Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Complete John Thunstone

Learned yesterday that Haffner Press will be bringing out a volume collecting all of Manly Wade Wellman's John Thunstone stories, including the two Thunstone novels, What Dreams May Come and School of Darkness. Though I already own all of this stuff in various other volumes, you can bet I'll be picking up a copy. Partly to support the project so there will be more Wellman reprints for everyone to enjoy, and partly because I just like to have everything in one handy place. (And probably partly because I have the collector mentality which says I must have every edition of a favorite writer's work, but we won't speculate on that.)
If you're not familiar with Thunstone, he was one of Wellman's occult detectives, and he did battle with vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, and Wellman's pre-human race, the Shonokins. Terrific stuff. Though there have been a couple of other collections of the Thunstone stories, this will be the first complete one.
Anyway, I was very impressed with Haffner's Henry Kuttner collection Terror in the House, so I'm looking forward to the Thunstone collection. Here's the table of contents and a link to Haffner Press. Check em out.

The Third Cry to Legba  Weird Tales Nov ’43
The Golden Goblins  Weird Tales Jan ’44
Hoofs Weird Tales Mar ’44
The Letters of Cold Fire  Weird Tales May ’44
John Thunstone’s Inheritance  Weird Tales Jul ’44
Sorcery from Thule  Weird Tales Sep ’44
The Dead Man’s Hand  Weird Tales Nov ’44
Thorne on the Threshold  Weird Tales Jan ’45
The Shonokins  Weird Tales Mar ’45
Blood from a Stone  Weird Tales May ’45
The Dai Sword  Weird Tales Jul ’45
Twice Cursed  Weird Tales Mar ’46
Shonokin Town  Weird Tales Jul ’46
The Leonardo Rondache  Weird Tales Mar ’48
The Last Grave of Lill Warran  Weird Tales May ’51
Rouse Him Not  Kadath Jul ’82
What Dreams May Come, Doubleday 1983
The School of Darkness, Doubleday 1985


Riju said...

Really good news, esp. regarding those two novels, since they were not present in the Night Shade Press volumes.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Agreed, Riju. The novels aren't in Carcosa's Lonely Vigils either, so this will be the first time all the Thunstone stuff is in one volume. We may be seeing a Wellman revival here, which would be great.

Riju said...

Why & how good competent story-tellers like Wellman go out-of-print while all sorts of rubbish keep crowding the market, shall remain an enigma. But a revival of his works would be really good even for emerging idea-starved writers.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

An excellent point. I was telling a friend that what amazes me as I read the stories in the Valley So Low, is the wealth of original ideas. Things I've never seen anywhere before or since. Wellman was that kind of writer.

Anonymous said...


I just came across your blog for the first time, and the first thing I see is your news of the upcoming Haffner Press John Thunstone collection! That's wonderful news, even for those of us (like me..)who already have the contents in other formats. I'm particularly pleased to see the 1980s novels reprinted - again, I have them already, but I imagine many enthusiasts don't- I don't believe that either "What Dreams May Come" or "School of Darkness" ever had a pb edition.

Coming so soon after the Planet Stories "Hok" collection and "Who Fears the Devil" reprint,this is a Wellman fan's dream come true! Dare we now hope for a long-overdue collection of some of MWW's better science fiction?

Best regards - Mark Cannon

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Good news indeed, Mark. Seems like a rediscovery of Wellman's work is gaining momentum, so we'll hope for more collections to come.

James said...

I to am estatic that they are publishing the complete works of John Thunstone. I am glad that you get the complete series for 40 dollars. I don't know when in April the books will be published but I must be patient and wait. I need to contact the publisher and see if the book includes inside illustration as did lonely vigils. I find it interesting that the more action oriented character like Thunstone did not make it as big as Silver John, all Thunstone ever got was his stories and 1 episode of Monsters The "Rouse Him Not"story was not exact but was based on it While John's stories made it to paperback I beleive as of this missive a graphic novel 1 movie and I beleive a Twilight Zone episode or episodes. Well blog me back and keep your copy of Long Lost Friends handy

Charles R. Rutledge said...

James, yes it's quite a good deal to get the complete stories and novels of John Thunstone at such a good price. I also have wondered why John the Balladeer was so much more popular than Thunstone, and the only thing I can conclude is that the other John's adventures were so new and different. Thunstone moved in the same circles as other supernatural sleuths like Jules de Grandin and Carnacki, where as John, with his folksy Mountain adventures was more original in concept and execution. However, as you note, Thunstone was much more an action hero, fighting hand to hand and using his sword. In several of the stories he kills people, and Wellman even mentions that he's not much bothered by killing when it has to be done. Very different from John the Balladeer.