Well, here it is, another great voyage and we’re almost home. The flights seem a tad smoother now we’re buoyed by that good Pulp Spirit, don’t they?

We need to start off with an announcement that’s saddened us considerably. Our friend and fellow space adventurer Hank Reinhardt passed on last October as we were putting together last issue. We were too crushed to even mention it at the time.

It was Hank who selected the best letter in this feature each issue. It was he – a well-known Secret Master of Fandom – who saw to it that the Captain knew just who received our prize of a free original illustration each issue. Hank could entertain you for hours with great stories about his life, which was filled with more adventure and action than most lives. He was particularly fond of reminiscing about his childhood, especially his Christmas practice of sprawling on the floor under the family Christmas tree to read Planet Comics and, later, Planet Stories. He carried that tradition into his adulthood, and encouraged other fans in his home town of Atlanta, Ga. to do the same. It certainly caught on with his two pals Jerry Burge and Gerald Page, both of whom have been frequent contributors to Planetary Stories. That’s right, Page still celebrates Christmas by reading a story or two from Planet or Startling under the tree. And we’re pretty sure that Burge and Reinhardt do the same thing in that Big Clubhouse on the Far Edge of the Universe.

But despite the loss of Hank, the tradition will continue. We’re pleased to announce that our new top secret letter judge will be Hank’s loving wife Toni Weisskopf – also a well-known professional science fiction editor. Write pretty enough and Toni might single you out as a winner. Not that any losers get their letters published in this column.

But we’re here for the letters, aren’t we? Let’s open the ball with a waltz from our old buddy Donald Sullivan:

Dear Lt. Luna, In response to one of the comments in the "April Fool" editorial: The way I see it, a good story is a good story. Period. My favorite saying about writing is "A good story can compensate for less-than-brilliant writing, but brilliant writing cannot save a lousy story." So since the Captain of PS has a nose for good stories, tell him to please go ahead with picking the ones he likes--and we'll all enjoy them.

Also, the Captain asks our opinion on the pulp vs. fantasy title. I've always thought of pulp as including just about every genre, including fantasy. So I'm for keeping "Pulp Spirit" and giving us westerns, mysteries, fantasies, prehistoric, and whatever under that title.

I enjoyed the lead-off editorial for Pulp Spirit by Gerald W Page. I love the fiction that was published during the pulp era. In my opinion, the fiction of that era was and is superior to most of the fiction being published today. I think the most notable examples of this are in science fiction and fantasy.

The Golden Age for science fiction and fantasy was during that time. Many of the greatest writers emerged during the Pulp Era. They were giants. Alas, most of the authors being published by the big publishing houses today are midgets.

I'm proud of the fact that many people who have commented on my science fiction and fantasy stories have opined that my writing has a pulp feel to it. Some have even asked whether I consciously try to write pulp style. I don't. But I suppose that I've read so many pulp stories that it has probably seeped into my brain.

I was impressed by many, many of the stories and writers of the pulp era, but the two stories that impressed me the most, and pulled me into SF/Fantasy, were A E van Vogt's "The Silkie" and Leigh Brackett's "Hounds of Skaith."

I've enjoyed other stories by those two, and other pulp era writers equally as well, but those were the two that hooked me.

As for the stories in this ish of PS & PS, I found them all super. Here are my comments on a few of them:

Creatures of Azueron Ky by Carleton Grindle: An exciting tale with a plot that reminded me of Star Trek. In fact, I think this would have been a good story almost tailor-made for Star Trek's Capt. Kirk.

One Man Rocket Salesman by Bob Bolin: OMRS is a captivating tale with an unlikely hero. This one has a fairy-tale-like feel to it. A real treat to read.

The Fourth Generation by Joseph Green The real story here, I think, is the rescue of The Redhead. The way I saw it, the arrival of the ship added nothing to the story. In any case, a great read. An enjoyable rescue tale of action and suspense.

The Treasure of the Sierra Armadillo by Gerald W Page: Another wacky adventure of that super hero of super heroes, Army, who is a rolled-into-one deadly combination of Fearless Fosdick, Inspector Clouseau, Batman, Yogi Berra, and Edgar Allen Poe. A little disappointed that Army didn't go for gadgets in his cloak, though.

Mainstreet Shootout by Shelby Vick: A good western from start to finish. I thought I had the end all figured out, but it caught me flatfooted. But I do think that the villain of the story got off too light…

The remaining tales all served to bolster The Captain's reputation for nosing out good stories for PS & PS. There were a couple of change of pace stories with the spotlight on humor: "Nadir of the Chimps," by Michael Shack, and "Evil Aunt Toody's Old-Fashioned Revival," by Leo Tifton.

