Saturday, March 31, 2007

Remade - Charles Stross

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/46

You can really get into some extreme sports when you can back yourself up.


4 out of 5

The Fu-Manchu Omnibus Volume 1 - Sax Rohmer

This contains the first three Fu-Manchu books.

The titles they give them are:

The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu
The Devil Doctor
The Si-Fan Mysteries

The breathless but brave and unrelenting goofball Nayland Smith and his stoic offsider and chronicler Petrie pursue the genius superman, the ultimate embodiment of the Yellow Peril, Dr Fu-Manchu.

Helped along the way by his beautiful but unwilling servant Kâramanèh is a game of capture and escape and disguise around London.

You have to give the good doctor credit for trying to kill 'em with poison gas stashed in a mummy's tomb.

The guy can't be all bad. He has a monkey.

Very entertaining.


4 out of 5


Fu-Manchu is back, and he has added to his collection of marauding monkey-like miscreants, and obtained a baboon killer.

Not to mention a cane that hides an Australian death adder.

Kâramanèh is still running around prominently, and very enigmatically. If she is trying to be sneaky, she definitely needs to lay off the perfume, according to Petrie's nose, anyway.

Hound of the Baskervilles scenarios with writers of Chinese descent, haunted houses and more.

Although Nayland Smith shows a few more signs of cleverness here, he still falls for a trap, and is about to be a rather nasty form of rat dinner.

Cue Egyptian babe, resplendent in harem gear and packing heat.

At the end, they could have even used a big old great dane, as a mummy-man is running around the ship they are travelling on to finish with.


3.5 out of 5

Not as good as the first two Fu-Manchu books, perhaps partly due to a fair lack of Fu-Manchu.

He does have some excuse though, being shot in the head at the end of the last book, and hence assumed dead by our ertswhile heroes.

It seems he is not, though, just in a bad way, and as such, abducts a top surgeon, and Petrie to assist. Or, at least his crew does, he is having problems just sitting up and talking with a bullet in his head.

They set their sights on the Si-Fan organisation, the overlords of the good Doctor, and perhaps a mystery woman in charge.

Fu-Manchu is in a bit of trouble with them himself, it seems.


3 out of 5





3.5 out of 5

The Exploits of Juve - Marcel Allain

http://www.archive.org/download/exploitsofjuvebe00souviala/exploitsofjuvebe00souviala_djvu.txt

Juve and offsider are trying to track down the dastardly villain.

They think they have a lead through Lady Beltham, who, they presume, has actually seen Fantomas with his clothes off, so to speak.

Getting close, they seem to have cornered him in a building.

Blowing it up, with the pursuers inside, "I win!" Fantomas declares.


3 out of 5

The Inmost Light - Arthur Machen

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601201.txt

Dyson looks into the strange case of a doctor and his experiments into the afterlife and sources. The effects that he leaves behind him horrify Dyson when he reads what has happened.


3.5 out of 5

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Hand of Fu-Manchu - Sax Rohmer

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/17959

Not as good as the first two Fu-Manchu books, perhaps partly due to a fair lack of Fu-Manchu.

He does have some excuse though, being shot in the head at the end of the last book, and hence assumed dead by our ertswhile heroes.

It seems he is not, though, just in a bad way, and as such, abducts a top surgeon, and Petrie to assist. Or, at least his crew does, he is having problems just sitting up and talking with a bullet in his head.

They set their sights on the Si-Fan organisation, the overlords of the good Doctor, and perhaps a mystery woman in charge.

Fu-Manchu is in a bit of trouble with them himself, it seems.


3 out of 5

The Return of Dr Fu-Manchu - Sax Rohmer

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext98/rfumn10.txt

Fu-Manchu is back, and he has added to his collection of marauding monkey-like miscreants, and obtained a baboon killer.

Not to mention a cane that hides an Australian death adder.

Kâramanèh is still running around prominently, and very enigmatically. If she is trying to be sneaky, she definitely needs to lay off the perfume, according to Petrie's nose, anyway.

Hound of the Baskervilles scenarios with writers of Chinese descent, haunted houses and more.

Although Nayland Smith shows a few more signs of cleverness here, he still falls for a trap, and is about to be a rather nasty form of rat dinner.

