The letter from G. M. Wilson, printed below, makes an astonishing accusation against Weird Tales; astonishing because this magazine has often been blamed for a policy the exact opposite of that attributed to us by Mr. Wilson. He says, in effect, that our stories lack interest because the reader knows in advance that they will all end happily, the villain will be defeated and virtue will triumph no matter what odds are against such an ending. We recall that Weird Tales was once rebuked by one of the magazines for writers because of our publication of The Seeds of Death by David H. Keller (July, 1931). The story was called "immoral" because the hero was given over to a lingering death, and the villainess succeeded in her evil schemes. One of our interplanetary stories was criticized by some of our readers because the red-headed reporter, who had endeared himself to the readers, was killed on Mars and could not return to Earth with the rest of the space-traveling party. A glance at the August issue (which is on the stands as this is written) shows at least four stories that refute Mr. Wilson's accusation against us. In one of these (The Will of the Dead by Loretta Burrough) a scheming mother, who had dominated her son's life, wrought a hideous doom upon her innocent daughter-in-law; all of which makes a fascinating story but does not allow virtue to triumph. In another (The Last Pharaoh by Thomas P. Kelley), the lovable English girl and her brother had their bodies taken from them so that the Pharaoh and his paramour could acquire their healthy bodies on which to transplant their own heads—surely a defeat of all that is good; the evil deed is not undone either, even though destruction overtakes the guilty pair at the last. Most of our stories do end happily because that is the way the authors write them; but our readers can never know in advance whether the ending will be happy or otherwise. Mr. Wilson's letter follows.
Does Virtue Always Win?
G. M. Wilson, whose letter we have answered above, writes from Rosebank, New York: "I realize that this epistle is slated for immediate deposit in the nethermost depths of the wastebasket, but nevertheless I still am having the satisfaction of getting something off my chest that has been bothering me for some time. The point I am bringing up is, I suppose, one of the unmentionables of the 'pulps'. It is, to put it tersely: why must virtue always triumph? I read some years ago that a writer who wished to achieve success with your type of magazine must never let heroism be overcome by villainy. I see that your authors have taken this lesson to heart, or perhaps it is your editorial policy to accept only stories which follow this category. Now there is no doubt that your publication could be one of the best 'escape mechanisms' in the literary field; however, it becomes monotonous to an extreme after the first two issues. The remedy is simple: you need only to vary your menu slightly. Your authors display enough ingenuity and skill; your field, that of the uncanny, is interesting; in fact, you lack only the quality of variety to elevate your magazine far above the pulp class. Why not let the reader have some reasonable doubt as to whether the 'fair-haired boy' will conquer the nasty villain or monstrosity. As it is now, no one is ever in doubt as to the outcome. Our upright young American will win, no matter what the odds. It is similar to the old-time movie serials where the hero falls down a thousand-foot cliff at the end of part nine and comes up as strong as ever in part ten. It is true that you publish stories of the extraordinary, but, God, it is too extraordinary to stomach having right win continually. It isn't life. You may say that you are not writing about life, that I can get my sordid realism in the contemporary fiction of the Hemingway school, bur I think you can get my point. The point is that you have the makings of an excellent magazine, above the class of the usual pulp, yet you usually and deliberately tie yourself down with this one flaw. I suppose you are a success financially and have a large reading public, but don't you think you could widen your appeal and increase your circulation by adopting the above suggestion? No doubt I am wrong, for it is your business to know the psychology of your reading public; and yet I'm nor so sure I'm wrong. I think there's something in all of us that delights in the exaltation of evil. I am no publicity hound, but I think if you were to publish this letter and ask for comments you would find that many of your readers would agree with me. In any event, if you could answer me personally and state your reasons for the exclusion of all stories in which the hero doesn't triumph, I should be grateful. Frankly, I am curious."
Save the Necronomicon!
