Archive for the Loren Beauchamp Category

The Pain Lusters by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Idle Hour Books #492, 1966)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on July 14, 2012 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Well, I know, I have been away from updating this blog for quite a while; I will try to get back into the game. And getting back into it, let’s start with a nifty later Don Elliott/Silverberg, The Pain Lusters.

The set-up is similar to the Loren Beauchamp Another Night, Another Love (which I discussed almost three years ago here): an out-of-work actor in his late 20s, Nick, his TV and stage days slowing fading, needs money, and is approached by an old acting pal who recruits him for male prostitution: in Another, it is loving up rich older women at a resort; in The Pain Lusters, it is beating up rich older women with a taste for pain in an outskirts NYC mansion that caters to the wealthy and sexually weird.

Nick slowly gets into the job — he has to audition for the madame, of course (the girlfriend of his pal), and learn the finer points of BDSM (L.T. Woodward, Silverberg’s doctorly pen name, provides a sort of preface, taken from Sex Fiend)…the men and women of the pain mansion, we find, are not mere mindless, soulless whores, but people with lost dreams and future hopes, each in need of finding love as any human.

All seems to go well until one wealthy woman, Carolyn, comes to the mansion seeking to re-experience a rape she endured three years ago, when a burglar broke in while her husband was away and ravished her by force; she claims it is the only time in her life that she had multiple orgasms and felt alive (and as any real psychosexual researcher will tell you, there are these instances, fueled by the forced ravishings of romance novels). When Carolyn’s husband gets wind of his wife’s secret desires, he stakes out the mansion, gains entry, and causes all hell to break loose…

I was possibly looking for a connection to this book with Silverberg’s 1963 story, “The Pain Peddlers,” but there was none…in that SF story, people tune into pain TV with neuro-headsets to experience operations without anesthetic vicariously — the virtually feel the pain the patient goes through when opened up or having a limb cut off; this need for true pain revealing the numbness of existence that a future society (and perhaps now) falls into it.

Then again, maybe there is a connection here: the characters in this softcore title do indeed seek out pain to remind themselves they are real and alive; or in the case of the burglar-rapist re-enactment, to return to a memory of sexual heights that normal society would find deviant.

Silverber’s post-1964 Don Elliotts seem to lean toward S/M and the desire of pain, to give and receive (Black Market Shame, Sin Kill, Sin Warped) , something also noticed in his later 60s-early 70s SF: Thorns, for instance, about two people in great pain, which is pretty much a novelization of “Flies,” The Man in the Maze and The Second Trip

Les Floozies by Loren Beauchamp aka ??? (Ron-San Corp/PAD Library #504, 1965)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on August 5, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is the last of the Loren Beauchamp books. On reading the first chapter, I wasn’t sure if this was actually penned by Silverberg, as the writing is choppy and dialogue pretty bad.  But Les Floozies is listed in the bibliography on the Quasi-Official Robert Silverberg website.

Some other chapters do have that Silverberg feel, and others do not. Erratic. Was this one co-written with another writer, perhaps?  Or badly edited.  There are only eleven chapters, instead of Silverberg’s usual 12-14 for his softcores, and Chapter Ten is only four pages and feels cut.  In fact, the ending seems rushed, the typesetting uneven with large spaces between paragraphs in some chapters and tight typesetting in others — sloppy methods of getting a book to a certain page count, 192 here, but this looks more like 40,000 words of text instead of the typical 50K.

But wait — when I sent a link of an earlier version of this post to the Rbt Silverberg Yahoo Fan Page, Mr. Silverberg replied, “I didn’t write this book. I know nothing about it. It doesn’t belong in any bibliography of my work.”

So seems the publisher decided to use the pen name.  These pen names were not trademarks, after all.

The Beauchamp pen name was generally for Midwood, with one for Boudoir, The Wife Traders, although that was a truncated version of Suburban Sin Club by David Challon.

Ron-San Corp/PAD Library in Arizona was an off-shoot from Greenleaf/Cornith, created by former employees of William Hamling’s.  Did they buy this manuscript off Greenleaf or Silverberg and then butchered it?  It seems so.

The bad opening chapter reveals a guy, Romero, driving a hot rod with two girls fighting for his loving attention:  Linda Lou and Chastity. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on and why these people are together, other than they are a threesome of some sort.

Then we jump back in time and learn that Linda Lou is  a backwoods hussy from the south who runs away from home with a trucker, who lets her off in some Ohio town with brothels for her to work in.

Chastity is a society debutante from a family going back to the Mayflower; but when she gets pregnant and an abortion is needed, her wealthy uptight parents disown her.  She winds up getting a ride with the same trucker, but she goes to work in an upscale cal girl service in Manhattan to make ends meet.