"Juncture of Doubt" by Amanda Lawrence was a good read, but I had trouble figuring out how the boy, born into the family (unless I missed something), could have been an alien.

"Diamondville Dolls," by Fran Douglas, is a super-good hardboiled detective tale. And "The Voice," by Erwin K Roberts, is a good spy story that reminded me of OO7 or maybe "Mission Impossible."

"A Case of Abuse," by Ron Butler, is another change of pace , written as a play.

"Wolfeye," oops, can't comment on that one…it's mine.

I thoroughly enjoyed Self and Science Fiction and Good Guys and Bad Guys.

All the artwork in both zines is first rate, and I'd especially like to thank Jim Garrison for the super good illos in Wolfeye.

A devoted Lunatic,


Cap, you gotta tell these folks who to write their letters to! --But we really appreciate hearing from our authors, especially Amanda Lawrence (Her name gives me real nice shivers!) Dear Mr. Vick:

I recently had the chance to take a look at the latest issue of Planetary Stories and I would like to say that I found the contents to be very entertaining and enlightening.

I especially enjoyed the story "A Case of Abuse." First of all, I liked the way the piece was arranged in the form of a play. I found the characters to be very interesting and engaging and I was not prepared for the ending. The conclusion of the tale was very surprising. Especially with the Mother's motives and actions in relation to her son and her alleged "drug use."

I also enjoyed the classic tale "The Fourth Generation." Grant and Andy's encounter with the race called "The Uglies" was a fast paced and very entertaining read. And the ending of the story provided a glimmer of hope for the colonists who decided to attempt to "reclaim" the planet for Earth.

I thought that the illustrations were very good and they added an extra "boost" to the reader's imagination as he or she reads the story. Looking at the pictures gives the magazine a type of "retro" feel. And I actually thought of some of the old science fiction magazines from the 1950s and 1960s when I saw some of the pictures.

Planetary Stories is an extraordinary magazine that showcases the stories of "space opera" aficionados everywhere. The stories are interesting, entertaining and engaging. And the artwork provides an extra element to the overall look and "feel" of the magazine.


Amanda Lawrence Adding to our really packed lettercol is a letter from our new author, Ken Kraus, whose Lovers Under the Green Sky hits hard in this issue.

Comments on Issue 10:

Two Tales of the Damsel in Distress.

It's an old theme in adventure stories, but if done with flair, it always creates excitement that pulls the reader along. Such was the case in both tales that I'll comment on today.

In One Man Rocket Salesman, by Bob Bolin, the author invokes a framework reminiscent of old late nineteenth century tales, in which a "civilized" man visits primitives, hoping they will take positively to something he brings from his world. He risks being lauded as a demigod, or if in disfavor, being boiled in the proverbial pot on the open fire, his last sight being the jeering locals jabbing at him while he expires. The nice twist in this yarn, is that the visitor is bringing not religion, nor modern medicine, but something even more antithetical to their primitive culture; personal rocket packs.

And if that isn't enough to sweeten the plot, the chief has an alluring daughter who takes to the man to boot. So we've a got a bit of John Smith and Pocohantus on an intergalactic level.

But wind up in the pot he does, as the fumbling chief mishandles the trial rocket pac. Even as our business minded hero is being turned into a human pincushion, all is not lost. Fate, always an important character in an old style tale, steps in offers him a redemption as the chief's daughter is snatched away. Now the formerly evils of technology he was trying to peddle, may be the only means to quickly retrieve her.

The author obliges by giving us a nice man vs. beast scene at the climax as well.

Later in the issue, a rogue Wolfeye (great moniker), as penned by Donald H. Sullivan, will also have a chance to rescue a damsel as well, but his obstracle is an entire planet of rebels.

The illios in this tales are particularly engaging; the opening drawing pulls us in by showing a Flash Gordon looking strongman in chains, facing a pair of 20th century looking officers growling at him, all with a crowned woman on throne looking on.

The opening text hooks us in kind; we are immediately with the prisoner being led to this empress, who announces that instead of executing him as planned, has a better use for him. This little twist and tense scene all make for a good opening in which we'll want to read further.

And you guessed it, the mission involves the rescue of the Empress's own daughter, by her arch rival, a rebel general who commands our sister planet, Mars. In the few pages that follow, the author takes us on a thrill ride in which the hero must find a way to slip under the kidnapper's guard and snatch the princess away intact. It's good white knuckles all the way.