Elaine McIntire, of Maiden, Massachusetts, writes: "Madam Brundage certainly can draw, but she doesn't make her 'femmes' look scared. They are too beautiful. I liked Virgil Finlay's cover last month; hope he does more soon. That reminds me—is Mr. Ball going to give us more of Rald, prince of thieves? I sincerely wish he would. [Yes; you shall have more Rald stories.—The Editor.] But! what in tarnation is The Terrible Parchment? Is our friend Wellman trying to put my pet book Necronomicon on the spot? Well, he'd better not try! I'm up in arms! I like to think that there is such a thing. It gives me something to think about coming home alone late at night along dark streets. What about it, readers? Are we going to let that pass? ... For myself, I like nice, gray, werewolf stories. And the more murky, gory, and slinky a story is the better I like it."
Lawrence Miller, of Norfolk, Virginia, writes: "The stories in your magazine are all good. You have no kicks coming. But I have several suggestions that would tend to make the magazine perfect. The first: Why such a strict policy in your reprint department? As matters stand, Weird Tales readers are given only the shorter stories from your back issues. Weren't there some praiseworthy longer ones? Of course there is the old cry against long reprints—Authors must eat!—but you could easily circumvent that. When you plan to reprint a novelette, merely skip a reprint for one month and make up for it the second month. Or use smaller type. After all, the type in the Eyrie has not harmed my eyes. The second idea concerns those two great writers who died recently—Lovecraft and Howard. For a long time they carried the burden of writing Weird Tales largely between them, and the great majority of your readers has probably never seen either of them. How about pictures? A photograph of each carried inside your cover. Make good likenesses of them (they deserve it) and have no writing on the picture! If necessary, charge extra for that particular issue. Or skip the other illustrations. Or even skip the stories. But give us those photographs. I will close with an appreciation of Henry Kuttner. He is the most versatile artist to ever appear in Weird Tales. The Jest of Droom Avista is every bit as good as The Eater of Souls, which up to last month was the best ever printed. He is one of the two really worthwhile weird poets. The other is—or was—Edgar Allan Poe. Let's have another as good as Ragnarok."
Trudy Answers Our Critics
Gertrude Hemken, of Chicago, writes: "Comes my monthly gab-letter to aggervate and p'raps delight you. Fustest of all, I must express my complete and wholly satisfactory pleasure at The Abyss Under the World. Gracious me, I still feel as though I had been awakened from a strange and charming dream—particularly that tour along the spur with the chasm below—soundless and depthless—now I want to go back to sleep and continue that dream, only I know I must wait. Still there is a satisfaction that the story will be completed, whereas a real dream from which one awakens, seldomly is finished if an attempt is made to try that, (Gosh, that sounds garbled—but I trust you know what my object is.) Anyhow, I feel that Mr. Suter is just dandy—the sample is fine. Nextest, I orter do something about the finis of The Last Pharaoh—'twam't bad atall atall— somehow I really didn't feel bad that lovely Carol and her dear brother were not restored to their original bodies, but, muh goo'ness sakes, warn't thet princess Atma the hungry gal? She had a bad bad case of the 'gimmies'—wuss then some of our gold diggers. Nope, 'twarn't a bad story at that—I was wholly satisfied with it from the start. After all, the villain was defeated and that should be enough for any reader, sez I. Thank you, Mr. Kelley, for some mighty entertaining reading.... A very queer tale was this Thing of Darkness—I never heerd tell of quite such a ghost before. He really was a rotter, I must say. I liked the unusual note of the old Mrs. Burden's sacrificing herself that a ghost might be laid. Rather unusual form of exorcism—isn't it? The Mandarin's Ear was rather refreshing in its lightness—almost humorous in that the ear of another could hear all about its former possessor. Quite an idea that! Finlay's illustration is nice, too, although I can't say the beauty looks very Chinese. Eurasian more or less, with a strong inclination to the Russian. Loretta Burrough has something there. The Will of the Dead is a fine example of what some mothers would like to do to their sons' wives. Some mothers are