Spy Island Authors

On this day I found ‘Spy Island Authors’ . We are a school for authors of Spy Novels, and New Cold War Thrillers. The spirit of my grandfather, Royal Rosamond, will wage a historic battle against those who have done his family wrong, and intend to erase Democracy from the face of the earth. The American family will be just a memory unless the spirit of these men, arise.

The family of Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor came back to America in 1939. Liz and her brother, Howard, were British subjects who had contact with Victor Cazalet who may have been an operative for The New World Order. Victor has a vision of uniting the the two most powerful navies in the world. Royal Rosamond in camping on the Anacapa Islands with Dashiell Hammet, and other Black Mask authors. I doubt Liz and Royal ever met. This Rose Star knew very little about her roots when she died. If she had met my grandfather, then she would wonder aloud if they were kin. They had…..those eyes!

I invite my students, my trainees, to walk in the footsteps of the anonymous Continental Op who boards the sloop The Southern Cross to sail to Saint Croix Island with his peers for a much needed vacation. However, business is discussed. Members of the Bohemian Club are aware of this gathering. When Christopher Wilding married Aileen Getty, we became kin to Ian Fleming. James Bond is sailing aboard The Southern Cross.

My aunt Lillian told me she saw her father and Erle Stanley Gardener typing in the living room. she claimed Royal taught Earle how to write. There is a HBO series titled ‘Perry Mason’. Royal was fifty-six when Liz got off the boat in New York. She was born in 1932. My mother, Rosemary, was born in 1928. My grandfather was publishing in Out West magazine in 1918, where the Taylor family was heading to find their fortune.

Here is my idea for a series ‘James Bond In La La Land that I wrote after I began ‘The Royal Janitor’. Shades of ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’.

My friend Bryan MacLean was invited to dinner at Sharon Tate’s the night of the murders. I believe he was a friend of McQueen.

James Bond In La La Land? | Rosamond Press

“James met Steve McQueen at a red light on Mulholland Drive at 10:30 P.M. Steve was driving a Shelby Mustang, and Bond a Ford Torino Cobra. The actor, famous for his driving skills, revved his engine, and James gave the nod. When the light turned green, the race was on. Jame’s knew he was disobeying his therapists orders. After McQueen edged Bond out, they stopped in a A&W, where they chatted. Steve invited James to dinner at Sharon Tates’s house. 007 said he would consider it after he checked his calendar. In truth his doctor insisted he stay away from the fast LA crowd.”

Steve McQueen had every intention of attending Tate’s get-together that evening but, thanks to a persistent female companion, did not. The actor later learned that Manson wanted him dead as part of a prepared hit list of celebrity killings.

Steve McQueen Was on Charles Manson’s ‘Hit List’ But His Libido Spared Him From Being Slaughtered (cheatsheet.com)

I am going to author a Straight Bond book.

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

Author of: The Royal Janitor

Copyright 2021

Ian Fleming – Talitha Getty – Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor | Rosamond Press

Matthew Rhys, John Lithgow and Tatiana Maslany to Star in ‘Perry Mason’ (hbo.com)

The Fleming Collection and Bond St. Gallery | Rosamond Press

The Continental Op is a fictional character created by Dashiell Hammett. He is a private investigator employed as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency’s San Francisco office. The stories are all told in the first person and his name is never given.

The Philosopher Detective | Rosamond Press

Dashiell Hammett – Wikipedia

Victor Cazalet – Wikipedia

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London, England, on February 27, 1932, to American parents Francis and Sara Taylor. Her father was a successful art dealer who had his own gallery in London. Her mother was an actress who had been successful before marriage under the stage name Sara Sothern. Taylor has an older brother, Howard, who was born two years earlier. In 1939 the family moved to Los Angeles, California, where Taylor was encouraged and coached by her mother to seek work in the motion picture industry. Taylor was signed by Universal in 1941 for $200 a week.

