Elmer Brown Mason

Elmer Brown Mason (1877–1955) was an American writer. He studied at Yale for a period, but then transferred to Princeton, from which he graduated in 1903.[1][2] Mason became an entomologist for the now-defunct Bureau of Entomology (USDA) in 1910. In addition, he was a seasoned world traveler. In 1915, his fantastic stories of scientists hunting rare species in the remote corners of the world started appearing. Of note were the five stories featuring swamp-guide, Wandering Smith, in The Popular Magazine, especially "The Golden Anaconda";[3] and the variety of tales in All-Story Weekly, highlighted by the horror-filled lost-race novelette "Black Butterflies," set in Borneo, and its sequel, "Red Tree-Frogs."

Mason was gassed in France during World War I, suffering permanent disabilities, which sidetracked his writing career.[4] His globe-trotting ceased and his stories exchanged the fantastic for the domestic. His fiction writing career petered out around 1926.[5]

He had a brief revival in 1949-50 in the pulp magazines, Famous Fantastic Mysteries and Fantastic Novels, which reprinted four of his stories from All-Story Weekly.

"Black Butterflies," was included in the anthology Rainbow Fantasia: 35 Spectrumatic Tales of Wonder ed. by Forrest J. Ackerman; Anne Hardin.[6]

Famous fantastic mysteries 194904
Brown's 1916 story "Black Butterflies" was reprinted in the April 1949 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries


  1. ^ "Class of 1903, Yale College"
  2. ^ Sargent, Ziegler. OCLC 59360565. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Street & Smith's Forgotten Pulp: The Popular Magazine," by Ed Hulse, Blood 'n' Thunder #24 (Summer 2009).
  4. ^ Letter to The Camp-Fire, Adventure magazine, November 30, 1925.
  5. ^ The most complete biography is to be found in the introduction to The Golden Anaconda: and Other Strange Tales of Adventure, by Elmer Brown Mason (Off-Trail Publications, 2008).
  6. ^ Ackerman, Forrest J. (August 2001). Rainbow Fantasia: 35 Spectrumatic Tales of Wonder. ISBN 9780918736369. OCLC 49733655.
Pulp magazine

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the 1950s. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazines printed on higher-quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks". The typical pulp magazine had 128 pages; it was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, and 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, with ragged, untrimmed edges.

The pulps gave rise to the term pulp fiction in reference to run-of-the-mill, low-quality literature. Pulps were the successors to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short-fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines were best known for their lurid, exploitative, and sensational subject matter. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as Flash Gordon, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.

The Popular Magazine

The Popular Magazine was an early American literary magazine that ran for 612 issues from November 1903 to October 1931. It featured short fiction, novellas, serialized larger works, and even entire short novels. The magazine's subject matter ranged over a number of genres, although it tended somewhat towards men's adventure stories, particularly in the waning years of the publication when the vogue for hardboiled fiction was strong. The Popular Magazine touted itself as "a magazine for men and women who like to read about men." The magazine had its headquarters in New York City.

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