Cue Egyptian babe, resplendent in harem gear and packing heat.

At the end, they could have even used a big old great dane, as a mummy-man is running around the ship they are travelling on to finish with.


3.5 out of 5

The Insidious Dr Fu-Manchu - Sax Rohmer

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/173

The breathless but brave and unrelenting goofball Nayland Smith and his stoic offsider and chronicler Petrie pursue the genius superman, the ultimate embodiment of the Yellow Peril, Dr Fu-Manchu.

Helped along the way by his beautiful but unwilling servant Kâramanèh is a game of capture and escape and disguise around London.

You have to give the good doctor credit for trying to kill 'em with poison gas stashed in a mummy's tomb.

The guy can't be all bad. He has a monkey.

Very entertaining.


4 out of 5

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The War-Makers - Nick Carter

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=735

The USA is experiencing deteriorating relations with that mighty world power Emporia.

As such, a scientist and his daughter are working on a super death ray. They have gone through lots of guinea pigs in testing. Little furry ones.

A man runs out of petrol, and it happens to be at this scientist's lab. He witnesses a death-ray-creator-napping.

Consternation follows when he is able to alert the authorities, and soon Nick Carter is on the case. Even if he is not a demigod or a Sherlock, as the napping-noticer seemed to have thought in the past.


2.5 out of 5

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

When the World Screamed - Arthur Conan Doyle

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100031.txt

Professor Challenger, he of the bombastic and aggressive disposition has gotten himself involved with a spot of digging.

In a big way, the whole drilling into the earth scenario. He invites the usual lads down to come and have a look, and they are a little disturbed.

This is nothing to what happens the second time when a big even is made of inviting a whole lot of people to have a look at their project. Something down there has more than a bit to say about the whole thing.


3 out of 5

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Colder War - Charles Stross

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm

The US works on highly advanced nuclear weapons programs to stop something far worse that the Soviets have available :

"What exactly are these weapons systems?'' demands the third inquisitor, a quiet, hawk-faced man sitting on the left of the panel.

The shoggot'im, they're called: servitors. There are several kinds of advanced robotic systems made out of molecular components: they can change shape, restructure material at the atomic level -- "


3.5 out of 5

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The House of Crime - Theodore Tinsley

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=15

The Scarlet Ace is really a fine little series. Again, the Ace tries something different. This time, the femme fatale route finally gets to Iron Mike, and Lacy is brought face to face with the Ace himself.

The woman, Zita, is now actually torn between two men and what to do.

Definitely not your stock ending.


4 out of 5

Hell House - Theodore Tinsley

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=14

The Scarlet Ace suborns one of Amusement Inc.'s own military men, and the Iron Major is almost shot dead in his office.

He sends a military style reprisal looking for the Ace, but it falls into a trap of an explosive nature.


3.5 out of 5

Hopalong's Hop - Clarence E. Mulford

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=791

Well, excellent. I always wanted to know this, my dad couldn't tell me, and I never got around to looking it up or asking anyone.

Bill Cassidy has been asked to look over some cattle, but someone else hires him to solve a serious cattle rustling problem. The result :-


"Hop along, Cassidy," he smiled in encouragement. "You'll be a better man with one good laig than th' whole gang was all put together." The puncher smiled faintly as Hawley, running to them, helped him toward his hotel. "Th' bone is plumb smashed. I reckon I'll hop along through life. It'll be hop along, Cassidy, for me, all right. That's my name, all right. Huh! Hopalong Cassidy! But I didn't hop into h--l, did I, Harris?" he grinned bravely.


3.5 out of 5

Candidate For Death - Theodore Tinsley

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=11

The Scarlet Ace sends a hitman after Lacy, but Amusement, Inc. have their sources as well.

A very nice comeback, as well :-

The only good gunman was a dead one. And Tough Tony was pretty dead. There'd be no ten grand in his murderous clutch. No sinister ace of diamonds tucked neatly on Tattersall Lacy's bullet­riddled body. The Scarlet Ace would have to keep his blood­red calling card for a while.

The major smiled pensively. He prided himself on his politeness, his correctness in social matters. He took a card from his pocket and bent briefly over the body of Mr. Tough Tony Farino.