Even better is that our hero is himself quite flawed, even a little reminiscent of the big screen's recent Iron Man alter ego Tony Stark, who is a rampant scoundrel with an aspect of honor all the same. The tale reads like a visual mini-film, while we're on the subject, and the author deliver on the required romantic spice as well.

So both stories show us how you can take good adventure themes and spin them into good space opera sci fi.


Next, there’s a letter from Mike Ward:

Dear Shelby,

OK, back at the computer, after a day spent digging in the garden, and the URL works now ... probably just a temporary glitch. Your zine is lots of fun! Somewhere between a fanzine and a genuine, goshwow blood and thunder pulp.

You've already got artists by the dozens, it looks like, and they're doing the right kinds of things. Nothing much I can say. It took me a minute to adjust to the pulp-magazine page layout!

I haven't been collecting pulp interior scans, unfortunately. I'm thinking that some of the sf stories in the spicy pulps would be just what you need -- somewhere on the lists are people with copies of these who could scan some...and the best part is that they're not in copyright (I think), so no one can come after you.

For those who don’t know, the Spicy line of pulps was published in the thirties and into the early forties and considered pretty risqué for the time. For that reason the magazines were generally sold “under the counter” in your braver newsstands. The titles were Spicy Detective, Spicy Adventures, Spicy Mystery and Spicy Western. Today, of course, they seem pretty tame.

The Oct 1940 Spicy Adventure probably has some interiors ... I don't have it, but I do have this scan of the cover from some eBay sale.

Sept 1941 “When Planets Mate.” March 1942

Hope these help!


For those who don’t know, the Spicy line of pulps was published in the thirties and into the early forties and considered pretty risqué for the time. For that reason the magazines were generally sold “under the counter” in your braver newsstands. The titles were Spicy Detective, Spicy Adventures, Spicy Mystery and Spicy Western. Today, of course, they seem pretty tame.

Even so, most of the writers who appeared in the magazines did so under pennames – Hugh Cave, for example wrote for them under his all-purpose penname “Justin Case.” Robert E. Howard published there under the name “Sam Walser.” Fantasy veteran Howard Wandrei (the brother of Donald Wandrei who co-founded the publishing company Arkham House with August Derleth) wrote as W.R. Rainey. Many writers would simply take their rejects and rewrite them adding some sexy descriptive passages. But some writers such as E. Hoffmann Price, Robert Leslie Bellem, Henry Kuttner, Robert Turner and Laurence Donovan used their own names except when an issue had more than one story by them. In that case one would be under the real name and the other stories would get fictitious bylines. Spicy stories were profusely illustrated – a minimum of three drawings to a short story and often several more. They paid fairly but not spectacularly well for their best contributors, but best of all, they paid quickly. If you were able to drop by their editorial offices, you could get paid the same day you turned in a story.

Over the years, the artists who worked for the Spicys seemed to appear regularly and included Max Plaisted, Joseph Chambers, H.J. Ward, Harry Parkhurst, Alan Anderson (who did some covers for Planet Stories) and Rex Maxon who drew the Tarzan comic strip for a short time.

Indeed most of the Spicy titles were never copyright because the company was trying to avoid the notice of the authorities, especially the post office, who could have shut them down.

Around here we’re fairly familiar with the Spicy pulps and their illustrations. Jerry Page published a pulp collectors journal called Spicy Armadillo Stories in the 1990s, and ran several articles about the illustrations and illustrators of the Spicy line.

You seem to be suggesting reprinting some of their illustrations, possibly with new stories written around them. It’s an interesting idea, but let’s kick it around for a while before making any hard and fast decision. By the way, the Sept. 1941 issue of Spicy Adventure containing “When Planets Mate” by Lew Merrill, has been reprinted in a facsimile edition by Adventure House (www.adventurehouse.com) for $14.95. The cover is by H.J. Ward, and the story itself is illustrated by Harry Parkhurst. Merrill is a penname and who hides behind it we’re not sure. (However, Will Murray knows and reveals all in a letter further on.)

