picture Library, No Surrender! Six of the Best from War Picture Library and Wings of Death: Six of the Best from Air Ace Picture Library.


Seem to have a deal with a company called Mongoose Publishing who are putting together a 13-volume series of books about the Judge Dredd universe, entitled Judge Dredd: The Mega-City One Archive, to be launched in January. The first volumes are The Justice Department by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Lawbringers by August Hahn and Lawbreakers by August Hahn. Other reprints recently announced include Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 0, Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu-Earth Vol. 1, Button Man: The Hitman's Daughter by John Wagner & Frazer Irving and Slaine: Demon Killer by Pat Mills & various.

Reynolds & Hearn

... have two more TV Century 21 reprints due following on from the success of the first pair. Escape from Aquatraz is due in November to be followed by Above and Beyond next April.

Titan Books

* UPDATED. Although Amazon claim that Darkie's Mob by John Wagner & Mike Western is due on 27 November, it is actually scheduled for release next spring or summer according to editor David Leach. The previously announced Johnny Red: Falcon's First Flight is likely to be released in February and there will be at least a couple of additional Battle-related volumes, including Rat Pack and a second Best of Battle. Further Modesty Blaise (Modesty Blaise: Death in Slow Motion), Dan Dare (Dan Dare: Trip to Trouble) and James Bond (James Bond: Nightbird) have been announced for 2010 and another Roy of the Rovers book, Roy of the Rovers: The World Cup Special by Tom Tully & David Sque, although you'll have to wait until May 2010 to celebrate.

Classical Comics

A bit further in the future, Classical Comics have released covers for various titles available next spring and summer, including Sweeney Todd (Original Text) by Sean M. Wilson & Declan Shalvey, Wuthering Heights (Original Text) by Sean M. Wilson & John M. Burns (that's the one I'm waiting for!) and Julius Caesar (Original Text) by John McDonald & Sean O'Connor.


I hear from Tony Ingram that the new issue is out today. "We've interviews with Pat Mills (talking at length about his time at IPC amongst other things), Leah Moore & John Reppion (on Albion) and Cheeky artist Frank McDiarmid, Lee O'Conner on his new project with Pat (Stars: the Ayatollah's Son) and the first part of a two-parter on Doctor Who in comics," says Tony. "Since the distributors asked for an extra 300 copoies on the print run this time, I'm quite hopeful for it..."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Tempest / Romeo & Juliet

The closest I've come to reading Shakespeare's The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet is watching movies and, in both cases, quite divergent interpretations of the plays. Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo+Juliet is hugely watchable and The Tempest was used as the basis for Fifties SF classic Forbidden Planet.

With credentials like that, who wouldn't want to read these two new adaptations? You may find the stories a little different—there are less robots in The Tempest for starters—but don't let that put you off. Being Classical Comics, there are multiple versions for all tastes: the Original Text version for the full Shakespearean experience, a Quick Text version easy enough for a young teenager to understand and a Plain Text version which simplifies the language to a level where it could be read by a 10 to 12-year-old.

Both books are long, careful adaptations, around 125 and 150 pages respectively, with reading and background notes in addition.

I picked on the Plain Text versions to read and they certainly retain all the flavour of the originals, whilst moving the story along at a sprightly pace. And I have to admit finding it quite entertaining to see Shakespeare using phrases like "This big-mouthed scumbag" (rather than "wide-chopp'd rascal") as a ship carrying the King of Naples is battered upon a storm-tossed sea, and Juliet's lament "I have bought the mansion of love, but not possesse'd it" reduced to "I can't wait for us to be together". But that's the whole point of having versions for different age groups.

Romeo and Juliet was Shakespeare's adaptation of Luigi da Porto's Giulietta e Romeo (itself not an original story but introducing many of the elements that Shakespeare was to make famous). Shakespeare's was not even the first version of the story written in the UK (Arthur Brooke's Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet was probably Shakespeare's direct inspiration). The plot shouldn't need repeating here: it's the one with the balcony.