There was no name on the pasteboard but the Scarlet Ace would understand. A playing card. But not the ace of diamonds. No ace at all. The joker.


3.5 out of 5

The Drive - Clarence E. Mulford

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=797

Hopalong decides to teach an anglophile varmint who stampedes their herd to gain an advantage for his, a rather severe lesson.


3 out of 5

Don't Frame A Redhead - Clarence E. Mulford

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=236

Hopalong, not having a lot of luck punting, finds his luck is better when he is busting shell game operators and dodgy dealers, instead.


3 out of 5

The Mark of Zorro - Johnston McCulley

http://worldebooklibrary.com/eBooks/WorldeBookLibrary.com/markzorro.htm

The Mark of Zorro is the first Zorro story, retitled for publication in many different book editions.

Repression and oppressive taxation grows in one corner of California. Don Diego Viega, whose picture might just be beside the word 'fop' if California had a dictionary, can do nothing about it.

As one of the local military says "he is about as dangerous as a lizard basking in the sun".

The same cannot be said for Zorro. The Fox offers the local peons some hope, and does what he can to foment resistance.

When the moneygrubbing goes to far and some of the reasonably well liked local aristocracy are imprisoned, things come to a head, especially after the flogging of the local friar.

In an amusing scene, Senorita Pulido gets herself out of captivity by holding herself hostage. Luckily, while fleeing, Zorro is on hand.

Comedy, and action, and romance as Zorro saves the day.

Well worth reading.


4.5 out of 5

The Curse of Capistrano - Johnston McCulley

http://worldebooklibrary.com/eBooks/WorldeBookLibrary.com/markzorro.htm

Repression and oppressive taxation grows in one corner of California. Don Diego Viega, whose picture might just be beside the word 'fop' if California had a dictionary, can do nothing about it.

As one of the local military says "he is about as dangerous as a lizard basking in the sun".

The same cannot be said for Zorro. The Fox offers the local peons some hope, and does what he can to foment resistance.

When the moneygrubbing goes to far and some of the reasonably well liked local aristocracy are imprisoned, things come to a head, especially after the flogging of the local friar.

In an amusing scene, Senorita Pulido gets herself out of captivity by holding herself hostage. Luckily, while fleeing, Zorro is on hand.

Comedy, and action, and romance as Zorro saves the day.

Well worth reading.


4.5 out of 5

A Cue For the Corpse - Emile C. Tepperman

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603841.txt

The Masked Marksman is intrigued when he sees a girl in a thin dress dragging a corpse by the feet. Even more so when she pulls a gun on him.

He realises she is not the bad guy, so to speak, and uncovers a concrete shoes and overcoat plot. Luckily, he is the kind of guy that can easily shoot around such obstacles.

Entertaining.


3 out of 5

Land Pirates of Wagon Gap - Walker A. Tompkins

http://thelonetaxman.web.aplus.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/landpiratesofwagongap.pdf

A crucial piece of land for a railroad, leads to some dodgy dealings, blowings up, murder, and a confrontation with the Masked Rider.


3 out of 5

Land of Big Timber - Hascal Giles

http://thelonetaxman.web.aplus.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/landofbigtimber.pdf

The Masked Rider gets involved when a dispute between two ranchers turns ugly.

One of them is most definitely not playing legally, and Wayne Morgan gets himself hired on as a temp hand to see what he can find out.


3 out of 5

Trail of the Blue Snake - Ben Gardner

http://thelonetaxman.web.aplus.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/TrailofBlueSnake.pdf

This one is a bit on the dull side, and lays it on a bit thick.

It is rescued a little when it appears that there is a reason for the band of outlaws and killers to have a snake tattoo.

It appears their leader has some zoological ability, and has a mystic African python potion to let him do a bit of animal control.

This leads to an interesting fight for the Masked Rider and Blue Hawk at the denouement.


2.5 out of 5

Gun the Man Down - Hascal Giles

http://thelonetaxman.web.aplus.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/GuntheManDown.pdf

The Masked Rider comes to help a group of nesters who are being exploited, and soon to be more and more violently.

