Friday, July 30, 2004

Ed Race; Bradley Denton

I'm finishing up the chapbook ED RACE: MURDER IN THE SPOTLIGHT by Emile C. Tepperman, a prolific pulpster who has achieved an added level of fame among pulp fans because so little is known about him. For THE SPIDER, in addition to writing some of the lead novels as Grant Stockbridge, he also wrote a back-up series of short stories about a vaudeville performer named Ed Race who juggles loaded revolvers and makes trick shots with them. Billed as the Masked Marksman, Ed is also a licensed private detective and naturally stumbles into crimes on a regular basis. I had read some of these before and liked them, so I bid on and won this chapbook on eBay recently. It reprints four stories from THE SPIDER. I'm not sure I like them as much as I thought I would. The plots are pretty weak, even by pulp standards. Tepperman wrote good action scenes, though. Overall I'd say this collection is okay, but probably only for devoted pulp fans.

I also read a very good novella in the September F&SF called "Sergeant Chip" by Bradley Denton. I think I've met Denton at an SF convention or two, but I don't actually know him. This story is narrated by a dog, which made me predisposed to like it since I'm a great fan of dogs. It's a near-future war story with a pace that never lets up and some poignant moments, as well as good action. I haven't read F&SF regularly since Gordon Van Gelder took it over, but both issues I've gotten since I recently subscribed have been excellent.

Not much gas in the tank today as far as writing is concerned. Seven big pages.

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