Besides posting book reviews, once in a while I will be posting articles on the subject of pulps. I hope we can generate more interest for the Blog. If you would like to share an article on the pulps, you can send me a message in the Comments of a post.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Introducing New Pulp Authors: Ray Capella


         Once in a while I will be spotlighting one of our new pulp authors. These will just be short bios. The author is encouraged to add more information at any time, and since my data is a bit old (taken from the back of books we – or others – published) new information would be appreciated. This is not limited to just the authors of the FADING SHADOWS magazines. Other new pulp authors can be included. Just send me a short bio, and an illustration if you have one.

Ray Capella: From Alhambra, California, Ray was a noted illustrator for a number of SF & Fantasy journals before coming over to the Fading Shadows magazines. He contributed a lot of interior and cover art for our SF titles, as well as illustrating heroic characters like Doc Savage and The Shadow. But Ray didn’t just illustrate, he also wrote, both articles and fiction. He wrote half a dozen or more stories for our magazines, some featuring his new pulp hero, The Domino Mask under the pseudonym of Chester Ingram. Unfortunately, Domino Mask is another pulp hero lost to contemporary readers since Ray passed away several years ago, and his stories are hidden away in out of print magazines.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Wolf Pass

Angel Eyes #3: “Wolf Pass” by W. B. Longley (Robert J. Randisi). Liz Archer arrives in Wolf Pass, Montana Territory and is recognized by the biggest ranch owner and logger in the area. He’s having problem with a giant wolf that is killing his cattle, horses, and men. He’s already hired a wolfer, but decides he wants Angel Eyes as extra firepower against the wolf. While Liz and the wolfer, Loren Page, are out looking for the beast, gunman Frank Logan rides into town trailing Page, who he blames for the death of his kin. This was another good story, fast-paced, and well written. Being an Adult Western, it had its share of sex and profanity. But it would have been a better western without it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Introducing New Pulp Authors: Mike Black


         Once in a while I want to spotlight one of our new pulp authors. These will just be short bios. The author is encouraged to add more information at any time, and since my data is a bit old (taken from the back of books we – or others – published) new information would be appreciated.

Michael A. Black: Mike graduated from Columbia College, Chicago in 2000 with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction Writing. He previously earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Illinois University. A former Army Military Policeman, he entered civilian law enforcement after his discharge, and for the past thirty-odd years has been a police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago. He is the author of over forty articles on subjects ranging from police work to popular fiction. Several of his short stories have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Detective Mystery Stories. His first novel, A Killing Frost, featuring private investigator Ron Shade, was published by Five Star in September 2002, and received excellent reviews. A trade paperback version was released September 2003. Windy City Knights, the second novel in the series, was released in early 2004. He has also written two nonfiction books for young readers, The M1A1 Abrams Tank and Volunteering To Help Kids, which were published by Rosen Press. He has worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, tactical squad, investigations, raid team member, and SWAT team leader. He held the rank of a sergeant on the Matteson, Illinois Police Department. His hobbies include weightlifting, running, the martial arts, and bird watching. It is rumored he has five cats. Besides Mike’s private detective stories he and his long time friend, Raymond L. Lavato created the popular Doc Atlas, a world-trotting champion of justice to save the world, including one trip to Roswell, New Mexico to investigate mysterious flying saucers, and a menacing alien.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Couple Femme Fatals


One of the things I like most about the Secret Agent X novels are the femme fatales that filled the pages. There is a rumor that Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond was a fan of Secret Agent X, and I can easily imagine where he got the ideas for some of his Bond girls. Let's take a look at a few of them and see what you think.
         Edna Cory from Slaves of The Scorpion: The lighting brought out the red-gold glint in her dark hair. Her dark eyes gleamed with excitement. She was bored with her riches and soft life and wanted excitement, even if it meant joining the criminal gang. She thought that she loved the mastermind, but it was only the love of excitement and danger, which surrounded him. She even holds admiration for the Agent:

         "The girl came toward him with lithe, swaying steps. Her eyes were shining, her wondrously soft lips smiling lazily. When she was so close that the bosom of her dress touched his with every breath she drew, she whispered, "This is the greatest moment of my life. I have hunted the world over for such a man as you. Mr. X. The Scorpion. Feared by police and criminals alike, the most powerful figure in the world … yet a lonely figure. That should not be, Mr. X." She raised her head; her eyes warm pools of passion. She swayed slightly forward."

         Perhaps hers was not the complete desire for danger and excitement, as was Vina Tremaine from Horror's Handclasp, but rather the loneliness she felt and the need to be with a strong, exciting man.
         Jane Lenox from Satan's Syndicate: A tall, slim girl with a pretty face and dark, wondrous eyes. Secret Agent X found her to his liking:

         " … Wait!" Jane Lenox put a detaining hand on X's arm. "You … you're going?"
         He nodded. "I must. There's more ahead - more adventure more criminals."
         "Can't I …" she dropped her eyes and whispered … "Would you take me with you? I mean, perhaps I could help."
         X took both her hands in his. "No," he said gently. "You've done more than your share already. I have my duty - you have yours. Some day, perhaps, our paths may cross again. Until then … "

         Sheila Landi - The Moll from The Assassin's League: She was wearing a low-cut evening dress of flame-colored material that hugged her tall, svelte figure. Blonde, the waves of her straw-gold hair were unusual. Her eyes were so deep a blue that in the parchment-shaded lights of the lounge they appeared almost black. She was known as The Moll and was always involved in high crime, political intrigue or espionage. When secret police of Europe smelled scandal in high places, or heard of smoldering revolt, they sought her out. This woman could identity Agent X no matter what new disguise he wore. Her job - identify the Agent to her boss or Sabin the revolutionist. She knew him but would not reveal him to the criminals. She turned out to be innocent and was permitted to go free. Agent X was to miss her beauty and loyalty.

         There were many others, like Madam Death, the Leopard Lady, and Erlika, the daughter of Satan. They could be found in the pages of Secret Agent X.
         Happy reading.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Chinatown Justice

Angel Eyes #4: “Chinatown Justice” by W. B. Longley (Robert J. Randisi). Liz Archer is in San Francisco enjoying a bit of gambling. When she returns to her hotel room she is knocked unconscious. When Liz awakens, she’s lying next to a dead man, and before she can leave the police arrive. She is arrested for the murder, but no one believes she’s the killer. They find her gun, but the man was killed with a knife, and it isn’t there. Inspector Granger lets her escape, hoping she will become the bait to capture the real murderer. This was another pretty good story, with a nice mystery for a change, but being an adult western, it is filled with lots of sex. Thankfully, the writing is smooth and the pace is fast, and you can read the book in an afternoon, just skip all the repeat sex scenes.