Sunday, May 10, 2009

Robert Silverberg's crime stories

Many bloggers I'm following have been commenting favourably on A Little Intelligence, a collection of old science-fictional crime stories published recently by Crippen & Landru. The writers are Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett, who both have had a good career in science fiction. Here's Bill Crider, and here's Ed Gorman.

No one mentions it, but I think this is the first time Silverberg's and Garrett's early crime stories have been published in a book form. Their science fiction stories have been published, some many times, but their crime stories haven't been.

If I'm not correct about this, please tell me. Because I'm about to boast a little bit. Because I actually published the first collection of Silverberg's early crime stories. I made a small booklet called Tapaamme tuonelassa / We'll Meet in Hell in 2006, under the (fictional) imprint, Verikoirakirjat / Blood Hound Press. The booklet has four stories whose Finnish translations I found in the Finnish pulp, Seikkailujen Maailma, from the early sixties. All the stories were from one issue of the Guilty Detective Magazine. I don't remember the details at the moment and I can't seem to the digital file of the booklet (I've long since run out of copies), so I can't check. I may have forgotten to post about the book here, which doesn't make me a good promoter of my own work. (But hey, I still managed to sell all the copies I printed, and I think there were as many as 200!)

The black-and-white cover was by Jukka Murtosaari and my friend Jukka Halme wrote the introduction. The crime fiction circles in Finland didn't seem to understand what the fuss was about, but the science fiction fandom was much more interested in the book. The stories are not great - they are more run-of-the-mill noir that was published a lot in the late fifties and early sixties, and from the four stories in the book three were too identical to each other. But it was still the first collection of Silverberg's early crime stories ever published!

Aw man, this sucks! I can't find the book, I can't find any of the files and I can't post Jukka's cover here in Pulpetti! This is utterly unforgivable - first I forget to promote the book when it's new, and then when it could be a collector's item and of interest to people reading this blog, I fail to find anything relating to it. You'll just have to trust me on this.

Edit: I managed to dig up a mention of the book. The issue of the Guilty Detective magazine all the stories were originally published in June, 1960.

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