Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, February 17, 2012


Today is Donald Westlake Day at Patti Abbott's Friday's Forgotten Books project.  I had planned to do Westlake's quicky biography Elizabeth Taylor (Monarch, 1961, as "John B. Allen"), by my copy is hiding somewhere among a gazillion books.  So...

     Just to be contrary, my post is about John D. MacDonald.  I can't really call any of MacDonald's books forgotten, nor can I call JDM a forgotten writer.  MacDonald has been a staple for me since high school.  I have read all but six (three fiction and three nonfiction) of his books -- and five of the six are in my backyard shed waiting for me; the sixth is actually a 26-page pamphlet he wrote for the Library of Congress to promote reading.

     What I thought I would do today is direct you to some of John D. MacDonald's fiction that is available on the web -- including some that has never been reprinted.  The major source of these stories is, a site recommended last month by Juri Nummelin on his always interesting blog Pulpetti.  This site has scans of many old magazines and pulps; be warned:  once you start on the site you may not want to log off.

     Anyway, just go to follow the links to the magazine issues.  There are eight stories by John D. MacDonald from the general-interest magazine Collier's:

     Dead on Christmas Street.  December 20, 1952.  Never reprinted.
     Elimination RaceSeptember 13, 1952.  Never reprinted.
     Flight of the Tiger.  A three-part serial.  March 5, March 19, and April 2, 1952.  Never reprinted.
     Looie Follows Me.  August 27, 1949.  This story was included in JDM's collection The End of the Tiger (1966).
     My Brother's Widow.  A five-part serial.  March 15, March 22, March 29, April 5. and April 12, 1952.  This was the magazine version of JDM's novel Area of Suspicion (1954).
     The Men Women Marry.  June 8, 1956.  A short-short story (that's Collier's version of flash fiction).  Never reprinted.
     The Unsuitable Girl.  February 3, 1956.  Another short-short story.  Never reprinted.
     Who's the Blonde?  August 9, 1952.  Never reprinted.

     There's one story here from Fantastic Adventures:

     Vanguard of the Lost.  May 1950.  This story was reprinted in Amazing Stories, December 1966.

     And three from Startling Stories:

     Shenadun.  September 1948.  Never reprinted.
     The White Fruit of Bandalas.  September 1951.  This story was reprinted in Dangerous Vegetables, edited by Keith Laumer, Martin H. Greenberg, and Chalres G. Waugh (1998)
     Wine of the Dreamers.  May 1950.  This was the magazine version of JDM's science fiction novel of the same name (1951); it was later reprinted as Ballroom of the Skies (1953).

     Two more SF stories from Thrilling Wonder Stories:

     Amphiskios.  August 1949.  This story was reprinted in Time Wars, edited by Poul Anderson, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh (1986).
     Like a Keepsake.  June 1949.  Never reprinted.

     And, finally, two stories from the venerable Weird Tales:

     But Not in Death.  May 1949.  This story was reprinted in JDM's collection Other Times, Other Worlds (1978).
     The Great Stone Death.  January 1949.  This story was reprinted in Tales of Dungeons and Dragons, edited by Peter Haining (1986).

     The second site I found comes with a caveat:  I have not used the site and have no idead what is required.  The site -- -- allows to "borrow" books in e-format.  (If anyone has experience with this site, I'd love to hear about it.)  Anyway, five of JDM's novels appear to be available:

     The Crossroads
     Deadly Welcome
     The Deceivers
     The End of the Night  (This novel has been highly recommended by Stephen King, among others.)
     Soft Touch

      The web is a large place and there are probably more stories by MacDonald lurking out there.  If you know of any, please let me know in your comments.  In the meantime, give the stories I have listed a try.

     (This particular post is dedicated to Harold Keane, my late father-in-law, who could never get enough of Travis McGee.)

     As usual, Patti will have reviews and links to other revues at her site, Pattinase.


  1. Maybe the book of letters with Dan Rowan might count as post-bestseller JDM "forgotten"...somehow, I had managed to not realize UNZ was running pulp stuff...thanks!

  2. FWIW, "Elimination Race" from COLLIER'S was reprinted in the anthology devoted to auto-racing fiction, Evan Jones's HIGH GEAR (Bantam Books).