Monday, May 19, 2014

Michael AKA Mike Hervey, pt. 2

I promised to say something about short story writer Mike Hervey's short stories. I covered what I know of his life in this post. It's not much and lots is mere speculation.

Same goes for his short stories. I can't say I read them carefully, many I only eyed lazily. Lots were translated in Finnish and published in mags in the late fourties and the fifties. As you remember, he had a magazine to his own name in Australia, called The Mike Hervey Detective Monthly Magazine. The Finnish magazine called Salapoliisilukemisto (Detective Digest; see photo) seems to have taken its stories from that magazine, since it had issues that contained only stories by Hervey! And many were straight from the Australian magazine.

Hervey was as prolific as hell, writing over 3000 short stories in a span of ten years. That must show in the quality of his stories. Many are pretty simple, focusing on the twist at the end, as in the story "Death of a Widow" (1953). There's not much description of the scenery, nor is there much character development. Most of the characters are what's usually called stock characters: detective, police officer, career criminal, deceitful babe, disappointed wife, etc. In "Nick to the Rescue" (1953) that's almost of a flash fiction length we get both the career criminal and the deceitful babe. There are some variations, though. "Death on Wheels" (1953) is about a race driver who's forced to win in a race. If he loses, he'll be killed.

Some of the stories are science fictional, for example in the story called "In the Year 2500" (I don't know the original title, and I don't even know what really takes place in the story). "You Can't Deceit Faith" (the original title missing, probably from 1953) is about foreseeing the future and clairvoyance.

I realize this isn't much, but it's a start! There's not much info on Mike Hervey in the web.

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