Arthur J. Burks

Arthur J. Burks (September 13, 1898 – May 13, 1974) was an American writer and a Marine colonel.

Arthur J. Burks
BornSeptember 13, 1898
Waterville, Washington, United States
DiedMay 13, 1974 (aged 75)
Paradise, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupationwriter, military officer
NationalityUnited States
Period1920 - 1974
Genrefantasy, horror, detective, adventure, science fiction, weird menace, aviation
Weird Tales November 1927
Burks's novelette "The Invading Horde" was the cover story in the November 1927 Weird Tales
Strange tales 193109 v1 n1
Burks's "The Place of the Pythons" was the cover story in the debut issue of Strange Tales in 1931
Science fiction quarterly 1942win n9
Burks's novella "The Far Detour" was cover-featured on the Winter 1942 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly


Burks was born to a farming family in Waterville, Washington. He married Blanche Fidelia Lane on March 23, 1918 in Sacramento, California and was the father of four children: Phillip Charles, Wasle Carmen, Arline Mary, and Gladys Lura. He served in the United States Marine Corps in World War I, and began writing in 1920. After being stationed in the Caribbean and inspired by the native voodoo rituals, Burks began to write stories of the supernatural that he sold to the magazine Weird Tales. In 1928 he resigned from the Marine Corps and began writing full-time. He became one of the "million-word-a-year" men in the pulp magazines by virtue of his tremendous output. He wrote in the neighborhood of 800 stories for the pulps.[1] He was well known for being able to take any household object that someone would suggest to him on a dare, and instantly generate a plot based around it. His byline was commonplace on pulp covers. He wrote primarily in the genres of aviation, detective, adventure, sports (primarily boxing), and weird menace. Two genres he was not to be found in were love and westerns. He wrote several series for the pulps, including the Kid Friel boxing stories in Gangster Stories, and the Dorus Noel undercover-detective stories for All Detective Magazine, set in Manhattan's Chinatown.[2] The pressure of producing so much fiction caused him to ease off in the late-1930s. He returned to active duty as the U.S. entered World War II and eventually retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Burks moved to Paradise in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1948, where he continued to write until his death in 1974. Throughout the '60s, he wrote many works on metaphysics and the paranormal. In his later years, he lectured on paranormal activities and gave readings.


Short stories

  • "The Invading Horde", Weird Tales (November 1927)
  • "Monsters of Moyen", Astounding Stories (April 1930)
  • "The Place of the Pythons", Strange Tales (September 1931)
  • "Guatemozin the Visitant", Strange Tales (November 1931)
  • "The Room of Shadows", Weird Tales (May 1936)
  • "The Discarded Veil" (1937)
  • "The Golden Horseshoe", (1937)
  • "Hell Ship", Astounding Stories (August 1938)
  • "Exodus", Marvel Science Stories (August 1938)
  • "Survival", Marvel Science (November 1938)
  • "West Point of Tomorrow", Thrilling Wonder Stories (September 1940)
  • "The Far Detour", Science Fiction Quarterly (Winter 1942)
  • "Black Harvest of Moraine", Weird Tales (January 1950)


  • The Splendid Half Caste (1925) (first novel)
  • Walter Garvin in Mexico (1927) (with Brigadier-General Smedley D. Butler)
  • Rivers Into Wilderness (1932) (under penname Burke MacArthur)
  • Land of Checkerboard Families (1932)
  • Here Are My People (1934) (family history)
  • The Great Amen (1938)
  • Who Do You Think You Are? (1939) (a metaphysical treatise)
  • Bells Above the Amazon, the Life of Hugo Mense Adventurer of the Spirit (1951)
  • The Great Mirror (1952)
  • Look Behind You (Tales of Science, Fantasy, and the Macabre) (1954) (collects 6 stories)
  • Sex the Divine Flame (1961)
  • Human Structural Dynamics (1964)
  • Black Medicine (1966) (Arkham House)
  • En-Don: The Ageless Wisdom (1973)
  • Grottos of Chinatown: The Dorus Noel Stories (2009) (Off-Trail Publications)
  • Man-Ape: Two Tales from the Pulps (2012)
  • Cathedral of Horror and Other Stories: The Weird Tales of Arthur J. Burks: Volume #1 (2014) (Ramble House)
  • Masters of the Weird Tales: Arthur J. Burks (2018) (Centipede Press)

See also


  1. ^ Burks gained the nickname of the "speed-king," or like designations, after publication of Robert A. McLean's profile, “Arthur J. Burks—Speed-King of Fiction.” Writers’ Markets and Methods, August 1928.
  2. ^ John Locke. "Arthur J. Burks and All Detective," introduction to Grottos of Chinatown: The Dorus Noel Stories (2009).


