Ne-San Transistor Girls

The Aussie respin of a Yankee yarn

By William Wetherall

First posted 1 October 2006
Last updated 15 October 2006

Paul Daniels, The Transistor Girls, 1958
Jerome Denver,Ne-San, 1964

1958 Monarch Books novel
Cover painting by Bob Maquire
1964 Stag Publishing novel
Cover painting not attributed

Paul Daniels
The Transistor Girls
Derby (CT): Monarch Books, 1961
144 pages, paperback (220)
Women of the World Fiction Series
Cover painting by Bob Maquire

Jerome Denver
London/Sydney/Melbourne: Stag Publishing Co., 1964
162 pages, paperback
Stag Modern Novels

Narrelle Morris, an Australian scholar, makes the following observation about Jerome Denver's Ne-San in "Innocence to Deviance: The Fetishisation of Japanese Women in Western Fiction, 1890s-1990" (Intersections, Issue 7, March 2002; see review in "Bibliography").

An example of this genre, intended for a Western male audience, is Jerome Denver's Ne-San: A revealing novel of Japan's part time call girls who work by day and love by night [sic] (1964). Ne-San involves two Australian men, John Francis and Danny Degan, who are sent by their Hong Kong company to visit Tokyo as a reward for good work. The managing director was 'aware of the temptations, and he strongly advised [them] to succumb to as many as possible.'[33] While investigating 'the charms of the slant-eyed, kimino-clad [sic] beauties who practised an ancient profession with charm and dignity,'[34] the men fall into an abduction racket involving the pro-Communist brainwashing of other American men. Preposterous plot aside, the novel is very interesting for its depiction of Japan and Japanese women.

Many elements of Ne-San -- not only its cover art and blurbs, but parts of its plot and many of its caricatures of Japan and Japanese women -- are nothing more than a Australianized rip-off of Paul Daniels' The Transistor Girls.

Denver, to his credit, created an original story and told it in a stylistically different way. But he clearly began with Daniels' narrative and borrowed many of its elements while featuring Aussies, rather than Yankees, doing preposterous things in Japan.

The Transistor Girls is related in third person mostly over the shoulder of Lee Williams, an American who goes to Japan in response to an invitation from Gary Williams, his brother, who fails to meet him at the airport. In contrast, Ne-San is told in first person by John Francis, an Australian, who comes to Japan with Danny Degan, a compatriot, when the two men "who could have been brothers" (page 8) are rewarded by their employer with a week in Tokyo for services rendered in Hong Kong.

Denver's "Ne-San" transistor girls, down to their "slant eyes" and part-time occupations, are clearly based on Daniels' novel. And in both novels, the sexual capers are complicated by Chinese antics.

The Transitor Girls

Cover blurbs

The cover blurbs are typical of the genre in the era.

Front cover

This blurb appeared practically unchanged on the cover of Ne-San. Bold emphasis has been added to wording that was slightly modified.

A revealing novel of Japan's part-time prostitutes who work by day and love by night

Back cover

All Lee Williams knew was what he'd learned from his brother's cablegram:


There was no Gary when Lee got off the plane. Instead, there was beautiful, doll-like Ne-san who brought him to a hotel, bathed him tenderly, and then took him to bed -- passionately.

He'd heard about the girls like Ne-san -- Transistor Girls -- who added to their incomes by extracurricular night-time activity. But he hadn't heard about Pamela Knight, his brother's partner, who had ambitions of her own and none of them concerned with business.

Too late he found himself the patsy in a dangerous game of international intrigue involving the missing Gary, several Transistor Girls and the notorious bandit, Chieh-ho.


Publishing particulars

Published by Stag Publishing Co.,
London, Melbourne and Sydney.

Printed by New Century Press Pty. Ltd.,
3-5 North York Street, Sydney.

Distributed by Stag Publishing Co.
Sydney & Melbourne, Atlas Publishing and
Distributing Co. Ltd., 18 Bride Lane, London,
E.C.4, England.

Cover blurbs

The blurbs on Ne-San are less creative.

Front cover

The following blurb was directly copied from the cover of The Transistor Girls. Only the words in bold are different, and the ellipsis at the end has been added.

A revealing novel of Japan's part time call girls who work by day and love by night . . .

Front fly


Office girl by day,
call girl by night.
Sold into a life of prostitution
when only a girl;
bound to please her lovers
as only a Japanese
woman can.

Back cover



Slant-eyed kangaroos

The two Aussies, whose "knowledge of Japan was a vague mixture of hari-kari and geisha girls" (page 8), had come to Tokyo to "investigate the charms of the slant-eyed, kimono-clad beauties who practised an ancient profession with charm and dignity" (page 9). And as soon as they arrive at their hotel, they head for the Ginza, where they spot the Kangaroo bar, decide it must be run by an Australian, and go in.

Inside the bar, they were pretty much ignored. The bartender said a single word to them, in Japanese, which they didn't understand. When asked if he could speak English, he shook his head, but gestured toward the drinks, as though to invite them to choose something.

John Francis wonders if they should take the risk. Danny Degan, aware that the bartender is close enough to hear anything he says, replies (page 11).

"Not for me. This is probably some sort of clip joint," Danny said knowingly.

Then he turned to the barman and grinned broadly. "We wouldn't drink your stinking hooch, you yellow-bellied so-and-so," he told the man in a most amiable fashion.

The bartender returned the smile, beaming as though he'd been paid a handsome compliment. He leaned forward, still smiling handsomely with eyes and buck teeth.

