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Luke Short was the pen name for Frederick Dilley Glidden(1908-1975). Following graduation from college, he worked for a number of newspapers, was a trapper, and an archeologist’s assistant for a time. His first western stories was published in 1935. His pen name was, of course, that of a famous gunfighter in old west days. Seems to much of a coincidence to me, but his Wikipedia [age says no one is sure he knew that at the time he started using it.

His apprenticeship in the pulps was fairly short. He sold a short story to Colliers in 1938 and the novel, GUNMAN’S CHANCE was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1941. Another western was serialized in Colliers and the Saturday Evening Post. Colliers ceased publication after the first two parts.

This novel was made into the film BLOOD ON THE MOON which I covered for Todd Mason's Overlooked Movies this past Tuesday.

The movie followed the book pretty close, down to many lines of dialogue, but for an entirely different ending. No surprise because Short was working in Hollywood and worked on the script.

I think I liked the novel best with it’s more movie like ending. Strange that, eh? The ending was right out of Hollywood’s idea of a western showdown.

For more Forgotten Books, Todd Mason collects them this week.

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