From Eugie Foster, who has never published one of those great stories she writes in Planetary Stories, which is one of the very few valid arguments for reading other publications:

Dear Lt. Luna,

Thanks for sending along the link to Pulp Spirit and Planetary Stories--the artwork in both ‘zines gets mega snaps; I loved the space damsel in distress vs. tentacle alien by Jeff Fraker cover for April’s Planetary Stories issue. I found your “Self and Science Fiction” article most inspiring. Think I might need to carve it verbatim on a stone tablet and bash my muse over the head with it…once I locate her. And I greatly enjoyed my perusal of your “PulpRack” review column, found it most edifying. I adore the adventure and action of the pulp era, but my essential reading list is woefully incomplete.

Y’know, I think the current trend towards lauding “literary” SF which relegates the pulps to the writing ghetto, almost like an embarrassment to be hidden away and forgotten, is both baffling and irritating. That mindset disregards the roots of the genre and worse, seems to minimize or completely lose sight of what the most important element in good fiction is: entertainment. Grumpf. Well, there’s a few new markets sprouting up now which are also trying to revive pulp era fiction, like Blazing! Adventures Magazine (http://www.blazingadventuresmagazine.com/) and Thrilling Tales (www.thrillingtales.net). Not sure how successful they are, but it’s nice to see that they’re also out there.


The Captain has gotten excited abut something again, but not to worry, crew critters. We’ve sedated him. But before he went under, he wrote the following explanation.

One and All:

A virtual con room is a marvel of electronics. Bill Mills, with the able assistance of his wife Roxanne, created one for the science fiction convention Corflu Silver. There was an online camera, a computer and the internet. Bill hooked them all up so that anyone accessing it on their computer could see the people at the con and could, thru text-messaging, talk to them! There is now, in fact, a 24/7 Virtual Room atwww.lasvegrants.com, where fans can either check in at any time and observe the continuous loop of pictures and chat – or, on the first and third Saturdays at 8 PM Vegas time, can observe the vegrants at their meetings.

The Captain

The truth is, we’re all excited about this one, and because we think Bill Mills is such a great guy, we’ve added a sidebar about him.

Last issue we ran Joseph Green’s “The Fourth Generation,” reprinted from an issue of the 1960’s British magazine, Science Fiction Adventures. John Boston took exception to it and sent his review of the story (in a review of the magazine in which it originally appeared) as a letter of comment:

Well, here's my partial LOC, excerpted from my post on the 1962 issues of SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURES. (Executive summary: Bah!) (Warning: Spoilers!) Joseph Green contributes one of the mellower apologies for genocide I've encountered recently in "The Fourth Generation" (#30), in which a crash-landed group of interstellar colonists yearning for rescue is beset by the Uglies, who have faces like wolves but enough intelligence to make some artifacts. The two main characters are following a pack of Uglies who have snatched the girl they both covet, referred to only as the Redhead; a fate worse than death is suggested. They catch up with the Uglies and rescue her, but on their return no one pays any attention to them because in the meantime the lost colonists have been found, and rescue is in the offing.

This is not what our heroes have in mind: "We had barely touched the surface of what this planet had to offer. With a little help from Earth in the matter of weapons and power equipment, we could expand out over the face of this bountiful world, wiping out the Uglies and claiming it for humanity." (Hey, why not wipe them out, they really are ugly, they don't deserve a planet, or life.) One might wonder why this wasn't published in ANALOG. Probably because the reference to fates worse than death, and to the characters' smearing themselves with Ugly excrement to disguise their scent, would never have--or didn't--pass the scrutiny of Ms. Tarrant. [Kay Tarrant, John Campbell’s associate editor on the magazine.]

John Boston

We invited Joseph Green to respond to the letter and he sent this:

Hi; Shelby Vick forwarded

your comments on "The Fourth Generation" at my request. I was astonished to find you had only recently read the story, and wanted to know the circumstances. Now I do.

I copied some of your comments below, and have inserted some amplifications you may find interesting. And if not, hey! I have to actually start WORK once I quit goofing off by answering email.

“a fate worse than death is suggested.”

Hey, I thought I made the fate pretty clear! Gang rape, followed by the cooking pot. (A small tribe wouldn't waste all that good meat.)

“They catch up with the Uglies and rescue her,”

This is the body and heart of the story, but your critique makes it seem the minor part. Not so! “(Hey, why not wipe them out, they really are ugly, they don't deserve a planet, or life.)” Man's record doesn't suggest we tolerate any competition that's apt to really hurt us. In "Lucifer's Hammer" Niven and Pournelle make the point that in desperate circumstances, civilized niceties are the first to go. From the safety and comfort of our living rooms we can watch "Star Trek" and applaud the nobility of the characters determined to uphold "The Prime Directive" (which came along some years after my story). In the real world, ol' homo saps (one tough SOB) will do whatever he must to survive, and that doesn't include much compromising.

