David F. Case

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David F. Case
Born 1937
New York, U.S.
Occupation novelist, short story writer
Nationality U.S.
Genre horror, Fantasy, Western fiction

David F. Case (born 1937) is an American writer of short stories and novelist.


David F. Case was born on December 22, 1937, in upstate New York. He spends much of his time in either London or Greece. Outside of the horror genre, Case has written over 300 books under at least 17 different pseudonyms, ranging from porn to Westerns. What is less known is that Case has been a full-time writer all his life. As of 1977, Mike Ashley In "Who's Who In Horror And Fantasy Fiction" states that Case has written about 300 'porn' novels.

David Case's first collection, The Cell: Three Tales of Horror appeared in 1969. It was followed by the novels Fengriffen: A Chilling Tale, Wolf Tracks and The Third Grave.

David Case has not devoted much of his output in writing horror literature throughout the course of his career. Most of his writing as of 1986 consisted of modern pulp westerns and soft-porn novels under a variety of pseudonyms.

In his first collection The Cell: Three Tales of Horror, the title story may appear to be a modern take on The Wolf Man - like Larry Talbot, the narrator has to be locked upon the appropriate nights - but his nature is only a very gradually revealed and remains ambiguous to the end.

In Fengriffen, Case brilliantly reinvents the Gothic, and with commendable succinctness. He begins with a nod to Poe, that great moderniser of the mode, and proceeds to develop his tale along the lines of psychological enquiry Poe pioneered but follows them where Poe might never have dreamed they would lead. In other ways too he's ahead of the game: the tale precedes the systematic development of erotic horror fiction by some years.

Case, labeled a classicist by his colleague and friend Ramsey Campbell, uses graphic imagery to convey directly as possible what the character feels. His work, as in The Hunter, prefigures the early novels of David Morrell by several years.

Case seemed to have vanished from the horror field for a decades time after the publication of Fengriffen. In 1980, he returned to seed the wasteland of the paperback original with his werewolf variation Wolf Tracks, and the following year Arkham House graced its list with The Third Grave, David's illuminating take on the mummy and the zombie. Almost twenty years were to pass before his readers were to be treated with another Case collection, Brotherly Love.

His collection Brotherly Love and Other Tales of Faith and Knowledge was published by Pumpkin Books in the late 90's.

His novel Fengriffen was adapted into the film And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973) by director Roy Ward Baker for Hammer Films' rival Amicus Productions. A Gothic melodrama involving an ancient curse, vengeful spirits and an unconvincing crawling hand (left over from Dr. Terror's House of Horrors almost a decade earlier). Despite the low budget, the impressive cast included such renowned British actors as Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, Ian Ogilvy and Guy Rolfe, along with early roles for Frank Finlay and Michael Elphink. His classic werewolf thriller The Hunter was adapted into an ABC-TV movie called Scream of the Wolf (1974) directed by Dan Curtis. It starred Peter Graves and Clint Walker as two macho friends, one of whom was a werewolf. It did no justice to its source material.

Meanwhile his first Western, Plumb Drillin', which was originally set to be a movie starring Steve McQueen before the actor's untimely death in 1980.

David Case has one unpublished novel in need of a home with a publishing house. The novel is called The Thing That Raped Women. A copy of the typescript bearing that title can be found in the Ramsey Campbell archive in the Sydney Jones Library at the University of Liverpool.

UPDATE: It turns out that "Jimmy" by David Case is in actuality the same story dubbed by Ramsey Campbell as "The thing that raped women." There are two versions of "Jimmy" in existence. The first appeared in Case's collection Brotherly Love, and the original longer alternative manuscript that originally got lost in transit appears in By Moonlight Only. The version of "Jimmy" in '"Brotherly Love"' is the version that Case had written entirely from memory due to having lost the original manuscript. Once the lost manuscript miraculously turned up, the alternative version of the story saw print.

Originally titled Brotherly Love & Other Tales of Trust and Knowledge with consultation by Case's repeat anthologist Stephen Jones, boasting a superb dust-jacket by Les Edwards, and loving introduction scribed by friend Ramsey Campbell; Case's first collection in thirty years saw print in 1999 with some publishing error. Unfortunately, because of problems with the publisher (not least, the mis-titling of the book as Brotherly Love & Other Tales of Faith and Knowledge on the cover!) the book was consigned to relative obscurity. The title tale is in his best Gothic vein, dark with obsessive detail, eloquent with symbolism, witty in its reworking of tropes the alert reader will recognize. The Ogre of the Cleft derives considerable power not only from reversing the conventions of both the fairy tale and sword and sorcery, but also from a favorite Case theme - the savagery that underlies all civilization, the eruption of the natural order.