Read more: https://www.notablebiographies.com/St-Tr/Taylor-Elizabeth.html#ixzz6yuTy1BWK

Black Mask Authors

Posted on July 28, 2013 by Royal Rosamond Press

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This extremely rare photo of the first west coast Black Mask get-together on January 11, 1936 captures possibly the only meeting of several of these authors.

Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are Raymond J. Moffatt, Raymond Chandler, Herbert Stinson, Dwight Babcock, Eric Taylor and Dashiell Hammett. In the front row, again from left to right, are Arthur Barnes (?), John K. Butler, W. T. Ballard, Horace McCoy and Norbert Davis.

Rosemary told me her father, Royal Rosamond, used to sail to the Channel Islands and camp with his friend, Dashiell Hammett who is seen standing on the right in the photo above.

Aunt Lillian told me she would fall asleep listening to Royal and Erle Stanley Gardner on the typewriter in the living room. Royal was Gardner’s teacher and a member of the Black Mask. I believe I can almost recoginize Black Mask authors under the tree on Santa Cruz Island sitting under a tree with my grandmother, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, who does not look very happy as she embraces a black dog. Who is that woman? Is she a writer? She looks a bit crazed, as does the guy holding a gun. Is Mary hearing some far-out and weird ideas around the campfire?

When I was fifteen Rosemary showed me about six magazines wherein her father’s stories appeared. There were several mysteries. I am going to send the camping photo to some experts. That looks like Raymond Chandler in front of the tent. Is he the guy packing heat?

Hammett wrote the Maltese Falcon that begins with a story about the Knight Templars. Was this a tale passed around the campfire on Santa Cruz Island?

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

Arhtur K. Barnes and John K. Butler

Posted on August 1, 2018 by Royal Rosamond Press

I am almost certain Arthur K. Barnes and John K. Butler are in these two photographs with my grandmother. I will tie Barnes and Butler to C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Ian Flemming. Add Dashiell Hammet to the mix. He would go camping on Anacapa Island with my grandfather, Royal Rosamond.

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor is my only Muse. Liz, Christine, and I, are the only family members I want to be associated with. I am going to found a California Cultural Reserve in order to survive The Moron of Dark Tower and his Neo-Confederate Thunder Turds.

John Presco

http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/john_k_butler.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Trilogy

John K. Butler

(1908–64)

Author JOHN K. BUTLER is best-known, at least in our little neck of the woods, for the numerous stories he pounded out for such pulps as Black Mask, Detective Fiction Weekly, Double Detective and especially Dime Detective.

His best known series character, of course, was Steve Midnight, the trouble-prone hack for the Red Owl Cab Company of Los Angeles, who appeared in nine stories in Dime Detective, but he was also responsible for the adventures of police detective Rex Lonergan and undercover cop Tricky Enright. but his forté seemed to be tough, competent sleuths with unlikely professions, such as Midnight, or hard-boiled phone company inspector Rod Case. Butler even penned at least one story about Sandy Taylor of the Harbor Police.

Butler was also one of the most prolific writers of B-pictures, eventually cranking out over fifty screenplays, mostly for Republic Pictures, more than half of them westerns, and many of them featuring Roy Rogers. Okay, so they were mostly B-flicks, but among his screen credits are such classic — and occasionally alternative classics — as Ambush at Cimarron Pass, Drums Along the River, My Pal Trigger, The Vampire’s Ghost and– get this — Post Office Investigator, about a hard-boiled, um, post office inspector. A nitrate print of it survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives but is not listed for preservation.

In the fifties, Butler moved on to television, again favouring westerns, although he also wrote for shows like The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu and 77 Sunset Strip.

Butler was also a bit of a wingnut, dressing up in cowboy drag and galloping through Griffith Park on his horse Prince. You might even say he died in the saddle — he broke his back during a ride in 1964.

