1912


Pan’s Garden: A stunning collection from “The Ghost Man”

Pan’s Garden by Algernon Blackwood

By the time the renowned British writer Algernon Blackwood released his first collection of short stories, The Empty House, in 1906, he was already 37 years old and had led a life as full of adventure and incident as anyone you might possibly name. He had already worked as a dairy farmer and hotel operator in Canada, gone prospecting for gold in Alaska, been a bartender, and worked as a NYC reporter for The Evening Sun, among other things; occupations that would go to make good material for his 1923 autobiography Episodes Before Thirty. As the new century got under way, Blackwood, long interested in Buddhism, philosophy and the supernatural, joined several occult societies, including The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. His love of nature compelled him to... Read More

The Scarlet Plague: Jack London makes London Magazine

The Scarlet Plague by Jack London

Editor's note: Because it's in the public domain, it's easy to find an inexpensive electronic copy of this book.

By the time Jack London released his post-apocalyptic novel The Scarlet Plague in 1912, the author was 36 years old — just four years shy of his premature passing in 1916 — and yet had already managed to cram in more incident and adventure into those three dozen years than most folks do in their lifetime. Since his birth in San Francisco in 1876, he had worked on a sealing schooner, done a stint as an oyster pirate, participated in the Klondike Gold Rush (in 1897), played the part of a war correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War (1904), operated a ranch, been married twice, and had released over 100 short stories and a dozen novels, including, of course, ... Read More

The Night Land: Quite gripping

The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

William Hope Hodgson's epic novel The Night Land was chosen for inclusion in James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock's Fantasy: The 100 Best Books, and yet in this overview volume's sister collection, Horror: 100 Best Books, Stephen Jones and Kim Newman surprisingly declare the novel to be "unreadable."... Read More

The Book of Wonder: Dunsany is an excellent stylist

The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany

Geek that I am, I actually read The Book of Wonder to prepare for the Tolkien Professor’s Faerie & Fantasy podcast seminar that covers the book. I am rather conflicted about Lord Dunsany in general and this book in particular. After finishing the first half I found that The Book of Wonder more or less confirmed my initial impressions of Dunsany gathered when I first read The Hashish Man and Other Stories many years ago; namely, that while Dunsany is an excellent prose stylist and creator of many arresting images, in his short tales there is still something missing. The missing elements are pretty major: plot and character. Of the first few stories only “The Bride of the Man-Horse” and “Miss Cubbidge and the Dragon of Roma... Read More