Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: Short Stories, October 10, 1930


You don't see too many "clown with a gun" covers, or at least I haven't, but I like this one. Circus stories were pretty common in the pulps, though, and I've enjoyed the ones I've read. Thomson Burtis, who wrote this one, was best known for his aviation stories, as I recall. Elsewhere in this issue of SHORT STORIES is an installment of a serial by James B. Hendryx featuring Corporal Downey of the Mounted Police, along with stories by prolific pulpsters Foster-Harris, Bertrand V. Sinclair, and Robert E. Pinkerton, among others.

7 comments:

Keith West said...

Wasn't Short Stories considered one of the high end, less disreputable in the eyes of the literarti pulps? I've never read it & don't own any copies, but it sounds like something I would enjoy.

James Reasoner said...

Yeah, I think SHORT STORIES was considered one of the top pulps, along with ADVENTURE, ARGOSY, and BLUE BOOK.

Walker Martin said...

SHORT STORIES existed from 1890 to around 1959. It became a quality pulp when Doubleday, Page took over in the teens. Prior to that it mainly reprinted literary fiction. I used to have most of these early copies but I traded them off because of the reprint policy. For almost 3 decades, 1921 to 1949, it came out every two weeks like clockwork and published excellent general fiction. It used many of the same authors that were being published in the best general fiction pulps as James mentions above: ADVENTURE, ARGOSY, and BLUE BOOK.

My present set is complete from around 1924 to the late 1950's and covers a good part of one of the walls in my pulp room. Ed Hulse did an excellent two part article on the magazine in BLOOD n THUNDER. He covered just about all the major authors during the 1920's and 1930's. He didn't discuss the 1940's but it was still a good magazine during that period.

SHORT STORIES also had two quality companions: FRONTIER STORIES during the 1920's and WEST during 1926-1934. I mention dates because these two magazines suffered a decline in quality when Doubleday sold them.

Samuel Wilson said...

I imagine most clown-with-gun covers can be found in Detective Story when Johnston McCulley's Crimson Clown was running amok, but circus and carnival folk were considered rough customers back then so who knows what else may turn up.

Richard Robinson said...

Nice the way the red sun (circle) often seen on these covers is carried around on the clown's costume and then to his face makeup. I wonder who owns the original of that one?

Walker Martin said...

Concerning the original cover painting, it's very possible that it does not exist. Most paintings back then were considered to be of very little value and most were destroyed or lost over the years. At present I have no cover paintings from SHORT STORIES but I have had a couple in the past.

Erwin-K said...

Foster-Harris later became a professor of writing at the University of Oklahoma. He held that post until at least the mid-1970's. He had a correspondence course that used his own book, BASIC PATTERNS OF PLOT as one of the texts.