Friday, February 5, 2016

Anthony M. Rud (1893-1942)

Aka Anson Piper, Ray McGillivray
Author, Editor
Born January 11, 1893, Chicago, Illinois
Died November 30, 1942, New York, New York

Anthony Melville Rud was twenty years old when Mildred Allison Rexroat was murdered in September 1913. In 1914, Rud graduated from Dartmouth College. He studied at Rush Medical College in downtown Chicago for two years. If those two years followed immediately upon his graduation, then he left Rush Medical College in 1916. So what else happened in 1916? He had his first work published in a national magazine.

At least that's according to the list on the website of The FictionMags Index. (Click here and here to see it.) That work was an article rather than a story. It was called "'Love at First Sight' Analyzed," and it appeared in Illustrated World for December 1916. Rud's article has a clinical sort of title. Presumably he was still studying medicine when he wrote it. A month after it was published, he turned twenty-four. From then on out, nearly all of his works listed by The FictionMags Index were works of fiction. By the time he was in his mid twenties, Anthony Rud, son of two doctors, had begun writing for the lowly pulps.

I won't list all of Rud's stories listed in The FictionMags Index, but I would like to give the titles of the first nine because their titles are so intriguing. They also indicate that Rud was working in a variety of genres or sub-genres. All nine are evidently part of the adventures of a detective character named Jigger Masters, and all were published in The Green Book Magazine except "When Chicago Was Put to Sleep," which was in Top-Notch Magazine. "The October Blight" was Rud's first published story according to the aforementioned list.
  • "The October Blight" (Mar. 1918)
  • "The Fiery Meteor" (Apr. 1918)
  • "The Vengeance of the Wah Fu Tong" (May 1918)
  • "The Red Billiard-Ball Mystery" (June 1918)
  • "The Miltonvale Nemesis" (July 1918)
  • "The Giant Footprints" (Aug. 1918)
  • "When Chicago Was Put to Sleep" (Top-Notch Magazine, Sept. 15, 1918)
  • "The Specter at Macey’s" (Sept. 1918)
  • "The Affair at Steffen Shoals" (Oct. 1918)
Rud wrote not only detective and adventure stories but also Westerns, which were published in Ace-High MagazineThe Lariat Story MagazineNorth-West StoriesWestern RomancesWestern Story Magazine, and other titles. The Internet Speculative Fiction database also has a list of his stories, including four for Weird Tales:
  • "The Devil's Heirloom" in Short Stories (Sept. 10, 1922)
  • "Ooze" in Weird Tales (Mar. 1923; reprinted Jan. 1952; Summer 1983)
  • "A Square of Canvas" in Weird Tales (Apr. 1923)
  • "The Place of Hairy Death" in Weird Tales (Feb. 1934)
  • "Bellowing Bamboo" in Weird Tales (May 1934)
  • "The Molten Bullet" in Thrilling Wonder Stories (June 1937; reprinted in Fantastic Story Quarterly, Spring 1950)
  • "Rosebud Joe" in Golden Fleece (Oct. 1938)
  • "Bunyips in the Mulga" in Golden Fleece (Nov. 1938)
Rud had one letter in "The Eyrie" (Weird Tales, April 1923). I have found a story by him called "Supercharger" in the Chicago Tribune from June 12, 1932, as well. According to his obituary, Rud also contributed to the New York Daily News. His credits go on and on, including seven novels that I have found:
  • The Second Generation (1923)
  • Devil's Heirloom (1924)
  • The Last Grubstake (1924)
  • Sentence of the Sixgun (1926)
  • House of the Damned (1934)
  • The Rose Bath Riddle (1934)
  • The Stuffed Men (1934)
He was associate editor of West (Jan.-Sept. 1926), the fourth editor of Adventure (Oct. 15, 1927-Feb. 1930), an editor of Detective Story Magazine (dates unknown), and an editor with Doubleday in New York City (1923-?). As Anson Piper, he wrote Westerns published near the end of his life and after his death. (His mother's maiden name was Piper; the Anson may have come from his father's Christian name: Anthony's son.) Here's a review of Black Creek Buckaroo (1941) in Kirkus Review:
Better than average Western, and a new name [i.e., a new author]. Ability to create character and situation, not too hackneyed. The setting is the Texas Panhandle, and there's plenty of gun and a wide range of cowhand vocabulary, before the whole story is told of how the top hand at Rafter T Ranch circumvented his boss, a bunch of rustlers, and a gang of crooks, and helped two girls hold on to their farm, and to get himself and his partner launched on their own venture.
Anson Piper's stories from The FictionMags Index:
  • "Black Creek Buckaroo" in Blue Ribbon Western (Feb. 1942)
  • "The Painted Ghost" in Double Action Western (July 1942)
  • "Bluebonnet Range" in Double Action Western (Nov. 1942)
  • "Platt of the Panhandle" in Western Action (Dec. 1942)
  • "The Miniature Arrows" in Western Action (Feb. 1943)
  • "Deadline Brands" in Complete Cowboy (Mar. 1943)
  • "Trouble Shooter" in Double Action Western (Mar. 1943)
And another hardbound Western:
  • Painted Ghost (1946)
According to more than one source on the Internet, Ray McGillivary was a pseudonym for Anthony Rud. There isn't any source given for that information, and I haven't found anything to support it. For instance, there is no Ray McGillvary in The Internet Speculative Fiction Database or in The FictionMags Index. However, there is a Ray McGillivray in both:
  • "The Forty Jars" in Weird Tales (Apr. 1923)
  • "Sinister Brand" in Real Western (Aug. 1942)
I think it safe to assume that the name Ray McGillivary is a mistake and that it has been perpetuated on the Internet as so many things are, mostly out of sheer laziness. So let's get rid of that bit of misinformation.

The upshot of all of this is that Anthony M. Rud was a prolific author of pulp fiction in several genres, with scores of stories published from 1918 to 1943. He helped get Weird Tales off on the right foot with his very serviceable and frequently reprinted story "Ooze." (It may also have been an influence on H.P. Lovecraft, though I don't have any direct evidence for that.) He got good reviews. (See the Kirkus Reviews item from above and the review of The Stuffed Men in the New York Times, Sept. 15, 1935, p. BR16.) He also edited several magazines. Despite all that, he doesn't seem to be very well remembered today. Maybe it was because he was so versatile. Maybe he wrote in genres that are seldom read today. Maybe it's because he died so young, at age forty-nine. Whatever the case, Anthony Rud I think is deserving of a second look. I have to say that I'm interested in his detective character Jigger Masters, and I'll be on the lookout for his stories.

Now on to another series and another murder.

Anthony Rud's and Ray McGillivray's Stories and Letters in Weird Tales
See the lists above.

Further Reading
Literary Luminaries of the Berkshires: From Herman Melville to Patricia Highsmith by Bernard A. Drew (Arcadia Publishing, 2015), pp. 95-96, here.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley

No comments:

Post a Comment