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August 11, 2021

August Newsletter

We're a little late getting the newsletter out this month but sometimes we get busy....

We put several books out last month but the one we'd really like to call to your attention is The Horrors of Mars by Clark Ashton Smith. Smith was the third of the three great writers of Weird Tales magazine. The other two were Robert E. Howard, the author of the Conan the Barbarian stories; and H.P. Lovecraft, he of the fame (or infamy) of the Cthulhu stories. Smith was probably the least known and the greatest visionary of the three.

The Horrors of Mars is a collection of four stories with two alternate versions about the horrors to be found on Mars, the Red Planet.

In a letter to August Derleth in 1933, Smith called The Dweller in the Gulf "my triply unfortunate tale." The story was first submitted to Weird Tales where it was rejected for being too horrid for most readers. Next it was submitted to Strange Tales which went out of business the next month. It finally found a home at Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories.

Once the story found a publisher in Wonder Stories, Smith's real problems began. Gernsback demanded that Smith make changes to create a 'scientific motivation' for the story. Smith created the character of John Chalmers, the archeologist, and added 1100 words to create a pseudo-scientific explanation.

When the story finally appeared in print, Smith discovered two other problems. First, the story was retitled to "Dweller in Martian Depths." Second, Smith was surprised to find that the ending had been completely re-written by, as Smith described it, "a semi-illiterate office boy." Smith's grand Dantesque ending was softened and defeated by the timorous concerns of Gernsback.

Both stories are reprinted here for your comparison. We've got to admit that we like Dweller in Martian Depths but we are blown away by the horror of The Dweller in the Gulf. It turns it up to 11. We hope you'll like it too.
The Horrors of Mars by Clark Ashton Smith
Four stories with two alternate versions about the horrors to be found on Mars, the Red Planet, by Clark Ashton Smith.

The Planet Entity (1931)
Chapter II. Shanghaied Into Space
Chapter III. The Giant of Mars
Chapter IV. The Astounding Creation!
Chapter V. The Return to Earth
Chapter VI. The Martian’s Power

Dweller in Martian Depths (1933) —Into the planet’s bowels they went in search of fabulous wealth. . . but they found waiting for them the grim dweller. . . .

The Dweller in the Gulf

The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis (1932) —A powerful story of a nightmare horror, a weird vampirism spawned in the caverns of the red planet

The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis (Original Version)

Vulthoom (1935) —A weird-scientific story of two Earthmen on Mars—a tale of frightful tortures and eery horrors in the subterranean caverns of the red planet, and a doom that menaced Earth
After you finish reading The Horrors of Mars you should check out our Sale books for this month:

On Sale This Month.

The Eye of Balamok by Victor Rousseau

The Eye of Balamok (1920) – Dying of thirst in the Great Victoria Desert of Australia, a man finds a small hut built of stone next to a small fresh water spring. Inside the hut he finds a manuscript from an earlier traveler.

The Eye of Balamok – Over the rim of hell he went, wanderlust-driven into a land more strange than his mad dreams. . . .

A three part serial novel of a lost underground civilization.
The Complete Conan by Robert E. Howard
The complete set of 17 novelettes, novellas and novels of the original Conan stories published in Weird Tales between 1932 and 1936. All of the stories have all of their original illustrations included and the set is a magnificent read.
Thundering Herds and Other Stories – Three novelettes by Walt Coburn about gamblers, cattle rustlers and debts long owed and finally repaid.

Death’s Saddlemates (1935) – Cow folks said that Bob Badger had gone bronc and that his girl’s father, following his sign, would bring him swiftly to the grim range justice meted out to all bushwhack killers. A four chapter novelette.

Law of The Thundering Herds (1937) – Old-timers still tell of that strange and famous gun-duel between Lige Brandon and his friend, Jim Turley, in the dusty street of Chinook. . . . For the echoes of their crashing six-shooters awoke from his boothill sleep a long-dead cowman—who must ride and fight again for a ghost trail-herd! A four chapter novelette.

Tinhorns Can’t Cheat Death! (1937) – Deuce High Fox, tinhorn card-slick and killer, came back from years of unearned prison hell, sustained to life by his own bitter hatred against those who had condemned him. Yet all his slim-fingered magic and steel-cold nerve availed him little against the knowledge that he must play his last grim hand against Eternity, and play it straight! A four chapter novelette.
Vulcan’s Dolls by Margaret St. Clair (1952) – The Weeping Doll lay on Fyon’s pink sands. When Don Haig picked it up, the cosmic battle between Vulcan and Mulciber would begin!

There was only one Vulcan’s weeping doll in the galaxy, maybe in the universe. It was in the big museum back on Earth. It was only displayed once every four or five years because of the reactions it had on the museum goers. But somehow Don Haig had found another on the pleasure planetoid of Fyon. Captivatingly beautiful, the doll wept. Whether just for him, or for all mankind, Don didn’t know. But Don did know why the SSP were hunting him – they wanted that weeping doll. For lurking behind the beauty of paradise was the brutality of a police state.
Vulcan’s Dolls is a novel of 18 chapters.
Don’t Tell Anyone – Four Stories by J. Lane Linklater about frame ups, jewel heists, gambling, horse races and murder.

Souvenir From Saipan (1947) – Pete Lawton, returned war hero and ex-bookie, heads straight for the racetrack to repay some debts, but when his longshot ticket comes home he finds the payoff’s made in murder coin!
A four chapter novelette.

One Small Clue (1945) – It’s an exciting furlough for Jim Latman when he runs into a murder case and solves a mystery that puzzles him mightily!

Mr. Brown’s Bare Feet (1950) – Three strange visitors create mystery at Digger’s Hollow, mystery that young Peter Rhoades must solve—in a hurry!

Don’t Tell Anyone (1948) – When Private Detective Walt Bonner arrived at the racetracks, he was there to help a pretty night club owner make a killing— but he didn’t expect the type of “killing” that was going on! A seven chapter novelette.
Murder Madness by Murray Leinster
Seven Secret Service men had completely disappeared. Another had been found a screaming, homicidal maniac, whose fingers writhed like snakes. So Bell, of the secret “Trade,” plunges into South America after The Master—the mighty, unknown octopus of power whose diabolical poison threatens a continent!

Murder Madness is a four part novel of sinister adventure, first published in 1930 in Astounding Stories of Super Science. In 1931, it was republished as Leinster’s first hardback novel.
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But also come by The Pulp Fiction Book Store. We've got some great stories to entertain you with. And Clark Ashton Smith? One hell of a writer...
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