Devil Daddy

John F. Blackburn


Elsie Kerr has been beaten badly, raped and left for dead. She begins running a remarkably high fever, and the doctors believe that her condition may be the result of exposure to an as-yet-unknown but particularly virulent strain of bacteria. Considerably out of their depth, leading bacteriologist Sir Marcus Levin is invited to consult on the case and that’s when the real horror begins…In a moment of consciousness Elsie singles out none other than Sir Marcus himself as her attacker; pointing at him and screaming “Devil Daddy!” before lapsing back into unconsciousness, during which time she inexplicably begins to age at such a rapid rate that a healthy young woman becomes a feeble old crone in a matter of hours.
      Sir Marcus is in a quandary. In order to properly investigate this mysterious malady, he needs to be mobile, but there is absolutely no doubt that he has been exposed to whatever it was that took Elsie Kerr! Making matters even more difficult is the fact that Sir Marcus needs to clear his name with the skeptics, who invariably make an appearance after the story breaks on the evening news. Of course, there are no pertinent details of any real use available yet, but rumor and innuendo are more than enough to inflame a mob of fundamentalists already whispering among themselves of witchcraft, alien invasion and the like.
      To make matters even worse, Sir Marcus’ close friend, General Charles Kirk of British Intelligence, is unavailable to assist. As it turns out, the horrible truths that are ultimately revealed are far, far worse than the gathering crowd or even Sir Marcus could begin to imagine…
      Originally published in 1972, Devil Daddy is a prime example of John Blackburn at the very height of his prowess as an author of weird fiction. Indeed, from 1966 through 1976 we find Blackburn at his most creative, with novels deftly mixing science fictional elements with blood-chilling horror. In the annals of horror fiction, Blackburn’s only real comparison is Walter S. Masterman, whose amazing thrillers such as The Flying Beast and The Border Line entertained readers in the 1930s and 1940s. Devil Daddy has it all, from the possible threat of biological weaponry to Satanic conspiracies dating back to antiquity, to the making of an actual snuff film and even a cannibalistic ritual. Blackburn piles horror upon horror, but always with a deft sense of pacing that allows the reader to keep up with the madness unfolding before his eyes.
       Centipede Press is proud to release this third volume in our series of John Blackburn’s greatest works. Limited to 200 copies, signed by both introducer Simon Clark and legendary cover artist Gahan Wilson, you can order this and Children of the Night and receive matching numbers!

edition information

  • Limited to 200 copies, each signed by Simon Clark and Gahan Wilson.
  • Family-approved facsimile signature by John F. Blackburn.
  • New introduction by Simon Clark.
  • Full Dutch cloth with blind stamp on front board.
  • Ribbon marker, head and tail bands.
  • Bonus short story, “Dad.”
  • Original book price: $45.
  • Published February 2018.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-192-0.