When he helps out with investigating as Wayne Morgan he is caught near the scene of a murder, and those he is trying to help turn on him.

This forces him to return as the Masked Rider, and a confrontation with flaming lead ensues.


3 out of 5

The Skylark of Space - E. E. Doc Smith

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20869/20869.txt

A get into space opera, if you like, with some of your standard Smith elements, good good guys, sneaky bad guys, and lots of blowing stuff up. It is not too bad, but certainly isn't the Lensman series, by any stretch, and the fact that it is an earlier work probably shows. Still, pioneering sort of stuff for the time, but shows a bit more of the late 19th century type influences, I think.


2.5 out of 5

Guntrap Trail - Oscar Friend

http://thelonetaxman.web.aplus.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/guntraptrail.pdf

The town Wayne Morgan wanders into this time has a murder or two on its hands. No, this is not a big shock.

A bit of questioning and snooping is required to work out there is bad feeling between past owners of a ranch, and the ornery current owner, who has a gold claim on the property, and a complicated legal agreement with a time limit, about who owns the ranch.

Some fast gunplay at the end, a black costume, a black horse, and faithful Yanqui assistant combine to settle the issue, yuh jugheads.

3 out of 5

The Scarlet Ace - Theodore Tinsley

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=10

The Scarlet Ace sends Amusement Inc. a very nasty record, and then proceeds to elude them by virtue of being disguised as police, more than once.

2.5 out of 5

The Staffel Invisible - Donald E. Keyhoe

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=582

The Boche, it appears, have invented a new material that bends light. This would explain a few recent odd events.

It is up to Philip Strange to put a stop to it. He has a pretty serious problem when he ends up in a dogfight with a plane he can't see, at the end of the mission.


3 out of 5

Stolen A Squadron - Donald E. Keyhoe

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/jun-02/sas.html

Monsieur Le Diable keeps nicking aces, and it doesn't appear to matter to him which side they are on.

Then he manages to disappear a train carriage full!

If I was Philip Strange, I'd be getting jack of being accused of being a miscreant. But, superhero pilot agent that he is, he takes his looking up with a grin.

He is a bit surprised when he is busted out by someone dressed as Monsieur le Diable though.

Even more so, when they find out at the end, after uncovering some Prussian nogoodniks, that it was the ace-napper himself that got Strange out, so he could clear his name of some accusations of perfidy.

Fun, Pimpernelness all around.


3 out of 5

Skeleton From the Sky - Donald E. Keyhoe

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/oct-03/skeleton.html

The G-2 Ace ends up deep in skeletons in the catacombs, along with his offsider Andre, after being framed for a 'murder in the dark situation.'

At the heart of it is a plot concering some intelligence documentation.

3 out of 5

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Chair is Not Cheated - Mel Wyatt

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=858

A radio crime show guy plays amateur detective when a man he knows turns up drunk at his own home, with a murder weapon.

3 out of 5

The Silkworms of Florence - Clifford Ashdown

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600471.txt

Romney Pringle is on the trail of a dodgy rector, and what he works out, after a bit of geometry and hard work, is buried treasure.

3 out of 5

Cavalry of the Clouds - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=53

This Griffon yarn is a definite improvement. A plane has been developed that can carry tanks!

Barney has disappeared, and is wanted for a crime associated. Keen doesn't know where he is, but sets out to track him down, finding a beautiful woman, a plot, and a plane along the way.

Definitely better stuff.

3.5 out of 5

Zeppelins Vanish - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=52

Some of our dirigibles are missing. Or zeppelins, if you prefer. Without a doubt, some fast talking and dogfighting will be required to get them back.

2 out of 5

Hawks of Hate - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=51

The Griffon has a rival, who has a newer, fancier plane to boot. First The Fox causes The Griffon to ditch in the Atlantic, then tries to frame him for something else.

Competition over a job, leads to Keen and sidekick doing some re-engineering, to give them a shot.

3 out of 5

The Griffon's Gamble - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=50

A dodgy petroleum company, and a Chinese bad guy interested in some Japanese swords with Keen in the middle. Fairly pointless, this one.