"Beat it, mugs,["] he said politely. "We're open for regulars. Not for sucker tourists."

The two men slink out of the bar, and Francis, as narrator, remarks: "I resolved that next time I saw a kangaroo I'd examine it for slanted eyes."

Ne-San is full of this sort of fish-out-of-water humor.

Taylor Collection

Significantly, the only Google return for "Paul Daniels" and "Jerome Denver" is a PDF file posted by the library of the University of Melbourne, consisting of a "List of Holdings" of The Taylor Collection of Australian Pulps and Paperbacks, dated June 2004, and running 68 pages. The list includes both The Transistor Girls and Ne-San.

The portal to the Taylor Collection describes the collection as follows.

The Taylor Collection of pulp and popular fiction is a collection of nearly five thousand paperbacks and pulp digests published in Australia between the 1940s and the 1980s. The collection ranges across all genres of popular fiction and sensationalised non-fiction, including crime, war, science fiction, westerns, romance, and erotica.

The many faces of Paul W. Fairman

Paul Daniels was one of several pseudonyms used by Paul Warren Fairman (1916-1977), a science fiction writer and editor.

During the 1950s, Fairman edited several magazines, including Amazing Stories and Fantastic. He then devoted himself to writing, and in two decades he wrote and ghosted numerous stories and novels in various genres.

Fairman published most of his science fiction and fantasy under his own name, though he also wrote some imaginary fiction as Ivar Jorgenson and Adam Chase. He also ghosted three of Lester del Rey's novels, which del Rey (1915-1993, Leonard Knapp, aka Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey, aka Erik van Lhin) was unable to complete.

Paul Daniels and Paula Fairman

Fairman seems to have used Paul Daniels only in the early 1960s, when writing the Bedside and Monarch stories, which booksellers variously call esoteric, erotic, or adult. From 1968 to 1971, as F.W. Paul, he wrote ten novels in the "Man From S.T.U.D." series, published by Lancer Books in New York, in rivalry with "The Man From O.R.G.Y." series by Ted Mark (Theodore Mark Gottfried, b1928).

Also in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fairman wrote some Gothic romance and Gothic horror titles as Janet Lovesmith for Popular Library, and as Paulette Warren for Lancer, Magnum, Manor, Popular Library, and Berkley.

Fairman's daughter may have been involved in the writing of the romance titles. After his death in 1977, she wrote a number of rather racy historical romance fiction novels as Paula Fairman, and some general romance as Paula Moore. Best known the Pinnacle titles she did as Paula Fairman, including Jasmine Passion (1981), set in China and the Barbary Coast of California.

Paul Daniels in America and Australia

Paul Daniels published the following novels, all erotic action stories, through Bedside/Bedtime Books (New York, Valiant Publications) and Monarch Books (Derby, Connecticut; New York, Monarch Publishing).

Bedside / Bedtime Books

1960 Motel Girl (Bedside 970)
1960 Appointment With Passion (Bedside 977)

Monarch Books

1961 Debbie (Monarch 202)
1965 Debbie (Monarch 554, Reprint of 202)
(Life & Loves of a New York Model)
Cover by Rafael DeSoto

1962 Playboy (Monarch 233)
(Wall Street, Passion & Violence)
Cover by Ray Johnson

1962 The Cover Girls (Monarch 254)
(Young Girls on Magazines)
Cover by Harry Schaare
"At work or play, she always got what she wanted"

1962 The Show Girls (Monarch 291, 139 pages)
"Woman of the World Fiction Series"

1962 Ruby (Monarch 299, 139 pages)
(Sex, Scandals & Suspense in Manhattan)
"She had love in her eyes and sin in her heart"

1963 Pattern For Destruction (Monarch 394, 125 pages)
(New York Sex & Suspense)
"You could damn Libby or even hate her -- but you couldn't resist her"

1964 Jealous (Monarch 422, 124 pages)
Monarch Publishing
Cover art by Ernest Chiriaka [Cover by Darcy?]
"A compelling novel of a woman trapped by one man's obsessive mistrust"

Paul Daniels and Jerome Denver have something in common: both were published by Stag Publishing in 1964. The following Stag titles were attributed to Paul Daniels.

Stag Publishing

1964 Libby (London)
"Pattern of Destruction. You could damn her, or even hate her, but you couldn't resist her"

1964 The Cover Girls (Sydney, 162 pages)
"A nightmare of terror confronts a girl who will do anything to hit the front cover"

Jerome Denver

Stag Publishing seems to have reissued a number of Monarch titles pretty as they were originally published. But the only Stag book attributed to Jerome Denver -- the only title I can find anywhere that bears this unusual by-line -- is Ne-San.

Why did Stag choose to Austalianize The Transistor Girls in the guise of Ne-San? Simply to boost the egos of Australian men?

Did Fairman allow someone to rewrite his story under the name "Jerome Denver"? Given the strong Aussie flavor of Ne-San, it is very unlikely that Fairman himself was Jerome Denver.

I have not been able to discover where Fairman was born, or whether he spent any time in his life in Australia. He seems to have living in Newark, New Jersey at the time The Transistor Girls and then Ne-San were written.

"Jerome Denver" is not a particularly common name. There is a Jerome Hotel in Denver. The Denver-based agency Platinum Talent is owned by a Stephanie Jerome.

Ed Prentiss (Paul Edward Prentiss, 1908-1992) played a character called Jerome Denver in the "Iron Star" episode of The D.A.'s Man TV drama series. The episode was aired on 4 April 1959 (Season 1, Episode 13).

Otherwise "Jerome Denver" draws a dead blank.