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Top 10 Reasons I Love Manly Wade Wellman's Who Fears the Devil?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The original Planet Stories edition of Manly Wade Wellman's Who Fears the Devil? is due to hit the Paizo warehouse later this month, so I thought I'd share the top 10 reasons why it's one of my favorite Planet Stories books to date. Drum roll, please!

10. How many pulp writers do you know who were nominated for a Pulitzer?

9. Prose as sweet as country dew on a summer's morn.

8. That magical silver-strung guitar!

7. What, are you kidding me? Silver John is an inhabitant of the Wold Newton Universe.

6. Dude... introduction by SF legend Mike Resnick!

5. Carl Kolchak ain't got nothin' on Silver John.

4. Because I hark when Greg Bear, Robert Silverberg, and Karl Edward Wagner tell me I should.

3. Evadare...Evadare...

2. It's like Johnny Freakin' Cash meets the Cthulhu Mythos.

1. FROGFATHER!!!

Christopher Paul Carey
Editor, Planet Stories

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Manly Wade Wellman Planet Stories Sara Otterstätter Who Fears the Devil?
Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
blog wrote:

8. That magical silver-strung guitar!

2. It's like Johnny Freakin' Cash meets the Cthulhu Mythos.

Dammit.

The image of Johnny Cash beating eldritch horrors into submission with a guitar is burned into my mind now.

Now I have to read this. >:(

:)

I still can't get over how awesome it is that the Pulitzer Prize winners list has a name like Manly Wade Wellman in it.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Christopher Carey made a blog post??!??!?!?!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Mikaze wrote:
blog wrote:

8. That magical silver-strung guitar!

2. It's like Johnny Freakin' Cash meets the Cthulhu Mythos.

Dammit.

The image of Johnny Cash beating eldritch horrors into submission with a guitar is burned into my mind now.

Now I have to read this. >:(

I've been waiting for this one for some time, though the Johnny Cash image just tops it off.

"I am fear! I am evil incarnate? What are you against that?"

"Ah'm the Man in Black," WHAM!

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Callous Jack wrote:
Christopher Carey made a blog post??!??!?!?!

Reports of my nonexistence are greatly exaggerated. ;-) But seriously, yeah, it's been a while, and I'll be remedying that!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

It is difficult for me to explain how incredible this book is. As much as I love THE SHIP OF ISHTAR (and oh boy, do I ever), WHO FEARS THE DEVIL is probably the most literate and "important" book we have published to date. I think it's also probably the most accessible, as in it's the first book of 25 that my girlfriend has decided to read on her own.

And it is beautifully written.

"He was what country folks called a low man, more than calling him short or small; a low man is low otherwise than by inches. Mister Onselm's shoulders didn't wide out as far as his big ears, and they sank and sagged. His thin legs bowed out at the knee and in at the shank, like two sickles point to point. On his carrot-thin neck, his head looked like a swollen pale gourd. Thin, moss-gray hair. Loose mouth, a bit open to show long, even teeth. Not much chin. The right eye squinted, mean and dark, while the hike of his brow twitched the left one wide. His good clothes fitted his mean body like they were cut to it. Those good clothes were almost as much of a match to the rest of him as his long, soft, pink hands, the hands of a man who never had to work a tap.

"You see what I mean, I can't say how he looked, only he was hateful."


Don't mess with da froghs!!!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I am also really looking forward to this one.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Moi aussi!

Both to the book, and to more from Wellman in PS's future. And Sara was the right pick for this volume. I hope she gets the future ones, too.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Christopher Paul Carey wrote:
Reports of my nonexistence are greatly exaggerated. ;-)

It's a trick! Carey and Pierce Watters are just evil sock puppets!

;-)

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Erik's right. This is the best Planet Stories book to date... and probably the most educational, to boot!


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber
Christopher Paul Carey wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:
Christopher Carey made a blog post??!??!?!?!
Reports of my nonexistence are greatly exaggerated. ;-) But seriously, yeah, it's been a while, and I'll be remedying that!

Glad to hear from you, Carey.


Manly Wade Wellman is a uniquely American voice. His writing has a style that is rural but never ever condescending that maybe finds its closest comparison in Clifford Simak. Wellman always wrote of the mountain folk with the greatest love and respect. They might be unschooled, but never ignorant fools. He used and added to North American folklore with hardly any European influence. In many ways I’ve always seen his Appalachia in the same way as I saw Burroughs Africa, a place that never was, but should have been. He also wrote quite a few stories with Native American characters that he also treated with great respect and portrayed with a dignity that was never maudlin.
The Silver John stories have the power to take you someplace that you will hate to leave. As a kid, when we would visit my grandparents down in NC, we would have to cross over the mountains from West Virginia, over Virginia and then down into NC. Interstate 77 wasn’t finished back then and we take 2 lane roads crossing over. This took 4 or 5 hours. You’d look out over forest that went as far as the eye could see, up, over, on and between the mountains and you’d think that ANYTHING could be out there. That’s exactly how the Silver John stories make me feel!

