Saturday, February 13, 2016


This is Jimmy Wentworth. In the past year, Sidney Herschel Small published eleven of Wentworth's adventures in Detective Fiction Weekly. He ended up writing thirty Wentworth stories, though only four after 1933. You can read one of those stories here. This same week Small, who'd been publishing regularly in pulps since 1923, cracked the slicks with a story in Collier's, where he became a mainstay for the rest of the decade. Small specialized in East-West encounters, stories of whites in Asia or, as in the Wentworth stories, in an American Chinatown. I've read more of his Collier's stuff than his pulp work, and he ended up becoming one of my favorite writers for "The National Weekly." A number of Collier's writers crossed back and forth regularly from slick to pulp: Albert Richard Wetjen, Jacland Marmur and Georges Surdez are some of the others. But back to DFW: a more venerable series character appearing this issue is George Allan England's T. Ashley, who came to life in Street & Smith's Detective Story in 1922, lasted less than a year there, and returned to sporadic life starting in 1927. From 1931 until England's death in 1936 the character appeared in DFW exclusively. Among the other contributors are DFW stalwart Judson Philips, who wraps up a three-part serial, and Robert Speyder Case, whose serial The Fifth Man, which begins this week, is his only known pulp work. I didn't pick this issue for today because I thought the cover was that great, though it's probably the most dynamic February 13 cover out there, but because I wanted another chance to recommend Sidney Herschel Small to fans of adventure fiction. But since some of his stuff is back in print these days, I may be preaching to the converted.


  1. Small must of been the pulp and slick expert on Asian stories. I've read quite a few over the years and I'd have to say his best work was probably for ADVENTURE in the 1940's. Under the editorship of Ken White, Small wrote a series of about a dozen novelettes starring an undercover American spy in Japan during WW II. The give a great view of wartime life in Japan. Altus Press has reprinted them in two volumes titled KOROPOK.

  2. Walker, I've had my eye on those Koropok collections for a while now. You may see a review of them here soon.