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JOHN POND

pond_john_vi_hostage pond_john_vi_thedefector pond_john_vi_counterplot pond_john_vi_incognito pond_john_vi_thecontact pond_john_vi_rendezvous pond_john_vi_thedrop
 
Full Name: John Pond
Nationality: American
Organization: Unnamed Agency
Occupation Agent

Creator: Daniel French
Time Span: 1967 - 1975

ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Pond is an agent with an unnamed intelligence agency.
       The amount of information we do not have about this individual is, well, impressive, since he does work in a clandestine organization, especially one that is said to be ultra-secret. In fact, we know next to nothing about him and likely never will since the tales we have of his activities were penned a half-century ago.
       The smattering of adventure recounts we have of Pond are all accurately classified as vignettes by the source I have on them. My online dictionary defines that noun as meaning "a brief evocative description, account, or episode" which exactly covers the handful of stories quite nicely. They are brief to the point of being almost non-existent, each being comprised of less than two full pages and able to be read in a matter of minutes. Obviously, it is not likely we would gleam any real intelligence in such a short period of time.
     We know these few facts.
     He is likely in his late twenties or early thirties, told to us by the fact that those whose problems have brought them into contact with Pond seem to instantly trust he will be able to handle them; a younger man would be far less like to carry such gravitas and an older man would not likely be out in the field.
     He is extremely confident in himself because when he is faced with challenges, he accepts them without hesitation.
     He works on his own schedule. When pressed for immediate results, he does not argue or excuse; he just sagely advises his 'clients' to trust him. He does not let them down.

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:7
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1975

     The seven stories which exist of John Pond were published in two magazines. Five were found in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine. Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine saw two more stories as well as one of the other five reprinted in it.

1 The Drop The Drop
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1967

Printed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, March 1967.
[plot unknown]

2 The Contact The Contact
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1967

Printed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, May 1967.
[plot unknown]

3 Counterplot Counterplot
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1967

Printed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, June 1967 and reprinted in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, July 1968 .
John Pond is brought in by a Army general commanding a base with concerns about foreign spies operating on his turf. Two had been caught but another three, identity unknown, were thought to be still at work. Pond vows to get the base free of that trio.

4 Rendezvous Rendezvous
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1967

Printed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, October 1967.
[plot unknown]

5 Incognito Incognito
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1967

Printed in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Magazine, December 1967.
[plot unknown]

6 The Defector The Defector
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1968

Printed in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, July 1968.
[plot unknown]

7 Hostage Hostage
vignette
Written by Daniel French
Copyright: 1975

Printed in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, October 1975.
[plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

     I had fun trying to write enough about this character to make it worthwhile reading and I think I accomplished it but then again, who knows.
     There really is so little to the stories that when put together, they would hardly constitute a decent short story. Vignette is the right word for them because they really are supers-short.
     I was reminded of the very enjoyable "minute mysteries" I used to find in the strangest places and would love to see again. Very short descriptions of a situation and then the puzzle to be solved, except here Pond does the solving for us and we are left with grinning a bit over how simple a solution he used.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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