Monday, September 12, 2016


The folks at Ace of Aces Books have made part of this 1936 Argosy available for our reading pleasure. Their website has a nice little collection of aviation stories by Frederick C. Painton, including this issue's cover story, "Transpacific Plunder." an entertaining mix of Chinese hijackers, American gangsters and Japanese intrigue bedeviling a two-fisted American pilot. Painton plays off Yellow Peril stereotypes before presenting us with the more streamlined and honorable Chinese antagonist you see on the cover.

In his mind's eye had been built a picture of Chang Tze as a fat, grave Chinese with impassive yellow face,inscrutable slit eyes — in short, a Fu Manchu! What he saw was a slim, debonair oriental of perhaps thirty, with close- clipped stiff black hair parted in the center; a high forehead above a long, narrow face of slightly saffron tint; and a body nearly six feet tall and powerfully made. Even Tony had to admit that Chang Tze was a lot of man.

You can read the rest by downloading the .pdf from this link. The rest of the issue features serials by George Bruce (The Speed King is about baseball, not auto racing), L. G. Blochman (featuring series character Leonidas Prike, a detective based in India) and Johnston McCulley (wrapping up his "Zorro-land" adventure Don Peon.) There's a novelette by Maj. R. E. Dupuy and short stories by Charles T. Jackson (possibly a Mase McKay adventure?), James P. Olsen and John R. Phillips. I can vouch for the Painton story and in 1936 you probably can trust Argosy for the rest of the issue.

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