Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New JDM Stuff

There are a couple of John D MacDonald-related products hitting the shelves right about now.

As I previously noted, the entire run of the Sixties television anthology Thriller was released on DVD a few weeks ago. Featured on Disc 3 of Season One is a dramatization of MacDonald's 1955 Cosmopolitan novella "The Impulse," re-titled "The Fatal Impulse." The list price for the entire set in almost $150, but most sellers will discount that considerably. If you are a Netflix subscriber you can always do what I did and simply check out the one pertinent disc.

The other release is a bit more interesting, both to mystery lovers in general and to John D MacDonald fans in particular. On September 21 Vintage Crime will release a brand new Black Lizard anthology titled The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories: The Greatest Crime Fiction from the Legendary Magazine. Containing over 50(!) stories from that legendary pulp, the collection features the first-ever reprint of Dashell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" as it originally appeared in Black Mask -- serialized in five parts -- months before it appeared as a novel. Raymond Chandler is represented by his very last Black Mask entry, "Try the Girl," which was later "cannibalized" as part of Farewell, My Lovely and which was previously included in his earlier anthology Killer in the Rain. There's an unpublished Lester Dent, a never-before-anthologized Raoul Whitfield, entries by Cornell Woolrich, Horace McCoy, and much more. Edited by Otto Penzler and featuring an introductory essay by the publisher of The New Black Mask, this anthology promises to be a major event for classic mystery lovers.

Of special interest to John D MacDonald fans is the inclusion of the author's May 1949 novella, "Murder in One Syllable." Except for an appearance in the British version of Black Mask a few month after it appeared in the US, this 14,800-word tale is appearing for the very first time since it was originally published.

The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories will be officially released on the 21st of this month.


  1. BLACK MASK has claim to possibly being the best and most influential crime fiction magazine ever published. It lasted 340 issues during 1920 through 1951. This big book is a major publishing event for all mystery lovers and I see that Amazon.com has discounted it to a very low price, especially when you consider that the book is 1100 pages. A must buy.

  2. Agreed... I've had my copy on pre-order for weeks.