Romero is 20, kinda dumb, but wants to be a pimp.  He learns the sex trade by working in a brothel and later running girls on the convention circuit for $100 a toss rather than $15 tricks in the whorehouse or $25 with call girl services.  Eventually, Linda Lou and Chastity go to work for him and both fall in love with him and fight for his approval and touch, each having their own nights with him if they are not with a john.

It’s not convincing, and Romero is so dull we wonder why the hell any woman, let alone a floozy, would fall so hard for him.

Unfortunately, this is the weakest of all the Beauchamps or any Silverberg softcore pen name, seemingly a victim of bad editing and slicing and adding.

The cover art, however, is excellent, and the book itself is quite rare and hard to locate and pricey if a copy is found.  We paid some bucks just to complete the Loren Beauchamp collection here at The Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks Library.

Campus Hellcat – David Challon aka Robert Silverberg (Bedside Books #973, 1960)

Posted in crime noir, Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on June 21, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This is the last of the David Challon books Robert Silverberg did for Bedstand. The others:

Suburban Sin Club (#803, also The Wife Traders by Loren Beauchamp)

Campus Love Club (#808, also Campus Sex Club by Loren Beauchamp, and plagarized as Slaves to Sin by S.N. Burton).

French Sin Port (#820, also Rouge of the Riviera by Don Elliott)

Thirst for Love (#802, also Wayward Wife by Loren Beauchamp and Free Sample by Loren Beauchamp)

Suburban Affair (#961), unknown if ever reprinted/pirated.

Like Illicit Affair by Mark Ryan, this is a short story collection, mainly culled from men’s digests and pulps like Trapped and Manhunt, etc.

The cover states “eleven short novels and stories.”  There are no short novels in the 186 page book.  The title story is a 3,000-word tale about men dating the campus slut; most of the other stories have a crime element with twist endings, but they’re not as good as the stories in Illicit Affair. Many of the male protagonists have to deal with the aftermath of a mistress — in “Hit and Run,” a man married to a rich woman (with shades of Loren Beauchamp’s Love Nest) kills his pregnant mistress, but he’s being set up by his wife and their financial adviser; “One Girl Too Many” and “Clinging Vine” deal with females scorned by cheating men; “Spoiled Brat” is about what a rich girl with a sports car does to her rapists.  “Jailbait” is about a con sex game, later expanded in Don Elliott’s Flesh Pawns.


One must remember that Silverberg was spinning these formula yarns for a quick buck, much like all the books.

It’s not that bad a read, but if you’re looking for early Silverberg non-SF short stories, I would recommend Illicit Affair.

Registered Nympho – Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Companion Book #524, 1967)

Posted in Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on June 11, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

A great cover but a disappointment in that this is not an original Elliott but a slightly revised version of Loren Beauchamp’s Nurse Carolyn.  Character names are slightly or completely changed — Carolyn White becomes Evelyn White, her doctor boyfriend Dick Evans becomes Joe Bevans, and instead of calling her “honey” in 1960, he calls her “baby” in 1967.  The dirty old rich man she works for, Cornelius Baird becomes Conrad Folsom.

There are other slight line changes, and excess chapter fodder is cut now and then, but really the same book.  The question is: why?

Silverberg did revise some of his Bedstand books from 1959-60 for Midwood (e.g., Thirst for Love becoming Wayward Wife), books he didn’t get paid for, and later, when William Hamling bought Nightstand, those former Challon/Ryan books were reprinted as Don Elliott books.  By 1967, Midwood had to sell off some of its old stock for a debt, so maybe the rights on Nurse Carolyn went to Cornith…Companion Books was yet another one of many Hamling imprints when his company was based in San Diego.

Who knows.

Who cares.

Registered Nympho (although the character is hardly a “nympho”)  is a collectible item, but not a new read, not here at least. If you have not read Nurse Carolyn, this this will be a fun new read.

Slaves to Sin – S.N. Burton (Gaslight Book #134, 1964)

Posted in Lawrence Block, Loren Beauchamp, Midwood Books, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on March 17, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Previously, I has noted that Robert Silverberg’s Campus Love Club and Lawrence Block’s College for Sinners were extremely similar. I debated on how this happened — did Block pilfer from Silverberg, was there a news story that the two writers based their books on, did the Scott Meredith Agency create the storyline and give it to them both?

Last summer a reader of this blog suggested I check out S.N. Burton and I did, and found Brutal Passions to be an excellent novel.  I picked up two more Burtons — Forced to Sin and Slaves to Sin — and noted on the title page of Forced, that the byline was Ken Kane.  L.S. Publications has several Kane titles under the Bellringer and Gaslight imprints so I picked some of those up.

