The Doctor is In

John Silence, Physician Extraordinary

by Algernon Blackwood, 1908

While the John Silence stories might be the victim of the writing style of the Edwardian era, the character of John Silence is not. As a hero he is admirable. He uses his brain and his psychic abilities, not his fists and not a gun. I can't help but compare "Ancient Sorceries" to HP Lovecraft's "Shadow Over Innsmouth". As Lovecraft was a fan of Blackwood's, I have no doubt that "Innsmouth" was a redo or updating of "Sorceries". It's all there, the realization that the town is filled with cultists in animal form, the nocturnal rituals, even the escape. But Lovecraft wisely realized that seafood is scarier than cats! But don't think the John Silence stories are in need of improvement. They are unique in the annals of weird fiction.

The doctor will be back.

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