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Justin Marriott – A Visual Guide To New English Library

Posted by demonik on November 11, 2010

Justin Marriott (ed.) – A Visual Guide To New English Library: Volume One (Nov. 2010)

Blurb:
British Publisher New English Library are a legend amongst vintage paperback fans and collectors throughout the world.

Their cult output is celebrated in the first of an ongoing series of visual guides from the producers of The Paperback Fanatic magazine.

Volume one is crammed with full colour reproductions of rare covers. The glorious visuals are accompanied by insightful commentary and full bibliographical detail, including previously unrecorded information on pseudonyms.

more details on Vault Of Evil Forum:

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Posted in Justin Marriott, Laurence James, Magazines (NEL interest), Mews, NEL, Paperback Fanatic, Peter Haining | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Paperback Fanatic 6: Peter Haining tribute

Posted by demonik on July 14, 2009

Justin Marriott (ed.) – Paperback Fanatic 6: Peter Haining Tribute issue (Feb. 2008)

paperbackfanatic6

Fanatical Thoughts: Readers letters

From Beyond The Grave: A definitive interview with the legendary Peter Haining in which he reveals the secrets behind the New English Library fiction factory and dishes the dirt on the creation of cult books such as Skinhead, Chopper and Edge.

Haining’s Web of Terror!  Noted genre expert Mike Ashley casts his critical eye over a decade of Haining’s classic horror anthologies.

Sexton Blake and The Guardians!  Andy Boot’s superb exploration of the murky world of Bill Baker’s Press Editorial with a look at cult authors such as Peter Saxon and the highly collected Guardians occult series.

Philip Harbottle’s Vision of Tomorrow!   Read the fascinating inside story on the excellent yet doomed UK SF mag Vision of Tomorrow, as recollected by the editor himself.

Plus brief items on Robert E Howard in UK paperback, a MEWS checklist (and back cover gallery) by Steve Goodwin & Justin Marriott, Mafia pulps.

Posted in Justin Marriott, Magazines (NEL interest), Mews, NEL, Paperback Fanatic, Peter Haining | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Donald Glut – Frankenstein Lives Again

Posted by demonik on June 4, 2009

Donald Glut – The New Adventures Of Frankenstein #1: Frankenstein Lives Again (Mews, January 1977)

Cover Illustration by Tony Masero

Cover Illustration by Tony Masero


Review by Franklin Marsh

Compared to 2,3 and 4 No. 1 Frankenstein Lives Again is very much a scene setter and consequently Boresville. An interesting pre-credits sequence with English pilot Fairfax whizzing over the icy wastes of the Arctic when Doh! the ‘plane runs out of fuel. He survives the crash and seeks out the emergency survival kit (a half bottle of scotch), gets p*ssed and walks into an ice wall. Contained within is the frozen Frankenstein Monster – worshipped by local Eskimos as the Ice God. They give Fairfax a bashing and dump him back near civilisation.

Meanwhile on a train French idiot Pierre Dupre finishes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and hands the book back to its owner – none other than (fanfare) Dr Burt Winslow! He’s Rich! Intelligent! Long-Haired! Handsome! Top Of The Class In Everything! as he proceeds to bore the Frenchman with his life story and obsession with the Frankenstein legend. Although Burt’s not convinced it’s a legend. Pierre, instead of either leaping from the train or throwing Megabore off it, is so mesmerised by Burt’s brilliance he offers to join him. On reaching the end of the line, they team up with Morris Lamont who tips them the wink about Fairfax. They visit the mad drunken airman and get the location of ‘the Ice God’ With Lamont driving a massive truck they set off. When the truck can go no further, Burt and Pierre unload the dog sleds and set off for the ice wall. Busily chipping away, they’re attacked by hordes of irate Eskimos who want to hang on to their Deity. Dupre carries on chipping while Winslow blazes away at the ‘Natives’ dropping at least one with every shot (the Eskimos needless to say, couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo at five paces.) Despite the intense bombardment our heroes free the ice-encased monster, hitch it to their sleds and buzz off to rendezvous with Lamont. After they’ve loaded up, the Eskimos get a small consolation by wounding Dupre. Some more nonsense and Burt is winging his way with a crated creation back to Castle Frankenstein – which he bought for a song, despite the outrage of Ingoldstadt mayor Krag and huge crowds of Lederhosen clad extras. The only ray of sunshine is Lynn Powell (Huzzah!) secretary and assistant (yeah, right) who is waiting for Burt, tidying the castle. Will the second part of the book pick up? I ****ing hope so because if I have to read just how brilliant,super,wonderful Burt is much more, I’m going to have a K’niption fit.

