Playing dirty in the pulps!

The second pulp magazine I purchased at this weekend’s little mini-convention was Science Fiction Quarterly from February 1952. The cover of course caught my eye: A space-faring damsel shot in the back by a flying city (Hey, I just buy ’em! Don’t blame me). The price was reasonable enough: 4 bucks! And it featured an author I recognized: L. Sprague de Camp.
With a combination like that, I couldn’t resist!

In all, the 132-page magazine featured five stories: “Three Worlds in Shadow” by Joe Gibson, ” Rogue Princess” by de Camp, “Communicado” by Katherine MacLean, “Ordeal at Syrtis” by Milton Lesser, and “Intervention.” Interior illustrations were by Milton Luros and Poulton, and once again, I gotta say, they are nice.

The cover illustration was by Milton Luros, depicting a scene from “Intervention,” a short story inside by Michael Sherman. The interior promo text describes the story simply: “If it was your decision to make, would vote to revive this woman?”

My vote? She was shot in the back for a reason, somebody wanted her dead, I’m betting she should stay that way. Of course, maybe someone wanted her silenced. Hmmm.

Dirty fighting like this are often depicted on the covers of pulp magazines, particularly in detective and spy magazines. I guess it’s just another way to show how dastardly people can act. It sets the mood for your villain, I suppose.


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