Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Mystery Of The Bleeding Sun!
What's more elusive than a Lester Dent Doc Savage novel Street & Smith never published? It's a Doc Savage novel never written by Lester Dent at all, and that brings us to the mystery of the "Bleeding Sun".
According to this post and this one too, there was a convivial group of Doc Savage fans who conspired to commit a delightful fraud upon the Doc Savage collecting community. They created out of their joined imaginations an "unpublished" Street & Smith Doc Savage novel title Mystery of the Bleeding Sun and then promoted the false notion that it had been published ultimately by Bantam during the somewhat confusing close of their long reprint program for the venerable character.
A false cover was concocted lifting elements from here and there and then pictures were published and the "book" was offered up for sale. But there was no book, and when the prank was revealed most folks involved had a hearty laugh at this literary prank.
But like many falsehoods, it has a bit of a life of its own now. I found the cover image above for Bleeding Sun on Cover Browser offered up as just one more volume of Doc Savage. There is no hint that the book is bogus or the artwork contrived.
As it turns out I might in fact know one of the culprits involved. The "Duane" of the plot might well be an old college chum, and it's neat to read that his mischievous ways have not deserted him after all these years. Duane's blog is here. What's a little misdirection between pals.
After after all, when many years have passed a lie is no longer a lie, it becomes merely lore.