Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dispatch from the Gil Brewer Collection

I’m spending my spring break in Laramie, Wyoming, at the American Heritage Center working in the Gil Brewer Collection. A couple of tidbits folks might find interesting:

1. On November 26, 1956, Brewer signed a contract with Lion Books to write four novels for them. I have no idea why Brewer never actually wrote anything for them. I have not seen Lion mentioned anywhere in the Brewer papers other than on this contract.

2. On July 17, 1958, Brewer signed a contract with Tower Publications to write a book titled Backwoods Bikini under the pseudonym of Zack Holland. This is more exciting than the Lion business because I suppose it’s just barely possible this book is actually out there somewhere. As with the Lion contract, however, I have not seen this mentioned anywhere else in the Brewer papers, and a quick check of online sources has not turned up the existence of any such book. Nevertheless, I thought I should make everybody aware of it, just in case. (And if you’ve got a copy, shoot me an email, and I’ll tell you where to send it.)


  1. Great way to spend Spring Break. Lion Books folded in early 1957, which probably explains what happened to Brewer's contract with that outfit. Don't know about the Zack Holland book.

  2. Has the internet failed me? An earlier ABE search turned up Lions from 1958 and 1959: The Lustful Ape by Russell Gray ('58) and Hell's Pavement by Damon Knight ('59). Are these mistakes?

  3. No, The Lustful Ape was by Bruno Fisher under the Gray pseudonym and was one of the few books to published by both Lion and Gold Medal.

    Hell's Pavement was Knight's first book, later published as Analogue Men.

    Some of the paperback price guides from the 80s and 90s have a pretty comprehensive list of Lion books.

  4. Thanks, Jeff (and Bill). I'll try to get this sorted out when my time in Wyoming is done.

  5. I have copies of both the Knight book and the Gray/Fischer book. Knight's was published in '55 and Gray/Fisher's in '50. Those are reprint dates that you have, I'm sure. As Jeff says, the Gold Medal LUSTFUL APE under Fisher's name was the '58 publication.