intensely jealous of their sons. Don't say me nay—I know! This mother in the tale was a tyrant, no less.... And so Henry Kuttner tells us Dis is a city of iron! Sounds like bad pronunciation to me. Tsk tsk—HK. Yes sir, live and learn, live and learn, sez I—the old alchemists never learned to make precious metals of baser products, and those who succeeded—well, look at Droom Avista—as also King Midas. I just wonder if Mr. Wellman believes that his 'Necronomicon story to end all N stories' will really end them. Somehow I wish it would—I could never get myself to pronounce the word correctly and I'd have it wandering in my brain, popping into my thoughts at the most unweird times. Shall we wait and see if it really is the end of all N stories, Mr. W.? Now to the Eyrie—it's high time I start stepping on a few toes, and giving boosts to others. First an orchid to J. Z. Thompson who wrote from Glendale, California—I liked his catchy phrase—'pulse-pepping.' Mrs. H. L. Phillips of Quincy, Illinois, seems so very prosaic in her statement of the magazine being 'in general very interesting.' Mrs. P.—that sounds much too polite—why don't you whack down a real statement and say: 'I think it's just the bestest of all the bestest, and— well, it's just the nuts, no less.' Or don't you understand my language? I agree with Robert J. Hoyer of my own fair and windy city that Doctor Lamontaine is a fine character for a yarn—one of those rip-roaring topers—yet a he-man—and entirely lovable. We will have more of him, won't we? T. O. Mabbott is going to get a toe-trodding—perhaps it would be better for him to reread Clicking Red Heels—the young millionaire did have more than one pair of shoes, and the story ends that 'in every pair of his shoes were found these strange clicking devices'—the question I raised in regard to that was how the dooce anyone could get hold of all his shoes and insert those clickers. As for the question of the hollow appearing on the seat beside the young man in his roadster—well, don't you, my friend, have an imagination? Don't you know that when a person wants to and yet fears to, he will see what is not there? Such was the case with the young millionaire. Or perhaps Mr. Ernst can explain it better than I. That will be all this time—I am happy to see Seabury Quinn again for next month. I am also awaiting the meeting of Jirel and NWSmith quite anxiously."
A Threadbare Theme
Clifton Hall, of Los Angeles, writes: "Strangely enough, the thing that has caused me to break the ice and pen my first letter to the Eyrie is the fact that I find that your August issue falls short, in my estimation, of your usual high standard of excellence. The cover itself was the first thing to give me this impression. It seemed rather carelessly done. Then, too, where are all the pretty nudes that once made WT so attractive and readable? All of my WT-fan friends here in Los Angeles agree with me that the WT of two years ago was made far more entertaining by the well-done nudes that featured the cover and stories. There is certainly nothing pornographic about it; all artists agree that a well-done nude is the highest form of artistic expression. And Finlay and Brundage—especially the former—seem capable of doing them well. But back to the magazine itself: I don't think I'm unfair to Thing of Darkness, the featured story, when I say that it has the oldest spooky-story plot on the face of the globe. Since the time of Charles Dickens—and where he got it I can't say—it has been used so many times in books, plays, shortStories, movies, radio dramas, etc., etc., that you could get out a magazine of twice the thickness of WT every week from now to 2000 A. D., and still not reprint more than half of them. This is the only one that really got my ire up, but there were several others that I thought rather mediocre. The Abyss Under the World seemed to be written more in the style of a pulp detective thriller than a real weird story; and perhaps I'm being a bit hasty, inasmuch as there is another installment to be printed, but isn't it a bit strange that the Egyptians under the ground should speak nothing but English? I thought World of the Dark Dwellers was pretty good, although the idea of mechanical masters who had once been men living underground and preying on the 'light dwellers' is strangely like H. G. Wells' The Time Machine. I enjoyed The Mandarin's Ear, The Last Pharaoh, and the Lovecraft reprint, though, and according to the 'trailer' of next month's issue, WT seems destined to return to its former high level. Here's hoping."
