Friday, February 15, 2013

Forgotten Magazine: Guilty Detective Story Magazine, March 1960

When I saw that this magazine was edited by W. W. Scott, as was Super Science Fiction, I thought that maybe Robert Silverberg had written most of the stories in it, as he often did for Super Science Fiction. However, when I checked the invaluable Fictionmags Index, I saw that he's credited with only three of them.  He's Dirk Clinton, Ray McKensie, and Dan Malcolm.  The name "Ron Garret" looks pretty suspicious to me, since Silverberg and Randall Garrett often wrote as Randall Garrett, but there's no confirmation of that name.  (UPDATE: Robert Silverberg says in the comments that he didn't write the Garret story, so maybe there's a real Ron Garret.)  All the other names look like pseudonyms, but I can't confirm any of them.  Maybe some of you can help me out.

Here's the contents list from the Index:

It's not hard to determine the audience for the magazine.  Almost every story has a beautiful woman with "high breasts," "smooth, tanned thighs," and "thrusting knobs."  Okay, the only one with the "thrusting knobs" is "Kid Killers in Cadillacs."  Sometimes it's the breasts that are thrusting, but you know what I mean.

I have to admit that "Kid Killers in Cadillacs" is a great title.   It's a j.d. story, with tons of embarrassingly "hip" period teen slang. The title's misleading, as the kids aren't really killers in the sense you might expect. Just one person gets killed, and that's pretty much in self-defense. The main reason for the story is the scene in which a young woman is forced to strip, is raped, and then gets thrown naked into a swimming pool.

"Cold, Calculated Murder" is a better story about an escaped convict out for revenge who gets the tables turned on him.  He comes to a bad end, which seems to be the main way these stories end.  Most of them are really downbeat, including "Dangerous Doll." Femme fatale is literally true in this one, as it is in "You Don't Own Me."  If you like stories with really downbeat endings, this is the magazine for you, and the titles of "Thrill Ride to Death" and "Death of a Wise Guy" pretty much let you know what you're going to get.  

Literary excellence isn't a qualification that the editor deemed necessary, but these stories are fun to read as artifacts of a time long gone.


George said...

GUILTY DETECTIVE MAGAZINE's cover is eye-popping!

Todd Mason said...

Harlan Ellison wrote a brief essay some years back about contributing to Scott's magazines, in which he painlessly bemoans his and his buddies' (such as Silverberg) attempts to entitle their works garishly enough to outdo the retitling that Scott would apply to their stories...and failing to do so.

This isn't *that* essay, but this one is also about Scott in part:

mybillcrider said...

Thanks for that link, Todd. I bought ROCKABILLY in 1960 (still have that very copy), but I never knew it started out as a story in a Scott-edited magazine.

Anonymous said...

Cool, daddio. Love the "thrusting knobs" and the title you named.

Kid Killers in Kadillacs WBAGNFARB.


Anonymous said...

Somebody else wrote that "Ron Garret" story, so I can take no credit for those thrusting knobs. I did write the Clinton, McKensie, and Dan Malcolm stories, though.

Two cents a word in a day when $150 covered a month's rent on a fine Manhattan apartment!

Robert Silverberg

mybillcrider said...

Thanks for letting us know. I guess the author will remain a mystery. Or maybe there's a real Ron Garret out there