RE: RARA-AVIS: Hard-Boiled anthology

From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 28 Feb 2003

Richard Moore wrote: Miker, you let the cursor go two lines too long when you cut and pasted the contents of the Shaw anthology. The Derleth reference is to a fantasy/horror anthology that he edited. The Howard Wandrei story is in that anthology.

I have both editions and the missing stories are by Des Ormeaux (Rosaire), Coxe and Booth. My experience is that the hardback is not that uncommon and

I've seen decent prices on copies missing the dust jacket. Maybe I've just been lucky.

You will notice there is no story by Erle Stanley Gardner. I don't have his

bio handy but my memory is that he was irritated with Shaw who he felt was claiming too much credit and would not give permission. Gardner pointed out

that many of the better known writers in Black Mask (Hammett was another one

besides Gardner himself) had stories in the magazine prior to Shaw's editorship.

Chandler was angry at the story Shaw reprinted. It was one of those that had been borrowed from for one of his novels, or as he put it "cannibalized" and

his agent had strict instructions not to alloow any reprints of those. Chandler (who claimed to have suggested the anthology idea to Shaw) said he signed the permission form while he was busy and distracted at Paramount. We know all this detail because when Pocket Books came out with their reprint, Chandler received a letter from E. Howard Hunt (then with the American Embassy in Mexico City undercover for the CIA) who complained of the
"self-plagiarism." He answered it in great detail ending with the remark that Hunt was the only person to ever complain other than Chandler himself.
*************** Thanks for the comments, Richard. I'm starting to pick up bits and pieces about Black Mask, and I do recall some of the authors getting fed up with Shaw pushing the Hammett style. The authors did a reader poll and Daly and Gardner came out more popular than Hammett, if I recall correctly.

Hammett himself left the magazine a couple times, didn't he? I think Hammett bailed on Black Mask right before Shaw came onboard because they wouldn't pay him more money. I think Gardner even offered to pay the difference from his own pieces. Hammett came back when Shaw became editor and asked Hammett to do a serial which, I'm guessing, became RED HARVEST. The second time Hammett left the magazine he did a short stint with the slicks and then quit publishing.


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