SHORT STORIES

  • “Murder Alley” (April 1, 1935, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “The Corpse Parade” (June 1, 1935, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “Fog Over Frisco” (July 1, 1935, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “The Stairway to Hell” (November 1, 1935, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “‘G’ Heat” (November 1935, Black Mask)
  • “Guns for a Lady” (March 1936, Black Mask)
  • “Seven Years Dead” (January 1936, Dime Detective; Tricky Enright)
  • “Dark Return” (May 1936, Black Mask; Mark Dana)
  • “Blood on the Buddha” (May 1936, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “Parole for the Dead” (August 1936, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “You Can’t Bribe Bullets” (August 1936, Black Mask)
  • “The Mad Dogs of Frisco” (October 1936, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “No Rest for Soldiers” (October 1936, Black Mask)
  • “The Lady in the Grave” (October 31, 1936, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Federal Bullets” (November 1936, The Feds)
  • “Celluloid Doom” (December 1936, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “The Mirror Maze” (February 1937, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “The Walking Dead” (February 1937, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “Reunion on River Street” (March 6, 1937, Argosy)
  • “The Blood Barrier” (March 1937, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Death on the Hook” (March 1937, Headquarters Detective; Sandy Taylor)
  • “Gallows Ghost” (April 1937, Dime Detective; Tricky Enright)
  • “I Killed a Guy” (April 1937, Black Mask)
  • “The Parole Pawn” (May 1937, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “A Coffin for Two” (July 1937, Dime Detective; Rex Lonergan)
  • “Death in the Dust” (September 4, 1937, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “A Ticket to Tokyo” (September 18, 1937, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “A Street in Singapore” (September 25, 1937, Argosy)
  • “The Secret of the Wax Lady” (September 1937, ; Tricky Enright)Dime Detective
  • “Sierra Gold” (November 20, 1937, Argosy)
  • “Death Rides the Wires” (November 20, 1937, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Pied Piper of Frisco” (November 1937, Dime Detective Magazine; Rex Lonergan)
  • “Legend of Boulder Gap (1937)
  • “The Black Widow” (January 1938, Double Detective)
  • “Defender of the Doomed” (May 7, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Why Shoot a Corpse?” (May 1938, Dime Detective; Tricky Enright)
  • “Over the Wall” (August 1938, Double Detective)
  • “Hard to Kill” (November 1938, Double Detective)
  • “Big Mike’s Christmas Carol” (December 24, 1938, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Last Hideout” (January 1939, Double Detective)
  • “County Cleanup” (February 1939, Dime Detective; Tricky Enright)
  • “Murder in Mexico” (April 1939, Double Detective)
  • “The Headless Man in Hangar 3” (July 1939, Double Detective)
  • “The Man from San Quentin” (August 1939, Double Detective)
  • “The Man Who Liked Ice” (October 1939, Double Detective)
  • “Country Cop” (November 4, 1939, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Policeman Writes a Ticket” (December 1939, Double Detective)
  • “The Doctor Buries His Dead” (December 1939, ; Stan Denhart, M.D.)
  • “I Died Last April” (January 1940, Double Detective)
  • “The Lady and the Snakes” (March 1940, Double Detective)
  • “The Autumn Kill” (May 25 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Dead Ride Free” (May 1940, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “The Man from Alcatraz” (July 1940, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “Cop from Yesterday” (September 28, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Hacker’s Holiday” (October 1940, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “Brass Knuckles” (October 19, 1940, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Saint in Silver” (January 1941, Dime Detective; also The Hardboiled DicksSteve Midnight)
  • “Don’t Make It Murder” (February 1941, Black Mask)
  • “The Killer was a Gentleman” (March 1941, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “We Sell Murder” (Summer 1941, Exciting Murder)
  • “Dead Man’s Alibi” “July 1941, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “Death Has My Number” (August 1941, Black Mask; Rod Case)
  • “Blitz Kill” (September 1941, G-Men Detective)
  • “The Hearse from Red Owl” (September 1941, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “Murder for Nickels” (December 1941, Black Mask; Rod Case)
  • “Death and Taxis” (January 1942, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “Cops Have Nine Lives” (February 1942, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Funeral — C.O.D.” (February 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “The Mark of the Monterey Kid” (February 1942, Western Tales)
  • “The Corpse That Couldn’t Keep Cool” (March 1942, Dime Detective; Steve Midnight)
  • “Never Work at Night” (March 1942, Black Mask; Rod Case)
  • “Death Goes Dancing” (May 1942, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “The Pen is Not for Punks” (Fall 1942, The Masked Detective)
  • “Dead Letter” (September 1942, Black Mask; Rod Case)
  • “The Last Man to Hang” (October 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “Legend of Boulder Gap” (February 1950, Max Brand’s Western Magazine)
  • “The Man Who Knew Cochise” (December 1952, Western Story Magazine)
  • “So-Long, Tombstone!” (June 1953, Western Story Magazine)
  • “A Man with a Gun” (June 1955, Best Western)

