Vintage Pulp Aug 14 2020
SECRET IDENTITIES
French paperback illustrators could teach real world spies all about leaving no clues or evidence behind.


When it comes to French pulp, the cover art will often be uncredited. Such is the case with this attractive front for the thriller Quadrille d'Espions, published in 1956 by Société d'Éditions Général, aka SEG, for its popular series Espionnage/Service-Secret. The book was written by Francis Richard, which was a pseudonym used by Paul Bérato, who also wrote as Yves Dermèze, Paul Béra, er al. We dug deeper into the identity of this artist, to no avail. Someone out there knows, though, and with luck, we'll hear from them. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 5 2016
INVISIBLE MAN
He's the Master of all he surveys.

Above, seven covers from Editions Société d'Éditions Générales' series Le Maître de l'invisible, aka The Master of the Invisible, which was written by Edward Brooker from 1945 to 1947, relaunched in 1953, taken over by Sam Norwood, and finally shelved in 1956. Both Booker and Norwood were pseudonyms, neither conclusively identified at this point, although Booker may have been Austrian born Edward Ostermann. The title character of these books, Pao Tcheou, or Chao Pao, is a creation right out of the psycho-cultural Yellow Peril fever dreams of the era, a Chinese villain who can turn himself invisible, and in order to fulfill his dreams of global domination employs methods as diverse as giant monsters, killer robots, nuclear weapons, and general oriental cunning. He's of course opposed by a group of upstanding Westerners.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
September 28
1941—Williams Bats .406
Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox finishes the Major League Baseball season with a batting average of .406. He is the last player to bat .400 or better in a season.
September 27
1964—Warren Commission Issues Report
The Warren Commission, which had been convened to examine the circumstances of John F. Kennedy's assassination, releases its final report, which concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed Kennedy. Today, up to 81% of Americans are troubled by the official account of the assassination.
September 26
1934—Queen Mary Launched
The RMS Queen Mary, three-and-a-half years in the making, launches from Clydebank, Scotland. The steamship enters passenger service in May 1936 and sails the North Atlantic Ocean until 1967. Today she is a museum and tourist attraction anchored in Long Beach, U.S.A.
1983—Nuclear Holocaust Averted
Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov, whose job involves detection of enemy missiles, is warned by Soviet computers that the United States has launched a nuclear missile at Russia. Petrov deviates from procedure, and, instead of informing superiors, decides the detection is a glitch. When the computer warns of four more inbound missiles he decides, under much greater pressure this time, that the detections are also false. Soviet doctrine at the time dictates an immediate and full retaliatory strike, so Petrov's decision to leave his superiors out of the loop very possibly prevents humanity's obliteration. Petrov's actions remain a secret until 1988, but ultimately he is honored at the United Nations.
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