Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Adventure, June 1946


Well, there's a situation that could get a little uncomfortable in a hurry, in this cover by Rafael DeSoto. This wasn't a great era for fiction in ADVENTURE, although you can still find some good stories in these mid-to-late Forties issues. E. Hoffmann Price is really the only author in this one I'd heard of.

13 comments:

Walker Martin said...

The best period for ADVENTURE was certainly the great era of 1918-1927 when Arthur Sullivant Hoffman was editor but Ken White as editor also made it into a good magazine during the early and mid forties. Not great like Hoffman but good to very good. He also used some good interior art and like BLUE BOOK had each illustrator do several pieces for the long stories.

Barry Traylor said...

As I commented over on FB I just happen to have this issue and it was the cover that caught my eye. Having a story in it by E. Hoffman Price was just a welcome bonus.

James Reasoner said...

Ken White seemed to like using stories by E. Hoffmann Price, which is always a good start. I've enjoyed just about everything I've ever read by Price.

Keith West said...

Love the cover. I may have to track a copy down.

S. Craig Zahler said...

I just recently read the April 10, 1924 issue of Adventure, which is without question the single best issue I've read.

I typically find the lead off story and the last story to be amongst the best, if not the two best stories in the issue, and such was the case here. Fortunately, the lead off is a big, full length novel by the unrivaled, timeless master of adventure, Harold Lamb, which is called 'The Making of the Morning Star,' (and has enough good material for two novels) and the exciting closer is an Arthur D. Howden Smith gem called 'Swain's Justice.' The other longest story is the best one I've yet read by Georges Surdez...so yeah...in this issue the three longest stories---the bulk of the issue's pages---are ALL highlights.

Walker---if there are any choice issues from the 40s what are they? I'd like to explore this area at some point, but with so many issues from 1919 to 1927 on my shelf--and a few from the early 30s--I'd like to start with the best 40s stuff.

Walker Martin said...

I've read the excellent April 10, 1924 issue also and like Craig, I liked the 3 long stories the best. Also the Arthur Friel serial KING OF NO MAN'S LAND.

Surdez's story I think is the best in the issue and my notes in the issue say "Belgian Congo--Too bad Surdez didn't concentrate on this type of story. Great scene when his soldiers brutally murder the six natives out of anger. Really nicely done, so much better than similar tales in ARGOSY, POPULAR, BLUE BOOK."

Another interesting thing about this issue is the Campfire letter column. On pages 181 and 182 Hoffman talks about the office staff and casually mentions that there were 7 editors working on the magazine. This is a far larger number than we usually think of when discussing pulp titles. It also helps explain the high quality of the magazine. It was not just one overworked editor putting together each issue.

Concerning the best 1940's issues, I would first recommend February 1944. The Merle Constiner piece is a serial installment but all his work is exceptional. Sidney Herschel Small has one of his stories in the fascinating series about an undercover spy in wartime Japan. There were over a dozen novelettes in the series and they give us a glimpse at the other side and life in Japan. Also a series story by William Du Bois about his army Captain in the 1830s. The many interior illustrations are all well done.

But even if you can't find this issue, most of the issues of the 1941-1948 period are of interest. Especially if they contain stories by Surdez, Dan Cushman, Sidney Small or Merle Constiner. Most readers seem to ignore the forties but Popular Publications was putting out quality magazines in this period. Ken White was also in charge of BLACK MASK and DIME DETECTIVE during the 1940's and the stories are full of bizarre plots and characters. ADVENTURE, BLACK MASK, DIME DETECTIVE were three of the best pulps in the early and mid-forties.

S. Craig Zahler said...

Walker,

Thanks for the advice--I'll get that issue.

I don't know Small or Constiner, but I like the Dan Cushman that I've read in Jungle Stories, so that is an additional incentive to hunt out those issues.

And agreed on your comment about the Surdez tale being better than his others---other stories that I've read by him are more about politicking in the military, and while the aforementioned story in this issue has some of that in it, there is more action and a lot more adventuring...

I like the Dime Detectives that I read from that period, but haven't read any Black Mask from that time. I may look into these eventually, but these days I'm preferring more adventure oriented stuff.

Jeff M said...

Well you guys seem to be in the know- are there any digital collections of adventure anywhere for sale? I have the two volumes of Best of Adventure but I was wondering if there were actual electronic copies of the magazines for sale? I buy the occasional title on ebay but I find it pricey and hit and miss on the stories.

James Reasoner said...

Craig,
Altus Press has published a couple of collections of Sidney Herschell Small's series that Walker mentions. I have them but haven't had a chance to read them yet. Have you read any of Cushman's Armless O'Neil stories. They've all been reprinted in a couple of volumes, again from Altus Press. I wrote the intro for the second one.

Jeff,
The Pulp Magazines Project has PDFs of a couple dozen issues of ADVENTURE available here:

http://www.pulpmags.org/adventure_page.html

Some are definitely in the public domain, but I don't know about the others.

Walker Martin said...

The Pulp Magazines Project that James mentions above is a great source. The online magazines are free and easy to read with the flipbook procedure. Not only do they have many issues of ADVENTURE available to read but they have many other titles.

Being a collector of the hard copy magazines, I prefer to read the actual old pulps but Pulpmags.org has many of the magazines online for those readers that don't mind the e-book format.

S. Craig Zahler said...

James,

Cool on our Armless pal. I like the Armless O'Neil that I read in Jungle Stories---and I have a couple more issues to read in the future, one with another Armless tale.

James Reasoner said...

It took me a while to warm up to Cushman's work. I started by reading some of his Pecos Kid novels and didn't really care for them. But the Armless O'Neil stories won me over. I have quite a few of his Northerns and need to get to them, too.

Walker Martin said...

The Armless O'Neil series has been reprinted in two Altus Press collections. SEEKERS OF THE GLITTERING FETISH and SWAMP FESTISH. About a dozen novelettes reprinted from ACTION STORIES and JUNGLE STORIES in the 1940's. These stories are very well done adventure tales. Later on Dan Cushman had a big best seller that made him a lot of money.