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Vintage Treasures: Thirteen Tales of Terror by Jack London

Saturday, December 30th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Thirteen Tales of Terror Jack London-small Thirteen Tales of Terror Jack London-back-small

I haven’t read much Jack London. He’s most famous of course for his novels of the Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild and White Fang, which are outside my field of speciality. But he also dabbled a bit in the genre, both at novel length (with his dystopian science fiction novel The Iron Heel) and especially with his short stories, which were routinely reprinted in places like Famous Fantastic Mysteries and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He had one posthumous SF collection, The Science Fiction Stories of Jack London (1993), a 211-page volume from Citadel Twilight.

But I’m more interested in his tales of terror, which include stories of death ships, spectres, the mysterious arctic, enormous wolves, and stranger things. Most of London’s tales of adventure were gathered in collections like Son of the Wolf (1900) and Children of the Frost (1902), but his supernatural fiction remained largely uncollected until it was gathered in Curious Fragments: Jack London’s Tales of Fantasy Fiction, a small press hardcover from Kennikat Press in 1975.

Three years later some of his most popular supernatural stories, like “A Thousand Deaths” (from The Black Cat, May 1899), and “Even Unto Death” (San Francisco Evening Post Magazine, 1900) were published in paperback for the first time, with several of London’s tales of suspense, in Thirteen Tales of Terror (Popular Library), edited and with an introduction by John Perry. Here’s a photo of the intriguing story teasers from the inside front cover.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Thirteen Tales of Terror Jack London inside cover-small

Curious Fragments Jack LondonAnd here’s the complete Table of Contents of Thirteen Tales of Terror.

Introduction by John Perry
“A Thousand Deaths” (The Black Cat, May 1889)
“The White Silence” (Overland Monthly, February 1899)
“In a Far Country” (Overland Monthly, June 1899)
“Even Unto Death” (San Francisco Evening Post Magazine, July 28, 1900)
“The Man with the Gash” (McClure’s Magazine, September 1900)
“The One Thousand Dozen” (The National Magazine, March 1903)
“Bâtard” (The Cosmopolitan, June 1902)
“The Dominant Primordial Beast” (excerpt from The Call of the Wild, serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, June 2 – July 18, 1903)
“The Death of Ligoun” (from the collection Children of the Frost, 1902)
“Keesh, the Son of Keesh” (Ainslee’s Magazine, September 1902)
“In the Forests of the North” (Pearson’s Magazine, September 1902)
“The God of His Fathers” (McClure’s Magazine, May 1901)
The Sea Wolf (excerpt; novel serialized in The Century Magazine, January-November 1904)

Thirteen Tales of Terror was edited by John Perry and published by Popular Library in July 1978. It is 255 pages, priced at $2.25. The cover artist is uncredited.

I bought my copy for $2 at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Show here in Chicago, but copies show up on eBay from time to time, usually priced at around cost of a modern paperback or less.

See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.

3 Comments »

  1. London went to the city of London’s East End in the summer of 1902 and lived amongst the poorest of English society, writing a book about it titled ‘The People of the Abyss. It’s a classic examination of life among the destitute.

    Guy did his research!

    Comment by Bob Byrne - December 31, 2017 7:47 am

  2. Wow! Never heard that story. Thanks for sharing that, Bob.

    Comment by John ONeill - December 31, 2017 12:17 pm

  3. Great cover, great collection. There was a brief flurry of animals attack paperbacks after the success of the JAWS movie in 1975. That is covered in PAPERBACKS FROM HELL.

    Comment by docpod - January 1, 2018 11:43 am


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