COLLECTIONS

RELATED LINKS

John K. Butler captured on film, along with a few of his partners in crime!

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

interplanetary Huntress
the gerry carlyle stories
of arthur k barnes

When you read a great and famous author, delight comes without surprise.  But when an obscure writer gives us a book which turns out to be a lot better than expected, the pleasure is laced with the extra tang of astonishment.  This is what we get from the tales of roving Gerry “Catch ’em alive” Carlyle, the huntress in the misleadingly titled collection Interplanetary Hunter.  Her vocation is to capture exotic alien creatures for the London Interplanetary Zoo, and this theme allows many attractive branchings.

Gerry herself is a likeable, headstrong character, living on her nerves, very capable, yet vulnerable to the threat of what she cannot afford – namely, defeat.

…This day was to be one of many surprises for Tommy Strike and perhaps the greatest shock of all came when he stood beside the sloping runway leading into the brightly lighted belly of the ship.  For, awaiting him there, one hand outstretched and a cool little smile on her lips, stood the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.

“Mr Strike,” said Barrows, “this is Miss Gerry Carlyle.”

The trader stared, thunderstruck.  In those days of advanced plastic surgery, feminine beauty wasn’t rare but even Strike’s unpracticed eye knew that here was the real thing.  No synthetic blonde baby-doll here but a natural beauty untouched by the surgeon’s knife – spun-gold hair, intelligence lighting dark eyes, a hint of passion and temper in the curve of the mouth and arch of nostrils…

But Miss Carlyle’s voice was an ice-water jet to remind the trader of earthside manners.

“You don’t seem enthusiastic over meeting your temporary employer, Mr Strike…”

Stid:  Old-fashioned stereotype here, eh?  Wilful female eventually tamed by male who knows best…

Zendexor:  I’d say, as a matter of fact, that the relationship between hero and heroine is particularly well handled.  In action-adventure you don’t want anything too subtle, but let me summarize the writer’s achievement in this regard, by saying that we end up by accepting both Tommy Strike and Gerry Carlyle as real people.  The man is quietly competent and content to allow the woman the starring role.  The woman lives on her nerves, under great pressure to succeed in a man’s world.

Stid:  A “man’s world” – in the interplanetary age?  There you have it.

Zendexor:  You mean, it’s stereotypical because it’s out of date?  Don’t see why the one implies the other.  Even if it did – every period of history generates its own rich crop of stereotypes, and isn’t it a relief to take a holiday from ours, once in a while?  But this is a digression.  Actually, stereotypophobes have nothing to fear from this book.  As the two main characters grow to love and respect each other, the reader can share their mutual regard, as well as appreciating with zest the mutual double-crossing of the subsidiary characters, Van Zorn and Quade.

Harlei:  It’s fiction, Stid, in case you hadn’t noticed.   Pulp-era fiction.  Explain to him what historical context means, Zendexor.

Zendexor:  Yes, well, the stories are old-fashioned, no doubt about that.  Arthur K Barnes wrote them in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  But they still have the power to entertain us with the unexpected originality of their ideas, the fresh vigour of their old-fashioned characters, and above all the inventiveness of their portrayal of alien creatures.

Cross the colour and thought-provoking variety of Weinbaum‘s interplanetary adventures with the frontier wonderment of Campbell’s Penton and Blake saga, and you might get some idea of what awaits you with Barnes’ series.

