Saturday, January 16, 2010

BTAP #57: The Killing On Sutter Street by Paul S. Powers

I’m not sure I will be able to top this in terms of personal satisfaction as an editor. I mean I thought I had reached the creme de la creme last year by having James Reasoner and Robert J. Randisi (two writing heroes of mine) graciously submit stories to BTAP. But now... damn. I have the honor of publishing the late Paul S. Powers, one of the golden era pulp writers.

Here’s how it happened.

I was at my day job when Mr. Powers came to mind. I mean, of course, I go to his granddaughter, Laurie’s terrific website almost daily but I also visit about a hundred other blogs a week. What I mean to say is I hadn’t been thinking of asking for an old story, so when the thought occurred to me it was almost like he tapped me on the shoulder saying, “Hey, ask Laurie.” Seem odd to you? I’m not sure how else to explain it. I was a little apprehensive about mentioning this to Laurie but she said:

“I do think that this was all guided - I've felt that way since I found out he was a pulp writer. The serendipitous things that happened cannot be explained. So no it's not weird. I'm sure he would be very happy about all of this - thrilled, as a matter of fact. Probably standing on his head right now.”
Laurie surprised me by saying she had several unpublished works. She still had to read through them and get back to me. And when she did. Whew! One is a fictional account of the death of Ambrose Bierce which is just an extraordinary piece of writing that will be featured in our upcoming print anthology and the other makes its debut today as our Weekly Punch. Has a golden era pulp writer ever returned after a sixty year absence? I’m not sure. Regardless, thank you Laurie. Thank you Paul. I’m on top of the world.

So without further ado, here’s Paul S. Powers with “The Killing on Sutter Street.”