Archive for the Robert Silverberg Category

Blood on the Mink by Ray McKensie aka Robert Silverberg — Trapped Magazine (1962) and Hard Case Crime (2012)

Posted in crime noir, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on July 29, 2012 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

One of Hard Case Crime’s latest, post-Dorchester, is an old Silverberg crime short novel Blood on the Mink, originally published in 1962, in the last days of Trapped,  as Too Much Blood on the Mink by Ray McKensie.

Silverberg provides an afterword and notes that he had forgotten about this one until publisher Charles Ardai found it and wanted to reprint it. Silverberg had written the 45,000-word tale in 1959 originally for a crime pulp companion of Fantastic Universe, around a series character other writers would write about (but only RD did) a federal agent named Nick and his many undercover jobs. The magazine folded before publishing it and Silverberg dug it up when Trapped changed format in 1962 to feature a novel each issue and market it in paperback format. He was paid twice for the work — paid three times now with this reprint.

One must keep in mind that this is from a very young Silverberg so has a lot of flaws. It certainly is not the best of his earlier pulps, but not the worst either. Nick is undercover here for the Reasury Department, taking on the personality of a known Los Angeles-based counterfeiter to catch some funny money thugs in Philadelphia. Things get tricky when a thug who knows the real guy sees him and knows something is funny. Double-crosses, backstabbing, shootings and gangster dames wanting out mix into the story, sometimes to confusion and you are not sure what is going on,and what Nick’s real agenda is.

To round out the book, included are two short stories: “Dangerous Doll” and “One Night of Violence” both from Guilty.

I am wondering why the first Nick Undercover agent story, “Bridegrooms Scare Easy,” was not included.

The two tales are fun: “Dangerous Doll” is about a Syndicate delivery guy who transports plates for counterfeit money and how he is set-up;  and “One Night of Violence” is about an everyman traveling salesman who finds himself caught in the middle of a gang battle. They are in the vein of the Mark Ryan Illicit Affair and David Challon Campus Hellcat books from Bedstand.

A collection of Silverberg’s old crime tales, or the best of, seems to be in order next.

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

No Lust Tonight by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Midnight Reader #429, 1962)

Posted in Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags on December 19, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This one reads more like a Loren Beauchamp than a Don Elliott, if that is even possible, being both are Silverberg, but the Beauchamps always seemed to have a bit of a darker overtone than the Elliotts,

This one opens with a burglary in the house of the Lamsons, a fairly well to do couple. The burglar ties the husband up and forces him to watch the rape of his wife, Moira. But there is something odd: the burglar resembles Lamson in body sizem hair, etc., and it almsot seems like Moira knows who her rapist is…she does go frigid and starts to see a psychiarist…and the shrink violates all codes of medical ethics by telling the husband what the wife says in the sessions. (Reminds me of soemthing from the TV show Mad Men where the main guy pays a shrink to make his wife believe there is something wrong with her.)

The shrink also suspects Moira knows her rapist, that he is a man from her past, a guy who “got away” and she only married Lamson because he resembles this guy. This turns out to be true,  the guy is an ex-boxer turned small time crook and pimp of Greenwich Village bar hookers. Moira had dated him but would not sleep with him unless they married, so he jilted her.

Lamson sets the guy up for a fall and…

You can read the book for what happens. Not a bad read, as always with Silverberg,

 

Pickup – Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Sundown Reader, 1964)

Posted in Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on December 10, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

A nice crime noir from Silverberg toward the end of his stint with Greenleaf Cornith. This one is about a criminal, Jimmy, traveling across the U.S., going from one woman to another, robbng gas stations and stores for money. He is running away from a painful break-up; he was with Maureen, a woman he loved, for years, and one day he catches her in bed with another woman. He is a bit oif an old-fashioned prude, lesbians make him sick. Now he hurts women to get back at Maureen, or all of womankind, “you witches are all the same” — he makes women fall for him, then he leaves them heartbroken the way he was.

Until he meets a hooker in a hotel bar, Helena, and the table gets turned…right off she pegs him as a killer, especially when she finds his gun with the silencer. As the cover blurb states: “Passion threw him into a cesspool of sin!”

Well, a fun read, as always with the Don Elliotts.

