Friday, May 27, 2011

Forgotten Stories: "Hunch" and "Death Song" by Paul Cain - Yours via email!

As I've said in various posts (as is, of course, common knowledge among Cain addicts), Paul Cain wrote 14 stories for detective pulps, plus the novel Fast One, which originally appeared in five parts in Black Mask

Seven of those stories appeared in the collection Seven Slayers (discussed here yesterday). William F. Nolan's notes in The Black Mask Boys hint that Cain himself (aka Peter Ruric, real name George Sims) may selected those seven stories himself, though whether he had editorial assistance is unclear.

In any case, that left seven stories unreprinted. One of those, "Trouble-Chaser," finally resurfaced in the 1995 volume Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories, edited by Bill Pronzini and Jack Adrian. Another, "Sockdolager," saw print again in 2008, in a facsimile reprint of the April, 1936 Star Detective, published by Adventure House. Both those books are readily available from Amazon and other sources. 

That leaves five still waiting to be reborn. Over the past year or so, I've offered scans via email of three of those: "555," "Chinaman's Chance," and "Dutch Treat," and at least 70 of you folks have written to request them. But the last two stories, "Hunch" and "Death Song," remained at large.

BUT NOW, thanks to Jeremy Burwell, who graciously provided us with the text of Cain's rare non-mystery, "The Tasting Machine," (published under the pen name Peter Ruric - and reprinted HERE), I finally got my hands on the last two tales. And with Jeremy's blessing, I'd like the share them with you.

Just so you know, these are scans of photocopies that may be 2nd or 3rd generation, so some of the words are a little smudged. But I had no trouble making them out, and the stories are well worth the eyestrain. 

So! If you're one of those seventy-odd folks who requested the first three stories - AND you received a message from me last week about "The Tasting Machine," I have you on my radar, and should be sending you these stories ASAP. But if you did not hear from me about "The Tasting Machine," and would like any or all of these stories, email me at and I'll be pleased to shoot them back to you!

Forgotten Books is a weekly extravaganza hosted by Patti Abbott. Unless recent difficulties with Blogger prevent it, you'll find links to more great stuff at pattinase.

These cool Black Mask cover scans were borrowed from the fabulous Galactic Central


George said...

Wow, you are a devoted Paul Cain fan! Now, some small press needs to reprint all of Paul Cain!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for making these available.

Richard R. said...

Thanks, Evan!

Deka Black said...

Thanks :D

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