The 1950s were a golden era for Australian pulp fiction and one of the main attractions was its striking cover art. With import restrictions on books and magazines from the United States (US) in the 1940s and 1950s; opportunities arose for local publishers to meet a growing demand for ‘American style’ fiction.
- Despite their local production, the stories were still set amongst the mean streets of America.
- With the introduction of television and the lifting of import restrictions in 1959, the demand for locally produced pulp fiction declined.
Australian publishers Horowitz and Cleveland from Sydney, led the way, putting together a multitude of writers capable of producing books to order; such as the ‘Larry Kent’ series which ran to over 400 titles; while Alan Geoffrey Yates, writing under the pseudonym ‘Carter Brown‘, issued some 300 crime novels between 1954-1964.
Yates was born in England on 1 August 1923, and later settled in Australia in 1948. He began his working life as a film technician, salesman and in public relations for Qantas airlines before taking up writing full-time.
- A writer under many pseudonyms, Yates wrote westerns as Todd Conway, and science fiction as Paul Valdez.
- He even found the time to write books under various versions of his own name as well as other pseudonyms, including Dennis Sinclair and Sinclair MacKellar.
“The phone rang.
I eased the dame’s arm from around my shoulder.
‘Business first’, I said.”
– Larry Kent
“Is It Art?”