Author Archives: Kenneth Hite

Call of Chicago: The Fighting Yank!!

“While America needs you, my son, you shall not die!” — Bruce Carter I, to the Fighting Yank (Bruce Carter III), in Startling Comics #35 (Sep 1945) The Shield was the first, and Captain America was the greatest, but lots and lots of heroes donned the red-white-and-blue and punched Nazis in the 1940s. Many of […]

Call of Chicago: The Carcosan Prisoner

“I told you to keep to the paths. You wandered into the Yellow Zone.” — No. 6 to Nadia, “The Chimes of Big Ben,” The Prisoner Robert W. Chambers may have invented reality horror, combining Poe’s fragility of self with Bierce’s arbitrary universe and his own artistic flair, but it arguably reached its peak, ironically […]

Call of Chicago: Mulholland vs. Messing

“Man should not know the future. Such knowledge can be fatal.” — attributed to Wolf Messing In 1977, researchers Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks uncovered evidence in the accidentally unshredded MK-ULTRA files that the CIA had hired the stage magician John Mulholland as a consultant. After decades of further research, and the fortuitous discovery […]

Call of Chicago: Liam Tobin, Spymaster

“Tall, gaunt, cynical, with tragic eyes … like a man who had seen the inside of hell.” — description of Liam Tobin by IRA mole David Neligan Michael Collins, the George Washington of Ireland, picked a 23-year-old man named Liam Tobin to be his spymaster. If I were related to George Washington’s spymaster, I’d never […]

Call of Chicago: Through the Gates of the Silver-Gelatin Process

“He had lately become a devotee of the William Mortensen school of photography. Mortensen, of course, is the leading exponent of fantasy in photography; his monstrosities and grotesques are widely known.” — Robert Bloch, “The Sorcerer’s Jewel” (1939) William H. Mortensen, the “leading exponent of fantasy in photography,” was born in Park City, Utah in […]

Call of Chicago: Paperback Writer

“Colonel Buchan’s novel Greenmantle has more than a flavor of truth …” — T.E. Lawrence, to Robert Graves In Britain, the first rank of spy novelists has long included writers from the ranks of actual intelligence agencies: John Buchan (British Army Intelligence Corps), Somerset Maugham (MI6), Graham Greene (MI6), Dennis Wheatley (London Controlling Section of […]

Call of Chicago: Big Iron, Big Deals

“Everybody likes a fireworks show.” — Samuel Cummings, president of the International Armament Corporation If, as the Beatles assured us, happiness is a warm gun, the happiest place on Earth between 1953 and 1968 is the Alexandria, Virginia warehouse complex of Interarms, the International Armament Corporation. In 1968 it holds between 650,000 and 800,000 military-surplus […]

Call of Chicago: Pot-Hounds of Spiro

“When you ask who built this mound, the only answer is the echo of your own question within the vault that has been hidden in darkness within this mound for no one knows how many centuries. The dead past has surely buried its dead within the mound.” — artifact collector J.G. Braecklein, quoted in the […]

Call of Chicago: Runing Down a Dream

“Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth …” — H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu” Instead of “Runic inscriptions,” in 1860 Professor Webb finds Cthulhu in West Greenland, on a rocky ledge in the cold. But […]

Call of Chicago: After … the Penitent!!

“Monk was asking Vida Carlaw, ‘Do you believe a mysterious jellylike creature did any killing?’ The girl hesitated, nipping at her lips. ‘You probably think I’m foolish, but, after all, no one really knows what is in the depths of the earth. Of course, scientists have a general idea, but there may be—things—down there that […]

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