Though I hasten to add that Barnes writes much, much better than Campbell.  Only in the realm of ideas, of pure concepts, may Campbell equal him; but I hesitate even to say this.  And it is Barnes who is by far the better at world-building.

…She sniffed noting what all newcomers to Venus learn.  Although the view is a drab almost colorless one, an incredible multiplicity of odors assails the nostrils – sweet, sharp, musklike, pungent, spicy, with many unfamiliar olfactory sensations to boot.

Strike explained.  On Earth flowering plants are fertilized by the passage of insects from one bloom to another, they develop petals of vivid colors to attract bees and butterflies and other insects.  But on Venus, where perpetual mist renders impotent any appeal to sight, plants have adapted themselves to appeal to the sense of smell, therefore give off all sorts of enticing odors…

Such passages help promise the reader, that the story will rest upon logical foundations.  So, when the heroine faces a mighty challenge, the reader is reassured that the author won’t cheat – that it won’t all be fixed by some lazy trick.

The challenge, in the Venus story, is provided by the ‘Murris’.

…Gerry Carlyle’s temper flared.

“What is the mystery about this Murri, anyhow?  Everywhere I go, on Venus, back on Earth among members of my own profession, if the word Murri is mentioned everyone scowls and tries to change the subject.  Why?”

No one answered.  The Carlyle party shifted uneasily, their boots making shucking sounds.  Presently Strike offered, “The fact is, you’ll never take back a Murri alive.  But you wouldn’t believe me if I told you the reason, Miss Carlyle.  I – ”

“Why not?  What’s the matter with them?  Is their presence fatal to a human in some way?”

“Oh, no.”

“Are they so rare or shy they can’t be found?”

“No, I think I can find you some before you take off.”

“Then are they so delicate they can’t stand the trip?  If so, I can tell you we’ve done everything to make hold number three an exact duplicate of living conditions here.”

“No, it isn’t that either,” the trader sighed.

“Then what is it?” she cried.  “Why all the evasions and secretive looks?…”

I certainly didn’t guess the mystery.  This author, in my view, really does deliver the goods.  The stories – all of them – are unpredictable yet always manage to make their own kind of sense.  We’re taken to several varied worlds: Venus, Amalthea, Triton, a comet, Saturn and Titan.  Each time we’re given a starkly different kind of native life, with biological inventiveness to match that of Stanley G Weinbaum.

Harlei:  Just a moment, Zendexor – you’ve said some good things about the book but I want you to praise it some more, in a different way.  I’m a bit worried that some prospective readers might get the wrong impression from what you’ve said so far.  I can imagine some of them thinking: well, maybe the stories are colourful and inventive, but still, they’re likely to be a bit repetitive, if each and every one of them is mainly concerned with the heroine capturing some difficult beast…  I mean to say, if that’s the only structure the stories have –more stuff to come, apparently

Zendexor:  I get the point.  But – no need to worry: Gerry’s plans run into plenty of other problems.  It’s not just about catching beasts!  There are alien intelligences too.  Not that she is out to ensnare intelligent species, of course, but, unsuspecting, she meets some nonetheless, on Titan and on Almussen’s Comet.  Also, the plot can hinge upon hostile action by her human enemies, for she has plenty of trouble from her own species, and these crises mingle with the simultaneous dangers from alien beasts and environments.  Think of what happens on Triton and on Jupiter Five.

Stid:  So, you’re giving it all the thumbs-up.

Zendexor:  Look, such tales have the virtues and limitations of frontier adventures.  They won’t give you what you get from BurroughsHamiltonBrackett, or from Clark Ashton Smith in The Immortals of Mercury and Vulthoom, namely the thrill of wandering among the ancient mysteries of exotic civilizations.  Nevertheless if you follow Gerry and her “Ark” you will get the thrill of discovery, like in Smith’s other interplanetary masterpiece, The Immeasurable Horror.  Although one must admit that Barnes is not a match for Smith stylistically, he’s still good enough, and his achievement will be appreciated by old-style OSS fans.