(Later)

Forget all that rubbish I posted above. How could I have doubted Don? Part 2 is Back With A Vengeance and jet-propelled. Mr Glut has opened boxes marked Ludicrousness, Horror Cliches and Ultraviolence and gone barmy in the best possible taste. The very next page my jaundiced eye fell upon – ‘A creature had suddenly appeared in the mountains near Ingoldstadt, looking more dead than alive. His countenance was that of a dried corpse, with parched lips and sinister green eyes that stared with an unearthly fire from their cavernous sockets. He sat atop a circus wagon and grinned, showing his few yellow teeth…’ Yay! It’s Professor Dartani’s Asylum Of Horrors – featuring Vampires! Werewolves! Zombies! Witches! I nearly burst several blood vessels but its just a travelling waxworks. However despite some magnificent megaphone marketing in Ingoldstadt, Killjoy Krag runs the Prof and his human gorilla stooge , Gort, out of town.

Burt and the better looking FM (Arf!) are back at the castle. A quick brush against Lynn’s full breasts and its down to some serious Mad Scientisting. Winslow’s got the best equipment money can buy and its time for that old revival ballyhoo. Lynn changes into a short, white nurse’s uniform that reveals her gorgeous legs. Even Burt the Brain must have felt a rustling in the front of his trousers as she leans over a very important piece of scientific equipment. ‘For a short while Winslow managed to smile, considering the fact that he was working with such a vision and not with any ugly and deformed assistant named Igor.’

Suffice to say FM gets revived and breaks the leather straps like paper chains (another example of Burt’s intelligence proving to be sadly lacking). The monster starts to strangle the Doc but then thinks better of it(damn!) and lumbers out of the castle. Some beered up villagers with rifles are lurking nearby on WinslowWatch. A little brains-dashing and bone-breaking later, the lone survivor speeds back to town to warn Krag and whip up the leather shorts brigade. (Many of whom have knee length socks too). The monster bumps into the Prof who charms him with ‘Friend?’ then mesmerises him and the hulk is dispatched to bump off the Mayor. He succeeds and wipes out a few townspeople into the bargain. The rest of the town light their torches and head for Castle Winslow-Powell. Amazingly, Burt manages to hoodwink them, and the saps give him 24 hours to search and destroy. Burt tracks down the Prof, Gort and FM to a rickety barn in the middle of a thunderstorm. Prof and Monster get away, leaving the other two in a furious gun battle as the barn collapses around them. Dartani and his hypnotised helper flee to the castle, where the old carney is delighted to find Burt’s pert, pouting blond bombshell all alone – ‘ ‘ Do you know what that means, my dear?’ he said, enjoying the way her breasts were rising and falling beneath the nurse outfit.’ (as are the Globeswatch team).
Nine pages to go!

(Much later)

– don’t read this if you don’t want to know how No. 1 ends (although it’s already been given away in an earlier post) – OK then – spoiler of spoilers – not only did Don string me along but also got Globeswatch into a frenzy over not a lot (no offence to Lynn). We’d left her being slobbered over by Professor Dartani.

“Like a human insect, Dartani crept along the wall in pursuit of the girl, delighting in the way she squirmed, her breasts heaving due to her frantic breathing.”

And the inspiring “In a streak of movement, one hand gripped the top of her uniform and ripped it down the front so that the tops of Lynn’s rounded breasts showed in all their magnificent abundance.”