You conclude by saying, “One might wonder why this wasn't published in Analog. Probably because the reference to fates worse than death, and to the characters' smearing themselves with Ugly excrement to disguise their scent, would never have--or didn't--pass the scrutiny of Ms. Tarrant.”

Good guess! The story went first to "Analog," then "Adventure," then to Carnell. By then I had sold him several other stories, and thought this one would find a home without more frustrating searching (I hadn't yet acquired an agent). It did, but he wanted it for "Adventures", not "New Worlds". Regarding Kay Tarrant (a very nice lady, whom I only met once in person, when I dropped in at the office after the death of Campbell, to write (at her request) the blurb for an article of mine ANALOG was about to publish), I doubt seriously she made the decision on rejecting "Fourth Generation". John read every decently written story himself. I know, I got a half-dozen specific and to the point rejections before I finally sold him some science articles and then fiction. Eventually Analog became my largest single market.

I didn't intend to bend your visual ear this long, and no reply is expected. Just thought you might enjoy learning a little more about the story in question, as I was (Astounded! Amazed!) to find a story this old being reviewed in a modern setting.

All best,

Joseph Green

In Pulp Spirit# 1 we ran a great story by Erwin K. Roberts, “Stateside Debut,” featuring his character “The Voice.” One of the most fascinating things about the story is that it contained a lot of esoteric references to other pulp series. While we wait for Roberts to turn out a new story, he’s passed along this discussion of some of those shadowy references. Of course if you haven’t yet read the story, rush back to Planetary Stories 10 and check out Pulp Spirit 1. You definitely do not want to read the following before you read “Stateside Debut.”.

Lt. Luna,

Stateside Debut is the only Voice story that has wholesale numbers of these references. The novel actually has none that I recall. The other shorts only have one or two.

The glue that holds my Modern-Knights universe together is the Havens & Van Loan family whose Clarion newspaper chain from The Phantom Detective series has become Havens International Media by the end of the twentieth century.

Back in the day Frank Havens knew, or worked with, just about every Independent Operator there was. His grandson (or maybe great-grandson) Curtis (Curt) Van Loan was a childhood friend of The Voice. Now, he seeks out, mentors, and supports new Independent Operators.

He knows everybody.

In an upcoming story the Voice needs an accident staged. He'll call Curt Van Loan who will bring in the long retired civilian identity of Simon & Kirby's Stuntman. I've got nearly 20,000words to go before the next volume of the Voice is complete. Maybe I could do a story for you about how Curt tweaks the I.O. universe.

Who's Who in Stateside Debut
Erwin K. Roberts

Reference to any person, living, dead, or imaginary, is strictly incidental.

All referenced news stories were found by plugging the date into an Internet search engine. The only liberty I took was to attribute one to Paul Harvey to assist the narrative.

Chang Apanna: Apparently he was very real. I first heard of him when Hawaii-50 star Jack Lord visited The Tonight Show. Lord said that he met Apanna when the show first went into production. I do not know if the man lived until 1974.

If you are reading this and can't figure out who "the First Master" might be, shame on you.

CW4 George J.L. Calwell retired with forty-four years of active and reserve military service. He was the Unit Administrator of my first Missouri Army National Guard unit.

Dr. Fairchild a/k/a kindly old Dr. Skull and The Skull Killer hero in the one-shot villain pulps The Octopus and The Scorpion.

Mr. Jones, as far as I know, only appeared in one issue of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine in the later 1960's. Probably by Dennis Lynds under the Robert Hart Davis house name, Mr. Jones was the disguise artist identity of a prominent plastic surgeon.

Uncle Dan & Uncle Richard: Dan Fowler and Richard Wong who appeared separately in Thrilling's G-Men pulp. When I first wrote the story I thought they were both FBI. I later learned that Wong was a Treasury Agent. That meant changing a couple of lines. JANIG = Joint Army Navy Intelligence Group JANIG, normally represented by Steve Ames, appeared in a number of the Rick Brant Science Adventure "juvenile" books. There's even a back-handed pulp connection. The stories are so cracking good that pulp researchers once tried to attribute some of the books to Lester Dent (author of Doc Savage). Not true, but I was ready to agree with them.

The Dan Rather pen incident is detailed in his book "The Camera Never Blinks."

