Paul Cain (author)

George Caryl Sims (May 30, 1902 – June 23, 1966), better known by his pen names Paul Cain and Peter Ruric, was an American pulp fiction author and screenwriter.[1] He is best known for his novel Fast One, which is considered to be a landmark of the pulp fiction genre and was called the "high point in the ultra hard-boiled manner" by Raymond Chandler.[2][3]

George Caryl Sims
Born(1902-05-30)May 30, 1902
Des Moines, Iowa
DiedJune 23, 1966(1966-06-23) (aged 64)
North Hollywood, California
Pen namePaul Cain, Peter Ruric
  • Novelist
  • short story writer
  • screenwriter
GenreCrime fiction, mystery fiction
Notable worksFast One (1949)

Sims enjoyed a brief career in Hollywood as a screenwriter during the 1930s, including writing the screenplay for the Boris Karloff vehicle The Black Cat.[2] He died in North Hollywood in 1966.


Sims moved to Los Angeles in 1918 and began working as a screenwriter in 1923. Black Mask first published Fast One as five novelettes in 1932. It was then published in book form by Doubleday in 1933.[4] The New York Times described it as “a ceaseless welter of bloodshed and frenzy, a sustained bedlam of killing and fiendishness, told in terse staccato style . . .”[5] Sims wrote a total of 17 stories for Black Mask. He left the magazine when editor Joseph Shaw was fired in 1936. Additionally, Sims had stories published in Detective Fiction Weekly and Star Detective Magazine, and several articles in Gourmet. In 1946, a paperback collection of his best stories called Seven Slayers was published by Saint Enterprises. Sims wanted to change his listed name to Ruric but the publisher insisted on sticking with the name Cain.[6]


  1. ^ Boris Dralyuk. "Paul Cain: An Introduction".
  2. ^ a b Danger Is My Business: An Illustrated History of the Fabulous Pulp Magazines, by Lee Server (Chronicle Books, 1993) (p.70).
  3. ^ William Marling. "Paul Cain". Archived from the original on 2010-01-07.
  4. ^ Wilt, David (1991). Hardboiled in Hollywood: Five Black Mask Writers and the Movies. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press. ISBN 978-0-879-72525-9.
  5. ^ "Latest Works of Fiction: Gangsters Gone Mad; FAST ONE. By Paul Cain. 304 pp. New York: Doubleday. $2." Archived via the TimesMachine,The New York Times, October 29, 1933.
  6. ^ Nolan, William F. (1985). The Black Mask Boys:Masters in the Hard-Boiled School of Detective Fiction. New York: Mystery Press. ISBN 978-0-892-96931-9.

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