Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Face Beyond the Veil by Rog Philips and Rest in Agony by Paul W. Fairman

 

The Face Beyond the Veil was published under the pseudonym Frederick Bahl in Fantastic Adventures in April 1950, and Rest in Agony was published under the pseudonym Ivar Jorgeson, and somewhere in a box in storage I think I still have the early 1960s paperback from Monarch. Armchair Fiction has reprinted both under the author’s real names. Somewhere in another box I have the Fantastic Adventures issue where Rest In Agony first appeared. This is a part of Armchair Fiction’s ongoing reprint series and I can’t resist stories by either Rog Phillips or Paul W. Fairman. This is fun science fiction and fun horror. Short and tight, the stories slam across the pages. You don’t have to overthink this material, so don’t. Of the two, Paul W. Fairman was the better writer – tighter plots, believable characters, etc. – although Rog Phillips certainly had a flair for schmaltz. I’ve always favored Paul W. Fairman so it will come as no surprise that Rest In Agony is the best of the two. Fairman is underrated in pulp literary history, so as a fan it’s nice to see Armchair Fiction reprinting so many of his stories. This is a tight, exciting entry in Armchair Fiction’s reprints and should make a nice addition to the retro-pulp collector looking for some hard-to-find titles.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A Century of the History of Shotgun Cartridges by Guy N. Smith

I received this book just a few months ago, and I had been meaning to post a review. I’m posting it now as a continuation of my tribute to Guy’s memory. I know this project meant a great deal to Guy. We talked briefly about his love for collecting shotgun shells, and of his hunting activities. A worthy addition to the sportsman’s library.

This book will be of great interest to both firearm enthusiasts and cultural historians. As an avid collector of shotgun cartridges, Guy N. Smith’s book is a treasure-trove of little known and forgotten facts and history. His passion for his collection is evident on every page. The book is invaluable as a repository of cultural history. Many of the facts and details presented here would be lost in time if not for Guy Smith’s meticulous cataloguing and passion for his subject. The many brands of cartridges described herein are exclusive to the United Kingdom, and as such, this book then obviously makes a nice companion volume to history books related to American firearms. Profusely illustrated with photographs, GNS sprinkles some personal anecdotal history into the text. A Century of the History of Shotgun Cartridges is one of several non-fiction countryside lifestyle books that GNS has penned in his illustrious career. Others of recent vintage that make nice companion pieces are Guy’s Managing & Shooting Under 10 Acres and Midland Gun Company: A Short History. These books are still easily found on Amazon and most are available on Guy’s website. This is another fine book to add to my growing collection.