Sunday, March 09, 2014

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940

A story about a giant alien dinosaur rampaging through Washington D.C.? I'd read that. I don't know if that's actually one of the stories in this issue, but if it's not, it should have been. What I do know is that inside there are stories by Henry Kuttner (two, in fact, one of them in collaboration with Arthur K. Barnes), Oscar J. Friend, Ward Hawkins, Robert Moore Williams, Don Tracy, and Stanton A. Coblentz. Familiar names to me, but with the exception of Kuttner and to a lesser extent Friend and Williams, I haven't really read much by any of them.


Walker Martin said...

I have a set of THRILLING WONDER starting with the first issue but my favorite years remain the post war period when Samuel Merwin and later, Samuel Mines, took over as editors. They got rid of the juvenile slant and Sgt Saturn was dismissed with a less than honorable discharge.

Despite the pulp format and the Bergey girls and bug-eyed monsters, the fiction was of interest and more adult than the pre-war and war time issues. It's too bad that THRILLING WONDER and STARTLING did not make the transfer to the digest format.

James Reasoner said...

You have to remember, Walker, "juvenile" is my middle name. Or at least it ought to be. Honestly, though, I prefer the later years of TWS and STARTLING, too.

Keith West said...

I agree with both of you about the post war years being the best years of the magazine. A lot of great stuff was published there. Unlike Campbell's Astounding, where the best stories IMO were before and during the war. Not that the stories there weren't good in the post war years; they just weren't as good.

And yes, James, the cover illustration is from Kuttner's "Beauty and the Beast". It's not one of his best, but you can see he was stretching himself as a writer and taking chances. ISFDB shows it having been reprinted 3 times. Somewhere I've got copies of the first 2 reprintings.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Kuttner's "Beauty and the Beast" was one of those cases where the cover came first, and the editor assigned one of his "regulars" to whip up a story to go with it. I read the story a couple of years ago but don't remember much about it, except that it didn't strike me as a particularly shining example of Kuttner at his best.