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THE DEVIL WITH YOU! by Robert Bloch


Vol. I, The Lost Bloch

by Robert Bloch & edited by David J. Schow

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-892284-19-7
Publisher: Subterranean Press

The once brightly amusing but now departed Bloch faxes in some lost pages from the beyond and shows himself still going strong. This sheaf of what critics call hackwork (Bloch’s term is “professional writing”) from the 1940s and ’50s will appeal to those readers, admittedly fewer and fewer, who recall the youthful author’s wonderfully funny Lefty Feep stories in ’40s fantasy pulps. The material here includes four short novels—The Devil with You, Strictly from Mars, It Happened Tomorrow, and The Big Binge—all introduced by editor Schow, who tells of penny-a-word pulps, and research assistant Stefan R. Dzieminnowics, who places Bloch’s burlesques in the higher plateaus of pulpdom. It Happened Tomorrow is a fairly somber tale about future machines in revolt and the end of the world generally. The Big Binge starts out with Miner Klopp drinking four grasshoppers (a cräme de menthe concoction); the events that ensue, Bloch says in an interview with Schow, “strain my credulity to the point where it may have to wear a truss.” Strictly from Mars is a wisecracking exercise in SF paranoia, while The Devil Take You, the longest story here, clearly shows Bloch blocking out pages at a thousand words an hour——it must have been the fickle ringer of Fate” was a tired phrase even then. Still, if fans can collect the Lost Three Stooges episodes, why not first puns and parodies?