And now the named members of the thirty prisoners:
Steve McGarrett - TV's Hawaii 50
Roland Appana - I made him up
Magnum - TV's Magnum P.I.
Robert Ironside - Raymond Burr's other hit TV show Ironside.
Dan Briggs - Mission: Impossible leader for the first season
Jim Phelps - Mission: Impossible leader the rest of the series and the revival.
King Farriday - DC Comics Cold Warrior.
Napoleon Solo - of TV's The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
John Keith - pulp scribe Norman Daniel's paperback hero of The Man From A.P.E. series
Amos Burke - TV's Burke's Law went the spy route to become Amos Burke, Secret Agent
Alexander Scott & Kelley Robinson - Robert Culp and Bill Cosby on TV's I-Spy

And there you have it.

Erwin K. Roberts

You probably can’t get your fill of The Voice, so while you’re waiting for his next story in Pulp Spirit, you can try the first voice novel. It’s called Plutonium Nightmare, a novel of The VOICE by Erwin K. Roberts. It’s available in PDF or Print-On-Demand formats. Free on-line preview of Intro & Chapters 1 & 2. Now on sale at http://www.lulu.com/Modern-Knights

Awright, RocketEars -- now we're gonna pass on some news that came via internet. It's so great, I thot we should include this from Stephen Haffner

Hey everybody!

Some of you may have seen some changes at www.haffnerpress.com as we've been adding/updating pages like crazy.

Well, Keep Watching the Skies, fellow-astrogators, 'cause we're gearing up for an awesome second half of 2008 with some major announcements.

In fact, not since 1999 -- when we announced The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson -- have we had such stellar news (unless you count the massive celebratory volumes for Jack Williamson or the much-ballyhooed STARK AND THE STAR KINGS)!

So, without further ado, let me announce . . .


Every prose story, novella, novelette, and novel. All the science fiction, all the fantasy, all the horror, all the mysteries--and all the "Captain Future." It's all here, folks. And it can all be yours later this year. The first three volumes are in preparation with plans for publication by the end of the year.

Keep checking www.haffnerpress.com for updates as we have several special and amazing tie-ins with this project. Hell, we've even rescued Sergeant Saturn from the Old Spacer's Home on Triton and he'll be chiming in from time to time as we bring you these astounding, amazing, and thrilling titles.

Keep Watching the Skies!

Stephen Haffner
Big Poobah

While we were working on this issue’s PulpRack about World War 1, we got some interesting correspondence.

Here’s a sample from Robert Kennedy:

Lt. Luna,

I'm not the one to write a review, but I have a story selection that might be of interest. After snatching the cover of an issue of Argosy off of eBay I puzzled long over the image.

A Native American, in full war-paint & feather, is stalking a German solider in dress uniform with spiked helmet. The story is by F. Van Wick Mason. What the heck?

Last year I downloaded a scanned copy of the issue. Mason explained in the back of the issue. The German PR machine kept telling their troops that the "American" soldiers they thought they saw on the line were actually disguised English units. One poster showed a picture of an Indian warrior with copy something like "Until you see one of these, there are no American soldiers here."

In the story Mason has the son of an Indian war chief, a part Indian former Cavelry scout, & a hawk-nosed Brooklyn tailor, dressed up and sent behind the German lines to get information and scare the you-know-what out of the common German soldier.

Pretty good story, too.

I'll bet your experts either know about that propaganda, or would be interested in hearing more.



This came in from Curt Phillips:

I don't know if this particular event ever happened (that's the kind of question that I'd go to Fred Van Hartesveldt. about...) but it's exactly the sort of propaganda stunt the Germans would have tried in WW1. Even then the American "Wild West" image was already iconic in Europe. I can tell you that in WWII a company of the 82nd. Airborne Division went into combat with Mohawk haircuts and warpaint. At least, that's what their unit history says they did.

Curt Phillips

And from Frank Brayman we heard another story:


There's a cool story from the summer of 1940, during the Battle of Britain. Don't recall where I saw it (might have been from an old magazine from my grandmother's attic when I was a kid.) May not be true, but it ought to be...

Saturday afternoon in a quiet English rural village, August 1940. Members of the local church have been engaged in a dress rehearsal for a play they are going to perform, one that has a Canadian setting. An aerial battle overhead has brought them outside to watch.

An aviator parachutes from a burning airplane and lands in a nearby field. The people immediately go to check the man out. Realizing that the pilot is a German, two cast members (dressed as RCMP Mounties) hold him at gunpoint with (fake) revolvers. Meanwhile, the Constable and some other men (costumed as cowboys and Indians) go to the police station to get the rifles they were issued as members of the Home Guard. They return to the scene, still in costume, to take the German to the jail. Reportedly, the German was pretty confused, asking, "Where IS this place?"

