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Who Fears the Devil?—The Complete Silver John (Trade Paperback)

****½ (based on 5 ratings)

Our Price: $15.99

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by Manly Wade Wellman, with an introduction by Mike Resnick

There’s a traveling man that the Carolina mountain folk call Silver John for the silver strings strung on his guitar. In his wanderings, John encounters a parade of benighted forest creatures, mountain spirits, and shapeless horrors from the void of history with only his enduring spirit, playful wit, and the magic of his guitar to preserve him.

Manly Wade Wellman’s Silver John is one of the most beloved figures in fantasy, a true American folk hero of the literary age. The Planet Stories edition of Who Fears the Devil? collects—for the first time—all of John’s adventures published throughout Wellman’s life, including two stories about John before he got his silver-stringed guitar that have never previously appeared in a Silver John collection. Lost, out-of-print, or buried in expensive hardcover editions, the seminal, unforgettable tales of Who Fears the Devil? stand ready for a new generation to continue the folk tradition of Silver John!

Introduction by Mike Resnick (Stalking the Unicorn, Starship: Mutiny).

208-page softcover trade paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-188-6

Product Availability


Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO8024


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Product Discussion (54)
1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Howdy! It's me again!

I'm really delighted to see this back in print. I have the 1988 Baen collection JOHN THE BALLADEER, but I'm looking forward to acquiring the Paizo edition just for the hitherto uncollected pieces.

I know that the original edition of WHO FEARS THE DEVIL? includes a series of linking vignettes---which sort of serve to turn the whole into a picaresque "fix-up" novel. My Baen edition, however, takes these out of order and lumps them all together somewhere toward the back of the collection. Will the Paizo edition restore these linking vignettes to their original order?

Also, any chance we might one day see a Paizo reprint of the classic Wellman collection WORSE THINGS WAITING (Carcosa, 1973)? I know . . . I could just buy Night Shade's collected works of Wellman---but, dang, that runs into some dough, and especially so now that volume one is out of print and selling high!

Many thanks!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Jeremiah,

I'm not sure yet about the order, but we will be putting the vignettes in between the stories as they appeared in the earlier Gnome Press edition, not lumped together as in the Baen version.

I am not aware of the collection you mention, but I have already signed one other* collection, and am tentatively putting together another. In the last case, this is material that has _never_ been collected, so I'm particularly excited about it.

--Erik

* LOL. "One Other" is the title of a Silver John story!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I am fairly excited about this book. I had not heard of Manly Wade Wellman and Clark Ashton Smith and a number of other great horror, fantasy, scifi, etc authors until I started buying the 100 (two alliterative words) Stories that were available in the bargain racks at Barnes & Noble about a decade ago.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...Holy CRAP. Gentlemen, you've just guaranteed yourselves another chunk of my paycheck. :)

I want American folklore monsters in Golarion! Especially the gardinel.


Mr. Mona,

Out of curiosity, which versions of the older John stories are you going to reprint: the magazine/Baen/Nightshade Press versions, or the Arkham House versions? If I remember correctly, August Derleth asked Wellman to rewrite the stories a little, in order to link them together and make the collection feel more like a novel. Wellman complied, but didn't care too much for the results, preferring the more episodic feel of their original versions.

Interesting that you'll be collecting 'Frogfather' and 'Sin's Doorway' along with the core John stories. I think you'll be the first publisher of Wellman to do so. Personally, I can buy 'Frogfather' being a prequel, but the narrator in 'Sin's Doorway' doesn't really feel like John to me, put that's just my opinion.

Despite all ready owning a copy of Baen's John the Balladeer, I'll be picking up a copy of _Who Fears The Devil_. My personal opinion is that these are some of the most beautiful fantasies ever written, and Wellman deserves to be supported, and be granted a wider audience than what the small press can provide (this is not a knock on Nighshade - their Wellman Library is a truly beautiful thing, but the price point keeps it out of reach of the casual fan).

You've also mentioned that you're considering publishing more Wellman. Can you talk about it a bit? From your comments, I get the feeling that the Thunstone stories (with maybe the Pursuivant stories thrown in for good measure) are up next, and maybe after that Hok or Kardios (the latter series being one I've never read, but really would like to), since you said the third book would be something never collected before.

Hope you're having a good year.

Cheers,

Jeremy Harper


I just reread your announcement on the other Wellman collections, and I'm retracting my assumption on the next one being Thunstone/Pursuivant. Your comments make me think that it'll be Hok and Kardios collections up next. Hope I'm write.