Glancing through them all, it seemed like there were style differences.  Was Kane Burton?  Were both pen names for an unknown writer?

Today I sat down with Slaves to Sin and as I read the opening, I felt like I had seen it before:

It was a hot September afternoon just before my sophomore year at East Coast Junior College was about to open, and I was lying in the sack in my dormitory room, fourth floor of James Hall, overlooking the noise and clamor of Amsterdam Avenue.  The room was dusty and bare, like a shell waiting for its occupant to climb in. (p. 5)

When I got to the narrator’s name, Jeff Burnside, I thought, Wait a minute…

I picked up the second version of Silverberg’s book, Campus Sex Club by Loren Beauchamp (Midwood F206, 1962), and read the opening:

It was a hot September afternoon before my sophomore year at Metropolitan was about to open, and I was lying in the sack in my dormitory room, fourth floor of Hendricks Hall, overlooking the noise and clamor of Bryant Avenue.  The room was dusty and bare, like a shell waiting for its occupant to climb in.  (p. 5)

In the David Challon Bedside edition (1959), Campus Love Club, it is Columbia Univ. (Note: Silverberg told me he was never paid for this book, as well as a couple of others, so re-sold them to Midwood with various changes.)

Yes, Slaves to Sin is a rip-off, plagarized edition of Silverberg’s book.  Not exactly word-for-word — Burton changes little things here and there, adds in a sentence or two, leaves out some parts from Silverberg, but it is essentially the same damn book.  Burton keeps all the character names, however.

This makes me wonder if Brutal Passions is an original or a stolen wor, and any other Burton title.  I do know Gaslight did originals, such as Orrie Hitt’s Male Lover, which wasn’t that great a book for Hitt.

Yet another curious footnote in the publishing history of vintage sleaze.  The question now is: are there are other books that tell this same story of a campus sex club?

Did Lawrence Block Plagarize Robert Silverberg in 1960?

Posted in Andrew Shaw, Don Elliott, Lawrence Block, Loren Beauchamp, Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I sat down to enjoy one of Lawrence Block’s Andrew Shaw softcore titles from Nightstand, College for Sinners (1960)—as most of the Shaws are enjoyable—and was surprised, perhaps disappointed to discover that the little novel is a direct rip off of one of Robert Silverberg’s titles for Bedstand books, Campus Love Club by David Challon (1959), reprinted in 1962 by Midwood as Campus Sex Club by Loren Beauchamp.

Both books are set in a thinly disguised upper Manhattan institute, Metropolitan College in Silverberg’s novel, unnamed in Block’s, but obviously Columbia University.  Both are about a sexually awkward young man who gets the chance to join an exclusive sex club of undergraduates, called The Libertines(the book was reprinted in 1973 by Greenleaf’s Reed Nightstand as The Libertines).

The Shaw book is not an exact word-for-word replica of the Silverberg Challon book—College for Sinners is told in the third person while Campus Love Club is told in the first, the former a bit more humorous in the narration than the later.  In both books, the protagonists, eager to lose their virginity, employ the services of a Harlem streetwalker; in Silverberg’s, the prostitute does not speak any English and in Block’s, the woman talks in street slang, calling her john “baby” every other sentence.  However, both protagonists are so nervous they are incapable of an erection, thus they do not lose their virginity. Later, both young men in each book take out a campus tramp, a girl who never says no, and are deflowered in that manner.

Note the peculiar similarities when membership of both clubs is explained

“Membership is limited to fifteen—five sophs, five juniors, and five seniors. Each September the juniors and entitled to sponsor five new men for membership…Membership is limited to undergraduates, and you can’t remain a member for more than three years” (Campus Love Club, p. 68-70).

“We have twelve members, no more, no less.,  Four each from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes. Two men and two women.  Each year four members graduate and four new sophomores are invited to join the society.” (College for Sinners, p. 64)

While the group in College has six men and six women, the group of fifteen men in Campus has a sister group of women comprised of fifteen from Chelsey College, an all-girl’s school that is connected to Metropolitan (like one of New England’s Seven Sisters, Vassar or Smith — the sister college for Columbia is Barnard).

Both sex clubs have an apartment in Greenwich Village for orgies—dues are $20 a month in Campus, $50 a year in College.  Sexual arrangements are the same: no female member may deny sex for a male member, and vice versa. No one spends a night alone.

Both books have similar consequences and wrap-ups. Not exact, mind you — in Campus, the NYPD raids the group’s orgy house after the kidnap and drug a girl and forced her into sex acts, and when a guy comes to rescue her, a fight breaks out…in College, the protagonist finds true love and becomes disgusted with the immoral ways of his collegiate colleagues, so sends an anonymous letter to the Chief of Police,  outlining what happens, what night they can be found, and who these people are.