Frank Brayman

And Curt returns with:

No, never heard this one before. It sounds like a legend, but it's possible. Liz's British Grandfather Falkner was too old for active service when WWII began in Sept. 1939 but he joined the Home Guard and was appointed Major of a small detachment in East Anglia. During the Battle of Britain dogfights were a common sight in the skies over their home village as were the German Heavy bombers that flew overhead on their way to strike the larger cities. While observing one such dogfight he saw a fighter plane crash within a mile of his home and minutes later watched as a parachute carried the pilot of that plane towards his house. Picking up his rifle he walked to the far end of his garden and was standing there covering the pilot as he landed neatly in the yard. It was a German officer. He surrendered instantly and handed over his Luger. Maj. Falkner knew enough German to order the prisoner to walk over to the house and sit at a small table. Maj. Falkner's wife (Liz's Grandmother) telephoned the police to come and pick up the prisoner. Then she made a pot of tea and a plate of sandwiches and they all three had a early tea while they waited. Years after the war she received a letter from that German officer reminding them of his visit and thanking them for their courtesy in the situation and for the cup of tea. That letter and the Luger are still family keepsakes in the Falkner family, though sadly, not in the branch that came to America with Liz and her parents. (Although I *have* been promised that I can see them if I ever visit the family in East Anglia...).

There was a large German POW camp in East Anglia not far from Spring Hall (Maj. Falkner's home estate) and Liz's mother - who was a small child during the war - remembers visiting the camp areas and talking with the German prisoners, who were all very nice to her and her younger brother and would give them candy from their Red Cross parcels. One of the prisoners gave each of them some wooden toys that he'd made. Liz's mom got a set of comical wooden circus animals that delighted and fascinated her as she grew up. She later gave them to her town's museum. Her brother got a carved Lancaster Bomber with propellers that really spun. Liz's mom also remembers hearing and at least once seeing German V1 buzz bombs fly overhead on their way towards London. I need to take a tape recorder over and get that old dear's stories down on tape before too much longer. She and Liz's dad live near here in Abingdon.

But I agree with Frank about the other story; it might not be true, but it ought to be.



From Barry Traylor:

Something that Robert Kennedy posted made me think of something I saw not too long ago on The History Channel. Curt might know this story as he knows a lot about WW II.

It seems there was a Native American in the European theater that was a full blooded Sioux (I think) that attacked a German outpost on a horse!

Does this ring a bell with anyone here? Or did I dream the whole thing?

Barry Traylor

From Morgan Holmes:

The 200th Coast Artillery Regiment was a New Mexico National Guard outfit. It was originally a horse cavalry unit but converted to anti-aircraft duties and was sent to Clark Field in the Philippines in late 1941. The unit surrendered at Bataan in April 1942.

There was a high proportion of Mexicans and American Indians in the unit. The Japanese had special plans for the Indians in the unit including experiments. They thought Amerindians would react differently. Also they thought the Navajos and others were actually Nisei and therefore traitors and had "special" attention meted out to them.

Morgan Holmes

We heard from Barry Traylor once again:

Luna, By golly I did not dream this! He was a Crow Indian serving in the European theater after D-Day and what he did was to become the last Crow to count coup on an enemy by sneaking up on a group of German soldiers and stole around 50 horses from them.

Here is a link to the book he has written. His name is Joseph Medicine Crow. http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Coup-Becoming-Reservation-Beyond/dp/0792253914

Barry Traylor

From Robert Kennedy:

Dear Lt.:

A History Channel program on Code Talkers in the Pacific revealed that there was a very small program like that in the ETO. The people were, I think, Apache. Their code for Hitler translated as "crazy white man."

From Duane Spurlock:

Apache may be right, but for some reason Navajo comes to my mind.

Yep, here we go: http://www.samuelholiday.com/site/code-talker-history/

- Duane

To which Curt Phillips replies:

Duane, you are right, but you're also wrong. (It's so often that way in my own life, now that I think about it...) The Navajo tribe was recruited specifically for code-talkers but only served as such in the Marine Corps and all went to the Pacific theater. Note that Robert's original post specified the ETO or European Theater of Operations. There apparently were some Native American code talkers used there and they apparently were Apache. I'd never heard of this before either. The Navajo are the group that I think of when anyone says "Code Talkers".