The Dead Masters
Reginald A. Pryke, of Kent, England, writes: "Since way back in 1925 we (that means three of us) have been your loyal followers and admirers. In the days of Senf's covers, monthly Jules de Grandins, Henry S. Whitehead and Dunwich Horrors, into Rankin's era with his clouded, evil, misty illustrations, bursting into Howard's pulsating epics, Depression days and bimonthly issues—terrible time of famine—and so into the present day. Per ardua ad astra! You have a record to be proud of, a future to encourage you to even greater efforts, and a spirit to take the sad blows Fate has dealt you unflinchingly. A moment to think of The Fallen. Whitehead: Who writes obi stories as he used to do? West Indies, Haiti, voodooism, witchcraft—nobody can match his flawless literary style and tingling terms. Arlton Eadie: The teller of ghost stones, par excellence. Howard: Howard the great, the incomparable, the master. Howard, whose tales were breathless sagas snatched vibrant with life from the mouths of the scalds of old. Howard, who lifted his characters out of the dust and decay of times long forgotten, breathed eager, lusting, laughing, fighting life into them, clapped swords in their fists, and sent them tramping the witch-haunted, battle-strewn roads; men, every one, revelling in life and its joys, wine, women and the mad exhilaration of combat. Howard is dead. Solomon Kane, King Kull, Conan the Barbarian who set a crown upon his black head and defied all this world and the next to deprive him of it. Three real literary achievements, three who will live now that he is gone and the hand writes no more.... Revive Conan? Never, never, never! No, the sagas are finished. There was a hint of finality about Howard's last Conan story, Red Nails; a knitting-up of loose strands, a rounding-off as if he somehow knew he was completing a task. In that story I thought Conan found at last his mate, his long-sought-for companion. Together they left that evil place; together (but only in our imaginations) let them travel on towards whatever lies ahead. Let each true lover of the great barbarian dream his own tales of battle, love and brooding witchcraft. Any other course savors of sacrilege. Read and read again what has been written, but let no other man try and wield that pen or gird on that sword. Bury them with him. He will sleep the quieter. And Lovecraft; Let the men who knew and loved him as a friend pen his obituary. I, who only knew him through his matchless pen, bid farewell to an artist who knew how to play upon man's sense of fear as Kreisler plays upon his violin. Those long, brooding, almost somnolent opening paragraphs of his, almost devoid of conversation—somehow, Lovecraft's pen seemed to falter when he attempted to put his words into a personal mouth—impersonality was his keynote. With a sense of nightmare, barely glimpsed, the reader's eye fled from paragraph to paragraph, almost chased or driven, until the grotesque climax was attained, the spell broken, the pursuit lifted, leaving him weakened yet strangely exhilarated. Fear, like fire, is cleansing. Whitehead, Eadie, Howard, Lovecraft. Each in his own field such an undisputed master that the loss seems unbearable. Each, of course, has his disciples. Robert Bloch, for instance, seems a fit proselyte of Lovecraft, who, with experience, may yet equal his master, but no disciple can fill the place of his teacher in the mind and heart of any who knew that teacher's genius. I'm afraid this letter has spun itself out to an immoderate length. I can only plead my faithful service of years as an excuse and draw it to a conclusion.... As to your authors, I have already spoken of Robert Bloch. His tales are real gems and should get even better as he gains experience. Good old Seabury Quinn, almost the last of the old brigade, wrote a real winner, The Globe of Memories I believe it was called. Jack Williamson usually shows perfect taste, but his last was downright pitiable. I never thought to read such a hodgepodge of vile villainy and putty make-up, 'orrible plotting and dastardly scheming in your magazine. That stuff does not belong in the aristocratic Weird Tales. Repeat not the offense. The Last Pharaoh reads well, is exceedingly and fluently written and promises a fine climax. And who is this Clifford Ball? His Duar the Accursed was a neat piece of craftsmanship, and should develop into a first-class series."
A First-rate Job
Donald A. Wollheim, of New York City, writes: "May I offer congratulations on your August issue which is a first-rate job? Lovecraft's yarn was one I had never read before; Kuttner's was a superb little fable; Frank Owen is a true master in his own right; The Last Pharaoh is thoroughly intriguing and worth while. Wellman's Necronomiconic is a honey. But it won't end Necronomicon tales. I, for one, want to see the Necro grow bigger and bigger. It was one of the factors contributing to the making of WT's vivid and unique personality."
