Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I didn’t know that I didn’t know
The other day I made a comment to a post on Propnomicon’s blog site. It was about a neat prop pen made from a bone and steel nib. Anyway, I got thinking about Peter Saxon and the series of books he wrote about a group called Guardians who protected the world against sorcery and black magic. I had read several of his works back in the 1970s but just didn’t know much about the author.
I was surprised to find out that there was no author by the name of Peter Saxon and that it was a house name. That is to say, it was a pseudonym used by a variety of authors writing a series of books issued by a publisher. From what I could find Peter Saxon was actually, W. Howard Baker (who was also known as W. A. Ballinger) Rex Dolphin, Stephen D. Francis, Wilfred McNeilly, Ross Richards, and Martin Thomas. Not all of these authors wrote books for the Guardian series, but did publish through the same house.
Here is a list of books that appear under the house name Peter Saxon although not all of these were of the horror genre nor of the Guardians series. A few of them were made into movies such as The Disorientated Man, which came out as Scream and Scream Again with Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing. How can you beat that combination! Black Honey and Corruption were also made into films, although I haven’t seen them:
The Curse of Rathlaw
Dark Ways to Death
The Haunting of Alan Mais
The Killing Bone
Through the Dark Curtain
The Vampires of Finistere
The Disoriented Man
Other titles by Peter Saxon, but not horror
The Enemy Sky
The Warring Sky
The Unfeeling Sky
Panky in Love
I read the Killing Bone back in the 1970s as well as Dark Ways to Death and Satan’s Child, but I understand The Vampires of Finistere and The Curse of Rathlaw are some of the best of the Guardians Series. I suggest to Call of Cthulhu RPGers that these Guardian series books by Peter Saxon would be good scenario ideas for a game master. While doing research I was utterly horrified (pun intended) to find no Wikipedia entry for Peter Saxon. I hope some enterprising fan of detective horror fiction would type up an article.