Sunday, June 09, 2013

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Jungle Stories, Winter 1943

I've got to get back to reading the Ki-Gor stories one of these days. The ones I've read have been pretty good. The cover on this issue is by George Gross.


Charles R. Rutledge said...

I've found that the quality of Ki-Gor stories varies widely, from the excellent to the almost unreadable. I think they used a lot of different ghost writers under the house name. The Silver Goddess is my favorite so far.

Anonymous said...

Charles is right—this series veers all over the road in terms of quality and there were clearly a small army of writers laboring under the John Peter Drummond house name.

The thing is, although the bad Ki-Gor tales are among the worst hero pulp stories I’ve found, the best ones are so enjoyable that they make enduring the poor ones worthwhile.

This one, Stalkers of the Dawn World, is commonly considered to be the best Ki-Gor tale of them all.
I can’t be sure of that, but it was re-printed in an issue of Pulp Vault several years ago, I read it, and it delivered big time. The story has all the classic elements you’d hope to find, including a climactic encounter between our jungle lord and an angry T-Rex, but the kicker is that the whole package is delivered in a non-stop avalanche of magnificently purple prose. The pages all but burst into flame as you read them.

For what it’s worth, I’d say that the Fall 1945 issue of Jungle Stories, The Golden Beasts of Zuli’Maen, was written by the same author.

John Hocking

Walker Martin said...

I once owned a JUNGLE STORIES cover painting showing a gigantic ape leering at a girl. Dan Cushman wrote some good stories for the magazine.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Hmm, now I need to read Stalker of the Dawn World. Oh, and I got that title wrong earlier. It's Silver Witch, not goddess. Hey, it was early...

Jerry House said...

It's my understanding that most of the Ki-Gor stories were penned by Stanley Mullen, and Dan Cushman authored a few.

Anonymous said...

I heard Dan Cushman and Wilber Peacock were involved.
But I also heard that Fiction House's records are lost and that nobody is really sure who wrote these books.
Anybody hear different? Any more info come to the surface?
I'd love to know.

Again, for whatever it's worth, I'd say I've enountered at least four or five different authors on the various Ki-Gors I've read. The early ones have a more even tone, but as the series goes on there are some real shifts in style. Some of the very worst ones are bad in uniquely distinctive ways, and I'd like to think they were one-offs by authors who thought they were slumming in Jungle Stories.

John Hocking

James Reasoner said...

Wilber Peacock is definitely rumored to have written some of the Ki-Gor stories. There's also a rumor that James McKimmey, who wrote some hardboiled crime novels for Dell in the Fifties and Sixties, may have written one or two. I doubt if we'll ever know for sure about any of them, though.

Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't read these either, that I remember. Were they an influence on the Jur tales at all? Do you know?