I don't know whether Ye Editor Schwartz has broken his typewriter or whether his snoopitive research was at a low ebb this month. At any rate, he's allowing me to fill his spot for this issue, tho he may quickly regret it. I've deliberately held back this copy until I was certain that Chr was howling it was deadline. That guy Schwartz won't get the chance to scrap this.
I've been out of circulation for so long I even forget which was the last cover Williamson copped, etc. So, what's chances of dishing out some personal sidelights on some of the more interesting figures in the fantasy field? So which? So here we go.
Take Paul Ernst. Paul's pet philosophy, when I met him last year in Chicago, ran something like this: "I'd like to sell only two stories a year-to fifty different magazines." I persuaded Paul to come to New York. He met authors and editors...now he's selling all over the lot, Horror and Terror, the Thrilling group. and there and there. Paul is a very methodical writer, turn-turning out ultra meticulus-and excellent-copy. He works a regular six hours a day--makes a real business out of it, and the way they feature his name way up on the cover proves how good he is.
There's Lester Dent. Tho I've repeatedly pointed out to Lester that many, if not all, of his Doc Savage novels stress a heavy s-f theme, Dent tugs at his very red beard and grunts: "Don't call me a science fiction writer. All them guys are nuts!" Dent's pet ambition is to own a penthouse-so that he can call it a Denthouse.
Let's talk about Arthur J. Burks. Arthur is one of my closest friends. Whenever some tough situation pops up-and he alone knows how many times that happens-I go to Arthur for some advice. He's done me so many favors that I very much doubt if I will ever get the slightest chance to reciprocate. Burks is one of the most versatile and prolific writers in the pulp game-one of the real big time writers. I'll never forget the time I walked in on him, unexpected, and he was busy hammering on those typewriter keys. "Get the hell out!" he roared. "I'm busy!" Later, he apologized and asked me to take in a show with him.
Howard and Donald Wandrei. A new team. They live together in a cosy place of their own in the Village, do their own cooking, and make writing seem like one swell game. To them it's everlasting fun. They like to contact editors, mix with pulpsters, and their greatest fun is seeing which one of them can first break into a new market.
Ray Cummings? Before I met him I was curious about him. A friend told me "he looks like he writes." I met Cummings soon afterward and I'm still trying to figure out how to apply that crack.
Well, that's all.