  • Jones, Robert Kenneth (1975). The Shudder Pulps. Oregon: FAX Collectors Editions.
  • Locke, John (2004). Pulp Fictioneers: Adventures in the Storytelling Business. Adventure House. ISBN 978-1-886937-83-3.
  • Locke, John (2007). Pulpwood Days: Volume 1: Editors You Want to Know. Off-Trail Publications. ISBN 978-0-9786836-2-7.
  • Locke, John (2018). The Thing's Incredible! The Secret Origins of Weird Tales. Off-Trail Publications. pp. 181–195. ISBN 978-1-9350312-5-3.
  • Renda, Mary (2001). Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 173–178. ISBN 0-8078-4938-3.
  • Ruber, Peter (2000). Arkham's Masters of Horror. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. pp. 249–253. ISBN 0-87054-177-3.
  • Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. pp. 77–78. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.

External links

1898 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1898.

1967 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1967.

1974 in literature

This article presents a list of the literary events and publications in 1974.

A New Dawn

A New Dawn: The Don A. Stuart Stories of John W. Campbell, Jr. is an archival collection of science fiction stories by John W. Campbell, published in hardcover by NESFA Press in 2003. The volume was compiled and edited by James A. Mann. It includes all 16 stories published by Campbell under that pseudonym, as well as two Campbell/Stuart nonfiction pieces and an introduction by Barry Malzberg. Gary K. Wolfe declared that "the collected Stuart stories constitute a key document in the intellectual history of SF".

Arkham's Masters of Horror

Arkham's Masters of Horror is an anthology of fantasy and horror stories edited by Peter Ruber. It was released by Arkham House in an edition of approximately 4,000 copies in 2000. The book includes an introductory essay by Ruber before each story and about its author.

Ruber drew criticism from the horror/fantasy community for the hostility with which he introduced some authors within the volume - for instance, his accusation that H.P. Lovecraft "had a schizoid personality" and could be labelled "a genuine crackpot."

The book was translated into Spanish in 2010 as Maestros del horror de Arkham House (Valdemar).[1]

Arkham House

Arkham House is an American publishing house specializing in weird fiction. It was founded in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 1939 by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei to preserve in hardcover the best fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. The company's name is derived from Lovecraft's fictional New England city, Arkham. Arkham House editions are noted for the quality of their printing and binding. The colophon for Arkham House was designed by Frank Utpatel.

Black Medicine

Black Medicine is a collection of stories by American writer Arthur J. Burks. It was released in 1966 by Arkham House in an edition of 1,952 copies and was the author's first book published by Arkham House. All but one of the stories had originally appeared in the magazine Weird Tales.

Edward Longstreet Bodin

Edwart Longstreet Bodin (August 5, 1894 – August 1983) was a mystery writer and founded the "Spiritual Party" as a platform for a run for President of the United States in the 1952 presidential election. He claimed in his book Scare Me! to be a descendent of Jean Bodin. He was a literary agent and mentor to L. Ron Hubbard.Prior to authoring books, Bodin wrote for Strange Stories magazine as "Lucifer" and Thrilling Mystery magazine as "Chakra."

His book Scare Me! addressed ghosts, ectoplasm, demons, zombies, werewolves and other similar topics. In it, he thanked sixty-eight people, including Arthur J. Burks, Jack Dempsey, Ruth Lyons, Lowell Thomas, Nathaniel Schachner, Theodore Tinsley, F. Orlin Tremaine, Arthur Leo Zagat, William B. Ziff and L. Ron Hubbard. Upper Purgatory covered such subjects as ESP, flying saucers, the afterlife, and the Shakespeare authorship question.

