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  • By Michael Brown
    Jan 5, 2011
    Once again, we have another great collection of pulp fiction from Altus Press. This volume collections several 'snake' inspired works by early pulp author Richard Sale, including his short-lived pulp hero: the Cobra! We get a great little intro by Will Murray, and learn that Richard Sale was like most pulp authors (and what most wanted to be): he started off in the pulps, and used that to move up to the 'slicks', then became a screenwriter and director in movies and tv, thus that his time as a pulp author is just a footnote in his long career. Having an early interest in snakes and herpetology, he wrote several 'snake' inspired works, not all of which met with approve by pulp audiences (not sure why). The first 3 stories are of his short-lived pulp here: the Cobra, which appeared in ''Ten Detective Aces'' as a replacement for Lester Dent's Blond Adder (a gadget-hero which predated Doc and recently reprinted by Altus Press!). The Cobra was really Deen Bradley, an American working for... More > British Intelligence in India. He used a blow-gun with small darts using snake venom. Its unclear why the character didn't last longer, maybe the readers complained and he was dropped. Overall, the stories are interesting, and you can see a lot of potential, but you can see issues as well. The first story is set in India, the next in London, and the third in New York. As you go along, later stories refer to previous ones, and in the 3rd one there is reference to another event that wasn't reported. You can see some issues with how Sale handled the character. Rounding out the volume are 3 snake-themed stories, two from the back of Secret Agent X, and the 3rd from Thrilling Detective. All are enjoyable, being more standard detective fiction. Then there are 2 works from the Writer Digest. The first is a nice article on the need for research, using as examples many snake-infested fiction works. And the other a sort of story of a pulp publisher putting out a new hero pulp called "Cobra: King of Detectives". One wonders if and to how much the characters in that work are based on real pulpsters. Overall, this is yet another nice little collection from Altus!!< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Altus Press
May 14, 2011
Hardcover (dust-jacket)
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.74 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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