Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday Morning Western Pulp: Texas Rangers, November 1946

Behind a pretty good cover by Sam Cherry is one of my favorite Jim Hatfield novels, "Land of Hidden Loot". It's by Bennie Gardner, writing under the Jackson Cole house-name. Gardner, much better known under his usual pseudonym Gunnison Steele, was one of the most dependably entertaining Western pulp authors and was especially proficient at short lengths, say 1000 to 1500 words. But his novel-length stories are excellent, too, and often featured some sort of weird, apparently supernatural angle (which had a logical explanation in the end, of course). This story is set in the swampy piney woods of East Texas, rather than the open plains of West Texas that you usually find in a Hatfield yarn. It's probably been close to twenty years since I read it, but I still remember that it has some genuinely creepy moments. And unless my memory is playing tricks on me, it has quicksand, too! Can't beat that. This novel was reprinted in paperback under the title TWO GUNS FOR TEXAS. If you ever run across a copy, it's definitely worth reading. I'm afraid I don't remember anything about the short stories in this issue, one of which is by the prolific Donald Bayne Hobart. (My favorite bit of trivia about Hobart is that he wrote some stories under the transparent pseudonym Hobart Donbayne, one of the goofier pen-names I've encountered.)

1 comment:

Walker Martin said...

TEXAS RANGERS had an interesting history. It existed from 1936 right into Feb 1958, becoming one of the last of the pulps. According to the reference books, 206 issues. Not many pulps lasted longer: SCIENCE FICTION QUARTERLY lasted to Feb 1958 also and of course RANCH ROMANCES lasted until 1971.