In the 1920s, Hervey sold dozens of short stories to publications of the “pulp fiction” genre. While he returned to many of these themes in his novels, his early efforts — most hard to track down being in ephemeral publications that have not survived — should be counted more as his juvenilia rather than serious attempts at fiction.

The Parisienne magazine

The Parisienne magazine

When Harry was only 16 and still attending school, renowned author and critic Henry Louis Mencken purchased one of his short stories. Mencken was editor and publisher of prestigious literary magazine, The Smart Set. The story he purchased from Hervey, however, actually appeared in his less prestigious, but more popular, "sister publication" The Parisienne. Mencken’s co-editors soon used this formula to launch two other pulp magazines; Spicy Stories (1916) and Black Mask (1920).

The first of Hervey’s many works focusing on the devil, damnation and doom.
(publication date unknown)


Black Mask magazine

Black Mask magazine

From the first issue of Black Mask (April 1920), Hervey was a regular contributor with eight stories published between then and July 1922.

A tale set in Burma with an American college boy becoming involved with a stowaway and pirates.
April 1920, pp. 65-78

“A complete novelette of romantic adventure...in the African wilds...in the manner of Rider Haggard’s famous stories.” (Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was an English writer who specialized in African adventures.)
June 1920, pp. 3-37

A mystery set in Tibet with an American trying to help a friend who is trapped by a vampire-like woman seducer who dooms her male victims to oblivion by tossing them into the Valley of the Vanishing Men.
August 1920, pp. 49-64

Plot unknown
September 1920, pp. 61-71


Plot unknown
November 1920, pp. 97-113

Plot unknown
February 1921, pp. 95-110

(Complete Mystery Novelette).
A London-based mystery with "Scotland Yard detectives, séances by an Egyptian girl, an opium addicted baronet, a brother and sister set, a hunchback, a man named Quest, switched bodies, and a turbaned Hindu."
March 1921, pp. 3-42

(Complete Mystery Novelette).
Another tale with ademonic theme.
July 1922, pp. 3-23



Other Short Stories

A young man watches beautiful men pass him in droves. He follows their path, to discover "the Golden One", a half-caste Magdalene who teaches him a different sort of salvation that changes his life. Edward J. O’Brien included this in The Best Short Stories of 1924 and became the basis for the film The Devil Dancer.
The Nation
January 30, 1924

In a remote French prison camp in Indochina, the commander’s wife unexpectedly joins him and begins an affair with another officer. Based on Hervey’s experience visiting the Lao Bao camp during his trip described in King Cobra, this story provided the basis for Hervey’s film script for Prestige.
[This story is included in the appendices of the modern edition of King Cobra.]
McClure’s
January 1927

In this cross between a rumination and a short story, Hervey rewrites history in a love story set in the environs of Civil War era Savannah, GA.
The Georgia Review, Vol. 5, #2, pp. 157–161
Summer 1951

Told in a hotel bar in the Far East, this weaves the tale of the unfaithful Marcia Cleverdon, whose husband tries to punish her by making his suicide seem like murder, framing Marcia as the primary suspect.
Published posthumously.
The Georgia Review, Vol. 7, #4, pp. 390–402
Winter 1953
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