Happy New Year,

Jeremy Harper

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Of the two additional Wellman books in the works, you're right about one of them. The other has NEVER been published in paperback before, to my knowledge.


I wonder, does the tag line "collects... all of John's adventures" imply that this volume contains the longer (novella- and novel-length) Silver John stories ("The Old Gods Waken," "The Lost and the Lurking," "The Hanging Stones," et al.)? Or are the short stories only collected? (And if the latter, do you have plans to publish the former at some point, and/or to change the tag line on this volume)?


this looks really interesting

iv heard of Mr wellman but iv never read his work so this is definetly on my books to buy list


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

...Holy CRAP. Gentlemen, you've just guaranteed yourselves another chunk of my paycheck. :)

I want American folklore monsters in Golarion! Especially the gardinel.

And the Toller, the Bammat, the Behinder, One Other, the Raven Mockers... Really, there's an embarassment of riches in Mister Wellman's stories.

Though that one idea he frequently uses probably wouldn't work very well (the one where a giant demon or whatever tries to buy the protagonist's loyalty by throwing ginat jewels at him. Your average players would just take the jewels and then go all Belkar Bitterleaf on the monster...).


J. Harper wrote:

I just reread your announcement on the other Wellman collections, and I'm retracting my assumption on the next one being Thunstone/Pursuivant. Your comments make me think that it'll be Hok and Kardios collections up next. Hope I'm write.

Happy New Year,

Jeremy Harper

Well, the Hok or Kardios tales WOULD fit in better with the whole 'heroic fantasy' slant of Planet Stories. Myself, I'd prefer Kardios the Minstrel. The Hok tales are good, but (for my money) marred by the 'scientific racism' of the time they were written -- though Wellman did use good Neanderthals in a Silver John novel, The Hanging Stones (which, come to think of it, could make a good plot for an adventure set in Darkmoon Vale).

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How much does this overlap/not overlap with the Nightshade collections? I have all of their Wellman hardbacks and it would be nice to know what's in this that I don't already have.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

It contains all of the stories from the Nightshade edition of "Owls Hoot in the Daytime" as well as the stories "Sin's Doorway" and "The Frogfather." I know "Sin's Doorway' was in one of the other Nightshade hardcovers, but I don't know for sure about "Frogfather".


Oh, I'm so there, and I've got the Nightshade editions. :) But it'll be cool to have a paperback copy I can carry around, my old paperback is all frayed.

Any chance you'll do some of his Silver John novels as well?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mrs Snorter just saw me tidying up my e-books, and saw 'The Devil's Asteroid', and told me she loved Mr Wellman, which was a surprise to me.I found this thread, to show her she's not alone.
She loves 'School for the Unspeakable', but I believe that is a different protagonist.


jcfiala wrote:
Any chance you'll do some of his Silver John novels as well?

Yes, please! Shipping for used copies from Amazon 3rd party sources is eating me alive!


Erik Mona wrote:

It contains all of the stories from the Nightshade edition of "Owls Hoot in the Daytime" as well as the stories "Sin's Doorway" and "The Frogfather." I know "Sin's Doorway' was in one of the other Nightshade hardcovers, but I don't know for sure about "Frogfather".

I think they had Frogfather in the collection titled "The Devil Is Not Mocked". And let me add another vote for reprints of the Wellman novels about John the Balladeer and John Thunstone.


Eric is right. "The Frogfather" is in the second volume of Nightshades Wellman.


Silver John has long been a favorite of mine. Long meaning I first discovered Silver John 40 years ago in junior high! I'm looking forward to adding this new edition of Wellman's wonderful works to my library!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Let me add that I am really looking forward to this, give me some Appalachian folklore.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

This is, without doubt, my favorite Planet Stories book we've ever published. At least until Before They Were Giants comes out. :)


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Placeholder art? I read through but didn't see anything one way or the other.

Paizo Employee Developer

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Placeholder art? I read through but didn't see anything one way or the other.

Looks like a final image to me. That's not the picture we've been seeing for this one up to this point, and also isn't repurposed from any other Paizo source that I've seen.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I think you're right, Y8MH.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I think you're right, Y8MH.

It's the final cover. (Usually, I put them up and leave notes, but Ross put up this one this morning.)

Paizo Employee Developer

Ross should totally do that for Realm of the Fellnight Queen, too.


Wow! That final cover is like a zillion times better than the placeholder was. It not only accurately depicts the story and character, but it beautifully captures the pulp look of the time period.

Kudos!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Wow! That final cover is like a zillion times better than the placeholder was. It not only accurately depicts the story and character, but it beautifully captures the pulp look of the time period.

