Worse Things Waiting (1973)
by Manly Wade Wellman (illustrated by Lee Brown Coye)
Like a host of other titles, this book was announced but not done by Arkham House.
The collection of 28 stories and 2 poems covers Wellman's wide and varied career of almost 50 years.
This start on a Best of Manly Wade Wellman includes about 30 original drawings by Lee Brown Coye
who illustrated a number of Wellman's stories for their original appearance in Weird Tales.
Perhaps Wellman's best known character, John the Balladeer (Who Fears The Devil?) is represented
by early works such as "Frogfather" and "Sin's Doorway."
Another memorable character is Sgt. "Bible" Jaeger who appeared in Weird Tales in "Coven" and in
"Fearful Rock," a novelette telling the tale of Jaeger's battle with evil in the Civil War South.
"The Terrible Parchment" is a Necronomicon story -- a cheeky salute to H.P. Lovecraft.
"The Undead Soldier" is a tale that Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright
is rumoured to have found to be too terrifying to publish without a rewritten ending. The original
version is part of this collection. Some of Wellman's work was natural for TV. For example, two items,
"Larroes Catch Meddlers" and "School for the Unspeakable," were produced on Lights Out,
"The Valley Was Still" for The Twilight Zone and
"The Devil Is Not Mocked" for Rod Serling's Night Gallery.
Periodically, Wellman used a pseudonym. One was Levi Crow under which Wellman wrote
"Young-Man-With-Skull-At-His-Ear," "Warrior in Darkness" and "The Hairy Thunderer."
Until this collection, a number of Wellman's best works hadn't been reprinted. These included
"Up Under the Roof," "The Kelpie," "These Doth the Lord Hate," "Where Angels Fear..." and "When It Was Moonlight."
I remember in the early-80s selling a number of Wellman titles in paperback. I felt sure that their
appearance was due to this collection and Lonely Vigils along with the devotion of the editors to see
in print the fiction of Manly Wade Wellman.
The White Road
PAGES FROM A MEMORY BOOK
Up Under the Roof
Among Those Present
The Terrible Parchment
Come into My Parlor
The Undead Soldier
The Devil is Not Mocked
For Fear of Little Men
Where Angels Fear
The Witch's Cat
School for the Unspeakable |
Warrior in Darkness
Larroes Catch Meddlers
THE NIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY
Voice in a Veteran's Ear
These Doth the Lord Hate
The Liers in Wait
The Hairy Thunderer
The Song of the Slaves
When It Was Moonlight
His Name on a Bullet
The Valley Was Still
LONGER IN THE TELLING
Far Lands, Other Days (1975)
by E. Hoffmann Price (illustrated by George Evans)
E. Hoffmann Price was one of the more interesting authors to publish during
the heyday of the pulps. Prolific, outspoken, cantankerous and adventuresome
only serve to whet a reader's appetite for his material. Reading the long introduction
to this collection leaves the impression that some of his work was semi-autobiographical
and, if it wasn't, he sure wished it was. He talks about the story
"Hasheesh Wisdom" and a letter from a shell-shocked veteran of WWI on a narcotics ration
who asked for the addresses of other "hopheads." He reminisces about "Makeda's Cousin,"
written for The Magic Carpet Magazine (aka Oriental Stories), about the
Queen of Sheba, "one of the first of the glamour ladies with whom every right-minded
young man would like to sleep." The link to "Kiss of Sekhmet" is Mr. Reimherr,
fencing master of the Turnverein in Manhattan who "had a nasty riposte from his parry
in quinte." While there, Price would go to the Metropolitan Museum to "pay [his] respects
to Sekhmet, sculptured in green stone -- the Goddess of Fire, the Lady of Flame, the Lioness,
shakti of the Unconquered Sun, the Lion." He describes "The Word of Santiago" as Edmond
Hamilton's favourite Price "yarn." The story introduces Pierre d'Artois "who, under
another name, was [Price's] fencing master for several years." But Price noted that "in view of the lurid
goings-on in the subsequent Pierre d'Artois stories, [he] must out of respect for the Grand Master
abstain from giving his name." The derivation of "Saladin's Throne-Rug" is Price's
days when collecting Oriental rugs. He goes on to talk about his days with the whores of Paris,
the rug merchants of Africa, the editors at Argosy, Seabury Quinn, James Branch Cabell and
Otis Adelbert Kline. This introduction alone was worth the price of the book.
