Saturday, 15 July 2017

Robert H. Leitfred - Author

Robert Leitfred was an author working in many different genres from aviation and war at the beginning of his career (the early 1930s) and moving to detective, speculative/weird fiction and general adventure fiction in the 1940s. He wasn’t a prolific author – close to a hundred stories in the Fictionmags index, and biographical details are thin on the ground. What I have here is a skeleton of the bare facts; hopefully someone can fill in more details later.

Robert H. Leitfred (1891-1968) - Author photo c. 1918
Robert H. Leitfred (1891-1968) - Author photo c. 1918

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Ray Millholland – Engineer, Sailor, Author

Ray Millholland is pretty unknown today. Back in the day, he was famous for a series of stories in the Saturday Evening Post about a master machinist named Blue Chip Haggerty. Blue Chip is a master machinist who gets into a jam, and then out again while trying to meet the rigid specifications of the Army and Navy. These stories were later collected in a book. He’s also famous for his book on the splinter fleet of submarine chasers in World War 1, The Splinter Fleet of the Otranto Barrage, which was later made into a movie. I’m writing this article as part of a series about the authors in an issue of Short Stories that I’ll get around to reviewing soon.

Ray Milholland - Author (1894-1956) - Image courtesy Library of Congress
Ray Milholland - Author (1894-1956) - Image courtesy Library of Congress

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Alfred Batson – Soldier, Journalist, Author

Starting a new series of biographical articles about some authors who appeared in Short Stories magazine. I intend to review an issue of Short Stories where these authors had appearances, and in the process of reviewing the magazine, also took the time to unearth some biographical info about them. 

The first author in this series is Alfred Batson, who turned out to be quite an interesting character. He started appearing in pulp magazines in the early 1930s and continued till the early 1940s.
Alfred Batson (1899-1977) - Soldier, Journalist, Author

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Issue Review - Blue Book magazine, January 1936

Thought I’d begin this year with a review of Blue Book, another of my favorite magazines. It’s easy to overlook it, most of the covers are not spectacular. However, in the 1930s Blue Book was definitely better illustrated than Adventure magazine, and generally had high quality fiction spanning many genres – science fiction and humor included.

This issue is representative of the quality of the issues in 1930s overall. In the 1940s, Blue Book changed to a bigger size, and I hope to have a review of one of those issues later this year.

Blue Book - January 1936 - cover by Herbert Morton Stoops
Blue Book - January 1936 - cover by Herbert Morton Stoops

The Blue Book Magazine [v62 #3, January 1936] ed. Donald Kennicott (The McCall Company, 15¢, 144pp, pulp, cover by Herbert Morton Stoops)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Berton E. Cook - Sailor, Teacher, Author

This article is dedicated to Matt Moring, the man behind the curtain at Altus Press, the publisher that is putting out a remarkable series of pulp reprints. Last time we met, we had talked about needing biographical information on this author. Here it is, Matt; only took around half a year.

Berton E. Cook (1889-1958) - Author, Sailor, Teacher Photo c. 1948
Berton E. Cook (1889-1958) - Author, Sailor, Teacher
Photo c. 1948

Saturday, 4 February 2017

William J. Makin - Journalist, Author

[Another in the series of articles on authors appearing in Blue Book magazine. A much more comprehensive article on his life and the Red Wolf stories was written by Michael Ashley as the introduction to the collection of Red Wolf stories published by Black Dog Books, The Garden of TNT.

This article originally appeared in Blue Book magazine, November 1937.]

William J. Makin - Journalist, Author (1893-1944)

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Bigelow Neal - Author, North Dakota

Another entry in the series of articles on authors that appeared in Blue Book magazine. Bigelow Neal was a writer from North Dakota, known for his wildlife stories. This article originally appeared in the Bismarck Tribune, February 22, 1930.

Basic biographical facts

Born: 27 June, 1891 in Bismarck, North Dakota
Died: August 21, 1962 in Ward County, North Dakota

Army service in World War 1
Appeared in Blue Book from 1927 to 1949, at least one story every year from 1927 to 1946

Neal Bigelow - Author (1891-1962)
Neal Bigelow - Author (1891-1962)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Commander Ellsberg's books back in print

Today i had a comment on my three part post on Commander Ellsberg from his grandson, Ted Pollard who runs the Edward Ellsberg website.

Thank you for such a nice post about my grandfather! I have re-published many of his books and am expanding his website so that I can add pix and more info. Ted Pollard

I now see almost all of Commander Ellsberg's books back in print (well, ebook form) at Amazon. Links below for your enjoyment (disable ad blocker to see them)


World War 2

Undersea Salvage

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Robert R. Mill – Journalist, Author

This is another in the series of articles about authors that appeared in Blue Book magazine. Robert R Mill was a journalist who was a reporter for many newspapers, including the Syracuse Herald Tribune. He covered a lot of crime investigations with the New York State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Using this background, he also wrote two series of stories for Blue Book – one was a light-hearted series about the New York State Police troopers with the misnamed “Tiny” David as the protagonist, and another was about Agent Duke Ashby of the FBI – a G-Man feared by evildoers everywhere. I enjoyed the Tiny David stories for their humor; the FBI stories not so much.

Robert R. Mill - Newsman, Author (1895-1942)

Saturday, 14 January 2017

H. A. DeRosso - photo found

Found a photo of H. A. De Rosso in the August, 1953 issue of Gunsmoke magazine and updated the article on him. Enjoy.

Fulton T. Grant - Author, Soldier, Newsman

I’ve been working on reviewing an issue of Blue Book magazine, and as part of the review I’ve been digging up information on the authors and illustrators of that issue. The previous entry about Leland Jamieson was a result of that research, as is this article. Hope you enjoy it.

Fulton T. Grant was an author who appeared almost exclusively in Blue Book magazine, which is where his writing career began in 1936. I enjoyed many of his stories in Blue Book about a reporter on the Paris News Desk of a US newspaper.

He made regular appearances from 1936 to 1941 (an average of 9 stories a year), and his writing career stopped in 1941 when he joined the US army. There were a couple of short stories from him in 1943 and 1946, and Fantastic reprinted one of his stories from Blue Book in 1964. But that was it before his death in 1949.

Author Fulton T. Grant (1897-1949)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Leland Jamieson - Aviator, Author

This profile of Leland Jamieson originally appeared in the October 1940 issue of Flying and Popular Aviation Magazine. His aviation stories regularly appeared in the top magazines - Adventure, Blue Book, Collier's and the Saturday Evening Post

Leland Jamieson - Aviator, Author (1904-1941)
Leland Jamieson - Aviator, Author (1904-1941)