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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

The Mystery of the Vampire Killings -- Nick Carter, Master Detective

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Nick Carter, Master Detective aired "Death After Dark" (or "The Mystery of the Vampire Killings") on February 19, 1944. The popular series enjoyed a long run, from 1943-55, when many classic radio programs gave way to television in the 1950s. For a semi-detailed history of Nick Carter, Master Detective (his adventures began in 1886 during the reconstruction era following the Civil War, pre-dating virtually every other popular detective with which we are now familiar) please see the introduction to the first Nick Carter episode we ran back in December of 2011 "The Mystery of the Z-Rays."

In "Death After Dark" young women go missing and are then found dead, drained of blood and with small punctures in their necks, Nick is asked to step in and solve these brutal, inexplicable murders. What he discovers is a surprise to all, for witnesses who have survived report strange little humanoid creatures jumping from trees in the middle of the night to perform their nasty deeds.

In as much as the pulp magazine and radio era of the 1930s through the 1950s was not confined to the SF/F/H genres, but provided entertainment from all genres, we will now be broadening our approach here each week, introducing listeners to non-SF/F/H shows which were just as, if not more, popular than our favorite SF dramatizations. Perhaps more than any other, the detective genre ruled the radio waves of the time. A fair share were written by names we have come to associate with SF/F exclusively, and so are of associational interest (if for no other reason). Alfred Bester, for example, wrote for various radio shows and we have showcased three of his episodes from the The Shadow here, and a Bester-written Nick Carter episode here. And back in March we ran a Sherlock Holmes episode, the "Mystery of the Headless Monk," co-written by the co-founder of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Anthony Boucher.

Excitement, adventure, drama, whodunnits, war time espionage, tales of pirates and exotic lands--all captivated radio audiences before the advent of television. From time to time we'll introduce listeners to these non-genre tales from another era, and along the way discover through these episodes and their sponsors, just what life was like, and its many concerns, social, political, and religious, Back in the Day. They're all part and parcel of the pulp era experience of which the SF/F/H genres were but a slice. And inasmuch as there is a tremendous pulp magazine and radio revival ongoing across the country, we'd like to include these potential fans as well with a taste of their favorite Old Time Radio episodes.

(Cover top left from the July 1935 issue of Nick Carter Magazine)

Play Time: 27:55