Fantasy author Manly Wade Wellman was born on this date (May 21) in 1903. Wellman isn’t as well known today as he used to be, and should be, but he has a devoted group of fans. (I include myself in that number.) I’ve looked at some of it here, here, and here.
Wellman is best known for stories that incorporate the lore and legends of the Appalachian states. Of these, the John the Balladeer stories are the best known. They concern a wandering minstrel in the mountains.
Wellman was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction work Rebel Boast. He also beat out William Faulkner in 1946 for the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Award. Faulkner didn’t take it well.
Night Shade Books publshed a five volume set of Wellman’s short fiction. The volumes are long out of print and highly sought after today. Haffner Press publsihed a complete collection of the John Thunstone occult detective stories in 2012. They quickly went out of print. Wellman’s works are somewhat available. Prices can vary widely.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to read some of his work.