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Tradition holds that the hardboiled school of DETECTIVE fiction begins with the publication of Carroll John Dalys Three Gun Terry in the May 15 1923 issue of BLACK MASK. Dashiell Hammetts first Continental Op story follows a few months later. The magazine editor, Joseph T. Shaw, would later nurture the genre to maturity. BLACK MASK would become synonymous with Hard-boil DETECTIVE story. Or so the story go. Few if any literary genres come into being at a single time and place; rather, they draw their basic elements from earlier literary forms. The detective story is no exception. Key precursors to hardboiled school can be found in Don Everhard STORIES of Gordon Young. N ow all but forgotten, STORIES appear in pages of ADVENTURE and SHORT STORIES, over the course of a quarter century. It first appeared in 1917, full six years before the Daley tale. It anticipates many of the basic elements of hardboiled school, including character types, plot structure, narrative voice, treatment of violence, and skepticism toward traditional social institutions. All would become common in BLACK MASK in the decade that follow. Over the course of his life, Gordon Ray Young was a cowboy, marine, sailor, marksman, reporter, occasional poet, sport fisherman, bibliophile, and literary critic. More importantly, he was a storyteller, author of some of the finest ADVENTURE fiction to grace the pages of American Pulp magazines during the first half of the twentieth century. Appearing regularly in titles such as ADVENTURE, BLUE BOOK, ARGOSY, ROMANCE, and SHORT STORIES, his fiction spans genres as diverse as westerns, crime STORIES, South Seas ADVENTURE, international intrigue, historical fiction, and humor. His TALES also jumped to the silver screen as Hollywood adapted five of his STORIES for motion pictures. Young was born in rural Ray County, Missouri on September 7 1886 and inherited from his father a sense of independence and taste for wandering. At the age of fifteen, he was working as a cowboy in eastern Colorado and in 1908, at the age of 22, he enlisted in the United States Marines. He saw duty both in the Philippines and on shipboard. Upon mustering out of Corps, Young took up a career in journalism, working on newspapers in both San Francisco and Stockton, California before taking up a position with LOS ANGELES TIMES. He served as paper literary editor for more than a decade. His freelance writing career began with the sale of a minor short story to CAVALIER in 1913. His career as a writer took off in 1917 when he began selling to A. S. Hoffmans ADVENTURE. B y 1920, Gordon Young was an established member of that select group of writers, which included the likes of Talbot Mundy, Hugh Pendexter, W. C. Tuttle, and Arthur Friel, who regularly filled pages of ADVENTURE during the magazine's glory years in teens and twenties. His novels soon begin to find their way into hardcover publication.
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Young's first published story was Lady's Picture, in Cavalier magazine, in March 1913. Gordon Young began writing fiction for the magazine Adventure in 1917. Young's first Stories for Adventure were a series of crime thrillers about a gun-wielding gambler, Don Everhard. Magazine historian Robert Sampson argues Don Everhard Stories influenced later writers of Hardboiled crime fiction such as Carroll John Daly. Young soon became one of the most popular of Arthur Sullivant Hoffman's roster of authors for Adventure. He follows Everhard Stories with a series of South Seas tales about Hurricane Williams, adventurer who shuns civilized society. Young's novel, Days of '49, historical narrative about the settlement of California during the Gold Rush, was well received by contemporary reviewers. James Oliver Curwood declared that Days of '49 was the best book he had read for ten years, while Edwin Bjorkman compared Young's work to that of Walter Scott. Huroc Avenger is a historical adventure set in the seventeenth century, and revolves around the titular hero's quest for revenge against a ruthless Venetian trading family. Young's humorous Westerns about Red Clark, became his most commercially successful series; these tales first appeared in Adventure and Short Stories before being collected in book form. Clark Stories were especially popular in Britain and most of stories appear on hardbacks for UK library market. Several of Gordon Young's stories were adapted for cinema, including the 1936 film Captain Calamity and the 1944 film Tall in Saddle.
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