In 1953, he suggested that if Winston Churchill doublecrossed the United States, the atom bomb should be used to divert the Gulf Stream in order to freeze England. He suggested the same thing two years later in Upper Purgatory, claiming to have received a letter from William E. Bergin, Adjutant General of the United States, treating the idea seriously (pages 17–18). He also suggested the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was due to psychic intervention to prevent America's government from being overrun by Communists.

In 1956, Bodin was the President of the Bernarr MacFadden Foundation, worth about $5,000,000.[1] That year he also provided the foreword to a book by Blanche A. Draper, the pastor of "The Church of the Radiant Flame," a woman who worked as a psychic and medium.

Excalibur (L. Ron Hubbard)

Excalibur (alternate titles: Dark Sword, The One Command) is an unpublished manuscript written in 1938 by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The contents of Excalibur formed the basis for Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950) and some of Hubbard's later publications.

Gangster Stories

Gangster Stories was a controversial pulp magazine of the early 1930s. It featured hardboiled crime fiction that glorified the gun-toting gangsters of the Prohibition era. It was published by Harold Hersey, as part of his Good Story Magazine Company pulp chain. The inaugural issue was dated November 1929; the final issue was dated November 1932. When Hersey sold his assets to another company, Gangster Stories was continued under the title Greater Gangster Stories, under which it lasted through the May 1934 issue.

Gangster Stories (and its companion, Racketeer Stories) quickly came under censorship pressure in New York state, instigated by John S. Sumner of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, a state entity empowered to recommend obscenity cases to prosecutorial authorities. Hersey was forced to agree to abide by certain rules, e.g. not letting gangsters triumph over lawmen.The fiction in Gangster Stories (and Racketeer Stories) constitutes a unique genre. Though properly categorized as crime fiction, the emphasis was on action and gunplay. The stories only tangentially resemble the traditional detective story or mystery. A typical Gangster Stories epic featured rival mobs shooting it out in the streets with Tommy guns.

Perhaps the most popular author in the magazine was Anatole Feldman, with his stories of the Chicago mobster Big Nose Serrano. Playwright Feldman initially based Serrano on the character of Cyrano de Bergerac. The first Big Nose story, "Serrano of the Stockyards" (Gangster Stories, May 1930), roughly followed the plot and characters of the famous play. Thereafter, Serrano evolved into an unlikely crusader against the social ills of the Depression.Another popular author was former newspaper reporter Margie Harris, a clever writer with an ear for the distinctive vernacular of the mobs. Other authors include Arthur J. Burks, former Sing Sing convict Henry Leverage, C. B. Yorke, Walt S. Dinghall, George Bruce, Richard Credicott, and D .B. McCandless.

Marvel Science Stories

Marvel Science Stories was an American pulp magazine that ran for a total of fifteen issues in two separate runs, both edited by Robert O. Erisman. The publisher for the first run was Postal Publications, and the second run was published by Western Publishing; both companies were owned by Abraham and Martin Goodman. The first issue was dated August 1938, and carried stories with more sexual content than was usual for the genre, including several stories by Henry Kuttner, under his own name and also under pseudonyms. Reaction was generally negative, with one reader referring to Kuttner's story "The Time Trap" as "trash". This was the first of several titles featuring the word "Marvel", and Marvel Comics came from the same stable in the following year.

The magazine was canceled after the April 1941 issue, but when a boom in science fiction magazines began in 1950, the publishers revived it. The first issue of the new series was dated November 1950; a further six issues appeared, the last dated May 1952. In addition to Kuttner, contributors to the first run included Arthur J. Burks and Jack Williamson; the second run published stories by Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Jack Vance, and L. Sprague de Camp, among others. In the opinion of science fiction historian Joseph Marchesani, the quality of the second incarnation of the magazine was superior to the first, but it was unable to compete with the new higher-quality magazines that had appeared in the interim.

May 13

May 13 is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 232 days remaining until the end of the year.

Mott Street

Mott Street (Chinese: 勿街; Jyutping: Mat6gaai1) is a narrow but busy thoroughfare that runs in a north–south direction in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is regarded as Chinatown's unofficial "Main Street". Mott Street runs from Bleecker Street in the north to Chatham Square in the south. It is a one-way street with southbound-running vehicular traffic only.