In Silverberg’s, there is tragedy at the end, the narrator’s life ruined as he goes on without a college degree, the other members disgraced and one committing suicuide.  This is usual for Silverberg whose work — sleaze, SF, or fantasy — has a dark bent.  Campus ends on a more happy note as the protagonist has found love.

But these books are too damn similar to not take note.

So what happened here?

I asked Silverberg if anyone knew he was David Challon back then and he said no – in fact, seems only the past 10-15 years that many of Silverberg’s pen names in sleaze have come to light (there is no mention in a 1978 bibliography, which only lists a handful of Don Elliott books).

Did Lawrence Block pick up the Challon novel and like it so much that he did his version – seemingly plagiarized – and figured no one would ever notice?

No one ever has, until now.

Did he see the Challon manuscript while at Scott Meredith in 1959 and think, Wow, what a story

Did he forget reading it and wrote this one as the concept lingered in the back of his mind?  The books are only a year apart. One might say, well, maybe there was an item in the news about such a club at Columbia or NYU, or a rumor going around — that’s reasonable, but the fact that both protagonists try to lose their virginity the same way, and botjh have erectile challenges while with a hooker, and the rules of the sex clubs are quite similar, are evidence that this is not a coincidence or shared idea in the creative either.

Read both for yourself, if you wish, and you be the judge.

But what the hell, eh…does it matter?

No, it doesn’t. I don’t wat it to seem like I am out to say, “Ha, I caught you in a youthful folly, Mr. Block!”  My interest is academic.

This will be a curious footnote in the history of paperback publishing,

The Curious Case of Sloane Britain

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, Loren Beauchamp, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

When pop culture historians and critics write about the lesbian paperback pulp era in the 1950s-60s,  the same names are often use das examples: Vin Packer, Randy Salem, March Hastings, Valerie Taylor, Paula Christiansen, etc., with such classics in lesbian pulp Spring Fire, Three Women, Baby Face, Women’s Barracks,  and so on.  Seldom is the name Sloane Britain mentioned, the pen name of Midwood-Tower editor Elaine Williams, although as both a writer and editor, Williams/Britain etched her own legacy in the history of early commercial lesbian fiction.

Williams started with Midwood in 1959, when the company first formed, acquiring and editing novels by Lawrence Block (Shekdon Lord), Donald Westlake (Alan Marshall), Robert Silverberg (Loren Beauchamp), Orrie Hitt, and Mike Avallone, among others.  It’s not clear when she left Midwood, if she did, but she committed suicide in 1964. Seems her family did not approve of her gay lifestyle and had disowned her, a matter she hinted at in her fiction.  She was 33.

She published her first novel with Newsstand Library in 1959, a paperback house out of Chicago: First Person–Third Sex was a deeply personal account of a third grade teacher’s discovery of her “third sex” passion and desire of a “twilight woman.”  It was reprinted in 1962 by Dollar Double Books as Strumpets’ Jungle (see above pic) , back-to-back with Any Man’s Playmate by James L. Ruebel.

Also in 1959, she published with Beacon Books, The Needle, a story about a bi-sexual heroin addict prostitute.

Her next novels for Midwood were 1960’s Meet Marilyn and Insatiable, like The Needle, written commercially for the market; These Curious Pleasures (1961), however, has the same autobiographical, first-person narrative that her first novel does. In fact, the narrator’s name is “Sloane Britain,” perhaps Williams’ indication that this book is based on her own life, rather than the writer’s imagination. 1961 also saw That Other Hunger. Both books sported cover art by Paul Rader.

Other titles were Ladder of Flesh plus two posthumous short novels published as Midwood Doubles: Summer of Sin and Peep Booth.  Three titles, Ladder of Flesh, That Other Hunger, and Unnatural,  were reissued in the late 1960s with new titles: Taboo and Delicate Vice.

Both First Person–Third Sex and These Curious Pleasures break away from the genre norm of lesbian paperbacks in that they end on a gay-positive note, rather than having the protagonist meet with tragedy for her sins of the flesh or meet a male she falls head over heels with, marries, and lives forever after in heterosexual marital bliss.  Publishers such as Fawcett Gold Medal, Beacon, and Nightstand often required this so the Postal Inspector would not prosecute for mailing obscene material in the U.S. Mails — if the lesbian character meets a horrible end or goes insane over her unnatural lust, or repents from sin and finds true love in the arms of man, then the books were deemed to have social value as morality and cautionary tales; if the books ended on a positive note with women loving women, that, in the 1950s-60s, was considered perverted and sick.  Homosexuality was still considered a mental disease that could be cured with medicine, psychology, or religion…

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