Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Astounding Hero Tales - James Lowder

Although this collection is called Astounding Hero Tales, it doesn't really resemble Astounding magazine at all, and only a few of the stories are about what you would call heroes.

The subtitle is more accurate as a pulp collection this most definitely is. It perhaps suffers a little in being too eclectic and may not actually deliver what people might want by looking at the title, with th e combination of weird, detectives, westerns, and the odd hero tale, etc.

The stories average 3.19, and you don't expect pulp adventure stuff to be super outstanding, by any stretch of the imagination, but they could have been a little better.

Not something you need to go out of your way to pay trade paperback prices for, anyway.

Astounding Hero Tales : 01 Death Was Silent - Lester Dent
Astounding Hero Tales : 02 The Mask of Kukulcan - Will Murray
Astounding Hero Tales : 03 Two-Fisted Crookback - Steve Melisi
Astounding Hero Tales : 04 Wolf Train West - William Messner-Loebs
Astounding Hero Tales : 05 Godmother - Steve Eller
Astounding Hero Tales : 06 Missing Pages - Richard Dansky
Astounding Hero Tales : 07 Running Thunder - John Helfers
Astounding Hero Tales : 08 Playback - Patricia Lee Macomber
Astounding Hero Tales : 09 A Lost City Of the Jungle - Darrell Schweitzer
Astounding Hero Tales : 10 It Came From the Swamp - Ed Greenwood
Astounding Hero Tales : 11 Slide Home - David Niall Wilson
Astounding Hero Tales : 12 Out West - John Pelan
Astounding Hero Tales : 13 Bandit Gold - Thomas M. Reid
Astounding Hero Tales : 14 Kiss Me Deadly - Robert Weinberg
Astounding Hero Tales : 15 The Forgotten Man - Robin D. Laws
Astounding Hero Tales : 16 House of Shadows - Hugh B. Cave

A private detective on the trail of a weapons ring gets into a fight with a man with a torch that has a blade on a string inside it.

You can never trust a bloke with one of those, whoever you are.

3 out of 5


A man that a museum curator decides is strange asks for help in getting back a serpent artifact. Sensing a good deal, she learns that her first instincts were right.

3.5 out of 5


A bare knuckle fighter finds he can't help himself when it comes to his nancy actor threatre manager boss.

3.5 out of 5


A boy and his little sister head west, trying to ride the rails, struggling in the cold to catch a train. They are helped up by a strong fellow traveller, and soon find the railway police are rather more than human.

Luckily their fellow traveller is not new to this, and a brilliant shot with guns with silver bullets .... it seems that his tanned face may once have worn a mask...

4 out of 5


Deity source woman sort by everyone from Pharaohs to the Thule.

2 out of 5


A boy learns black magic from the ghost of his grandfather.

3 out of 5



A pommie aviator is shot down trying to shut down a German war operation in Mexico. He joins forces with some local ranchers who have had a herd rustled by the same mob. Stampede time.

3.5 out of 5


Zombie testimony.

3 out of 5


Sitting around in one of those old fashioned clubs talking about something a bit strange out there.

2.5 out of 5


The Salt Hook Slitherer has murdered five wealthy and disliked men. What is going on?

3.5 out of 5


Baseball bus escape big league promotion luck.

3 out of 5


A group of crims head for a town where they think the local rackets aren't sewn up. The locals there are way different to your average person, having scales and fangs and all.

So, one of them knows a guy out East, where the pickings might be easier. New England way, a place called Innsmouth...

4 out of 5


A bloke coming back from the war has a mate who told him about a treasure map. However, there is a fiery redheaded sister, the City of Lost Souls, a dodgy sergeant, some nazis and Pancho Vila to deal with on the way.

3 out of 5


New York's first female private detective tangles with a voodoo priest and, of course, zombies.

3 out of 5


A man's dead union mates join forces to bring a ghost gun to bear on those that assassinated them, using him as their agent.

3 out of 5


The ghost of an old man's dead twin helps fend off a gang of a rapists.

3.5 out of 5





3 out of 5

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