Curt Phillips

From Robert Kennedy:

One point made on the program was that Navajo used sounds almost impossible for an adult to master. So, if you didn't learn it as a child, you were not going to fool anybody even if you knew what words to use in a fake message.


From the celebrated Earl Kemp:

Around a year ago I had my first experience with Navajos. A large well was drilled a few lots away from me and the entire crew (except the supervisor) was Navajo. My first encounter with the nation. I was amazed to discover that I liked every one of them. They were so unlike the locals, even the local Indians...they were exceptional people. Bright, intelligent, open, caring....

I even miss them now that their contract was completed locally and they moved on to other work elsewhere.


From pulp historian Will Murray:

I have the dim recollection that code-talkers were used in WWI--which probably inspired Lester Dent to have Doc Savage and his men talk Mayan when they didn't want to be understood.

I believe that Spicy scribe Lew Merrill is really Victor Rousseau Emmanuel. That and Clive Trent were his main Spicy bylines.


Want to share this with you from Kevin Duncan's "Private Eyefuls"

And, finally,Robert Kennedy makes one more return:

I've never heard of a WW1 code-talker, but I'm no historian. Far from it. If that is the case, then your theory about Dent certainly makes sense.

When I wrote a Jim Anthony story last year I had Jim and his grandfather speak mostly in Comanche to get around the movie-Indian English used in the original stories. That could easily be extended to how Doc used Mayan.


. . .And now, after an Official Sneak Peak --

Hi guys,
My favorite letter was Eugie Foster's (for the use of the word "snaps"), but the letters by Yolanda Berry and Ken Kraus deserve a shout-out, too, for their useful analyses of the magazine, as well as the one by Robert Kennedy, which sparked so much interesting discussion about native-American Indians in the World Wars and the pulps.
All in all, a great letter column--congratulations on such high quality readers!

Eugie Foster -- Go to Contest and email us the number of the pic you won!

And, while we're running pictures, here's a pic of Eugie ---------------------


Stephanie's on the shy side, so if she's showing her face like that, it must mean we have a terrific cargo list for our next voyage. Unfortunately, the Captain's being really secretive about it, and we don't have Steph's sources. We have, however, learned a thing or two.

Old-timers will remember that in issue 5 we published a trio of stories featuring the misadventures of that well-known space pirate, Sadie the Ladie. (The titles were "Captain of the Tempest" by Carleton Grindle and Gerald Page; "Mission to Madness" by Kenneth Pembrooke and Gerald Page; and "A Friendly Game at Tropper Keith's" by Gerald Page.) The trilogy ended with Sadie the Ladie in possession of a copy of The Necronomicon, and Gerald Page promising that he would write us a story telling what happens next "real soon now."

A wait of almost two years might not seem all that soon to some of you, but Page has finally delivered. The story is called "The Fear of All Sums" and not only is Sadie back, but we find out a few things about that edition of The Necronomicon (here's a hint: it likes to kill it's owners), and we also meet another old friend, the fabled Star-Mage Hoy Ping Bob, whom we all fondly remember from "Hoy Ping Bob and the Barbarian Queen" back in issue 6. You might want to go back and take a look at these stories in our archives before issue 12 goes on line.

Also on hand will be another Nadir McGuirk story, "Nadir McGuirk and the Robo-Magician of Mars." It's time to let you in on a secret, Faithful Reader. Michael Shack, who writes these wonderful yarns doesn't even exist. These stories are written by various writers using the Michael Shack name. That's right; Shack is a house name. This story was actually written by Jerry Burge, shortly before his untimely death a few years ago. In fact, this is believed to be the last thing Jerry wrote. And it's one of the best McGuirk stories we've ever published, so you won't want to miss it.

The third issue of Pulp Spirit promises to be full of interesting stories. It starts off with a private eye story featuring "The Diamondville Dolls." Nora's in the spotlight -- or maybe we should call it the hotseat -- this time. A doctor who believes he's invented a serum that can bring the dead back to life has taken her hostage -- and he's willing to kill someone to prove his serum works, too. Then we have a rousing sword and sorcery yarn, Gerald Page's "The Treason of Morn Connacht." Page was the co-editor (with Hank Reinhardt) of the classic sword and sorcery anthology from DAW, "Heroic Fantasy," so you know his standards are always high.

And if that wasn't enough, Erwin K. Roberts is back with a story set both in 1939 New York -- and Old California. No, it isn't about The Voice, but we think you'll recognize most of the characters.