One group of reprints I thought I would never see are Robert Silverberg’s “adventure” stories for the men’s adventure magazines. Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle at New Texture proved me wrong.
Exotic Adventure of Robert Silverberg is the latest single author collection from New Texture. Earlier this year, I wrote an issue by issue look at the science fiction digest Science Fiction Adventures. Robert Silverberg was in every issue, sometimes with two or three stories under various pseudonyms. In 1958, the science fiction magazine went bust and Silverberg had to look for new markets. One healthy market was the knock offs of Manhunt. Silverberg wrote for Trapped Detective Story Magazine, Guilty Detective Story Magazine, Double-Action Detective etc. He also wrote a few westerns, adventure, and a little later on, soft-core porn.
Deis and Doyle have an interesting and informative four page introduction on the history of Exotic Adventures. Editor-publisher Monty Howard had been an associate editor of William Hamling who published Imagination and Imaginative Tales. Howard ventured into a down market imitation of Playboy with Mermaid and Venus. He also got into the men’s adventure magazine market with Exotic Adventures. Exotic Adventures only lasted for six issues from 1958 to 1959. Silverberg had pieces in five of those six.
“Travel to faraway lands of mystery, danger, and erotic intrigue in stories from a time when the world still held secrets to be uncovered. From safari to bordello, from smugglers’ cove to opium den, Robert Silverberg’s lost pulp exotica returns to print for the first time since its original 1950s publication, in bold new oversized facsimile re-creations. Available in softcover and deluxe expanded hardcover editions that look fresh off the newsstand, circa 1958. Go EXOTIC…or go home.”
“Campus Hellcat” as by “David Challon” from the first issue is more fitted for the Playboy imitators than an adventure magazine but Monty Howard needed lots of fast copy.
“Safari of Death” by “Leon Kaiser as told to Stan Hollis” is a tale of hunting in Africa gone wrong with a love triangle complicating things.
“I was a Tangier’s Smuggler” by “Donald Gorman as told to Lloyd Lawrence” has a cigarette smuggler also employed to move a gangster’s Moroccan mistress.
“Bride of the Jaguar God” is Central American adventure in the lost ruins of the Olmecs.
“Nudist Paradise on the French Riviera,” Egypt’s City of Prostitutes,” “Opium Den in Vietnam,” “I Escapted From the Soviet Slave Camp,” you get the idea. These are competently done short features that grab your attention.
A feature I like about men’s adventure magazine pieces is they are succinct and to the point. There is no overlong prose here. Call it speed fiction.
All the magazine covers are reproduced full size in color. All the original art that accompanied the prose is also reproduced which really adds to the experience. The MAMs were a high point of magazine illustration.