Wildside Press

Black Cat Weekly #22

Black Cat Weekly #22 features a change of pace fantasy story from Michael Bracken, who is best known for his mysteries and crime stories—selected by Cynthia Ward. It’s our featured story this issue. But that’s not to say the other science fiction and fantasy stories aren’t great, too! “Alien,” by Lester del Rey, is a different take on the crash-landed alien who wants to eat everyone around him. And I’m sure you’ll get a chuckle from Larry Tritten’s gonzo sendup of generic fantasy and science fiction quest stories, “The Lord of the Land Beyond (Book One).” (Hint: don’t look for a sequel.) Classics from Unknown by Malcolm Jameson and from Weird Tales by Manley Wade Welllman round out the section.

Mystery readers, too, have a lot to explore. Charlotte Morganti leads off with “Deadly Drama,” selected by Michael Bracken—it begins with an accordion festival—rejoice if you like polkas!—but I don’t want to say too much. Read it yourself! Barb Goffman brings us “All Prayers Are Answered,” a powerful story by Eric Rutter of a homeless man whose friend is murdered. He is drawn into the investigation out of fear a young woman investigating the crime will come to harm—or unearth a terrible secret from his past.

If you like your detectives hardboiled, Frank Kane returns with another Johnny Liddell mystery. Traditional mystery fans will enjoy a Madame Story novel from Hulbert Footner. And western and historical readers will enjoy a great pulp novel by Max Brand.

And of course, where would we be without our solve-it-yourself mystery? Pit your wits against Hal Charles (the writing tream of Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet) and see if you can solve “The Coin Flip” without reading the solution!

Lastly, “The ‘Rexmel,” by Ralph Milne Farley, has an improbable invention, but it’s not really science fiction, even though it’s by a science fiction writer and appeared in a fantasy magazine. Maybe you could call it a pulp sea-story with shaggy dog elements?

Here’s the complete lineup:

Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure

“Deadly Drama at the Accordion-o-Rama,” by Charlotte Morganti [short story]
“A Coin Flip,” by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
“A Package for Mr. Big,” by Frank Kane [short novel]
“All Prayers Are Answered,” by Eric Rutter [short story]
The Death Notice by Hulbert Footner [novel]
A Shower of Silver, by Max Brand [novel]
“The ‘Rexmel’,” by Ralph Milne Farley [short story]

Science Fiction & Fantasy

“The Fishmonger’s Wife,” by Michael Bracken [Cynthia Ward Presents, short story]
“The Lord of the Land Beyond (Book One),” by Larry Tritten [short story]
“Alien,” by Lester Del Rey [short story]
“Doubled and Redoubled,” by Malcolm Jameson [short story]
“Old Dhoh,” by Manly Wade Wellman [short story]
339 printed pages
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