Ramble House

Ramble House is a small American publisher founded by Fender Tucker and Jim Weiler in 1999. The press specializes in reprints of long-neglected and rare crime fiction novels, modern crime fiction, 'weird menace' / 'shudder pulps' - short story collections from rare pulp magazines, and scholarly works by noted authors on the crime fiction genre, and a host of other diverse books of a collectible or curious nature. Apart from its main publishing arm, Ramble House has two imprints: Surinam Turtle Press and Dancing Tuatara Press, headed by author Richard A. Lupoff and John Pelan respectively.

Ramble House titles were originally handmade by Tucker in small crafted editions, but the growth in the publisher’s list together with print on demand technology led to the titles being available online now as trade paperback editions. Gavin L. O’Keefe is the cover designer for Ramble House books, creating many original new designs for the books or adapting existing art.

Science and Sorcery

Science and Sorcery is an anthology of fantasy and science fiction stories edited by Garret Ford (a pseudonym for William L. Crawford). It was published by Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. in 1953 in an edition of 500 copies. Most of the stories originally appeared in the magazine Fantasy Book. Others appeared in the magazines Thrilling Wonder Stories, The Vortex and Weird Tales.

Terror Tales

Terror Tales was the name of two American publications: a pulp magazine of the weird menace genre of the 1930s, and a horror comic in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Moon Is Hell!

The Moon Is Hell! is a collection of science fiction stories by American writer John W. Campbell, Jr.. It was published in 1950 by Fantasy Press in an edition of 4,206 copies. The title story deals with a team of scientists stranded on the Moon when their spacecraft crashes, and how they use their combined skills and knowledge to survive until rescue, including building shelter from meteor showers, and creating their own oxygen from Lunar rock. The second story, "The Elder Gods" Campbell rewrote, on a short deadline, from a story by Arthur J. Burks purchased for Unknown but later deemed unsatisfactory. It originally appeared in that magazine under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart. The title of the eponymous story is generally reported without the exclamation point, although the punctuation is used for the title of most editions of the collection itself.

The Time Traveller (fanzine)

The Time Traveller was one of the earliest science fiction fanzines, started in 1932. It grew out of a New York City fan club called the Scienceers and was started by Mort Weisinger, Julius Schwartz, Allen Glasser, and Forrest J Ackerman. Initially, Glasser was the "Editor" of the zine, Weisinger "Associate Editor," Schwartz "Managing Editor," and Ackerman "Contributing Editor." (Three of the four editors were 15–17 years old at the time. Allen Glasser was born in 1908.)

According to SF historian Sam Moskowitz, The Time Traveller was the first fanzine to be devoted exclusively to science fiction. It went through a series of incarnations and title switches (Science Fiction Digest; Fantasy Magazine) before it ceased publication in January 1937. The zine's chief claim to fame was its publication of a 17-part round-robin story called Cosmos (July 1933 – December 1934), each part written by a different writer. The roster of Cosmos writers included many of the leading lights of SF, fantasy, horror, and adventure fiction in that era, including A. Merritt, E.E. "Doc" Smith, Edmond Hamilton, John W. Campbell, E. Hoffmann Price, and Otis Adelbert Kline. The others involved were David H. Keller, P. Schuyler Miller, Arthur J. Burks, Ralph Milne Farley, "Eando Binder," Francis Flagg, Lloyd Arthur Eshbach, Bob Olsen, J. Harvey Haggard, and Abner J. Gelula; Raymond A. Palmer wrote one installment under his own name, and another under the pseudonym "Rae Winters." Hamilton composed the final episode of the serial, and finished with a bang, destroying the planets Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus with an atomic disintegrator ray.

Who Knocks?

Who Knocks? is an anthology of fantasy and horror stories edited by American writer August Derleth and illustrated by Lee Brown Coye. It was first published by Rinehart & Company in 1946. Many of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines Everybody’s Magazine, The Century, Weird Tales, Unknown, Temple Bar, Hutchinson’s Magazine, The English Review, Smith's Magazine and Harper's.

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