F. Paul Wilson is an American author of fiction working in a variety of genres, including horror, science fiction, medical thrillers, mainstream, young adult, and some stuff that’s hard to categorize. Wilson is, or at least was, a physician with a family practice although I have no idea if he still practices today.
Wilson sold some of his earliest fiction to Analog in 1970 while he was still in medical school. His first novel Healer was published in 1986 – a science fiction story that went on to be included in a series of books he wrote about his fictional creation, the LaNague Federation. His writing grew out of an early appreciation for the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Heinlein.
My personal introduction to Wilson’s works was his 1981 horror novel The Keep, which kicked off The Adversary Cycle. The second book of the Adversary Cycle crossed over to kick off yet another series of his which was quite successful – The Tomb, book two in the Adversary Cycle, is also book one in the Repairman Jack series, which follows Jack, anti-hero extraordinaire, through a series of adventures that eventually circle back to end where they began. The final book in the Adversary Cycle, Night World, is also the final book in the Repairman Jack series.
I really enjoyed The Keep after I read it and kept my eye out for more of his horror works. Wilson was definitely an author of the higher order in the 1980s. I think comparisons to genre-giants of the era were justified. He became very successful with his fiction, authoring over fifty books, several of which were New York Times Bestsellers. One of my personal favorites by him, in addition to The Keep, was his short story collection, Soft and Others, which collected tales originally published in Analog, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Masques, Night Cry, Weird Tales, Whispers, and others.
His work has been adapted to the screen a few times. The Keep was made into a film in 1983; I personally liked it but others’ mileage may vary. He wrote a teleplay for Richard P. Rubenstein’s Monsters series, “Glim-Glim,” which was produced in 1989, and Dario Argento adapted Wilson’s short story “Pelts” for Mick Garris’s Masters of Horror series in 2006. Wilson lives in New Jersey.
To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.
These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.