Monday, March 23, 2015

Fiction in Magazines and Newspapers by John D MacDonald

This morning I’m launching the third and final listing of fictional works by John D MacDonald, a database titled “Fiction in Magazines and Newspapers by John D MacDonald” and accessible via the link in the Trap of Solid Gold Resources indexed in the right hand column of this blog. It contains, as the title indicates, all of the known fiction by JDM that was published in a magazine or newspaper during -- and after -- the author’s lifetime. Like my previous listing titled “Short Stories by John D MacDonald” it contains all of his short stories and novellas, minus the handful that first appeared in anthologies. And like that other list, its starting point was the pioneering work of Len and June Moffat and Jean and Walter Shine, whose JDM Master Checklist (Moffats) and John D MacDonald Bibliography/Biography (Shines) laid the groundwork for all subsequent research in the field. The Shines’ work, especially, provided the basis for the list, as they were instrumental in locating and listing appearances of works republished in other magazines.

My own humble addenda to the list is the inclusion of works that appeared after the publication of the Shine’s book in 1980. This includes the few stories that appeared in the six years between publication and MacDonald’s death in 1986 as well as the discovery of a few items the Shines missed. It is, I believe, the most extensive such list available anywhere.

So, what will you find here? Whereas the prior short story list I put together contains the initial publication of each work, this list includes later printings of stories, many times published under different titles. It also includes the scores of novels that were condensed (and often rewritten) and published in magazines, again, often under titles different from the ones that appeared on the books. This should clear up some confusion that might exist, not only about the number of stories MacDonald had published, but aid the collector in avoiding duplication in attempting to acquire unique works. Here’s an example. The February 1949 issue of Detective Tales contains an excellent John D MacDonald short story titled “Killer’s Nest.” This was not the author’s original title, but was changed by the magazine’s editor, a practice that occurred frequently in the pulp trade. In 1984 MacDonald included the story in his pulp anthology More Good Old Stuff under its original title, “Neighborly Interest.” One year later the story appeared in the October issue of Redbook under yet another title, this time “The Fatal Flaw.” Without knowing this story’s lineage a collector might be induced to purchase the same story three times.

As its title indicates, this new list does not include the publication or republication of stories in book form. This not only eliminates the few stories that did not originally appear in magazines, but omits all republication of works in anthologies. That’s a job for another day, one I doubt I’ll ever get around to.

I had to make a decision about exactly how much info I wanted to include and decided on some limitations on two fronts. First, an easy one. I limited the list to only English language publications. This mainly eliminated all of the international editions of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, of which there were many, including one for Japan, France, Germany and Italy. None of these editions contain any original stories. But EQMM also produced editions for Great Britain and Australia, and these are included. The only other non-English reprint that I am aware of was a story that originally appeared in the Toronto Star Weekly and was reprinted in French for the supplement's Montreal version, La Patrie.

The other decision was to eliminate the very few non-short story works that the Shines included on their own list, such as a bit of Haiku that was published in a 1964 edition of the St. Petersburg Sunday Times Magazine, and a satirical essay he wrote in 1946 for an impossibly obscure publication called Womrath House Organ. I don’t think anyone is going to miss these pieces, and I don’t really consider them fiction.

The list is pretty bare bones, containing only the name and publication information for the periodical, the stories that appeared therein, the dates, any notes on original appearances or republication, and a link to a TOSG piece on the work where one exists.

And as on all the previous listings I have put together for this blog, I own a great debt of gratitude to J.J. Walters, who used his tech skills to put the information together in a readable format. Without his help these lists would not be anywhere near as useful or easy to read. My own initial attempts were pretty laughable.

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