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San Francisco, March 4, 1969 through December 27, 1971. [1969].. [1969].. - A partial correspondence consisting of 6 typed letters signed by the American mystery fiction writer Joseph N. "Joe" Gores to the Science Fiction author Reginald Bretnor from March 4th, 1969 through December 27, 1971. In a playful manner which clearly emphasizes the importance of receiving material from Bretnor, Joe Gores writes on March 4, 1969 in a letter typed on his 11 inch high by 8-3/8 inch wide personal cream stationery "It has come to my attention through the loose-moraled bim who forms our secretarial pool that your introductions have not yet come in.... I am sure you will recognize the need for receiving your material well in advance of our submission date to Random House, so the most objectionable scatology, as well as the most glaring errors in grammar, can be expunged. I would suggest enclosing your material in an unmarked brown paper wrapper...." Closing with "Yrs. in irritation," the mystery author signs himself "J.N. Gores" above the title "Chief Feather-Ruffler". He humorously annotates his letter as having been written by "hes/nuts" and notes that the letter is "Form 511(c)".

Obviously friends, Gores writes on May 29, 1970, on his personal 5-1/2 inch high by 8-1/2 inch wide stationery, thanking Reginald Bretnor for informing him of the story in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and "the probable sale of THE CURIOUS CASE... to Fred" and discusses his publication lineup. Hoping to meet up with him during the Summer, Gores closes by forwarding his wife's Sue's regards. (Susan Hall was Gores' first wife. ). Signed "Joe". In a June 17, 1970 letter typed on similar half-page stationery, Gores mentions a possible venue for Bretnor's short stories "I recently made a couple of sales to an outfit which is buying reprints on a one-shot basis for use in English Weekly magazines" and forwards their contact information suggesting that Bretnor uses his name as reference. Signed "Joe".

In a letter typed on his personal 8-1/2 inch high by 5-1/2 inch wide stationery, dated August 24, 1971, Gores asks Bretnor if he knows some technical details about French military rifles and semi-automatics which he needs for "REJOICE, YOUNG MAN, the Tahiti-set novel I am just taking through second draft at a great rate...." He expresses his hopes that Bretnor and Rosalie's novels "are progressing as well" and forwards Susan's love to them. Signed "Joe". We've not been able to determine under what final title the manuscript to which Gores is referring ("Rejoice Young Man") was published if indeed it was published at all.

Following through on September 5, 1971, Gores thanks Bretnor for the information on French arms: "As is usual with these bits and pieces of information, it plays only a very minor part in the book.... but I did want to have it accurate and know enough to mention the calibres etc. in a very casual manner...." It's likely that Bretnor has himself asked Joe Gores for information about the chain of succession in San Francisco mayoral politics which Gores provides before writing of the movie possibilities of a story: "There's not much I can do about the movie possibilities of 'A Matter of Equine Ballistics,' but at least I can make sure that it is put before the short story selection committee next January.... Anyway, I'll be pulling for it (unless, of course, I have anything up myself; and even then I couldn't think of a story I'd rather be beat by)." He closes with a paragraph stating that "Bwana and Caliban send their regards to Hansi. This catching stuff is old hat to fierce black Bwana...." Obviously referring to his cats, whose names he also used in his stories. "Caliban" appears as a cat in "A Time of Predators" and "Bwana Kifaru" (Swahili for "Mr. Rhino") appears in "Glass Tiger". The letter is signed "Joe".

On December 27, 1971, Gores, addressing his letter to "Dear Reg and Rosie" thanks them for their Christmas phone call and their card. Obviously all have suffered recent illness as Gores writes "Don't mention Christmas colds. I just finished my annual, and Susan had hers the week before...." He expresses his hopes that "everything goes well with the Timuroff novel" and suggests that Barb Norville at Bobbs-Merrill "with her new mystery line just starting up" might be in the market. Enclosing one of his own works, Gores writes: "On the off-chance that you won't see a copy of this up there (and because I know damned well no complimentary copies have been sent), I enclose the enclosed. Merry Christmas or something. A hell of a good story, by the way, on rereading." Expressing his wishes for a Happy New Year from Susan and himself, he signs himself "Joe".

Folded for mailing, each letter is in otherwise near fine condition.

An entertaining and fascinating correspondence.

The American mystery writer Joseph Nicholas "Joe" Gores (1931-2011) is known for his San Francisco based novels and short stories. Many of Gores stories featured the "Dan Kearney and Associates" private investigation firm (the DKA files) which specialized in repossessing cars. Gores himself worked as a repo man and private eye for the firm of David Kikkert & Associates. He used variations of the names of former associates in his novels, thus the similarity between the names of his fictional firm and the one he worked for over several years. A three-time Edgar Award Winner, receiving awards in three separate categories, as well as the Japanese Maltese Falcon Award for "Hammett" and the Private Eye Writers of America lifetime achievement award, Gores served as president of the Mystery Writers of America. His novels include the award-winning "A Time of Predators", "Come Morning" and "32 Cadillacs" in which, in synchrony with Donald Westlake, he wrote a chapter where his characters where influenced by the same events as those in Westlake's "Drowned Hopes". His novel "Hammett" was the basis for Wim Wenders' 1982 film of the same name. An early stint as an English teacher at a boy's school in Kenya was likely the influence for his novel "Glass Tiger" which included an old rhino named "Bwana Kifaru" who was slaughtered by poachers. Joe Gores died exactly 50 years to the day after the death of his muse Dashiel Hammett.

Born Alfred Reginald Kahn, the Russian-American science fiction writer Reginald Bretnor (1911-1992) wrote numerous short stories, many of which featured a whimsical story line or ironic plot twist, as well as volumes on military theory and public affairs. His collection of short stories titled "Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot", published under the pseudonym of Grendel Briarton, gave birth to the humorous story pun which came to be called a "Feghoot". The stories were originally published in Fantasy and Science Fiction for 1956 through 1973 and, in 1973, the magazine ran a contest soliciting "Feghoots" from its readers and writers.
      [Bookseller: Blue Mountain Books & Manuscripts, Ltd.]

Last Found On: 2016-11-26           Check availability:      Biblio    


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