Kudos!

Ok, that cover alone makes me want to play a bard.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Wow! That final cover is like a zillion times better than the placeholder was. It not only accurately depicts the story and character, but it beautifully captures the pulp look of the time period.

Kudos!

Thanks! And yeah, placeholder art is never commissioned - it's just cobbled together from other images we already have. So while you can totally judge a book by its cover, it's generally best to wait until we've shipped to the printer and the cover's been updated. ;)


Oi! Devil - where in H*ll's my copy of this epic? I first tried to get a copy of this book (via Diamond Comic distributors) two summers ago. I was assured 2 weeks delivery. 2 weeks went by and I got a call that there was another week delay. No one called back. Afer a week I checked my sales agent (Chapter bookstore Toronto). Apparently the publisher had run out of copies & wasn't going to print more until demand was right - and they had forgotten to tell me. One birthday gift ruined...
This year, pre-order ads for the new version came out on Amazon Canada last fall for a Decmber 9 release. I immediately pre-ordered for Christmas. Dec. 9 became Dec. 14. Now they say it's due out in January. One Christmas gift ruined.
I've loved these stories since I first read them in High School. Admit it - this is all a conspiracy to destoy my faith in technology, right?


And since I wrote the last post (6 hrs. ago) it's turned to March 10. If it wasn't such a hassle, I'd want my money back. What gives?

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Mr. Sleazoid wrote:
And since I wrote the last post (6 hrs. ago) it's turned to March 10. If it wasn't such a hassle, I'd want my money back. What gives?

Sorry about that - we've been waiting on final interior illustrations, which have taken a lot longer than expected, as well as some other issues with this line and the others that cost us time. It should ship to the printer any day now, which means that date's extremely unlikely to get pushed back.

All I can say is that s~&* happens, and we're doing the best we can. We want this book out as much as you do, for reasons both personal and professional. Thanks for understanding.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Mr. Sleazoid wrote:
Oi! Devil - where in H*ll's my copy of this epic? I first tried to get a copy of this book (via Diamond Comic distributors) two summers ago. I was assured 2 weeks delivery. 2 weeks went by and I got a call that there was another week delay. No one called back. Afer a week I checked my sales agent (Chapter bookstore Toronto). Apparently the publisher had run out of copies & wasn't going to print more until demand was right - and they had forgotten to tell me. One birthday gift ruined...

I'm a little bit confused here. Are you talking about a different collection from another publisher? This particular collection has never been in print, and hadn't even been announced two summers ago. We first announced this book in October 2008, with a scheduled release date of July 2009. However, that was when Planet Stories was a monthly line; when we shifted it to bimonthly, all of the announced books spread out a bit, and that moved this book to December. As James mentioned, delays with the art have since moved it back further.


wow awesome cover guys best book cover iv seen in a long time


Hi. (Happy 2010 - sorry for the holdup). The publisher of the last collection (vs. the distributor) was Nightshade Books. It was part of the Selected Stories of Manley Wade Wellman series. I forget which volume - since I last checked, the title's apparently become unavaliable on Amazon! (Creeping Paranoi!) There's several volumes of his other Southern supernatural tales still avaliable from that publisher. However, yours looks awesome, with kind of cover you break out on the subway to impress people. ( Incidentally,more wierdness - how come there's four reviews of this book on Amazon, dating back to 1998?)


Mr. Sleazoid wrote:
Hi. (Happy 2010 - sorry for the holdup). The publisher of the last collection (vs. the distributor) was Nightshade Books. It was part of the Selected Stories of Manley Wade Wellman series. I forget which volume - since I last checked, the title's apparently become unavaliable on Amazon! (Creeping Paranoi!) There's several volumes of his other Southern supernatural tales still avaliable from that publisher. However, yours looks awesome, with kind of cover you break out on the subway to impress people. ( Incidentally,more wierdness - how come there's four reviews of this book on Amazon, dating back to 1998?)

The reviews on Amazon refer to previous editions of the book. In the 1960's there was a collection of some of Wellman's Silver John stories also titled WHO FEARS THE DEVIL? Then in 1988 Baen published the collection JOHN THE BALLADEER which contained all the stories of the previous collection, plus all the uncollected Silver John stories as well. The Night Shade edition OWLS HOOT IN THE DAYTIME was basically a reprint of the Baen paperback, albeit leather bound and very special.

Now the Paizo edition is due out soon, and it looks to be not only the first popular edition since Baen's but possibly the best yet. I already own the Baen and Night Shade editions, but I'll definitely be snapping this one up.

