Looking for Someone to Read (Manly Wade Wellman)

(Today’s author: Manly Wade Wellman)

Tracking down the work by this one may take some doing; this particular author’s not exactly obscure as much as his popularity is cyclic.  Wellman is probably best known for his John stories, which are essentially some of the best Appalachian-themed horror/fantasy short stories that you’re ever going to read. Wellman more or less breathed that region’s folklore, especially musical folklore, and it shows in his work: you can find the collection of it in John the Balladeer* ; or you can start going through the hardcover collection of his books one by one. Heck, if you’ve got the bread, pick up the whole thing; that collection’s on my list, just as soon as I get an email reply back from the Nigerian Minister of Finance.

I should also note that Wellman wrote a variety of pulp material, including quite a bit of science fiction – but, honestly? It’s the John stories that are going to be his legacy.

And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.

Moe Lane

*The cover doesn’t do the stories justice, by the way. We’re talking magic as the people stuck in the middle of stories think of it, not magic as the people reading the stories sometimes wish it was like.