The Tempest
, on the other hand, was Shakespeare unleashed. It was his one and only play not based on anything previously written and was a story of magic and vengeance in which the usurped Prospero uses his powers to unleash a storm against his brother, Antonio, the Duke of Milan, and the King of Naples, driving their ship onto an island where Prospero has been stranded for many years. Other inhabitants of the island include Ariel, a magical spirit, and the deformed son of a witch, Caliban. There are a number of entwining sub-plots as different factions scheme to kill one or other of the newly arrived inhabitants and a romance between Prospero's daughter, Miranda, and the King's son, Ferdinand.

Both stories are told in eye-grabbing visuals, the artwork exemplary in both books—if you're buying for the art alone, far more is visible in the plain text versions. One distinct advantage of the graphic novel over even a simplified written version of a play as complex as The Tempest, with multiple strands and different kinds of character (both human and supernatural) is that comics also have a visual language that can be brought into play. Take, for instance, the following page showing how Ariel was freed from captivity...

...which has the visual dynamism of a Marvel or DC superhero comic, care of artists Jon Haward & Gary Erskine. Just the kind of thing that will keep even the most ADDed kid glued to the page.

Romeo and Juliet, being a romantic story with very little action, requires a more realistic approach if you are to believe in the characters and this has been amply provided by Will Volley. This is only his second comic strip, I believe (the only previous work I know of is an issue of The Atheist, written by Phil Hester), and he's a major find for Classical Comics.

I've reviewed a handful of earlier titles from Classical Comics and I haven't been disappointed by a single one of them. The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet are two more solid additions to the line and highly recommended.

Romeo and Juliet (Original Text). Classical Comics ISBN 978-1906332198, 9 September 2009 [originally announced for August 2009].
Romeo and Juliet (Plain Text). Classical Comics ISBN 978-1906332204, 9 September 2009 [originally announced for August 2009].
Romeo and Juliet (Quick Text). Classical Comics ISBN 978-1906332211, 9 September 2009 [originally announced for August 2009].
The Tempest (Original Text). Classical Comics ISBN 978-1906332297, 16 September 2009 [originally announced for 1 May 2009, then 12 June 2009, then August 2009].
The Tempest (Plain Text). Classical Comics ISBN 978-1906332303, 16 September 2009 [originally announced for 1 May 2009, then 12 June 2009, then August 2009].
The Tempest (Quick Text). Classical Comics ISBN 978-1906332310, 16 September 2009 [originally announced for 1 May 2009, then 12 June 2009, then August 2009].

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Edward Boyd and his Whopper Space Stories

(* Reposted as I've been able to expand on the original piece. My thanks to Jeremy Briggs and Roger Robinson for additional info.)

Whopper Space Stories has always been something of a mystery. I had a copy for years and guessed it was from around the late 1950s. The mystery began when I learned that there was an entirely different book also called Whopper Space Stories, then that the same stories had appeared in various other volumes. Now, thanks to Jeremy Briggs, I think I've got a handle on the order of events.

The stories first appeared in a volume called Space Story Omnibus, pictured above, which can be firmly dated (via The Bookseller) as appearing in July 1955. The book was published by The Children's Press (an imprint of Collins) and the full contents follow, although I'm not quite sure of the correct order.

Space Story Omnibus (Children’s Press, nd (July 1955), 128pp, hc)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_7 · Boyd, Edward · A Question of Proof · ss
_12 · Allward, Maurice F. · Out Into Space · ar
_16 · [Comic Strip] · Rex Strong, Space Ace · cs
_19 · Boyd, Edward · Space Pirate · ss
_52 · Allward, Maurice F. · The Journey · ar
_33 · Boyd, Edward · A Matter of Time · ss
_46 · Boyd, Edward · Operation Mirror · ss
_74 · Allward, Maurice F. · Exploration · ar
_60 · Boyd, Edward · Mickey’s Monkey · ss
_67 · Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Insect Army · ss
_79 · Boyd, Edward · Mutiny in Space · ss
_93 · [Comic Strip] · Don Regan · cs
_96 · Allward, Maurice F. · Space Medicine · ar
_102 · Boyd, Edward · The Miraculous Mushrooms · ss
_113 · Allward, Maurice F. · Stations in Space · ar
_122 · Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Saboteur · ss

I believe that a couple of years later the same stories and features were split into two volumes, both with the title Whopper Space Stories. There appears to be one original story, entitled "The Man in the Moon", added to the pair of volumes. Confusing matters even more, the first of these (with the T. E. North painting of a winged rocket approaching a space station) was also published in hardback with an additional frontispiece signed S.D.—almost certainly Serge Drigin.

