Tuesday, March 29, 2016


If Murray Leinster is remembered today it's for being an early and long-enduring science fiction writer. But like any good pulpster he kept himself busy in all genres, sometimes under alternate names and sometimes under his real identity of Will F. Jenkins. He has the lead story in this 1930 issue of Detective Fiction Weekly, but the title, "Murder Island," could hardly be more generic. The Fiction Mags Index lists seven stories with that title, not counting a "Murder Isle." If you want a more creative title, how about Edward Parrish Ware's "Monkey Doodle Sticks?" No idea what that was about, but that title gets your attention. Less generic than perfectly vague is Robert H. Rohde's "Ace in the Hole," while Erle Stanley Gardner's "Willie the Weeper" sounds as if it will probe the eternal mystery of the sad clown. Calvin Ball's "The Slanting Gaze" may describe a way of seeing things, but offers little clue of what sort of story Ball tells. Since you can't have enough murder in DFW, Fred MacIsaac continues his serial Heirs of Murder. Notice on the cover that Gardner, almost certainly the best-known name today among this issue's authors, ranks below Ware, if we can interpret that list of writers as a pecking order. Gardner had been publishing in the pulps regularly since 1924, but he still had a couple of years of dues-paying left before Perry Mason put him in another league entirely.

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