Working Title

Chuck Welch
August 10, 2009 - author

Authors often give a title to their work as it is written. The publisher may or may not use the author’s title. The author’s suggestion is the “working title.” And for the publisher — sometimes it just doesn’t “work.” He believes he has the pulse of the consumer — not the finicky author.

That’s true even of the Doc Savage novels. Fan favorite Brand of the Werewolf was originally titled The Crew of Skeletons. It’s a toss-up which title sounds better. The Crew of Skeletons evokes a stronger image for this writer. However, I have to agree with the decision to go with The Laugh of Death instead of the working title Death Laughed and Laughed. I’m sure the editors thought World Fair’s Goblin would sell better than Goblin! Goblin!

Will Murray used the title Flight into Fear for his Doc Savage novel. The title wasn’t unfamiliar to the editors at Doc Savage Magazine. It was the alternate title offered for two novels: King Joe Cay and Terror and the Lonely Widow.

Below we’re offering a match puzzle for Doc fans. On the left are the titles you’ve memorized from repeated readings of the novels. On the right are working titles. How many can you match? We’ve given four answers.

1 - The Land of Terror 	        (a) - Cavu is Dead
2 -  Brand of the Werewolf 	(b) - Death Came Solo
3 -  The Annihilist 		(c) - Death in a Flash
4 -  The Majii 		        (d) - Death in the Book
5 -  The South Pole Terror 	(e) - Death Laughed and Laughed
6 -  The Sea Angel 		(f) - Death Wore a Golden Bell
7 -  The Submarine Mystery 	(g) - Deuces Wild
8 -  The Red Terrors 		(h) - Devil Takes the Last
9 -  The Yellow Cloud		(i) - Flight into Fear
10 -  World's Fair Goblin 	(j) - Flight into Fear
11 -  The Evil Gnome 		(k) - Genie
12 -  The Golden Man 		(l) - Goblin! Goblin!, Man of Tomorrow
13 -  Mystery Island 		(m) - He Was So Scared
14 -  Birds of Death 		(n) - His Majesty, King Terror
15 -  The Invisible-Box Murders 	(o) - In Hell, Madonna
16 -  Peril in the North 	        (p) - Jonah Had a Whale
17 -  Men of Fear 		(q) - Jungle Strange
18 -  The Fiery Menace 	(r) - Man Afraid
19 -  The Laugh of Death 	(s) - Miracle by Williams
20 -  Waves of Death 		(t) - Mr. Calamity
21 -  The King of Terror 	(u) - Mystery at Parade
22 -  The Talking Devil 	        (v) - Sea Snare
23 -  The Secret of the Su 	(w) - Skull Cay
24 -  The Derelict of Skull Shoal 	(x) - The Buccaneer
25 -  The Man Who Was Scared 	(y) - The Crew of Skeletons
26 -  The Red Spider 		(z) - Three Dead Danes
27 -  Strange Fist 		(aa) - The Devilish Mr. Wail
28 -  The Ten Ton Snakes 	(bb) - The Fish Was Strange
29 -  Cargo Unknown 		(cc) - The Green Cloud
30 -  Rock Sinister 		(dd) - The Hair on End, Chemistry of Death
31 -  King Joe Cay 		(ee) - The Ice Age
32 -  The Thing That Pursued 	(ff) - The Invisible Box
33 -  Trouble on Parade 	(gg) - The Jiu San Man
34 -  Measures For a Coffin 	(hh) - The Lost Ones
35 -  Se-Pah-Poo 		(ii) - The Lost Vampire
36 -  Five Fathoms Dead 	(jj) - The Mountain of Terror
37 -  Colors for Murder 	       (kk) - The Phantom Submarine
38 -  Fire and Ice 		(ll) - The Speaking Satan
39 -  Three Times a Corpse 	(mm) - The Sun Terror
40 -  The Exploding Lake	(nn) - The Terrible Jones
41 -  The Devil is Jones 	(oo) - The Terror Under the Sea
42 -  Danger Lies East 	(pp) - The Wizard
43 -  The Pure Evil 		(qq) - They Stood Dead
44 -  Return From Cormoral 	(rr) - thirty Fathoms to Hell
45 -  Up From Earth's Center 	(ss) - Those Golden Birds
46 -  Death is a Round Black Spot 	(tt) - The One-Eyed Mystic
47 -  Terror and the Lonely Widow 	(uu) - The Man Nobody Could See
48 -  According to Plan of a One-Eyed Mystic 	(vv) - Skull Shoal
49 -  Jiu San 		        (ww) - The Crime Annihilist, The Crime Annihilator

Originally published on DocSavage.Info…before 1999 at least. 🙂



Authors often give a title to their work as it is written. The publisher may or may not use the author’s title. The author’s suggestion is the “working title.” Guess what we have inside? You’re right..a list, but this one is a puzzle!

› tags: title. novels /

Comments

Comment Archive

  1. Jeff says:

    Pretty damn complete list. I didn’t see any notable omissions. New site design looks great, Chuck. BTW, the one novel I moved was YELLOW CLOUD, from 1936 to spring 1938, following MERCHANTS OF DISASTER. Rick Lai pointed out one of Pat’s employees was a refugee in 1938, prompting the move. I can send the revised entry if you want it to post as errata.

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