The Terrible Parchment
Joseph Allen Ryan, of Cambridge, Maryland, writes: "Wellman's short, The Terrible Parchment, was especially interesting to me; for I believe I was on hand when the idea for the tale was born. Otto Binder, Julius Schwartz, Mort Weisinger and I (as usual, I was the small frog in the big pond) were standing at the corner of West 48th Street and Broadway in New York City last summer, chewing the rag a bit before departing on our various ways. The conversation drifted to Weird Tales, and to H. P. Lovecraft and the Necronomicon in particular. Mort glanced at the near-by news stand and remarked: 'Suppose you went over to that stand and asked for a copy of the Necronomicon, and the fellow handed it to you. What would you do?' None of us knew exactly what course he would follow under the unusual circumstances. Otto remarked: 'Pay for it, I guess.' Mort digested this for a moment or so, then continued: 'That would make a good plot for a story—for some fan magazine, that is. You could explain that Lovetraft's readers had thought so much about the mythical Necronomicon that their combined thought-force materialized it.' As Weisinger knows Manly Wade Wellman quite well, it may be that the idea got around to the latter, who developed it into a short for WT. How about it, Manly?"
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I. O. Evans writes from Tadworth, in Surrey: "As one of your many British readers, I have greatly enjoyed the stories that appear in your excellent magazine, and I look forward to reading many more of them. I was, however, surprized to find a rather startling error in a story which appeared in a recent issue—I forget its name and that of the author, but it dealt with the worship of an Egyptian beast-god in a Cornish mine. [The story was The Brood of Bubastis, by Robert Bloch, in our March issue.—The Ed.] In this the author speaks of the 'Cornish countryside' as 'a region of mystic mountains, and purple peaks that towered above wild forest glens and green-grottoed swamplands.' I don't think any description could be less accurate! The highest hill in the duchy is Brown Willy, of only 1,368 feet; rhere are no forests—the bulk of the country is moorland; and rhe only 'peaks' are those of the hills of spoil from the numerous mine-workings, which can hardly be said to 'tower.' Later your author mentions local faith in 'leprechauns,' which are Irish fairies, and 'kelpies,' which are Scottish! The joke is that the 'scenery of Cornwall has eery qualities, and the people faith in spirits, which would have suited your author's story admirably had he got them right. What he was really thinking of I don't know; probably Scotland. Now supposing an English author, in a story, were to describe Rocky Mountain scenery in Florida or Louisiana bayous in Maine, would you be pleased? Our islands may be small, but their different regions have characters of their own."
Praise for The Carnal God
Max Armstrong, of Spokane, Washington, writes: "The Carnal God, written by John R. Speer and Carlisle Schnitzer, was truly a magnificent story, well written, and my choice for the best in the June issue. Second is the one written by Paul Ernst, Clicking Red Heels, a fascinating story, one that holds your interest to the end. The cover design by M. Brundage is a knockout!"
Random Notes by W. C., Jr.
