Podcast #11: The Outlawed Centaur

Outlaw meme

Okay, so this will require a bit of an introduction. It’s a bit like the dog that chased the cat, that ate the rat, that ate the other thing, etc.

I discovered British author, Bertram Atkey, while researching some of Nelson S. Bond’s harder to find stories in Blue Book Magazine (from the 1940’s.) Like Bond, Atkey was a good humorist and a story by one of the two was included in each issue during the war years. This was to make sure that the issues didn’t get too heavy. Blue Book was properly a men’s magazine but I think of it as general fiction during this period. As much as I like Bond’s work, Atkey’s stories immediately found a warm spot in my heart. Especially three of his series: “Hercules Sportsman,” “Hobart Honey,” and “Misguided Nature.” Each was a fairly short series, approximately ten short stories. I immediately started collecting Atkey’s work. I believe that I have acquired one of the only (if not THE only) available copy of Hercules Sportsman (1922). I also picked up the collected Hobart Honey stories, The Escapes of Mr. Honey as well as whatever of his stories I could dig up in online copies of Blue Book. The charming Misguided Nature stories were never collected and a few of them are devilishly hard to find. Fortunately the first story in the series, The Outlawed Centaur (originally printed in BB in 1931), was reprinted in BB in 1945 and I was able to buy a copy of that! During those war years BB regularly published first run Edgar Rice Burroughs stories and this makes the issues highly collectible. (Ironically, it’s not the reason that I want them.) Anyway, Atkey is a clever writer and has spun some material in ways I have never seen before. I have never seen anything like his Hercules stories and after reading the Misguided Nature short story, Fintail the Merman, I knew I just had to find The Outlawed Centaur. I was not disappointed. In fact, it was so charming that I wanted to read it aloud in my podcast this week. And so I have. I wish it was a more professional production but oh, well. There will be no competitors. ha-ha. Here it is and I hope you’ll take a listen. 

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