1.5 out of 5

Guns of the Griffon - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=49

The Griffon is a bit of a bandit playing all sides. Removing dodgy elements himself, and taking their cash when he feels like it. He comes across a corporate aeroplane manufacturer feud, and takes advantage.

Kerry Keen, his alter-ego is an investigator, so he picks things up that way. A detective, Drury Lang, suspects Keen of skullduggery, but can't prove anything. Keen throws a red-herring Mauser his way, of a type used in a murder, just to annoy him.

A couple of one-way dogfights and a bit of running around later, and the Griffon is an hundred grand richer.

2.5 out of 5

Storm Over the Americas - Kerry McRoberts

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=204

When plans for an important technology go missing, the Eagle is sent on their trail.

Evil Nazis in Venezuela, that is what this means.

Here's a line that can't help bring cheer :

"Beer steins began flying."

with the help of a brave woman and a couple of other blokes, the Eagle lives to fight again.


3 out of 5

Friday, March 23, 2007

Earmarked Gold - George L. Eaton

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/mar-02/gold.html

Three dirty rats, of the tommy-gun wielding variety are desperate and hatch a scheme to get their hands on some bullion.

They have also laid hands on Red Gleason to help with this end, and Bill and the others go after them.

2.5 out of 5

The Blood Red Road to Petra - George L. Eaton

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/nov-01/bill.html

Commander Kestrel is having some problems, murdered agents and the like, over the Dead Sea way. They eventually decide they may have a use for Barnes and crew.

Doing some touring :

"That's Petra, kid."

"Gosh, you know a lot, don't you Bill?"

Sandy gets himself into a bit of trouble, when he has to vamoose on horseback.

However, a bunch of Bedouins feel a lot like the attackers in a Galaga bonus stage when Bill and Shorty turn up.


3 out of 5

Sea Hangar Snare - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/may-02/seahangr.html

The Griffon's offsider, Barney O'Dare, knows the value of a good bottle of O'Doul's Dew, and a pair of secret decoder glasses.

3 out of 5

The Scourge of the Sky Brood - Arch Whitehouse

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/aug-sept-02/scourge.pdf

A man is killed at 4000 with a Ghorka knife. Keen investigates. A stolen box is important to the military, and he has to tie the two together.

2 out of 5

Bill Barnes Takes A Holiday - George L. Eaton

http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~idesign/dec-02/holiday.html

Bill has been working so hard he is on the verge of a breakdown. His team realises this and orders him off the base for 3 weeks, taking along his kid sidekick.

He snoozes while he is flown along, but a storm and a distress call causes his co-pilot to wake him up, and they are soon in a vicious dogfight with 3 biplanes.

Again, Bill has fallen afoul of The Saver of Souls, a man that he does not know the identity of.

Eventually he gets to England, and discovers some more about The Saver of Souls, and a final confrontation ensues, after some trickery and frustration.

3.5 out of 5

The Murder of the Marionette - G. T. Fleming-Roberts

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=572

Some puppets just need killing.

Would you buy life insurance from a guy named Mr. Mort? No? Me either.

Not many people killed by buttons, either.

Check this dodgy line :

"Diamondstone was on his knees, on his feet, a gyrating mountain of power, moving with the elusive speed of an arrow."

Apart from those gymnastics, the magiciansleuth has to work out what Mort is up to, and who he is.

2.5 out of 5

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Power - C. K. M. Scanlon

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=57

Dodgy diplomacy in tiny parts of Central America, murder, drugs, blowings up, and other fiendish plots are all in a day's work for the special ace G-Man, it seems.

He even gets embarassed when they tell him good job!

3 out of 5

Satan's Incubator - Randall Craig

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604241.txt

Another day, another fauna themed maniac bedevils Dr. Skull. This one starts by poisoning one of his godsons, Scorpion style.

The Scorpion, rather than a bunch of monsters, prefers henchmen armed with machine guns, so the Skull-Killers is forced into a few gun battles, making a few of the aforementioned mobsters life-challenged.

Using the daughter of a politican and Carol as bait, the Scorpion lures Jeff into his undeground lair, and a trap.

It all ends a bit more explosively than the Scorpion expected.

3 out of 5

The City Condemned To Hell - Randall Craig

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604231.txt

Jeffrey Fairchild likely suffers from the same sort of personality disassociation problems as Moon Knight.

