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.

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