Take care.
Doug.
P.s.
Houses aint always houses and hounds aint always hounds


I just found this.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBVAaTDrn5Q

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

blog wrote:
5. Carl Kolchak ain't got nothin' on Silver John.

BLASPHEMY!

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
blog wrote:
5. Carl Kolchak ain't got nothin' on Silver John.
BLASPHEMY!

Yeah, I may have gone over the top with that one. But Silver John is a pretty darn good monster hunter. Apologies to Mr. Kolchak.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

This book is really, really good. If you buy only one Planet Stories book this year, first, you're crazy, but second, make it this one.

Also, Resnick's advice to read them one or two a day, instead of all at once? Great idea. Gives me something to look forward to every day :)


nullPlanet Stories Subscriber

Just got my copy today. Opened up the box when I arrived home from work, flipped through the Pathfinder goodies that came with it, then promptly read the forwards of this title. I'm really excited to give this a read. In fact, though it's currently 3:30 a.m. at the moment, I'll probably still read the first story or two before I go to sleep.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Glad you guys are digging this. Please keep checking in with your thoughts!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

Like a good meal, I'm done and satisfied, but wish there was just a bit more.

Andoran

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Glad you guys are digging this. Please keep checking in with your thoughts!

I'm also really enjoying this one... I've just begun and it's a real treat. I'm taking the advice in the introduction and I'm reading it slowly, one short story at the time.

The settings and the characters are fascinating and, as it has already been remarked, the writing is just beautiful.

Without the Planet Stories line, it's very likely that I would never have even heard about this book...


I did love this book. I think my favourite phrase was "things that don't have a hankering to be bothered" or words to that effect.

So much of the language made me think of Firefly, I'm not sure I can see anyone other than Captain Mal as SIlver John in my head.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Yay! People who want to talk WFTD.

I'm with you on all points, Nikos.

Jmidd: Appalachia in Space versus Appalachia in the Mythos?

I really hope PS gives us more MWW in the future. I've been trying to talk this book up and recommend it to folks. It deserves to be out there, and to give PS a real boost.


I concur with Mikaze. The image of a young Johnny Cash beating shoggoths and hounds of Tyndalos and night gaunts into submission with his guitar and his wits is a beautiful thing.

I also love how Silver John is a fairly obvious descendant of the Jack who also lived in the back country of the southern Appalachians, whose tales were recorded and brought to light by Richard Chase. In fact, they might even be the same man. Old Jack went off to war on one occasion when there was nothing better to do, and wound up serving in the army for a considerable long time. Maybe he went abroad for Korea as well.

Andoran

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I have a question about Evadare. In the last stories of the colletion she is no longer mentioned; does she appear in some of the novels or does she just quietly "disappear"?


No clue what happened to Evadare; I wondered about that, too.

I thought this was a fantastic book, although the couple of stories that veered a little towards science fiction (talking about E.S.P. or the expanding universe) seemed a little out of place, like Indiana Jones messing around with aliens instead of ancient artifacts.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

I'm pretty sure Evadare shows up in a couple of the Silver John novels Wellman wrote years after he did the short stories.


Nikosandros wrote:
I have a question about Evadare. In the last stories of the colletion she is no longer mentioned; does she appear in some of the novels or does she just quietly "disappear"?

Judging by the novels, after she and John got hitched they got a hoke place for themselves. John still wandered (not quite as much as before) and Evadare seemed happy enough to take care of the home & make some quilts and other things that she occasionally sold. I remember it being stated flat out in the novel The Hanging Stones that her quilts made more money than John's playing.

She also showed up in that novel and helped John save some people from a gang of angry (and rather pathetic) werewolves atop Teatray Mountain/

BTw, Mister Mona, no offense, but I was kinda of amused to see MWW's John stories described as 'literary'. Though that has more to do with the definition of 'literary' driven into me in high school than with the stories themselves, which are beautiful.


Ah... Finally got my copy, and quite enjoyed it.

I've already got copies of the stories, mind - I've been picking up whatever Silver John books come my way for years now, and I've got a really nice set of the stories of MWW that Nightshade put out in a lovely set of five leather-bound volumes.

But I can't lend that to others like I can lend this.

Thanks again for bringing more of MWW's wonderful work back to light, and I hope you continue to publish more of it.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

jcfiala wrote:

Ah... Finally got my copy, and quite enjoyed it.

I've already got copies of the stories, mind - I've been picking up whatever Silver John books come my way for years now, and I've got a really nice set of the stories of MWW that Nightshade put out in a lovely set of five leather-bound volumes.

But I can't lend that to others like I can lend this.

Thanks again for bringing more of MWW's wonderful work back to light, and I hope you continue to publish more of it.

Never fear, we are deep into production on Wellman's Battle in the Dawn: The Complete Hok the Mighty. I really enjoyed this one as well!

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