Meg Piorko’s Friday Falvey Favorites
“The Oracle” of Mystery Magazine
This Friday Favorite from the Distinctive Collections at Falvey Library is the pulp magazine series Mystery Magazine. One of the earliest examples of the ‘crime pulp’ genre, Mystery Magazine published a total of 216 issues from November 1917 to July 1927. Produced in New York City, readers could purchase the latest issue for just 10cents a copy.
What is Mystery Magazine?
In the words of publisher Frank Tousey in the inaugural issue:
Mystery Magazine has been issued to fill a unique niche in the field of literature. Its objects are both to amuse and instruct. […] Many of the stories are based on such subjects as fortune-telling, astrology, hypnotism, dreams, spiritualism, palmistry, etc., and some will be splendid detective stories.
The Oracle: The Mystery of Man and How to Solve It
Mystery Magazine ran a seven-part recurring column called “The Oracle: The Mystery of Man and How to Solve It” (issues 103 – 109) written by Russell Raymond Voorhees, a contemporary fiction author who published in a variety of pulp magazines. On the latest episode of Spare Change Library Podcast I am joined by Erica Hayes (Digital Scholarship Librarian) to read and discuss fortune telling with astrology in “The Oracle.”
Spare Change Library Podcast Episode 2: “The Oracle”
Not only was the content mysterious and strange, but the magazine featured advertisements from mystical sponsors as well, such as the fortune teller Parashira the Adept.
Are you interested in reading your own Oracle horoscope, or learning more about fortune telling in Mystery Magazine? Read your horoscope based on the day you were born in Mystery Magazine, The Oracle Part I: Astrology and decide for yourself if you ‘believe’ in the stars.
Spare Change Library Podcast is a dime novel and popular literature podcast, featuring audio editions of stories and scholarly discussion–available through a shared RSS feed on dimenovels.org
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