Whopper Space Stories (Children’s Press, c.1959 , 72pp, pb, cover by T. E. North)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_Boyd, Edward · Operation Mirror · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · Out Into Space · ar
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Insect Army · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong Space Ace · cs
_Allward, Maurice F. · The Journey · ar
_Boyd, Edward · A Question of Proof · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · Exploration · ar
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Saboteur · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · First Into Space · ar
_Boyd, Edward · The Miraculous Mushrooms · ss

Whopper Space Stories (Children’s Press, c.1959 , 72pp, pb)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_Boyd, Edward · Space Pirate · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Don Regan · cs
_Boyd, Edward · Mickey’s Monkey · ss
_Allward, Maurice F. · Stations in Space · ar
_Boyd, Edward · The Man in the Moon · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong on the Planet Orbona · cs
_Boyd, Edward · A Matter of Time · ss; illus. R. A. Branton
_Allward, Maurice F. · Space Medicine · ar
_Boyd, Edward · Mutiny in Space · ss

We then come to another version of Space Story Omnibus, published in either 1960 or 1961. I've seen a copy advertised which was inscribed 1961, but some library records date the book 1960. This volume included a 4-page strip by Chas. Ian Kennedy, reprinted from a 1950s volume of Collins Boys' Annual.

The Giant Book of Amazing Stories (Children’s Press, 1960 , ???pp, pb. cover by T. E. North)
Illustrated by R. A. Branton and Bruce Gaffron.
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong on the Planet Orbona · cs
_[Comic Strip] · Dave Garratt and the Space Pirates · cs; illus. Chas. Ian Kennedy
_Boyd, Edward · A Question of Proof · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Mickey’s Monkey · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Saboteur · ss
_Boyd, Edward · A Matter of Time · ss; illus. R. A. Branton
_Boyd, Edward · Mutiny in Space · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Space Barr and the Insect Army · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Rex Strong Space Ace · cs
_[Comic Strip] · Don Regan · cs
_Boyd, Edward · The Miraculous Mushrooms · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Space Pirate · ss

There is also the Bumper Cowboy Book, published by Collins in hardback (with d/j) in 1956. The frontispiece was signed by Wynne (possibly Dudley Wynne?) and had uncredited illustrations by Ron Embleton, Nat Brand, Geoffrey Whittam and others. One interesting thing about this album is that some of the stories are by genuine American Western authors (Jeff Jefferis, Frank C. Robertson and possibly Ray Harris); Skeena Fraser may also be a reprint by a pseudonymous Canadian author as Skeena and Fraser are two rivers near Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

Bumper Cowboy Book (Collins, May 1956, 128pp, hc)
_Jefferies, Jeff · Carlson's Welcome · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Dudes Is Dangerous · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_Jefferies, Jeff · Flash · ss
_[Comic Strip] · Walt Cody--Mustanger · cs
_Boyd, Edward · Showdown · ar; illus. Geoffrey Whittam
_Anon. · Gold Is Where You Find It · ss
_Boyd, Edward · A Tooth For a Tooth · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_[Comic Strip] · Buck Larson in The Bullion Hold-Up · cs
_Harris, Ray · Opal Cavern · ss
_Boyd, Edward · The Last of Sitting Bull · ar; illus. Stephen Chapman
_Boyd, Edward · Express Delivery · ss; illus. Ron Embleton
_[Comic Strip] · Thunder - Watcher Of The Herd · cs
_Fraser, Skeena · Charles Or Chuck? · ss
_Boyd, Edward · Sixty Seconds · ar; illus. Geoffrey Day
_Robertson, Frank C. · With A Bull By The Tail · ss

This volume was subsequently reprinted in part as Whopper Cowboy Book, published by The Children's Press in softcover.