To sum up, this book is much, much better than it looks.  And the Emshwiller illustrations are a delightful bonus.  I have given only the Venus ones on this page; there are many more from the other worlds visited in the stories.

Arthur K Barnes, Interplanetary Hunter (1956).

See the Amalthea page for the visit to that moon, including a reference to the fearsome Cacus.

See the Triton page for the adventure set on that moon.

Extracts:  Grounded on Titan  –  Shape-shifters on Almussen’s Comet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Chandler

Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His protagonist, Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett’s Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with “private detective,” both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.

Black Mask was a pulp magazine launched in 1920 by journalist H. L. Mencken and drama critic George Jean Nathan as one of a number of money-making publishing ventures to support the prestigious literary magazine The Smart Set, which Mencken edited, and which operated at a loss. Under their editorial hand, the magazine was not exclusively a publisher of crime fiction, offering, according to the magazine, “the best stories available of adventure, the best mystery and detective stories, the best romances, the best love stories, and the best stories of the occult.” The magazine’s first editor was Florence Osborne (credited as F. M. Osborne).[1]

Contents
 [hide] 
1 Editorial control
2 Contributing authors
3 Decline and revival
4 In popular culture
5 Anthologies
6 References
7 External links
Editorial control[edit]
After eight issues, Mencken and Nathan considered their initial $500 investment to have been sufficiently profitable, and they sold the magazine to its publishers, Eltinge Warner and Eugene Crow for $12,500. The magazine was then edited by George W. Sutton (1922–24), followed by Philip C. Cody.[2] In 1926, Joseph Shaw took over the editorship.

Contributing authors[edit]

Early Black Mask contributors of note included J. S. Fletcher, Vincent Starrett, and Herman Petersen.[3] Shaw, following up on a promising lead from one of the early issues, promptly turned the magazine into an outlet for the growing school of naturalistic crime writers led by Carroll John Daly. Daly’s private detective Race Williams was a rough and ready character with a sharp tongue, and established the model for many later acerbic private eyes.

Black Mask later published the profoundly influential Dashiell Hammett, creator of Sam Spade and The Continental Op, and other hardboiled writers who came in his wake, such as Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, Paul Cain, Frederick Nebel, Frederick C. Davis, Raoul F. Whitfield,[3] Theodore Tinsley, W.T. Ballard, Dwight V. Babcock, and Roger Torrey.[4] Author George Harmon Coxe created “Casey, Crime Photographer”, for the magazine, which became a media franchise with novels, films, radio, comic book tie-ins, television, and legitimate theatre.[5] Black Mask’s covers were usually painted by artists Fred Craft or J. W. Schlaikjer,[6] while Shaw gave the artist Arthur Rodman Bowker a monopoly over all Black Mask interior illustrations.[7] Although primarily known for male contributors, Black Mask also published a number of women crime writers, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Katherine Brocklebank, Sally Dixon Wright, Florence M. Pettee, Marion O’Hearn, Kay Krausse, Frances Beck, Tiah Devitt and Dorothy Dunn. [8] The magazine was hugely successful, and many of the writers, such as Hugh B. Cave, who appeared in its pages went onto greater commercial and critical success.
Although crime fiction made up most of the magazine’s content, Black Mask also published some Western and general adventure fiction.[1]
Decline and revival[edit]
Black Mask reached a sales peak in the early 1930s, but then interest began to wane under increasing pressure from radio, the cinema, and rival pulp magazines. In 1936, refusing to cut writers’ already meager pay, Shaw resigned, and many of the high-profile authors abandoned the magazine with him. Shaw’s successor Fanny Ellsworth, (1936–40) managed to attract new writers to Black Mask, including Cornell Woolrich, Frank Gruber, Max Brand and Steve Fisher. [9] However, from the 1940s on, Black Mask was in decline, despite the efforts of new editor Kenneth S. White (1940–48). The magazine in this period carried the work of John D. MacDonald.[1] Henry Steeger then edited Black Mask anonymously until it eventually ceased publication in 1951. [2]
In 1985, the magazine was revived as The New Black Mask, and featured noted crime writers James Ellroy, Michael Collins, Sara Paretsky and Bill Pronzini, as well as Chandler and Hammett reprints. Edward D. Hoch praised the revived Black Mask, stating in the book Encyclopedia Mysteriosa that “it came close to reviving the excitement and storytelling pleasure of the great old pulp magazines”. Due to a legal dispute over the rights to Black Mask name, the magazine ceased publication in 1987. It was revived as a short-lived magazine titled A Matter of Crime.[10]
Original copies of the Black Mask are highly valued among pulp magazine collectors. Issues with Chandler and Hammett stories are especially rare and command high prices.[1]
In popular culture[edit]
Black Mask magazine was the specific pulp fiction magazine that inspired the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. Originally, the title of the film was Black Mask, before being changed.
An issue of Black Mask magazine features as a (planted) clue in the 1927 murder mystery novel Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers.
An episode of the 1990s television series Millennium mentions a ‘literary journal’ known as the ‘Dark Mask’ which featured detective fiction, an obvious parody of the Black Mask.
Anthologies[edit]
The Hard-Boiled Omnibus: Early Stories from Black Mask edited by Joseph T. Shaw, (1946).
The Hard-Boiled Detective: Stories from Black Mask magazine, 1920-1951 edited by Herbert Ruhm, (1977).
The Black Mask Boys: masters in the hard-boiled school of detective fiction edited by William F. Nolan, (1985).
Includes a short history of the magazine.
The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories edited by Otto Penzler, (2007).