Love, love, LOVE the new cover by the way. Like your reprints of Brackett's Eric John Stark stories, this cover offers one of the best renditions of Wellman's hero I've seen.

I'd love to see Paizo reprint all five of Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John novels. Any chance in that happening? Please?


Jackanaples wrote:
I'd love to see Paizo reprint all five of Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John novels. Any chance in that happening? Please?

Pretty please? With sugar on top? I'd buy them for sure.


There's a cycle of folktales, also from the Carolina mountain country, called the "Jack Tales." They were first written down and made known outside of the oral tradition by Richard Chase, who collected them as part of a folklore project for the federal government during the New Deal. I'd be very curious to know if the Silver John stories are at all related to the old tales... the old ones certainly make for good source material!


A question about the cover art: am I wrong, or is that scene taken directly from the Dry Bones story, where John foolishly sings a mountain gospel tune over some 'dry bones' he helps locals bury... only to find out that you really shouldn't ask, even in jest, for man-eating ogres to be restored to life?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jackanaples wrote:
I'd love to see Paizo reprint all five of Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John novels. Any chance in that happening? Please?
Pretty please? With sugar on top? I'd buy them for sure.

Seconded.


Marusaia wrote:
There's a cycle of folktales, also from the Carolina mountain country, called the "Jack Tales." They were first written down and made known outside of the oral tradition by Richard Chase, who collected them as part of a folklore project for the federal government during the New Deal. I'd be very curious to know if the Silver John stories are at all related to the old tales... the old ones certainly make for good source material!

There's probably a connection, as Manly Wade Wellman lived in the Ozarks for many years and was a close friend of the famed Ozark folklorist Vance Randolph.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Woo-hoo! My shipment is on its way!


Does anyone have this book yet? I preordered mine through Amazon months ago. The book is supposed to be out and at least Mairkurion's is en route to him. I've yet to receive mine.

Is the book actually out yet? Has there been another delay?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Jackanaples wrote:

Does anyone have this book yet? I preordered mine through Amazon months ago. The book is supposed to be out and at least Mairkurion's is en route to him. I've yet to receive mine.

Is the book actually out yet? Has there been another delay?

Reading through it slowly but surely. I do find it enjoyable and am increasing an unusual vocabulary. Though now I need to find Old Nathan.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Yes, after a period I can only refer to as "The Great Wait," my sub copy arrived. Once I finish the last story in the first Imaro book, I'm going to start reading this, although I've decided to take the "read it slowly, one story at a time" advice.

EDIT: Is Old Nathan the Mercedes Lackey book?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jackanaples wrote:

Does anyone have this book yet? I preordered mine through Amazon months ago. The book is supposed to be out and at least Mairkurion's is en route to him. I've yet to receive mine.

Is the book actually out yet? Has there been another delay?

Book is out, but Amazon is notoriously slow about getting new Paizo products in. Right now it lists as "Ships in 2 to 4 weeks" on Amazon, I believe.


Mairkurion, OLD NATHAN is a novel by David Drake that was inspired by, and dedicated to his friend Manly Wade Wellman.

It was published by Baen, though I think it's out of print now. It's easy to find cheap in used bookstores though.

Oh, and thanks very much everyone for the response to my question. Guess I just have to wait...


Matthew Morris wrote:
Jackanaples wrote:

Does anyone have this book yet? I preordered mine through Amazon months ago. The book is supposed to be out and at least Mairkurion's is en route to him. I've yet to receive mine.

Is the book actually out yet? Has there been another delay?

Reading through it slowly but surely. I do find it enjoyable and am increasing an unusual vocabulary. Though now I need to find Old Nathan.

Just so you know, Old Nathan was reprinted together with a short novel and the complete Hogben stories by Kuttner by Baen a few years back. The title was something like Mountain Magic, and it's a very worthwhile purchase.


That's what I like about the recent Conan collection: the fact that they are presented chronologically as published rather than in-world chronological order.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Jackanaples wrote:

Does anyone have this book yet? I preordered mine through Amazon months ago. The book is supposed to be out and at least Mairkurion's is en route to him. I've yet to receive mine.

Is the book actually out yet? Has there been another delay?

Reading through it slowly but surely. I do find it enjoyable and am increasing an unusual vocabulary. Though now I need to find Old Nathan.
Just so you know, Old Nathan was reprinted together with a short novel and the complete Hogben stories by Kuttner by Baen a few years back. The title was something like Mountain Magic, and it's a very worthwhile purchase.

I also found it in Baen's free library online. Good to know.

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