A Scent of New-Mown Hay

John F. Blackburn


The British thriller, replete with supernatural or science-fictional elements, had its heyday in the years just prior to WWII, when authors such as Walter S. Masterman, R.R. Ryan and others mixed genres and came up with truly memorable and unsettling results. In the late 1950s, the espionage novel, (with Ian Fleming’s James Bond as the standard bearer), was an international success, but horror fans had their own champion, John F. Blackburn. Starting with this present entry, Blackburn chronicled the adventures of General Kirk of the British Foreign Service in a series of novels that combined the tropes of science fiction, mystery, the occult, and most of all, bone-chilling horror. Borrowing liberally from the British eco-disaster novels of such masters of the form as John Wyndham, Blackburn laid bare the terrors of the Cold War for all to see.
      In this first outing, something is turning people into fungoid monstrosities, driven to kill; is the secret a new technology run amuck? The leftovers of a Nazi experiment finally come to fruition? Or something else entirely? Kirk and his staff have just a short time to learn the truth and seek a cure, if, in fact, a cure is possible. The plague has already destroyed a Russian village and appears that it is now active in England!
       Centipede Press is pleased to announce that we will be offering a selection of John F. Blackburn’s best novels, beginning, quite logically, with this, his first and progressing to cover the high points of his nearly forty-year career. This edition is limited to 200 copies, signed by introducer Guy N. Smith and legendary cover artist Gahan Wilson. Reserve your copy of this and its companion volume, Bury Him Darkly, today and receive matching numbers!

edition information

  • Limited to 200 copies, each signed by Guy N. Smith and Gahan Wilson.
  • Family-approved facsimile by John F. Blackburn.
  • New introduction by Guy N. Smith.
  • Gorgeous endpapers.
  • Full Dutch cloth with blind stamp on front board.
  • Ribbon marker, head and tail bands.
  • Bonus short story, “The Final Trick.”
  • Original book price: $45.
  • Published August 2017.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-189-0.