This extremely rare photo of the first west coast Black Mask get-together on January 11, 1936 captures possibly the only meeting of several of these authors.
Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are Raymond J. Moffatt, Raymond Chandler, Herbert Stinson, Dwight Babcock, Eric Taylor and Dashiell Hammett. In the front row, again from left to right, are Arthur Barnes (?), John K. Butler, W. T. Ballard, Horace McCoy and Norbert Davis.

Cleve F. Adams (6 stories)
Dwight V. Babcock (21 stories)
W. T. Ballard (43 stories)
Max Brand (9 stories)
Katherine Brocklebank (7 stories)
John K. Butler (11 stories)
Paul Cain (17 stories)
Hugh B. Cave (9 stories)
D.L. Champion (30 stories)
Raymond Chandler (11 stories)
Merle Constiner (12 stories)
George Harmon Coxe (27 stories)
John Carroll Daly (60 stories)
Norbert Davis (13 stories)
Ramon DeColta (24 stories)
Lester Dent (2 stories)
Bruno Fischer (5 stories)
Steve Fisher (9 stories)
Erle Stanley Gardner (103 stories)
William Campbell Gault (7 stories)
Frank Gruber (14 stories)
Brett Haliday (2 stories)
Dashiell Hammett (49 stories)
Baynard H. Kendrick (14 stories)
Louis L’Amour (1 story)
John Lawrence (14 stories)
John D. MacDonald (6 stories)
Horace McCoy (17 stories)
Robert Martin (8 stories)
Frederick Nebel (67 stories)
Robert Reeves (10 stories)
Stewart Sterling (12 stories)
Herbert Stinson (27 stories)
Eric Taylor (7 stories)
Roger Torrey (50 stories)
Donald Wandrei (6 stories)
Raoul Whitfield (66 stories)
Cornell Woolrich (24 stories)

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1 Response to Spy Island Authors

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I am sitting in many Catbird-seats. The Literary Circle I sit in the middle of encompasses ALL MY OFFSPRING AND LATE FAMILY MEMBERS. Their rejection of me – has failed! I can do no wrong! I am in theory going furniture shopping with James Bond, and my beloved muse, Rena Easton. No one can stop me. I will have Rena say; “I never dreamed I would be driven to the Amish furniture store by James Bond – in a Bentley!” Who gives a rat’s ass what literary critics has to say. I paid my dues. I got her – all by myself!

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