The Word of Santiago
The Peacock's Shadow
Queen of the Lilin
The Dreamer of Atlânaat
A Jest and a Vengeance
Wolves of Kerak
The Hand of Wrath
One Step from Hell
Web of Wizardry
Allah Sends a Reaper
Snake Goddess |
House of the Monoceros
You Can't Eat Glory
Woman in the Case
Heart of a Thief
Kiss of Sekhmet
Vengeance in Samarra
Selene Walks by Night
Prayer to Satan
A King Is Next to God
Peach Blossom Paradise
The Hands of Janos
The Shadow of Saturn
The Infidel's Daughter
Murgunstrumm and Others (1977)
by Hugh B. Cave (illustrated by Lee Brown Coye)
This is a collection of horror stories, plain and simple, illustrated by Lee Brown Coye,
an artist of the first stripe, who provides a macabre atmosphere to the reading of the
text. Before Hugh B. Cave became known as a magazine contributor, a writer of bestselling
novels and an author of meticulously researched first-hand travel books, he wrote some of the most truly gruesome
and chilling horror stories ever to appear in the pulp magazines. This collection
of stories demonstrates the nature of gothic horror thrillers from the 1930s when lurid
action and wake-up-screaming terror was the order of the day. As it says in the book:
"Like a vintage horror movie, Murgunstrumm and Others
is an experience to be savoured best on a stormy, lonely night."
Cave wrote for many of the premier pulps of the day: Strange Tales, Weird Tales,
Spicy Mystery Stories, Black Book Detective Magazine, Thrilling Mysteries.
The collection includes a 30,000 word short novel, "Murgunstrumm,"
considered by some to be a classic of the pulp gothic horror thriller type from the 1930s.
Appearing also in the book are "The Isle of Dark Magic" and "The Death Watch," Hugh B. Cave's
only contributions to Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. From Weird Tales golden age are
"The Watcher in the Green Room" and "Dead Man's Belt." Cave, like many others of his time,
wrote under pseudonyms, one of which was Justin Case. A number of Case stories appear here including
"The Whisperers" and "The Strange Death of Ivan Gromleigh." I suppose the best description
of the contents comes from the book: "Murgunstrumm and Others abounds with haunted
houses, ravenous vampires, slobbering monsters, fiends human and inhuman, nights dark and stormy, corpses
fresh and rotting." Cool, eh?
The Watcher in the Green Room
The Strange Death of Ivan Gromleigh
The Affair of the Clutching Hand
The Strange Case of No. 7
The Isle of Dark Magic
Horror in Wax
Prey of the Nightborn
Dead Man's Belt
The Crawling Curse |
Purr of a Cat
Tomorrow Is Forever
The Ghoul Gallery
The Cult of the White Ape
The Brotherhood of Blood
The Door of Doom
The Death Watch
The Caverns of Time
Many Happy Returns
Ladies in Waiting
The Grisly Death
Lonely Vigils (1981)
by Manly Wade Wellman (illustrated by George Evans)
Manly Wade Wellman wrote a number of detective stories, most of which had an occult focus.
This collection of 20 stories brings them together in one volume. The stories, for the most part,
appeared in the pages of Weird Tales and Strange Stories between 1938 and 1951.
Wellman's characters -- Judge Pursuivant, Professor Enderby, John Thunstone --
were unique. They battled against dark magic in their own way and on their own terms.
Here is how this editon describes them:
"Judge Keith Hilary Pursuivant: Renowned scholar and retired judge, hero of World War I and now hero of
darker, more dangerous battles. Huge of frame, an epicure, an authority on the occult, Pursuivant strides
forth from his reclusive home in West Virginia to confront evil wherever it appears."
"Professor Nathan Enderby: Slender savant and unassuming authority on the supernatural, aided by his sharp
wits and his Chinese servant, Quong. His cabin in rural Pennsylvania is a retreat from the frenetic social life of
New York City -- and a fortress against the powers of black magic."
"John Thunstone: Hulking Manhattanite playboy and dilettante, a serious student of the occult and a
two-fisted brawler ready to take on any enemy. Armed with potent charms and a silver sword-cane, Thunstone stalks
supernatural perils in the posh night clubs and seedy hotels of New York, or in backwater towns lost in the
countryside -- seeking out deadly sorcery as a hunter pursues a man-killer beast."
JUDGE KEITH HILARY PURSUIVANT
The Hairy Ones Shall Dance
The Black Drama
The Dreadful Rabbits
PROFESSOR NATHAN ENDERBY
The Third Cry to Legba
The Golden Goblins
The Letters of Cold Fire
JOHN THUNSTONE |
John Thunstone's Inheritance
Sorcery from Thule
The Dead Man's Hand
Thorne on the Threshold
Blood from a Stone
The Dai Sword
The Leonardo Rondache
The Last Grave of Lill Warran