As Dr. Skull, a man thirty years older than he actually is, he works with Carol, a nurse, who he is definitely interested in.

He is also The Skull-Killer, and must work hard to stop one of Dr. Skull's colleagues, when he discovers he is The Octopus, turning people into devolved sea monster types with the aid of a purple ray.

3 out of 5

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Murder Monsters - Brant House

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601461.txt

The master of disguise, out to stop a murdering horde of robots. An entertaining setup. The Agent is clever, he gets a police helicopter to film an aerial view of a getaway, to track the metal men back to their lair. Although, of course, they are not, they are brainwashed escaped convicts! A fun romp.

3.5 out of 5

The Torture Trust - Brant House

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0608191.txt


The introduction of Secret Agent X gives a brief overview of his methodology, his gear, and his resources, but you do not know who he is. An absolute master of disguise, he can even impersonate police Inspectors briefly, and get away with it, even with quick changes in the field.

Here, a message from the government is asking him to stop The Torture Trust. A mystery group of high-level criminals, kidnapping people and burning off their faces with an acid torture if they do not pay a ransom.

Their ultimate goal is the kidnapping of the most influential English banking figure, coming on a tour of the USA. X must infiltrate the trust, get him out of harm's way and also rescue his plucky female assistant Betty Dale, while staying alive.

A Witch Shall Be Born - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600921.txt

A bad problem to have - how do you tell which of two women is the very evil twin. Luckily, our favorite barbarian is a very pragmatic man. Excellent and evocative, this story.

4.5 out of 5

Kings of the Night - Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0607311.txt

Bran Mak Morn has leadership problems. Wulfhere's Northerners will not follow him, or Cormac, prince of Erin, they demand a King. Consulting with Gonar, who talks to his ancestor in Kull's time, and summons Kull, King of Valusia! Kull likes Bran, as he reminds him of Brule, and agrees to lead the Northerners. Wulfhere challenges him to combat. Big mistake for Wulfhere.

With Kull's help, Bran manages to hold the Romans for now, at some significant cost.

4 out of 5

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Disintegration Machine - Arthur Conan Doyle

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601391.txt

Malone and his editor want Challenger's assitance with checking out a scientist's claims of having invented a disintegration machine.

It seems it works, so when he boasts of having sold it to a European power, Challenger acts.

3 out of 5

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Eternal World - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/66/the-eternal-world

A man labors long to build a time machine. When he finally travels, the entities he meet make him pretty insignificant.

3 out of 5

The Epiphany of Death - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/65/the-epiphany-of-death

A man's strange, pale, quiet acquaintance studies the ancient tomes of Hyperborea, Atlantis and Mu, and tells him that life and death states are fluid.

One day, he invites him to his family sarcophagus. A shock awaits.

3 out of 5

The End of the Story - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/63/the-end-of-the-story

A student disappears, and in his effects is found the story of a visit to an abbey, and the discovery of a conflict between a holy knight and the inhabitants of a now ruined chateau.

When the student investigates, he finds a beautiful woman. The abbot goes looking for him, and tells him she is a vampire.

3.5 out of 5

The Enchantress of Sylaire - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/62/the-enchantress-of-sylaire

A man, tired of a woman playing hard to get, becomes a hermit. While minding his own business he comes across a woman and her lupine companion.

She invites him home, and he is smitted. The wolf, actually a werewolf, warns him against this lamia, and the woman he left comes looking for him.

No one can sway him.

4 out of 5

The Emir's Captive - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/259/the-emir%27s-captive

A diplomatic journey ends in imprisonment, for an Emir's son, he escapes, but is in a very bad way when he makes it back.

The Emir is not happy, and sets out to return the favor.

3 out of 5

Skyscraper Horror - Paul Chadwick

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604081.txt

Wade is called in to investigate a ghost in a skyscraper, and when doing so, finds a murderer, as well.

2.5 out of 5

Doctor Zero - Paul Chadwick

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0604081.txt

When purple fireballs of death start wiping people out, Wade Hammond is called in as the only man that has a shot at quickly finding out what is going down, and tracking down Doctor Zero.