"An acrostic sonnet, written in a sequestered Providence churchyard where Poe once walked." Thus was Adolphe de Castro's poem Edgar Allan Poe blurbed in the May issue of Weird Tales. But what was not announced was that seated beside de Castro as he composed the acrostic verse were H. P. Lovecraft and R. H. Barlow.... HPL, incidentally, was a sixth cousin of Barlow.... Jack Williamson, of Kansas, spent the month of June with his old friend Edmond Hamilton in Pennsylvania.... Robert Bloch left his beloved Milwaukee for a few weeks' stay with Henry Kuttner in Beverly Hills. C. L. Moore dropped in on them from Indianapolis, and Kuttner "had the pleasure of taking C. L. Moore for a ride on the roller coaster, and giving Jirel a new experience." ... Kuttner's Hydra, soon to appear in WT, tells of the fate of Robert Ludwig (Bloch), who is imprisoned and mutilated in another dimension. In the original version, H. P. Lovecraft was another main character in the tale, hiding under the name Howard Phillips; but after his demise a revision obviously was necessary. Kuttner himself is in the story, presenting credentials under his brother's name.... Virgil Finlay, who has had an appreciable amount of work exhibited at the famed art center in Rochester, may illustrate the Derleth-Wandrei volume of Lovecraft's works.... I wish to retract a statement made last time to the effect that Earl Peirce, Jr.'s The Surgery Master had been rejected by Editor Wright and handed over to Bruce Bryan for a collaborative revision. The tale was not even submitted to WT until it had been reworked by the two young writers of Washington. It will appear under the title, The While Rat.... A convertible coupe overturned on Peirce recently in the Adirondacks, and he came out of it with his due of lacerations and bruises. If the windshield on the car had struck Peirce four inches lower he would have been beheaded.... The Scarab, proposed official organ of the Washington Weird Tales Club, will not see publication after all.... Clifford Ball's next Rald story is The Goddess Awakes, a 14,000-worder. WT has also accepted Ball's The Swine of Aeaea, 13,000 words, built around the legend of Circe the Enchantress. This 29-year-old newest sensation of Weird Tales has led a life as adventurous as that of either of his two barbarian heroes. He went through high school in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, experiencing great difficulty with his mathematics and with a young and attractive school-teacher of whom he became enamored. After he had been graduated, he took a job in the license bureau of the State Highway Department. A few months later he began to hate the place, and left. The Miami catastrophe of 1927 occurred, and he and a friend trekked south to Florida, expecting to find heavy salaries waiting for eager workers. The state was "broke;" and tourists, alarmed by the tidal wave, were frightened away. Ball has slung hash, worked on dynamite crews as a capper, fry-cooked, run a dice table in a gambling-house, dug ditches, leveled auto springs, spread cloth in a shirt factory, and served beer in a Virginia tavern. This will always remain in Ball's memory, he says, as the best moments of his life.
Weird Tales of the Sea
Arthur L. Widner, Jr., writes from Waterbury, Vermont: "The July issue is one of the best to date. The cover is the most realistic-looking painting I have ever seen. Clifford Ball seems to have stepped into Robert E. Howard's shoes, but whether he will fill them is another question. So far he has not done too bad, but his feet will have to grow some before he can equal The Devil in Iron, Black Canaan, and other creepy tales. When I heard of Lovecraft's death it seemed as if I had been hit with some sort of strange paralysis. I just couldn't realize that I would read no more of his faultless masterpieces or receive another letter in his small, unusual hand. Yes, he even found time to write to an ordinary person like myself. No one can ever take his place. Stories as good as his may be written, but no one author can equal his string of A-1 weird tales. The Ocean Ogre was easily the best tale in the issue. I always liked sea horrors especially anyway. Graveyards, vampires and werewolves are fairly familiar, in fact they seem like old friends to me; but the sea, with its slimy slithery beings from the deep dark depths, always frightens me. In man's own element, land, most any fear can be borne, but the alien atmosphere of the water has two strikes on you to start with. The Hounds of Tindalos runs a close second, and is the best story I've yet read by Long. The angles and curves business was something new to me and heightened the interest quite a bit. The Whistling Corpse cops the yellow ribbon. It is reminiscent of Marion Crawford's Upper Berth. The living fog put in an eery touch."
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A Satisfied English Reader
C. R. Forster, of Bardon Mill, Northumberland, writes: "It is almost exactly a year since I discovered my first Weird Tales, in an English book shop. I am a science-fiction fan, and it was with some doubt, and with unpleasant memories of various horror and terror magazines, that I started into it. But I liked that issue and subsequent ones so well that I started to get the magazine regularly from your English agent. WT is now my favorite magazine and I wouldn't miss an issue for anything. I was lucky enough to get hold of a few scattered back numbers for the years 1928-30. Although they contained many excellent stories, I believe that the magazine of today is an improvement over them, both in contents and appearance. This in itself was a pleasant surprize, for my experience with science-fiction magazines has been pretty much the opposite. My favorite authors are (or were) H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, C. L. Moore, Robert E. Howard and Seabury Quinn. These five stood on a pinnacle above the rest, and the loss of Lovecraft and Howard is indeed a blow to fantasy-lovers. I hope you will reprint many of their best stories. Of Lovecraft, in particular, I could never tire.... Your covers In recent issues have been especially good. Virgil Finlay is even better on the cover than on inside work, and the competition seems to have aroused Mrs. Brundage to surpass her previous efforts, good though they were. From the above you will gather that you have at least one well satisfied reader. May Weird Tales and yourself always prosper."
