Torn from the pages of the first and foremost pulp magazine, the fabled Argosy, and chosen from among thousands of stories by premier pulp authority, Robert Weinberg! Radio Archives is delving into the pages of this celebrated magazine in an effort to present some of the best feature fiction Argosy presented during its near-century of publication.
Richard Wentworth - whose grim, anti-crime crusades as the Spider have made him world-famous - was the first objective in the Poison Master's murder campaign. His best friend, Kirkpatrick, lay in a death-like stupor. His beloved, Nita van Sloan, was stricken with the horrible living death! And at the same time, countless thousands were felled by the same fatal venom.
Although an orphan, Curtis Newton's parents left him with gifts that would most definitely lead to him becoming Captain Future, the superman of the space ways. His mother, Elaine, provided him with his mission, to become the protector of the solar system, to fight for justice wherever it may take him. Roger, his father, not only passed on incredible genius and scientific skills, but he provided him with three caregivers that would grow to be the greatest team a space faring hero could have-The Futuremen!
In 1934, a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names - the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines - weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Terror Tales was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day.
Striking terror on four worlds, a mysterious raider throttles interplanetary commerce - and earth summons Curtis Newton, the wizard of science, and his trio of Futuremen to combat this sinister menace.
"Good old science fiction!"
In that single, unguarded moment while he played his precious Stradivarius, the combined forces of the Mayor of Hell - the crooked Law and the vengeful Underworld - besieged Richard Wentworth, otherwise known as the Spider, nemesis of criminals! Mourned as dead, the Spider must start life anew, without friends or funds or hidden refuge, so that the Mayor of Hell's bloody-handed henchmen - who judge no deed too base, who respect neither man nor God - may find their just reward - in death!
Never had Richard Wentworth - he who is the scourge of the Underworld in his guise of the Spider - faced such tremendous odds or been so alone in the strife! Nita, his beloved, had tried to kill him, as she was hopelessly insane. His faithful servant had been tortured beyond human endurance. And the Master of Madness, chief of a powerful, fiendish syndicate, was spreading his germs of mania unchecked.
We thought: If customers like this brand of retro-horror so much, why not go back to the dark well from which it all sprang? That meant Dime Mystery Magazine, the pulp that started the Weird Menace sub-genre back around Halloween of the horrific year of 1933. Since we were planning on celebrating the 80th anniversary of Popular Publication's G-8 And His Battles Aces and The Spider during this autumnal epoch, why not do the same for their sister publication?
The Captain Future stories were not only populated with magnificent characters, but they were also set in a wild, imaginative, almost psychedelic universe. Edmond Hamilton built worlds and star systems that in many ways completely disregarded what the public knew to be true about outer space, but they did not care. Nearly every planet in our solar system could support life, and danger lurked there, too. Although the original stories took place amongst familiar planets, Hamilton would take fans far beyond anything familiar in later tales.
Never before had a greedy, criminal genius loosed so loathsome and deadly a weapon! The Bat Man - leading a band of savages, releasing clouds of bloodthirsty vampire bats - planned to make himself a greater conqueror than Napoleon or Genghis Khan! One man stood in his way - Richard Wentworth, who when the law fails, sallies forth as the dread Spider to spread red death in the Underworld.
By 1939, Richard Wentworth had been operating as the Spider for nearly six harrowing years. He had been through everything a good pulp hero could expect to face. Malevolent master villains. Sinister Asian world conquerors. Mad scientists more diabolical than anything conceived before that point. And of course since the Spider was a wanted criminal, endless police officials, uniformed cops, homicide detectives and other officers of the law had been pursuing him with single-minded fervor.
When the underworld united in one compact army of crime, the Spider - his prestige gone - faced the most vicious collection of criminals and degenerate killers ever assembled under one dark banner of bloody social war! How can Richard Wentworth, robbed of Kirkpatrick and Nita, renew the Spider-fear, which alone can bring him victory from a menace that is making casualty columns of our daily papers and filling our institutions with driveling victims of the new madness?
On a blank wall, spikes driven through her hands and feet, blood coursing down her arms and breasts in tiny rivulets, a beautiful young woman was hanging, crucified, dying. Another victim of the Torture Trust! And while panic spreads, while hundreds die victims of the killers, the Spider is blinded, his faithful servants imprisoned, his friends dishonored! How can Richard Wentworth, desperate and alone, combat the powerful, well-organized murder syndicate whose gun hirelings hunt him down like a vicious mad dog?
Blonde Truly couldn't keep her kiss-ban against that cowboy Dave - not even when sultry Garnet ran engaging interference. She thought Dave's kisses delightfully habit-forming - and so did his sultry fiancee. One of the most popular settings for romance stories was the old west, where men were men and women were women. As many a swooning damsel could attest, "There's something about a cowboy."
Richard Wentworth - who, as the swift-killing Spider, is the scourge of the Underworld - thought the Fly was dead. But once more that most formidable enemy had arisen, pillaging, slaying wantonly, armed with a ghastly new weapon, the Green Globes of Death! Ruthless and astute, heading a gigantic criminal syndicate, the Fly was butchering innocent persons only, it seemed, to see their red blood flow. It was with flagging hope and heavy heart that the Spider took up his newest battle with the preying jackals of crime!
In 1950, NBC began broadcasting Nightbeat, considered one of the finest shows of its time. The show featured Randy Stone, a reporter who covered the night beat for the Chicago Star with a unique blend of wit, compassion, and toughness. From murder to mystery, gunplay to climactic chases, from heartache to hardboiled, every night brought a new story to Randy Stone. Radio Archives invites you to listen to six brand-new Nightbeat stories set on the streets of Randy Stone's Chicago.
White slavery, the loathsome traffic in women's bodies - and souls - was stripping America of wives, sisters and sweethearts. Richard Wentworth, valiant champion of human rights, knew that an Oriental master criminal was captaining the slavery syndicate, guessed the unspeakable purpose behind those wholesale abductions. But with Nita hopelessly lost, with G-men harrying him relentlessly, can the Spider outwit his most formidable foeman and save America's doomed womanhood?
When terror suddenly boarded a little tramp steamer and left crimson havoc littering its narrow decks, a spluttering wireless flashed the doom of every living thing aboard. Within a week, the same ghastly fate struck a gigantic new ocean liner, its luxurious cabins occupied by the elite and powerful of a dozen different nations! Death - swift and terrible - rode the ocean lanes. And the Spider - taken for once off guard - was supposedly dying in a hospital room on the very day when that terror from the seas first showed itself above the city skyline.
The maddest of the mad scientists - Doctor Death - starred in his own bizarre pulp magazine in early 1935. He consorted with demons, elementals, zombies, disinterred mummies, and other unclean denizens of Hell. Standing against him were the Secret 12, a band of the top U.S. civil and business leaders, headed by Jimmy Holm, a millionaire criminologist and occultist. One of the rare unabashedly supernatural series the pulps ever produced, Doctor Death returns in vintage pulp tales, reissued as audiobooks.
The Spider, but who was otherwise a faceless phantom. The big mystery of the origins of The Spider magazine is that they were not one, but two, writers named R. T. M. Scott. The first was the father to the second. Reginald Thomas Maitland Scott was one of the most famous writers of the 1920s. His son, Robert Thomas Maitland Scott, was new to the writing world.