Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Morning Western Pulp: Ace-High Western Stories, May 1945

This is certainly an action-packed cover, and who's that author featured on it? None other than Clifford D. Simak, one of my favorite science-fiction authors who also wrote a dozen or so yarns for the Western pulps. I've read a few of them, and they're good, solid stories. Also in this issue you'll find a story by Thomas Thompson, a prolific pulp author, long-time story editor on the TV series BONANZA, and one of the pulpsters I've been privileged to meet. I said hello to Thompson at the 1986 Western Writers of America convention in Fort Worth. Other authors in this issue include Archie Joscelyn, who turned out a few exceptionally good novels and a lot of average ones, and Wayne D. Overholser, a very well-regarded Western author whose work I've never really warmed up to.


Walker Martin said...

Another eye catching cover and an example of Popular Publications policy of each pulp title having a distinctive color scheme. ACE HIGH WESTERN always had a yellow background while STAR WESTERN had red, DIME WESTERN had yellow, etc.

By 1945, because of WW II and the paper shortages, some of the pulps had shrunk down from 130 pages or higher, to a low of 80 pages. To try and keep the wordage the same, they also decreased the print size, which makes some of these wartime magazines very hard to read.

Popular's policy was to decrease the pages, while Street & Smith switched all their pulps to digest size in 1943.

Of course some titles were just discontinued because of the paper shortages. Popular killed off G-8 and THE SPIDER, for instance and Street & Smith discontinued UNKNOWN, WILD WEST WEEKLY, among others.

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks, another good one.

Richard Prosch said...

I missed this entry and didn't know that Simak wrote some westerns. I can believe his solid prose worked well in the genre. He was one of the greats.