Low Res Scan: The Watcher by the Threshold, ed. Christpher Roden and Barbara Roden, 2005, 2012.
John Buchan wrote a lot of books including The Law Relating to the Taxation of Foreign Income, histories of the First World War, an acclaimed biography of the Marquis Montrose, and numerous novels, and, of course, the Richard Hannay series. The latter’s first two installments, The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle, have seen numerous radio, tv, and film adaptations and, along with Erskine Childers The Riddle of the Sands, are the progenitors of the modern espionage novel. A lot of Buchan remains in print today.
But he also wrote a lot of weird and fantastic fiction, even a couple of pieces of science fiction, and was a fan of Edgar Allan Poe. In 1911, when he worked for a publisher putting out an edition of Poe stories, he said Poe showed
all around us the shadowy domain of the back-world, and behind our smug complacency the shrieking horror of the unknown.
That could stand in as a description for some Buchan works of the fantastic. And, writing to a friend early in his literary career, he said the short story was his “real form”.Continue reading “The Watcher by the Threshold, Part 1: Scotland”