State of the Dog Pound Address for January 2016


What's been happening. . . .

Over the second half of 2015, the productivity of Black Dog Books was undermined as I battled a health issue.  Now back moving forward, we are looking to an abundant array of titles for Spring 2016 release, as I try to make up for lost time. These titles, mostly yet officially unannounced, will include collections covering all genres: adventure, science fiction, western, mystery and of course the annual program book for the Windy City Pulp and Paperback show.

holt_decree_of_allah_thumbnail_websiteDespite my health issue, Black Dog Books was able to release 2 new titles in the past six months, those being The Decree of Allah by George E. Holt and Wolves of the Wind by Frederick Nebel.wolves_of_wind_thumbnail_website

In recent years, BDB has annually ran year-end sales specials though the website.  These have proven popular and a great way to pick up any titles you’ve missed for reduced prices. My health situation, coupled with the fatigue and lethargy encompassing that, prevented this from happening in 2015. I will be posting several bundle pack sales over the next week or two. From the top category header on the BDB home page please check the OUR BOOKS>AVAILABLE NOW>FICTION page to view those new sales. Each will be titled with a SALE header (i.e. Sale—Mystery Three-Pack).

Keep checking back often as we will run each sale for a couple weeks.

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juggernaut_cover_thumbnail_websiteWe have two new titles now available. While I typically refrain from giving any type of buy it now, strong arm sales pitch, (just not my style, preferring to let the product stand alone as a testament to the effort it takes to assemble any collection of pulp-based material), I am particularly proud of one of the new titles. The Juggernaut of Terror by Phillip Ketchum (writing as Carl McK. Saunders) represents the culmination of more than a decade of dedicated work in locating copies of stories to complete this collection. This book was only assembled through the generosity of those who allowed access to some very rare pulps. Due to the fragileness of some issues, preventing any type of copying or scanning, some of the stories in this collection were entirely retyped from photographs of the story’s pages. When only one copy of a particular pulp can be found in the entire US, one will go to extreme measures to acquire a story from it.  At least one story was typed instantly onsite, as borrowing of the pulp was not an option. (Thankfully it was short and not a novella!)

The short story “Hard” (The Dragnet Magazine, October 1929), introduced readers to Captain John Murdock, Chief of Detectives for Central City. Murdock is a laconic, gruff and surly lawman with the tenacity of a wolverine. True to his job, and seeking to make no friends, he fights crime both inside the police department, inside the walls of city hall and outside on the streets of Central City. Corruption runs rampant. Who can he trust? Who can Murdock turn to for help to clean up this charnel house? One man stands alone and takes on all comers in the battle to cleanse Central City of the blood-red villainy draped across it.

These stories were written simultaneously to and were in direct competition for readers with the works by Daly, Nebel and Hammett appearing in Black Mask during its heyday. The Murdock stories could well have appeared in the pages of Black Mask. With a toughness of character, and a terseness of word, these stories represent not an influence by the works in Black Mask, but a joint influence that the crime news of the day had upon any person penning crime fiction. The same impetus that propelled Black Mask and its writers to be recognized today as groundbreaking in the detective genre also propelled others in the genre to excel as well.

I believe this collection to be an important work of material previously unavailable to readers and researchers of the detective genre. I hope you will take the time to consider acquiring a copy of The Juggernaut of Terror, and exploring for yourself the hard-boiled stories of Captain John Murdock. They come with my highest recommendation.

Onward and upward!

Tom Roberts
Publisher, Black Dog Books