3 out of 5

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Tarzan Twins - Edgar Rice Burroughs

http://www.gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0500161h.html

A kid's story, to start with.

A couple of boys, both with alliterative names starting with D, are off to visit the jungle. The only problem is when they get there, they get a bit sidetracked, and lost, and the Lord of the Jungle doesn't know quite where they are.

They end up running into a lion, and cannibals, as you do, when lost in Tarzan's Africa. They manage to find a couple of decent local blokes though, and eventually Tarzan tracks them down.

The kids, of course, then want apple pie. Every jungle lord has access to that one assumes.

2.5 out of 5

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Crimson Masks's Scorpion Trail - Frank Johnson

http://www.pulpgen.com/pulp/downloads/getpdf.php?id=857

The Mask is asked to investigate the Stellar Guild's problem with their declining membership, due to fatalities.

He has to face a lion, as well as uncover an astrological theme for a killing spree, that leads to a mining explanation.

3 out of 5

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Empire of Terror - Robert Wallace

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603921.txt

This one is not so good. It reads pretty much like a second rate Operator 5 story, and for the Phantom, it appears that doesn't suit.

He goes after the Imperator of the Invisible Empire, who has been making a few threats, and he ends up undercover as a convict on death row to try and track him down.

A little on the dull and disjointed side.

2 out of 5

The Dweller in the Gulf - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/55/the-dweller-in-the-gulf

Three earth adventurers on Mars, go underground with some locals. It gets a tad Wyndham from there.

3 out of 5

Double Cosmos - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/51/double-cosmos

A chemist experiments with drugs to investigate supernatural senses and other dimensions.

2.5 out of 5

The Disinterment of Venus - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/47/the-disinterment-of-venus

A sexy statue unearthed gives a bunch of monks the horn, and resists attempts at destruction.

3.5 out of 5

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Dimension of Chance - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/45/the-dimension-of-chance

A rocket planet chase and pursuit of Japanese skies towards San Francisco ends up anywhere but.

Another planet with telepathic monster overlords, in fact.

3.5 out of 5

The Devotee of Evil - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/44/the-devotee-of-evil

A man wants to build an 'ultimate evil receiver'.

Yeah, he's crazy.

3.5 out of 5

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Dart of Rasasfa - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/36/the-dart-of-rasasfa

A married pair of space explorers end up on a planet of reptile beings, and find it a little harrowing.

3 out of 5

The Demon of the Flower - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/41/the-demon-of-the-flower

On this planet, the flora is top dog. With their own priest cult and everything. When a man's fiance is due to be a sacrifice, he tries to do something about it.

3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Dark Age - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/35/the-dark-age

The last surviving people of an advanced civilisation realises all their technology has failed, and they are now vulnerable to the primitives around them.

Despite an offer of assistance from a group of warriors, they are unable to cope.

3.5 out of 5

The Colossus of Ylourgne - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/27/the-colossus-of-ylourgne

A necromancer bails town so he doesn't become possible raw material for another necromancer.

Ending up with monks, evil diabolical dwarves, and a colossus is somewhat of an improvement, if not a pleasant one.

4 out of 5

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The City of the Singing Flame - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/26/the-city-of-the-singing-flame

A writer follows in the footsteps of others, and finds a trans-dimensional city.


4 out of 5

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Chain of Aforgomon - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/21/the-chain-of-aforgomon

Drugs, necromancers, and occult combustion.

3 out of 5

Hunter Quatermain's Story - H. Rider Haggard

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2728

This is again a group of friends being entertained by Henry Curtis, and he has invited the old hunter himself over to regale the group with a tale over the odd drink or two.

Allan does come along and fills them in on another story with not the happiest ending, with elephants, a black maned lion, and a buffalo.

3 out of 5

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Bronze Image - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/265/the-bronze-image

An offensive Ganesha.

3 out of 5

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Brahmin's Wisdom - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/17/the-brahmin%27s-wisdom

Multiple gurus vs demon.

2.5 out of 5

An Adventure in Futurity - Clark Ashton Smith

http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/4/an-adventure-in-futurity

A man meets a traveller, and soon learns of triplanetary conflict.

4 out of 5