Whopper Cowboy Book (Children’s Press, c.1959 , ??pp, pb)
_Boyd, Edward · Express Delivery · ss; illus. Ron Embleton
_[Comic Strip] · Walt Cody--Mustanger · cs
_Boyd, Edward · A Tooth For a Tooth · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_Boyd, Edward · Sixty Seconds · ar; illus. Geoffrey Day
_[Comic Strip] · Buck Larson in The Bullion Hold-Up · cs
_Boyd, Edward · Showdown · ar; illus. Geoffrey Whittam
_Boyd, Edward · Dudes Is Dangerous · ss; illus. Nat Brand
_Boyd, Edward · The Last of Sitting Bull · ar; illus. Stephen Chapman
_Boyd, Edward · The Long Wait · ss; illus. Stephen Chapman

The main writer behind both Space Story Omnibus and Bumper Cowboy Book was Edward Boyd, a Scottish author, poet and playwrite who contributed heavily to Collins and their children's annuals in the 1950s.

Born in Stevenston, Ayrshire, in 1916, Boyd was a member of Glasgow Unity Theatre in the 1940s and worked with them as a stage manager, actor and director. He wrote a number of children's books before earning success writing plays for radio and television. He wrote mostly in the crime and thriller field, including many episodes for early Z-Cars as well as creating various series, including Crime on Our Hands, The Corridor People and the popular The View from Daniel Pike which starred Roddy MacMillan.

Boyd died in 1989. The Glasgow University Library holds a collection of his papers.


Introducing Wanderlust Brown, illus. Goss. London & Glasgow, Collins, Apr 1948.
Wanderlust Goes South, illus. Duncan. London & Glasgow, Collins, Feb 1949.
Walt Disney's Rob Roy: The Highland Rogue, based on the screenplay by Lawrence Edward Watkins. Collins, May 1954.
Wanderlust's Third Innings. London & Glasgow, Collins, 1954 [Mar 1955].
The Dark Number, with Roger Parkes [based on a radio play, 'The Same River Twice' by Boyd, subsequently written for television as 'The Dark Number']. London, Constable, 1973; New York, Walker & Co., 1974.

Space Story Omnibus. London & Glasgow, Children's Press, Jul 1955; revised (with one additional story) in 2 vols as Whopper Space Stories, Children's Press, c.1959; reprinted as The Giant Book of Amazing Stories, Collins, 1960.
Bumper Cowboy Book. London & Glasgow, Collins, May 1956; reprinted in part as Whopper Cowboy Stories, London & Glasgow, Children's Press, c.1959?

Grand Prix: The know-how of racing and racing cars, illus. Barry Rowe. London, Collins, 1978.
Helicopter Book: The story of the whirlybird, illus. Barry Rowe. London, Collins, 1978.
Car Book: How a car is made from the design board to the transporter, illus. Barry Rowe. London, Collins, 1978.
Glasgow, photographed by Douglas Corrance. Glasgow, Collins, 1981.
Strathclyde, photographed by Douglas Corrance. Glasgow, Collins, 1985.

Night Flight. Glasgow, Scoop Books, 1945.

Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard, illus. Will Nickless; intro. by Edward Boyd. London & Glasgow, Collins Clear-Type Press, 1957.

Short Stories
Home Is The Sailor... (Manchester Guardian, 2 Mar 1938)
For Fear of Little Men (Argosy, Sep 1951)
Soldier's Farewell (Magpie, Nov 1951)
The Secret of the Crannog (Collins Children's Annual, 1953)
A Favourite of Misfortune (Collins Girls' Annual, 1953?)
The First Falcon (Collins Girls' Annual, 1953?)
Pop Pinfold's Kid (Collins Young Elizabethan, Jan 1954)
Stooge Trip (Collins Boys' Annual, c.1954?; reprinted, The Splendid Book for Boys, 1957)
A Visit to the Cinema (Collins Boys' Annual, c.1955?; reprinted, The Crackerjack Book for Boys, 1962)
My Uncle Dirk (Collins Boys' Annual, 1950s; reprinted, Adventure Book for Boys, 1965?)
The Rescue (Collins Children's Annual, 1950s)
My Sister the Cavewoman (Collins Girls' Annual, 1950s; reprinted, The Crackerjack Book for Girls, 1962)
A Day in October (Collins Boys' Annual, 1958?; reprinted, Thrilling Stories for Boys, n.d.)
The Lady of the Lamp--Florence Nightingale (The Splendid Book for Girls, 1958?; reprinted as The Story of Florence Nightingale, Girls' Story Omnibus, n.d.)
My Great Aunt Honoria (Girls' Story Omnibus, n.d.)
The Search (The Crackerjack Book for Boys, 1962)
The Story of Grace Darling (The Crackerjack Book for Girls, 1962)
Dinty's Double (The Crackerjack Treasure Book, 1962?)
The Strange Happenings at Number 8 (The Splendid Story Book for Children, 1962)
The Desk in the Desert (Girl's Own Book, 1964?)

