With its eighty-seventh issue Sanctum Books has at long last completed its highly successful reprinting of the classic Doc Savage stories from the 1930's and 1940's by Lester Dent and others writing as "Kenneth Robeson". It's extremely satisfying to own and have at my fingertips all of the classic Doc adventures.
|Debut Issue of Sanctum Books Now Completed Doc Savage Series|
|Debut Issue of Sanctum Books Ongoing Shadow Series.|
It was always a dream of mine to be able to read these stories, but I despaired ever finding all of the paperbacks. Ironically I recently stumbled across a set which had nearly three quarters of the vintage Bantam books but since I owned the stories (and most of the luscious Bama covers) already I let them slide by. Old paperbacks are fun to look at, great to own, but they are the very devil to read without destroying them, something I'm loathe to do.
Having read the tales by Lester Dent and some others for a decade now, I cannot say that they've all been classics. Some are pretty basic adventure yarns with cardboard characters and overly complicated scenarios, but even the weakest has the advantage of a compelling lead who commands the attention of those around him and the reader.
It's neat to finally have this mission accomplished, to have all of the stories here at my fingertips. I've read nearly all of the stories as they have appeared but I have several more to go before I finish. And after those are done, there are the "new" Doc Savage stories from Altus Books under the "Wild Adventures of Doc Savage" banner in which Doug Murray takes uncompleted Dent stories and material and polishes it off. There have also been some great pastiches over there such as the crossover of Doc and King King.
It's going to be a blast to complete this quest, finally read the end of a very savage trail indeed.
On a related and somewhat ironic note, the final volume of the Fu-Manchu reprints from Titan Books also arrived in my mailbox this past week. The Wrath of Fu-Manchu is a collection of the final few Sax Rohmer Fu-Manchu stories along with some other material and wraps up the decades long schemes of the "Devil Doctor" to take over the world. I'm looking forward to getting into this last book in the run.