 

Diary of a Dyke by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Pleasure Reader, 1967)

Posted in Don Elliott, Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on November 30, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I really wonder if Robert Silverberg penned this one for a couple of reasons: the publication date is 1967 and he has written that he stopped writing these books around 1965, although it is possible the manuscript sat around at Greenleaf for a year or two (half a dozen came out in 1966); and it does not jive with Silverberg/Elliott’s sytle, which always had a dark side…this book is light and airy and often funny.

It is the diary of a woman who has jsut turned 32 and is bored with lesbian sex. She engaged in a six girl orgy and yawned. She has been with men before, so she is really bu but prefers girls…until she sleeps with a VP at her work, Tom, and she her interest in sex is rekindled…maybe she will go straight, as many lesbian novels at the time had the characters do,

Around the same time, Lawrence Block wrote three diary-like lesbian novels as Jill Emerson…one, I Am Crious Thirty, is about a woan turning from 29 to 30 and wondering about her sexuality…in fact these two books are quite similar.

Silverberg claims that no other writer used the Don Elliott name, and only one, Carnal Counselor, was frmed out to a ghostwriter when he could not make a deadine.

Either way, a fun read.

Lust Lords: SilverBlock

Posted in Lawrence Block, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on August 21, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

A five part YouTube posting of Robert Silverberg and Lawrence Block at a bookstore in Belmont, California, May 24, 2011, talking about their sex novel writing days, and signing copies of the new edition of Campus Tramp and Gang Girl/Sex Bum.

https://vintagesleazepaperbacks.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Would-Be Sinner by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Evening Reader #1215, 1965)

Posted in Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , on April 24, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks


This is, perhaps, the best of all the Silverberg Don Elliotts we have read so far, perhaps because its subject matter is of great interest, and close to home (or fantasy) of the author.

Michael Storm is a whirlwind success of a first novelist, stuck in the second novel hell — can he produce a wonderful follow-up or is he but a one-hit-wonder?

In his late 20s, he was working a PR man who had a way with words, a copy wizard, and while he was capable of making a good living doing that, he yearned for more, and two women in his life knew it; they in fact urged him to write a novel, one a girl at the office, Eileen, whose gives her virginity to him, and one a wanton but wealthy bi-sexual lawyer, who offers to be his patron, or sugar momma, giving him what money he needs so he can quit working and focus on writing his novel. (As for the reality of that, these women are really out there, we here have experienced that first-hand.)

He writes an enormous, 323,000-word tome on Madison Avenue and the American Dream, accepted based on a partial.  The publisher knows this will be heralded as an American classic of modern times, and it is: great reviews, great sales, movie rights to Hollywood, all kinds of foreign rights sales — Storm makes $200,000 in the first year, quite a chunk of change for the early 1960s, and if invested right, he could live comfortably foe the rest of his life…he need not ever write another word again…but he wants to, he wants a second, third, more novels…but does he have them inside him?  Can he acquire, as the cover copy states, “a sin career”?

He finds many women are eager to sleep with a famous author…and when he goes out to Los Angeles to work on the treatment for a film to his book, working on a studio lot, he finds an endless supply of would be actresses and secretaries and PAs to have sex with, so much that h soon becomes bored for th lack of the chase and challenge.

Back in New York, he befriends Harris Merrill, an author ten years his senior who had one smash-hit novel, a classic, and never wrote again (like a female version of Harper Lee); instead, in his 10-room Park Avenue abode, he dives into LSD, peyote, shrooms, and having wild sex orgies on the drugs.  Storm tries it and fears becoming just like Merrill. We cannot help but wonder if Merrill is loosely based on Philip K. Dick…(Note here, Silverberg has people waiting 3-4 hours at a psiocybin party to take effect, when the effect of that drug really takes 30-60 minutes to start…and he has Storm throw up after taking them, when vomitting is more a part of peyote, not psiolocybin.)

After Merrill’s OD and death, the darkness inspired Storm to writ his second novel, also a masterpiece.

But what of love? A wife? Can a man have the whole world and be alone?  Storm finds out no, that it all is meaningless until he has someone to share it with.

The ins ans outs of the publishing business makes for an interesting read, the giant blockbuster of a novel with fortune and fame a fantasy for the young Silverberg, unlike the hustling life of a paperback hack found in Thirst for Love as David Challon.

This one should get a reprint.