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Ralston Shields

Ralston Shields was the pen name of John R. Baxter, who, between 1937 and 1940, wrote 10 highly regarded stories in the genre known as “weird-menace” fiction. No biographical information is available on the man today.

Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories: Ten Exemplars of the Weird-Menace Genre

Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories by Ralston Shields

Gathering together 10 remarkably grisly tales from the pages of three of the most lurid of the pulp magazines, Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories is the first collection of Ralston Shields’ work ever assembled. Released in 2014 by the Dancing Tuatara Press imprint of Ramble House, the book shines a long-overdue spotlight on an author whom John Pelan, in his introduction, calls the greatest writer of “weird-menace” fiction on a story-by-story basis. And for those of you who are fairly new to this distinctive genre of the mid-1930s to early ‘40s, as was I, let me briefly state that the weird-menace stories seem to have dealt with supernatural events that are ultimately revealed to have mundane, if sinister, explanations; ghastly plots perpetrated on our hapless main characters, usually by a scheming femme fatale or money-hungry ... Read More