Black Cat Weekly #102 has quite an eclectic lineup. We have modern mystery tales by Joseph S. Walker and Marc Lecard (thanks to Acquiring Editors Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman. A parody of Harlan Ellison’s work from Larry Tritten. Noir from Bruno Fischer. A story featuring traditional British detective Sexton Blake from Hal Meredith. Classic sci-fi by Lester del Rey. And let’s not forget our solve-it-yourself puzzler from Hal Charles.
We also have more than a few stories by famous authors that appeared outside of the genre for which they are most famous. This time it’s mystery writer Evan Hunter, plus horror writers Joseph Payne Brennan and H.P. Lovecraft, all with science fiction stories. Lovecraft’s first appeared as a 3-part serial in Astounding Stories.
How did Lovecraft’s work manage to appear in Astounding? For a brief time, he had an agent—who made the sale for him to a market that paid significantly more than Weird Tales. Surely Lovecraft never would have submitted to Astounding on his own. And never mind that it really is a science fiction story, though there are cosmic horrors as well. Literary quality sold it. And so Lovecraft became a science fiction pulp writer!
Evan Hunter—slumming in the science fiction field—sold his story to Science Fiction Quarterly—a respectable market, if not in the top tier. Brennan’s tale appeared as an original in his 1963 collection, Scream at Midnight.
Here’s the complete lineup:
Mysteries / Suspense / Adventure:
"Making the Bad Guys Nervous," by Joseph S. Walker [Michael Bracken Presents short story]
"Things That Go Bump," by Hal Charles [Solve-It-Yourself Mystery]
"Teardown," by Marc Lecard [Barb Goffman Presents short story]
"Py Ponk," by Hal Meredith [Sexton Blake series, short story]
"Stop Him!," by Bruno Fischer
Science Fiction & Fantasy:
"Painbird, Painbird, Fly Away Home," by Larry Tritten
"Operation Distress," by Lester Del Rey
"The Dump," by by Joseph Payne Brennan
"Reaching for the Moon," by Evan Hunter
At the Mountains of Madness, by H. P. Lovecraft [novel]