BEN HAAS CHECKLIST
Writing As Richard Meade
TWO SURGEONS – Lancer 70-012, 1962 PBO. Cover by Harry
When Ben had a ‘major’ idea, he
wrote under his own name. Otherwise, he used a pen name. As a result, Richard
Meade became a prolific paperback writer in many varied fields of genre
fiction – the medical novel, spy thrillers, political comedy, sword &
sorcery, Westerns, screenplay novelizations, just about anything. Even though
he did not really exist, Ben’s alter ego “Richard Meade” became one of the
most eclectic writers of the 1960s and 70s.
Garth and Harold Cannon are
brothers and both brothers are surgeons. A woman and booze complicate their lives
as they struggle to save a dying child with a bad heart.
PB: Mayflower Dell 9208, 1964.
THE RESIDENT PHYSICIAN – Medical Fiction (
203, 1963 PBO. Cover by Robert Bonfils.
Hospital administrator John
Travis fights to save his dying hospital – and the career of a young doctor.
Medical Fiction was a
short-lived (I think there are four of them) experiment in 1963 by Neva
Paperbacks Inc of
cash in on the popular “doctor books” of the day. Neva
’s main line was
the sexy Playtime Books, many of which also featured Bonfils cover art. When
Richard S. Prather sued
for plagiarism, his lawyers
learned that the
address was just a mail drop. The real operation was being run out of
Bonfils and Haas were destined
to work together again.
SUMMER ALWAYS ENDS – Dell 8379, 1966 PBO. Cover by Robert
With a you-are-there
feeling of realism that causes the characters’ emotional turns to hit like
electric shocks, SUMMER ALWAYS ENDS is a rite of passage novel about the end
of childhood. Jud Beecham is the handsome football star carrying his
scholarly, heart-on-his-sleeve roomie Webb Prentice through college. Jud
always has a new girl, and the unending good times start to unravel when Webb
falls in love with Jud’s latest, a gorgeous alcoholic named Jordan Gill.
STRIP – Popular Library
60-2245, 1967 PBO. TV tie-in. Uncommon.
Jim Crown lost his first love
Ellen when she married his best friend Asher Haines. Now years later, Jim is
marshal of Cimarron Strip. To his surprise Asher and Ellen arrive in his town
one day. Ellen seems to want to
rekindle the old romance, and Asher seems to have a new agenda – robbing
ROUGH NIGHT IN
– Gold Medal d1846, 1967. Novelization
of a screenplay by Sidney Boehm & Marvin H. Albert, based on the novel THE MAN IN BLACK by Marvin H. Albert (writing as Al
hardcover: TBS The Book Service Ltd, 1972 (not shown).
When they turned Marvin
Albert’s book THE MAN IN BLACK into a movie, they changed it enough so a
different version of the same story could be published as the movie tie-in. A
book based on a movie that was based on a different book does not happen too
often. (Ian Fleming’s MOONRAKER and Christopher Wood’s movie tie-in JAMES
BOND AND MOONRAKER is another example.)
– Peter Davies (
PB: as THE GUN RUNNER – NEL 2519, 1969. Extremely scarce. This wondrous cover
photo comes from a 1968 Signet called THE SURVIVOR.
RUNS RED – Random House, 1968. American hardcover edition of BEYOND THE
DANUBE / THE GUN RUNNER.
The first of two espionage
thrillers about John Allison, an American who sells arms to the highest
bidder, a business model that constantly brings him afoul of the American State
BIG BEND – Doubleday, 1968.
1st PB: Signet P4130, 1970.
is the setting for several of Ben’s Westerns under various
pen names. One of them is Richard Meade’s BIG BEND, the story of Nora Stewart,
lost in the wild country with two men who love her – a rancher named Sam
Ramsay looking for his rustled horses, and the huge and powerful ex-slave
4th printing: Signet J9981, nd (1981). Canadian ed.
A SCORE OF ARMS – Peter Davies
No PB found. (Although this is a paperback catalog I am showing the hardcover
jacket for A SCORE OF ARMS here.)
A sequel to BEYOND THE DANUBE.
After John Allison sells some
tanks to an African
rebel army, rumors arise that the tanks are being used for brutal atrocities
against the civilians. Traveling to
re-connects with an old friend named Erika Wolf, a fraulein seriously
obsessed by memories of her Nazi father.
As THE LOST FRAULEIN – Random House, 1969. American
edition of A SCORE OF ARMS.
THE SWORD OF MORNING STAR – Signet P3774, 1969 PBO. Cover
art by Jeff Jones.
Is that phallic symbolism or
are you just happy to see me? Apparently our hero has two swords of Morning
Star. I guess that big thing between his legs is supposed to be his “short
sword”. I’ve never seen one pressing against a man’s ribs, and it makes you wonder – how can he sit down? Or relieve himself?
(He only has one hand, and the author stresses the point that he can only
handle one sword.) Not sure what else
is going on here, but he appears to be doing the pelvic thrust from the Time
“Beyond the future – before the
past – into the strange realm of The Sword and The Sorcerer”. Oh, by the way, the story told here is great
reading, sheer fun, and now that special effects technology has caught up
with it, it would make a hell of a movie.
EXILE’S QUEST – Signet T4348, 1970 PBO. Cover by Kossin.
EXILE’S QUEST takes place in the same mythical universe as
THE SWORD OF MORNING STAR. In fact, the events here take place before the
They call it the Power Stone.
Some men called it by other names, Philosopher’s Stone, Grail. A sorcerer has
given it to the Queen of the Unknown Lands. King Sigreith wants it, so he
sends an exiled swordsman, Baron Gallt, at the head of an army of cutthroats
and prisoners into the legendary Unknown Lands. All sorts of monsters and half-men wait
along their path. Another adventure tale from a master storyteller.
THE BELLE FROM CATSCRATCH by Richard Meade and Jay
Rutledge. Gold Medal M2605, 1972 PBO. Cover by Jack Davis.
Jay Rutledge was the pen name
of Jim Henderson. Ben and Jim were old friends, and Ben co-dedicated THE
HOUSE OF CHRISTINA to Jim. Jim was the editor of the Norfolk Virginia Pilot.
A riotously hilarious satire on
Southern politics, this is the story of Governor Thomas Prevatte Guthrie and
his wife Betty Jo, the belle from Catscratch. Betty Jo has something that may
destroy Tom Guthrie: a mind of her own.
CARTRIDGE CREEK – Doubleday, 1973.
1st PB: Manor 95389, 1975.
Will Leatherman rides into
with a plan
to buy land and settle down. But how do you do that when the town has been
split open by a bloody war between two gangs?
GAYLORD’S BADGE – Doubleday, 1975.
Tower BT50974, nd (1976).
It’s too bad Randolph Scott had
retired before this book was written, as it would have made one hell of a
Randolph Scott Western. Tough and arrow-straight Frank Gaylord, Sheriff of
Colter County, Wyoming Territory, runs into trouble as crooked powerful men
tempt him to get re-elected by turning his back on his own integrity.
“To Seek The Dream” in GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, January 1976.
Novelette. Illustrated by Ted Coconis.
A young couple from
on the road to find work in
break down in
lonely old man called Uncle Calvin picks them up and moves them into his
abandoned grist mill in the hills, changing all three of their lives.