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Tepperman, Emile C

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1899-1951) US insurance broker and author, active in the 1930s and 1940s under his own name, beginning with "Satan's Scalpel" for Secret Agent "X" in March 1934, a Pulp magazine for which he also wrote several longer stories under the house name Brant House. He contributed several book-length instalments to the long Spider sequence of sf-inflected stories (see The Spider), these all under the House Name Grant Stockbridge. Tepperman's contributions include:

  • "City of Dreadful Night" (November 1936 Spider)
  • "Return of the Snake Men" (December 1936 Spider)
  • "Dictator of the Damned" (January 1937 Spider)
  • "The Milltown Massacres" (February 1937 Spider)
  • "Satan's Workshop" (March 1937 Spider)
    • The Spider #2 (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1991) [omni of the above two: Spider: pb/]
  • "Scourge of the Yellow Fangs" (April 1937 Spider)
  • "The Devil's Pawnbroker" (May 1937 Spider)
  • "Voyage of the Coffin Ship" (June 1937 Spider)
  • "Dictator's Death Merchants" (July 1940 Spider)
  • "Master of the Night Demons" (September 1940 Spider)

Of greater sf interest are his climactic contributions to the Operator #5 series (see Operator #5): the thirteen-part Purple Invasion sequence under the House Name Curtis Steele, an extended Future War story arch which garishly anticipates World War Two. The long tale depicts a germ-warfare augmented Invasion of America by Rudolph I, "Purple Emperor, War-Master of Europe and Asia"; much of the action clearly prefigures the Military SF of later decades, climaxing with an assault on New York by invading Mongols who have occupied (see Yellow Peril) much of America, crucifying young men in long anguished arrays, leaving the land in an apocalyptically ravaged state, fatally weakened in the event of any further war. At three-quarters of a million words, the Purple Invasion sequence is almost certainly the longest sustained narrative published in the 1930s pulps, and one of the darkest. The series comprises:

Tepperman also wrote some short fiction under the House Name Kenneth Robeson. Much of his other work, written under various names, remains unidentified. The Ed Race stories, which appeared in The Spider Magazine 1934-1939, are nonfantastic tales featuring a highly skilled juggler who moonlights as a detective. [JC]

Emile Clemens Tepperman

born New York: 11 May 1899

died New York: 20 February 1951



Secret Agent "X"

Operator #5: Purple Invasion

See above for placement in the overall magazine sequence.

about the author


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