Monday, December 12, 2016

"His Ugly Face Radiated Innocence"

BETTER KNOWN FOR his crime and mystery stories, Arthur Porges also produced dozens of science fiction and fantasy (SFF) tales. Here we have two of his SFF stories, the first one describing a situation that hasn't changed, much less improved, in the past fifty-five years, and the second about medieval folklore come disturbingly to life in the twentieth century.

By Arthur Porges (1915-2006).
First appearance: Amazing Stories, February 1961.
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at SFFAudio (HERE) (PDF) and at Project Gutenberg (HERE).
(Parental caution: Strong language.)
"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but the fury of a biochemist scorned is just as great—and much more fiendish."
When you're able to save humanity from its self-inflicted pain and suffering, the least you'd expect would be some kind of reward, yes? Then you don't really know the human race, a crowd that, in its own perverse way, always seems to resent it when someone actually can deliver them from themselves—an attitude that, especially in this case, is very bad . . . very 
. . . very . . . bad.

Typo: "a harmelss poppy"
~ ~ ~
"One Bad Habit."
By Arthur Porges (1915-2006).
First appearance: Fantastic Stories of Imagination, June 1961.
Short short story (8 pages).
Online at (HERE).
(Note: Text very faded. Parental caution: Strong language.)
"Jaslavj was an unusual man. He happily worked long hours for low pay. He never smoked. He did not go out with women—not with his looks. No one ever saw him eat. Yet, there was gold missing, and Jaslavj did have . . . ONE BAD HABIT"
Gold by the pound is somehow being stolen from right under the noses of the factory managers, so they've hired a private investigator; it's unfortunate that he has no earthly 
idea who—and what—he's dealing with . . .

Typo: "attention was deverted"

- If you're curious about Kobolds, especially of the mining variety, Wikipedia has an extensive article about them (HERE).
- The Locked Room Mystery site (HERE) has plenty about Arthur Porges's specialty, the impossible crime.
- It wasn't too long ago that we visited with the non-SFFnal Porges (HERE).
Arthur Porges (standing) with brother Irwin

The bottom line: "A mask of gold hides all deformities."
Thomas Dekker

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