Thursday, April 13, 2017


While the literary star of this issue of the National Weekly at its time of publication probably was Irwin Shaw, it also features two pulp veterans. It didn't take Thomas Walsh long to break out of pulpdom. Within two years of his 1933 debut in Black Mask -- starting his career there must have been a coup in its own right -- he made it into The Saturday Evening Post. Walsh made his Collier's debut a year later and that became his slick of choice. By 1937 he had pretty much graduated from pulps, though he'd make occasional returns, presumably if Collier's had rejected something. This issue's "Peaceful in the Country" is actually Walsh's last story for that publication. He became a Post regular until that mag effectively gave up on popular fiction in the early 1960s. With coincidental symmetry, this issue's coming-of-age story "One Timeless Spring" was the first appearance in Collier's of Ray Bradbury, part of a trifecta he scored when he made his first three sales to slicks in one week. Bradbury was of the first generation to start their careers in the fan press. He broke into the pulps in 1941, at age 21 and was well on his way by the end of 1942. Starting in the fantastics, he expanded into detective fiction around 1944 but didn't really stick with it. The first of his slick sales appeared in Mademoiselle in November 1945. Bradbury wouldn't return to Collier's until 1950, when the magazine published one of his Martian chronicles. He appeared more regularly there (and in the Post) thereafter, his most famous Collier's story (apart from the Martian piece, "There Will Come Soft Rains") probably being "A Sound of Thunder" in the June 28, 1952 issue. By that point Bradbury could go back and forth more regularly between the slicks and the sci-fi mags which by now, as many adopted the digest format, may have been more respectable than the old pulps. You can sample Bradbury, Walsh, Shaw and the rest of this issue at

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