Also contributed to The Treasure Book for Girls.


Crime On Our Hands. BBC, 25 Aug-29 Sep 1954.
The Odd Man. Granada, 2 eps., 30 Nov 1960, 26 Jul 1963.
Saki. Granada, 6 Jul-24 Aug 1962.
Z-Cars. BBC
The Corridor People: Victim as Birdwatcher. Granada, 26 Aug 1966
Wednesday Play:
__A Black Candle for Mrs Gogarty
. BBC2, 25 Oct 1967.
__The Lower Largo Sequence. BBC1, 9 Oct 1968.
Confession: The Fell Sergeant. Granada, 21 Aug 1970.
Menace: Good Morning, Yesterday. BBC2, 6 Oct 1970.
Out of the Unknown: The Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow. BBC2, 19 May 1971.
The View from Daniel Pike. BBC2, 1971. Novelisation by Bill Knox, London, Hutchinson, 1974; New York, St. Martin's Press, 1974.
Crown Court:
__A Bang or a Whimper. 4 May 1976.
__Auld Lang Syne. 29 Dec 1976.
XYY Man:
__Law & Order. ITV, 15 Jul 1977.
__The Detrimental Man. ITV, 22 Aug 1977
__A View to a Death. ITV, 29 Aug 1977.
Huntingtower [based on the novel by John Buchan]. BBC1, Oct-Nov 1978.
Strangers. Granada, c.1978
Badger by Owl Light. BBC1, 1 Apr 1982.

It's Always Sinatra. BBC, 1969. Available online.
Badger by Owl Light. Radio 4, 24 Nov 1975. Available online.
Curlew in Autumn. Radio 4, Apr-May 1984.
Castles in Spain. Radio 4, 1987. Available online.

Robbery, with George Markstein & Peter Yates [based on a story by Gerald Wilson]. 1967.

(* With many thanks to Jeremy and Roger for contents lists and scans.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Martin Cruz Smith cover gallery

Of the thriller writers I've covered in these occasional cover galleries, Martin Cruz Smith is the first who is still writing. There's a new Arkady Renko novel due out next year (from Simon & Schuster in the USA and from Macmillan over here), which I'm looking forward to.

I've been a fan of Arkady Renko since reading Gorky Park many, many years ago (and re-read about three years ago) and read most of Smith's major novels as they come out. I say 'major' because there was a period when he was churning out westerns under a pen-name, none of which I've read. In fact, Smith has had quite a few books out under pen-names which I've not read, including action adventure stories as Nick Carter and Simon Quinn.

So this is a somewhat selective cover gallery featuring most (but not all) the novels that have appeared as Martin Cruz Smith, which, I should add, is not the name he was born with. That was Martin William Smith and he wrote a number of novels as Martin Smith. To avoid confusion with other writers with the same name, he added the middle name Cruz. After the success of Gorky Park, a number of his earlier novels were reprinted as Martin Cruz Smith. I've appended as complete a list of Smith's work as I've been able to compile below.

There's a little more on Smith at Wikipedia and he has an official website, although neither offer a huge amount of information. However, a search around the web turns up quite a few interviews if you want to know more.