Nice of Don to keep it clean, but it probably robbed him of the ’77 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Burt has come to in the wreckage of the barn – which handily fell mostly on Gort. He susses out where everybody has gone/is heading and makes haste to the castle. His arrival prevents the Prof from removing any more of Lynn’s clothes (shame!), who, in a frightful bate, sets FM on him. The monster, being possibly a bigger idiot than anyone else in this book has made a pact with himself not to waste Burt. Lynn, clutching what little she has on, has legged it for the roof with Dartani in hot pursuit. The villagers burst in and the Monster takes some time to grab the chief rabble rouser and lob him out of a convenient window.Everyone ends up on the roof. FM chucks Dartani to his doom, and looks longingly at Lynn. Burt piles in with a rain-proof flaming torch, and the Monster plunges from the battlements. Lynn and Burt embrace as the sun bursts through the clouds and the angry mob shrug their collective shoulders and bugger off back to the town. That’s All Folks!

Posted in Donald Glut, franklin marsh, Horror Fiction, Mews, Novel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Donald F. Glut – Terror Of Frankenstein

Posted by demonik on September 15, 2007

Donald F. Glut – Terror Of Frankenstein (Mews, 1977)

glutterrorfrankenstein

The creature joins the ranks of O.G.R.E. – an organisation of hideous men dedicated to wiping all beauty from the earth!

Dr. Burt Winslow evidently disposed of the monster at the end of book 1 by ramming a flaming torch in its face and pushing it off a cliff into the sea, but he’s still troubled that it’s out there, somewhere and will not be truly dead until he’s dissected it. So he and his permanently pouting assistant Lynn Powell (who is secretly well made up that the monster fancies her) leave Ingoldstadt for England to discuss matters with one of his fellow boffins. Meanwhile the village peasants arrange a friendly send off by picketing the local railway station – ‘MASS MURDERER: DON’T COME BACK’ and ‘WE DON’T WANT WINSLOW AND HIS WENCH’ are just two of several placards – but at least they get to share a plane with movie star Kane Holdren, noted for his performance in Jawbreaker And The Mountain Of Evil Affair which even the laboratory-bound Burt claims to have seen. But even as they take off for London, the faceless men of O.G.R.E. have located the monster floating in the sea and …. it’s still alive!

Glut packs in so much action into each chapter he makes Dracula Returns look pedestrian. It seems like mere seconds since I met Kane Holdren, paranoid superstar, but OGRE have already snuffed him for being “the handsomest man alive”. Prior to that, they used their atomic submarine to blast a ship out of the sea because it was carrying beauty products for women. Oh, and Burt has saved everybody aboard the plane, having grabbed the controls when the pilots were knocked unconscious by a laser beam fired from the OGRE flying saucer. Just when you think Burt is every bit the masterbrain everyone hypes him out to be, Lynn is approached by pear-shaped promoter Spencer G. Catsman at London Airport who flatters her into taking part in the ‘Miss Laser Beam Beauty Pageant’ and her fiance doesn’t find this vaguely suspicious.

Good to know old Captain Judson of the flame-grilled face is still knocking about. After leader Wu Lang Lee he’s one of the big four at O.G.R.E. (hamburger face Lars Burrod, acid casualty Dirk Anderson and ultra-skin diseased Heinrich Hagopian being the others). They even have their own sub-Pinhead chant:

To destroy beauty! Ugliness must rule! That is the only way!

Anyhow, having captured the Creature they’re all sucking up to him and being his big mates. They even remove their face masks to show him that they’re each as unsightly as him and have suffered the barbs of nice-looking people as a consequence. He’s fallen for it. He lets them call him ‘Monster’.

Back in London, Burt and his friend, Kurt Allen are busy working on a Creature-crushing robot that will be operated by Winslow’s mind when he puts on a special helmet.

The Miss Laser Beauty Contest is a major disappointment. Lynn walks it, of course, but hardly has she been presented with her crown and bunch of roses than the OGRE assassins invade the building and mow down every other contestant before Glut’s even had a chance to describe a one of them. Hagopian is just about to fill Lynn with lead when the Creature comes roaring to her rescue, snapping the lieutenant’s neck before all the bad guys make off in the Tylosaur (cunningly disguised as a sea monster). There’s another outbreak of argy-bargy when they dock and the Creature kills the entire crew (for the second time) except for Captain Judson.

When they arrive back at OGRE island, the mad mandarin is furious: “The girl – a creature of beauty on OGRE island. She must be killed on the spot! It is the law! It would be treason to let her live – treason against the cause!”

