more like this
Julius W. Long is another forgotten author from the pulp age, in some ways so obscure that there is no reference that identifies what the “W.” in his name stands for. His works of detective and supernatural fiction include "The Dead Man's Story," "Nightcap of Terror," "Death's Dancing Master," "Merely Murder," "Over Many Dead Bodies," and more.
Long was also a lawyer, and a collector of guns. From what scant information exists about his life, it appears he was a lifelong resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio—a small town nearly 50 miles northwest of Columbu - which not only posesesses the shortest street in the US (“about 20 feet”), but also the highest point in the state of Ohio (1550 ft.).
From various sources, Long had many interests during his life—from tennis to model railroads—yet it appears that Long was a prolific writer at heart, penning over 100 fiction stories, articles, and a novel by middle age, all on top of his full-time work as a lawyer. Most of his writing is considered lost to time.
Long attended Columbus University and then graduated from Ohio State University in 1931. The 1931 graduation date is only assumed, as Long was accepted into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta as a member of the Class of 1931, but he doesn’t appear on any of the listings of Ohio State graduates. His membership in both PBK and PAT suggests his degree was in history.
His first published story for which there is any record, “The Dead Man’s Story,” appeared in the September, 1933 issue of Weird Tales, and between 1933 and 1934 he published five additional stories in the magazine. Rather than the hardcore horror of Lovecraft, Long focused on the unsettling mood and creepiness of horror.
Long was admitted to the bar in 1939 and became the junior partner in the firm of Long & Long—his father was senior partner—yet he found time to return to writing in 1937. His stories had changed in style now, adding detective fiction to the mix and often featuring lawyers in major roles. His stories grew longer in length, embracing less subtle horror than his earlier works, and it seems "Weird Tales" had a great reception, as Long's full name was added to the front cover for the first and only time for the April 1937 issue.
Between 1939 and 1942, Long seems to have taken another hiatus from publishing, although a single story appeared in late 1939 in Popular Publications’ Detective Tales. Some speculate he may have been drafted into World War II based on his age at the time, but there are no records available. He may have been deemed unfit for active duty, or worked on war efforts from home.
Long returned to publishing his writing in 1942, and nearly three-quarters of his works were produced in this time. He published two or three stories to print per month, all focused on the detective genre. For "Dime Detective Magazine," he wrote the Clarence Darrow Mort series, and for "Black Mask," he wrote a series on the exploites of Ben Corbett, chief inspector of the DA's office. His name was often featured in top billing when it came to these detective stories.
In 1947, Long published the novel "Keep the Coffins Coming," which was reprinted in 1950 as "Murder in Her Big Blue Eyes." He also wrote a story that served as the basis of the 1949 film "The Judge" directed by Elmer Clifton, but the work has not been located.
By the 1950s, Long turned his attention to non-fiction pieces, writing about law and gun collecting for "Field and Stream." In 1954, he published an article in "Esquire" concerning the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Julius W. Long died in his sleep on July 22, 1955, attributed to “an asthmatic condition.” A final posthumous story appeared in the January, 1956 issue of "The Saint Detective Magazine." He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in Logan County, Ohio, under a single headstone with his parents.
Internet Science Fiction Database
Famous and Forgotten Fiction
Find a Grave