A Few Remarks
C. L. Leighton, of Chicago, writes: "Although I've read through every issue for the last 8 or 9 years, this is my first letter, though I sent a coupon, with remarks of enthusiastic admiration, when you printed The Solitary Hunters. (I still consider this your very finest over all the years.) The Eyrie is always interesting; probably like other Weird readers, I find myself looking each month for Miss Hemken's contribution. The varying and conflicting tastes of your readers (including my own) are amusing; Mr. Hoyer will likely laugh at my considering Return to Earth best for June, but I liked the careless, casual style in which Usru criticized our backward planet, still doping out idiotic wars. Like him I found The Last Pharaoh getting better, but Mr. Kelley copies from Doyle's Brigadier Gerard.... In every issue I find at least one story worth clipping out and saving; so I have accumulated quite a stock over the years. Among the best are Northwest's trip to Jupiter, and his encounter with the beauty filled with evil smoke; yet I can't get a kick out of Jirel of Joiry—how Mr. Moore will hook up 22nd Century Smith and Middle Ages Jirel, is something I rather look forward to. Of course I've preserved every Conan story—everything by the great master Howard. Noting Mr. Sivia's letter, I wonder if Duar the Accursed might sometime succeed Conan in our hearts? (He ought to drop that Irish accent, though.) You will note I like to cover the past in my preferences—I find so much repetition regarding the last issue rather tiring. Mrs. Shover makes just criticism of hackneyed 'horror' words—one reason I admired The Solitary Hunters, written in careless up-to-date slang."
Richard H. Jamison, of Valley Park, Missouri, writes: "With the two huge gaps so recently made in the ranks of Weird's authors, it would be fine if a few of the old favorites could be coaxed into writing some more tales. How about writing some more like The Space-Eaters, Mr. Long? And what of the two Wandreis, H. Warner Munn, Mary E. Counselman, etc.? Aren't they writing weird tales any more?"
Ian C. Knox, of London, England, writes: "Congratulations on getting a substitute for Howard. I refer, of course, to Clifford Ball. I only hope he does not either get stereotyped or run short of ideas and dry up. His first two stories were excellent."
Robert Oberon, of Denmark, Maine, writes: "I had to write a line and tell you how well I liked The Mandarin's Ear, that swell story by Frank Owen in the August issue. Let us hear from Owen more often."
D. Rouse, of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, writes: "I like the story, Duar the Accursed by Clifford Ball, and would like some more stories by the same author. It is certainly weird, but good reading."
Charles Waldman, of Far Rockaway, New York, writes: "I have been reading your unusual magazine for several years now. Needless ro say it has pleased me greatly. The magazine is hruly unusual and out of the ordinary."
Bruce Bryan, of Washington, D. C, writes: "The Statement of Randolph Carter, in the current WT, is swell. I must've missed it when it first appeared. Second, I like The Mandarin's Ear. And The Abyss Under the World starts out well."
Fred John Walsen, of Denver, writes: "Congratulations upon your success in keeping the same high level for the Weird Tales stories, while the other publications sink lower and lower. It is a real treat to be able to read some of the true Poe type of fiction, and I trust that you will continue to publish in the same high standard."
Most Popular Story
Readers, what is your favorite story in this issue? Write a letter to the Eyrie, Weird Tales, and let us know your preferences. The most popular story in our August issue, as shown by your votes and letters, was the concluding installment of The Last Pharaoh, by Thomas P. Kelley. This was closely pressed for first honors by Frank Owen's charming Chinese fantasy, The Mandarin's Ear.