My new year’s resolution is to answer that question by the end of 2016. Over a couple of years in the mid-40s, de Pina wrote 8 stories for Planet, including two collaborations with the prolific Henry Hasse. He would go on to do two more collaborations with Hasse in other magazines in the 50s before disappearing. His last story for Planet, Moon of Danger, was one of the best in the issue.
Though de Pina was comparatively a flash-in-the-pan of the pulps, in the mid-40s, at least amongst Planet Stories’ readership, he must’ve been numbered among the greats. In the Vizigraph, Planet Stories’ letters section, he’s frequently listed in the same breath as Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury, Ross Rocklynne or Gardner F. Fox as an author that fandom is demanding more stories by. A 14 year old Algis Budrys has a letter published in a 1945 issue saying “I want more De Pina”. I hadn’t thought much of it at first; Moon of Danger was great, yeah, but having read three issues and in three issues seen fans clamoring for more de Pina, I’m starting to wonder, “Who was this lost great of science fiction?”
There’s very little information online about de Pina. The only verifiable work by de Pina available on Amazon is a 2015 reprint that collects A Hyatt Verrill’s “Beyond the Green Prism” alongside “Alcatraz of the Starways” which was a collaboration with the much more well-known Hasse. A biography of Christ, The Galilean, A Life of Jesus, is the main work attributed to someone named Albert de Pina; though the timeframe is correct (1945), I’ve yet to find anything that suggests that it was written by the pulp science fiction author. Still, you never know!
So, my goals are threefold:
-Find out who the heck this Albert de Pina guy was. Part of this will require me to hunt down the issues of Planet from 43-45 with his stories.
-Find out if there is an estate to get in touch with or if his works have fallen into the public domain.
-Find out if it would be feasible to put together an omnibus of de Pina’s works.
In other cool news, a fit of mania last night saw around 2000+ words done on Mage Lords of Ruach! If I can keep it up, I may have it finished in time to include in issue 2 of Cirsova.