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John the Balladeer


Manly Wade Wellman was one of the most successful fantasy and SF writers of the '30s and '40s. His SF was generally of a juvenile nature, popular at the time but of limited interest today. His fantasy, however, was thoroughly adult. While Lovecraft and Howard were writing, Manly was in the second rank of Weird Tales authors; after they died, he became one of the magazine's mainstays.

Despite the high quality of his earlier fantasies, Manly didn't really hit his stride in the field until in 1949 appeared The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fictiona digest magazine which would publish fantasy of the highest literary quality. For F&SF Manly created John the Balladeer, drawing on his existing knowledge of folk music and folklore and his growing love of the North Carolina mountains.

The stories of John the Balladeer are some of the best American fantasies ever written. They were powerful influences on me before I moved to North Carolina and met Manly; and it was in conscious and deliberate awareness of them that I wrote Old Nathan as my homage and memorial to my friend after his death.

 David Drake



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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, July 1988

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN: 0-671-65418-7

Copyright 1988 by Manly Wade Wellman

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471
http://www.baen.com

Production by Windhaven Press
Auburn, NH

Electronic version by WebWrights
http://www.webwrights.com


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