Novels (series: Arkady Renko)

Nightwing. New York, Norton, 1977; London, Deutsch, 1977.
Gorky Park (Renko). New York, Random House, 1981; London, Collins, 1981.
Stallion Gate. New York, Random House, 1986; London, Harvill, 1986.
Polar Star (Renko). New York, Random House, 1989; London, Harvill, 1989.
Red Square (Renko). New York, Random House, 1992; London, Harvill, 1992.
Rose. New York, Random House, 1996; London, Macmillan, 1996.
Havana Bay (Renko). New York, Simon & Schuster, 1999; London, Macmillan, 1999..
December 6. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2002; as Tokyo Station, London, Macmillan, 2002.
Wolves Eat Dogs (Renko). New York, Simon & Schuster, 2004.
Stalin’s Ghost (Renko). New York, Simon & Schuster, 2007.
The Golden Mile (Renko). New York, Simon & Schuster, 2010. [[forthcoming]]

Novels as Nick Carter (series: Nick Carter in all)
The Inca Death Squad. New York, Award, 1972; London, Tandem, 1973.
Code Name: Werewolf. New York, Award, 1973; London, Tandem, 1973.
The Devil’s Dozen. New York, Award, 1973; London, Tandem, 1974.

Novels as Martin Quinn
The Adventures of the Wilderness Factory (novelisation of the screenplay). New York, Ballantine, 1976.

Novels as Simon Quinn (series: The Inquisitor)

The Inquisitor #1: The Devil in Kansas. New York, Dell, 1974.
The Inquistor #2: The Last Time I Saw Hell. New York, Dell, 1974.
The Inquisitor #3: Nuplex Red. New York, Dell, 1974.
The Inquisitor #4: His Eminence, Death. New York, Dell, 1974.
The Inquisitor #5: The Midas Coffin. New York, Dell, 1975.
The Inquisitor #6: Last Rites for the Vulture. New York, Dell, 1975.
The Human Factor (novelisation of the screenplay). New York, Dell, 1975; London, Futura, 1975.

Novels as Martin Smith (series: Roman Grey)

The Indians Won. New York, Belmont-Tower, 1970; reprinted as by Martin Cruz Smith, London, Severn House, 1982; New York, Ballantine, 1983.
Gypsy in Amber (Grey). New York, Putnam, 1971; London, Barker, 1975; reprinted as by Martin Cruz Smith, New York, Ballantine, 1982; London, Collins, 1982.
Canto for a Gypsy (Grey). New York, Putnam, 1972; London, Barker, 1975; reprinted as by Martin Cruz Smith, New York, Ballantine, 1983; London, Collins, 1983.
The Analog Bullet. New York, Belmont-Tower, 1972; London, Severn House, 1982.

Novels as Jake Logan (house name; series: Slocum)
#8 North to Dakota. New York, Playboy Press, 1976.
#11 Ride for Revenge. New York, Playboy Press, 1977.
nn Slocum Busts Out. New York, Berkley, Aug 1990.
#150 Trail of Death. New York, Berkley, 1991.
#154 Slocum’s Standoff. New York, Berkley, 1991.
#155 Death Council. New York, Berkley, 1991.
#156 Timber King. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#157 Railroad Baron. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#158 River Chase. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#159 Tombstone Gold. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#163 Slocum and the Bushwackers. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#165 San Angelo Shootout. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#166 Blood Fever. New York, Berkley, 1992.
#167 Helltown Trail. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#168 Sheriff Slocum. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#169 Virginia City Showdown. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#170 Slocum and the Forty Thieves. New York. Berkley, 1993.
#171 Powder River Massacre. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#173 Slocum and the Tin Star Swindle. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#174 Slocum and the Nightriders. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#175 Revenge at Devil’s Tower. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#176 Slocum at Outlaw’s Haven. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#177 Ambush at Apache Rocks. New York, Berkley, 1993.
#179 Slocum and the Buffalo Soldiers. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#180 Slocum and the Phantom Gold. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#181 Ghost Town. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#182 Slocum and the Invaders. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#183 Slocum and the Mountain of Gold. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#184 Slocum and the Cow Town Kill. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#185 Pikes Peak Shoot-Out. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#186 Blood Trail. New York, Berkley, 1994.
#187 Slocum and the Gold Slaves. New York, Berkley, 1994.

Editor, Death By Espionage. Intriguing Stories of Betrayal and Deception. Cumberland House, 1999.

(* Photo of Martin Cruz Smith from his official website.)