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September 22, 2007

Who was - Edward S. Aarons ?

Born 1916 and died 1975, Edward S. Aarons (also wrote as Edward Ronns) was a writer of lending-library, paperback, and pulp crime and espionage fiction for virtually his entire adult life, taking only a few years off to attend Columbia University and to serve in World War II.

His early mystery novels were credited to Edward Ronns, and published by the low-rung Phoenix Press. Phoenix's editorial standards were notoriously even lower than it's advances, and Aaron's work for them was crude, if colorful. In The Corpse Hangs High (1939), for example, private eye "Beauty" Black gets slugged unconscious in a classic sub-Chandler riot of metaphors that verge on the ridiculous: " A red, red nose blossomed before my eyes, spread out until it filled the universe, and then rurned rotten and decomposed into a mountain of red works that wriggled wildly away into the darkness."

Aaron's postwar work was better, including tough suspense novels like Nightmare (1948) and Dark Memory (1950). He became one of the first writers to work for Fawcett's Gold Medal line of paperback originals, beginning in 1952 with a melodrama, Escape To Love.

In 1955, Fawcett published the novel Assignment To Disaster, the first in the "Assignment" series, which would last for 20 years and 40 volumes. The series hero was Sam Durrell, a bayouu-born (raised on his grand daddy's paddlewheeler), Yale-educated, patriotic, two-fisted CIA agent, assigned - twice a year by the Gold Medal schedule - to the world's hot spots, from Karachi to Budapest to the Sulu Sea. At each location Durrell would find a looming threat to U.S. security or world peace, a deadly villain, a beautiful female, and lots of action.

Taken from The Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers by Lee Server.

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