I hope you’re exercising and taking your vitamins getting in shape for Book Five of Lovecraft is Missing. It cranks up two weeks from today, on September 2. The blogs start back up as of today so look for a couple of goodies next week. Am I as far ahead as I’d hoped to be? No. But I can tell you that as of today, the first month’s pages and blogs are already loaded and scheduled, and I am going to work like hades to at least double that figure by launch day.
It’s been a crazy couple of months. Those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook (and why don’t you?) won’t know that my older brother died a few weeks back. My sister lost the sight in one eye. My 88 year old mom is having aging issues. I started back on my MFA. And of course my job demands some attention and my wife deserves some. But as I tell me students, in the business world (and I consider LIM a business from which I make little to no money), nobody cares about anything except getting the project done right and on time. That’s not to say people are callous, they’re not, but it’s a separate issue. Stuff happens to everybody and you can’t use it as excuses.
I want to call attention to a new private press I’ve discovered, though they’ve been around for awhile: Black Dog Books. they specialize in reprinting the truly rare pulp fiction that no one else can be bothered with. The three volumes I have are handsome, well-crafted trade paperbacks. They’re not as pricey as some similar books, and at least these three have first-rate fiction contents. The Best of Adventure, vol. 1, is the first in a series of collections taking one great story from each year of Adventure’s run. Considering the magazine started in 1910 and ran to 1953, this could be a looong series. This first volume presents 26 great and often unreprinted stories from 1910-1912, and includes such authors as Talbot Mundy, Damon Runyan, Rafael Sabatini, William Hope Hodgson, Frank L. Packard, H. Bedford-Jones and other less familiar names. This is adventure fiction, not horror, but it is great adventure fiction. I myself am hoping for some of the Arthur O. Friel serials and Allan Vaughan Elston’s South Sea stories.
The two other books I have collect adventures of two popular recurring characters from Argosy, Peter the Brazen and Singapore Sammy, both written by George F. Worts (though Loring Brent was the pseudonym he appended to the Peter the Brazen stories.) PtB was a proto-Doc Savage who appeared in two series of stories, one in 1919, the other in1932-33. Three of the earlier series are reprinted here, which makes me hope that more volumes are planned for the series. I have all the 1930s serials in my Argosy collection, but have never located the 1919 series.
Singapore Sammy is another South Seas adventurer, a little coarser and ethical than Peter. One of the gimmicks of the series is Sammy’s pursuit of his father, who ran away with the will of Sammy’s grandfather. Needless to say, the older man keeps just a step ahead of his determined son. This volume, by the way, is called South of Sulu. And there are more than enough other Sammy novels to make up a volume 2.
There are a number of other rare reprints in their catalog, and I salivate over the possibility of a collection of Worts’s other great Argosy character, Jimmie Cordie, soldier of fortune.But just reading all the current Black Dog catalog will take you some time. Might as well get started.
Have a good weekend.