RE: RARA-AVIS: On Hitchcock anthologies: Morgan and Bassett

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 18 Nov 2002

Buy them, Kent. You are unlikely to be too disappointed, particularly at that price.

However, there are at least three kinds of ALFRED HITCHCOCK anthologies. The one Doug mentions below, AH PRESENTS: THE MASTER'S CHOICE, is I think the last of the anthologies apparently edited by AH but actually ghost-edited by Robert Arthur or Harold Masur (Masur in this case; I think Masur inherited the job from Arthur); the first books in this series may've been actually selected by AH, but they became a franchise, drawing from many sources, and average very high. Most of those were distinguished by being AH PRESENTS; Dell published two-volume paperback reprints of the Random House originals of this series. Dell also published best-ofs of ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and these were titled ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S NOOSE REPORT and similarly, always AH'S [SOMETHING]. And then there were the young-readers' anthologies ghost-edited by Robert Arthur, such as AH'S HAUNTED HOUSEFUL and AH'S SINISTER SPIES.

AHMM published quite a lot of good material in the '70s as well, from the perspective of this got more softboiled in the '80s, but till then featured tables of contents full of occasionally surprising and usually reliable writers. And even the "softer" AHMM still offers some good material...I'm particularly happy with the late Charles Sheffield's story in the current issue, and the reprint of (the also late) Henry Slesar's first AHMM story isn't too shabby, either. But ignore the awful cover story.

-----Original Message----- From: Doug Bassett [mailto:] Sent: Sunday, November 17, 2002 10:29 AM To: Subject: RARA-AVIS: On Hitchcock anthologies

Somehow I deleted the original request about Hitchcock anthologies -- sorry.

Anyhow, I'd take a look at the contents of the books, and if you recognize any names, pick them up. A lot of very interesting authors published in AH Magazine, especially in the Fifties and Sixties.

Right now I have ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS THE MASTERS CHOICE in one of my to-be-read stacks, for instance, and a quick look at the contents reveals stories by Robert Edmond Alter, Lawrence Block, Robert L. Fish, Davis Grubb, John D. Macdonald, Ross Macdonald, Richard Matheson, and Bill Pronzini.

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