ffb: Scarlet Riders

this is the 161st in my series of forgotten or seldom read book posts

Scarlet Riders edited by Don Hutchison, Mosiac Press, 1998 – trade paper, pulp stories of the Northwest Mounted

scarlet riders“Fingers had burrowed down in the snow and found Constable Sandy Frost’s throat. He knew that as he awakened.”

A dozen stories of the north, swarming with mosquitoes and black fly in the summer, frozen forty below in the winter, filled with treacherous ice and deadly blizzards. Strong men and women who use their fists and wits to survive. Criminals and their victims and the men in red who track down the killers and thieves.

During the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s stories featuring Mounties maintaining the law of the untamed North, on snowshoes, or horseback, by sled or canoe, were very popular. They appeared in Argosy, Thrilling Adventure, Western Story, Western Trails, Ace-High and others, and eventually spawned pulps devoted specific to them: North-West Stories (later re-titled North-West Romances), the Complete Northwest Novel Magazine and Real Northwest among them. The twelve stories in this 289 page collection come from some of the titles listed above.

I don’t remember now how this first came to my attention, but having loved Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (“On, King! Mush, huskies!”) on the radio as a kid, something clicked and I bought it. It then sat around for a couple of years before I read it the first time, in late 1999. What was I waiting for?? I recently reread it and it’s still great. These well told crime stories are a lot of fun. What’s more, it’s in print. Here’s the table of contents:

Scarlet Riders contains the following stories:

  1. “Deadly Trek to Albertville” by Talmage Powell
    • Originally published in Posse, March 1957
  2. “The Frozen Phantom” by Lester Dent
  3. “Spoilers of the Lost World” by Roger Daniels
  4. “White Water Run” by Hugh B. Cave
  5. “Red Snows” by Harold F. Cruickshank
  6. “The Driving Force” by Murray Leinster
  7. “Snow Ghost” by Lester Dent, featuring The Silver Corporal
  8. “Phantom Fangs” by John Starr
  9. “The Dangerous Dan McGrew” by Ryerson Johnson
  10. “Death Cache” by Lester Dent, featuring The Silver Corporal
    • Previously unpublished
  11. “Doom Ice” by Dan O’Rourke
  12. “The Valley of Wanted Men” by Frederick Nebel

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Adventure, Friday Forgotten Book, mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to ffb: Scarlet Riders

  1. This is a great anthology and the book that really got me interested in reading Northerns.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Nice cover.

  3. Since we have a foot of snow outside this morning, SCARLET RIDERS would be perfect reading material for a day like this.

  4. Richard says:

    Randy, is IS fun.

  5. Richard says:

    James, same here, except, as I said, for listening to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon as a kid.

  6. Richard says:

    Jeff, why’s inside is great too.

  7. Richard says:

    George, you’re right! Just the thing for a snowy day. Maybe a rig and sled dogs would be good too…

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    You’re right about this but I like to read books set in the Arctic or other frigid climes in the heat of the summer.

  9. Richard says:

    Works either way, Jeff, but for me, if it’s grey and cold outside it brings me more into the cold, snowy setting. Even better reading it by the fire with a cup of mulled apple juice or hot cocoa. Or how about, read half in winter…half in summer! No, probably not.

  10. I’ve read very few of this type of story. I want to read more.

  11. So glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I think it is a great pleasure when we read older stuff and find that it still holds up. Those stories set in the winter climes seem very easy to relate to right now when it is so darn cold out.

  12. tracybham says:

    I have recently developed an interest in the Mounties and I like to read about Canada. This is definitely going on my To Buy list.

  13. Evan Lewis says:

    Frederick Nebel was a major contributor to Northwest Stories. Is he included here?

  14. Richard says:

    Evan, I’ll have to check the TOC… Yes, it does. I added the Table of Contents to the post, above.

  15. Richard says:

    Tracy, I bet you’ll enjoy these stories. The stats are easy. I keep a list of what I read, in a table format, so at the end of the year I just sort it by the TYPE column and then count ’em up.

  16. Jerry House says:

    So many of my pulp gods under one cover!

  17. Evan Lewis says:

    Thanks for the TOC, sir. Looks like a Lester Dent bonanza.

  18. Richard says:

    Jerry, I thought you might like the looks of this one. Something for your “Incoming” list!

  19. Richard says:

    Evan, you are very welcome, I should have put it in initially.

  20. Richard, some of these stories look familiar; maybe, I came across them in the magazines you mentioned. Still, I’d like to read them in this collection rather than individually.

  21. Richard says:

    I prefe to read a collection like this than to dig stories out of digests or pulps. I miss the illustrations sometimes, but stories in one book are so much more convenient. I bet you’ll enjoy these!

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