The moment he claps eyes on the blue-eyed blond, however, old melty features has a change of heart and proposes marriage to her! When she refuses he comes over all enraged, removes his mask and sadistically flashes her, then has her secreted away in a cave which only he and the Creature know about. To cover up his tracks he informs his fellow faceaches that he’s shot her.

There’s still more ….

For once, Burt’s super-brain doesn’t betray him and he double-guesses OGRE’s next target – an exhibition of BEAUTIFUL paintings. He transfers his mind into that of the eight foot robot he and electronics wizard Kurt have knocked up and wipes out a few more OGRE men before allowing the Monster to overpower the metal man and take it’s empty shell back to OGRE HQ. Meanwhile, Captain Judson has discovered Lynn and although he’s tempted to try his luck, he resists the temptation and denounces the mandarin for the two-bit traitor he is. As the OGRE’s bay for their treacherous leader’s blood, Burt reanimates the robot, the Creature goes berserk and there’s a mad rush to escape the island before it all blows up …

Memo to Severance. The globe action is, frankly, negligable. The best I can do for you is Lynn in her “skimpy white swimming suit”, several assurances that she is curvaceous and Dr. Winslow’s observation that she looks sexy in her lab. uniform.

Posted in Donald Glut, Horror Fiction, Mews, Novel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Diana Carter – The Ghost Writer

Posted by demonik on September 14, 2007

Diana Carter – The Ghost Writer (Nel MEWS, 1976: originally Cassell, 1974)



A Haunting Novel of the Supernatural in the Tradition of ‘The Exorcist’

Carey Arnold had been an enormously successful author of thrillers before his unexplained death. And the air of mystery around him only increased when another manuscript, unmistakably his work, was delivered to his literary agent.

And at The Old Rectory where his widow and small son lived there were still stranger things happening. The cloying smell of snuff in the rooms. The sinister grandfather clock. And the written messages which apparently came from another world

The answers to this scaring puzzle lay both in this world – and the next!

“All this, you have to remember, was at the start of the Swinging Sixties. And Carey was one of the first swingers. We’re used, now, to seeing people in outlandish costumes, doing their own thing. But in those days, a man with shoulder-length hair, who turned up at a Royal Command Performance clad in a canary-yellow dinner-jacket, escorting a busty starlet wearing next to nothing, was bound to attract a lot of attention”.

I’m not so sure about the “in the Tradition of ‘The Exorcist'” line, because, if anything, this potboiler owes more to Conan-Doyle’s The Final Problem. In 1968, Carey Arnold, author of the ‘Xavier White’ spy series, fell from a cliff at Beachy Head while suffering a writers block induced depression. Arnold had identified a little too strongly with his hero, spending a fortune on converting a Rolls Royce into a gadget-laden supercar and even marrying a woman because she was the living image of heroine Minka (fed to piranha fish in Cash On Delivery). He’s survived by American wife Andrea and six year old son Peter. Living with them at the Old Rectory is Queenie Kingdom, Arnold’s fiercely loyal secretary who has insisted that his room is left as it was, a macabre shrine to his ‘genius’ (there’s a neat scene when a character enters Arnold’s room for the first time to be met with a photo of Ian Fleming stuck to a dartboard with three arrows sticking through him – you’ve already guessed where.)

Everything starts taking a turn for the weird when Queenie winds the old grandfather clock and finds herself writing a new Xavier White versus the Grey Eminence masterpiece, Dearest Possession, which she insists has been dictated to her from beyond the grave. At about the same time, Peter, a troubled child takes to playing evil tricks and torturing animals – or so it seems. He maintains his innocence, blaming a friend, ‘Bubbles’ who nobody else can see. When Queenie submits the finished manuscript to Richard Pullen, Arnold’s agent, the publisher seeks the assistance of the likable and determined Paul Strachey of the Society for Psychic Research. Their seances suggest that the author may be responsible for this posthumous pulp until a rather ruffled gent, Ray Jupp bursts in on the action, claiming that he wrote all the Xavier White stories as a means of financing his life work, a biography of Gilles De Rais. Who to believe? And where does the grandfather clock fit into this? And what’s all this business with bloody ‘Bubbles’?

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