RARA-AVIS: Bruno Fischer & Weird Menace

From: Reed Andrus ( randrus@home.com)
Date: 25 Jan 2000

Bill Crider opined:

> I like Bruno Fischer's work quite a bit. I've read all his Gold Medal
> books, and I have a Lion Book by "Russell Gray" called THE LUSTFUL APE.
> Many years back, I did a short interview with Fischer for the late,
> lamented PAPERBACK QUARTERLY. He was a great guy. He also did some
> hardcover books that aren't quite as hardboiled and noirish as the Gold
> Medal novels, and his last book, THE EVIL DAYS, was a hardcover reprinted
> by Ballantine in paper. If you find it, buy it. Great stuff.
> Bill Crider

Hi Bill!

A minor addition to the discussion prompted by an earlier (excellent) post on shudder pulps. I went to my shelf and pulled down THE SHUDDER PULPS, a history of the sub-sub-genre compiled by Robert Kenneth Jones that was published in 1975 by FAX . Checked out the index and found a huge discussion of Russell Gray's "Burn -- Lovely Lady!"

According to the Jones, "Russell Gray's prose epitomizes the new look of the late thirties. In some ways, he proved a dominant force of the period..."


 "In the forties, Gray began working the detective markets. They proved tougher, he found, when his first five stories bounced. Before long, though, he was producing and selling consistently. He moved out of pulps into hardboiled hardbacks, under his own name, Bruno Fischer, shortly after. Recently, Fischer has been in the administrative end of book publishing."

[and finally]

"We've seen how Bruno Fischer did not use his real name on his mystery-terror fiction, preferring Russell Gray. When an author had two stories in the same issue, the pseudonym avoided the obvious repetitiousness of the real name. Thus, Gray also used the name, Harrison Storm."

There's a bit more, but nothing substantive.

... Reed

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