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Mary Elizabeth Counselman

(1911-1995)
Mary Elizabeth Counselman sold her first poem at the age of six. She attended the University of Alabama. Ms. Counselman’s work appeared in Weird Tales, Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, and other magazines. Her stories were dramatized on General Electric Theater and other national television programs in the USA, Canada, the British Isles, and Australia. Her tale “The Three Marked Pennies,” written while she was in her teens, and published in Weird Tales in 1934, was one of the three most popular in all of Weird Tales history. In describing her philosophy of writing horror fiction, she said, “The Hallowe’en scariness of the bumbling but kindly Wizard of Oz has always appealed to me more than the gruesome, morbid fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and those later authors who were influenced by their doom philosophies. My eerie shades bubble with an irrepressible sense of humour, ready to laugh with (never at) those earth-bound mortals whose fears they once shared.” For most of her life Counselman resided on a houseboat in Gadsden, Alabama, with her husband, Horace B. Vinyard and a large entourage of cats.
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Half in Shadow: 14 perfect gems

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Half in Shadow by Mary Elizabeth Counselman

In my review of Jessie Douglas Kerruish's The Undying Monster, I warned readers away from the British publishing outfit known as Flame Tree 451, because of the company's slapdash manner of proofreading and editing its products. But just as there are some publishers that should be avoided, there exist others whose books might be safely recommended just by virtue of the company's imprint itself. Such a one, for me, is Arkham House, which, for 76 years now, has shown infinite care in the production of its publications. Originally founded in 1939 by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei to preserve the legacy of H.P. Lovecraft Read More

Thriller: One of the scariest TV shows of all time

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Thriller

Viewers who tuned into the new Thriller program on NBC, on the night of September 13, 1960, a Tuesday, could have had little idea that the mildly suspenseful program that they saw that evening — one that concerned a male ad exec being stalked by a female admirer — would soon morph into the show that author Stephen King would later call "the best horror series ever put on TV." The first eight episodes of Thriller came off as hour-long homages to Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which it immediately followed in the 9:00 slot; solid enough episodes of murder, intrigue and suspense, to be sure, with a touch of film noir at their heart. In the face of scathing reviews and poor viewership, however, the program brought in a new production team and drastically rebooted its image, gearing itself now more toward supernatura... Read More

Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror: Another wonderful collection from “The Unique Magazine”

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Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror edited by John Betancourt & Robert Weinberg

This is the seventh anthology that I have reviewed that has been drawn from the pages of Weird Tales, one of the most famous pulp magazines in publishing history. Each of the previous collections had employed its own modus operandi in presenting its gathered stories. Weird Tales (1964) and Worlds of Weird (1965) had been slim paperbacks featuring previously uncollected stories. The Best of Weird Tales: 1923 (1997) had spotlighted tales solely from WT’s very first year. Weird Tales: A Selection In Facsimile (1990) was a generous hardcover offering photocopied pages from the original magazine. Read More