David Case's powerful zombie novella "Pelican Cay" in Dark Terrors 5 was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2001. Pelican Cay proved to be a summation of all his key themes.

David Case will be a guest of honor at the World Horror Convention taking place in Brighton England in 2010.

PS Publishing put out a new collection of David Case's work in honor of Case's appearance at the World Horror Convention in 2010. The collection is entitled Pelican Cay and Other Disquieting Tales (2010) , edited by Stephen Jones. Jones has been decades long repeat anthologist of David Case's horror fiction, championing Case later on in his career where Herbert Van Thal had left off in heralding Case as new talent in the notorious and now legendary Pan Book of Horror Stories series.

UPDATE 2012: S. T. Joshi is compiling an Omnibus of David Case's work. So far, the volume is said to be 300,000 words log. An "unpublished story “Stranger Than You Know.” is being included in this Omnibus. It is a very interesting 12,000-word tale that fuses humour and horror (it refers or alludes to such figures as Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones, Norman Mailer, and others). The Omnibus is being published by Centipede Press. Centipede Press has said that the Omnibus would be published and distributed in mid-2014 at the latest. So between now and 2014, expect a new volume of David Case literature with unpublished material. Jerad Walters and David Case has agreed to an omnibus of his tales from Centipede Press (in the Masters of the Weird Tale series), so S. T. Joshi has begun working on assembling the book. It will include the complete contents of The Cell: Three Tales of Horror (1969), Fengriffen and Other Stories (1971), and Brotherly Love and Other Stories of Faith and Knowledge (1999), along with a few unpublished stories as well as, perhaps, an unpublished novella (about 40,000 words) that is apparently in Case’s files.


  • The Cell: Three Tales of Horror (1969)
  • Fengriffen and Other Stories (1971)
  • The Third Grave (1980)
  • Wolf Tracks (1980)
  • Brotherly Love & Other Tales of Faith and Knowledge (1999)
  • Pelican Cay and Other Disquieting Tales (2010)

Short stories[edit]

  • The Dead End (1969)
  • The Hunter (1969)
  • Fengriffen (1971)
  • The War is Over (1988)
  • Cannibal Feast (1994)
  • Jimmy (1999)
  • Pelican Cay (2000)
  • Among the Wolves
  • The Cell
  • A Cross to Bear
  • Neighbours
  • Reflection
  • Strange Roots
  • Brotherly Love
  • The Foreign Bride
  • Ogre of the Cleft
  • Anachrona
  • Reflection
  • Twins (a re-working of a chapter from "SKULLS")
  • The Terrestrial Fancy
  • Penny Wise
  • Skulls
  • The Cave
  • Penny Wise variant edition

Novel Publications with David Case's work[edit]

  • Fengriffen: A chilling tale (1970)

aka '"And Now the Screaming Starts"' (an alternative title to Fengriffen to reflect the film adaptation)

  • Wolf Tracks
  • The Third Grave


  • The Cell: Three Tales of Horror (1969 – Contains the stories "The Cell", "The Hunter", and "The Dead End"
  • Fengriffen and Other Stories (1971) – Contains the novel Fengriffen and the stories "Among the Wolves" and "Strange Roots"
  • Brotherly Love: And Other Tales of Faith and Knowledge (1999) – Contains the stories "Brotherly Love", "The Foreign Bride", "The Ogre of the Cleft", "Jimmy", "Anachrona", and "The Terrestrial Fancy"
  • Pelican Cay and Other Disquieting Tales (2010) – Contains the stories "Pelican Cay", "Penny Wise," "Reflection," "Skulls," "The Cannibal Feast," "The War is Over," "The Cave." (Note: The deluxe, signed edition additionally contains "PENNY WISE" (variant draft) and "TWINS" [a re-working of a chapter from "SKULLS"].)

Anthologies containing David Case stories[edit]

  • The 11th Pan Book of Horror Stories (1970)--Contains "The Cell"
  • The 12th Pan Book of Horror Stories (1971)--Contains "The Hunter"
  • The 13th Pan Book of Horror Stories (1972)--Contains "The Dead End"
  • The 14th Pan Book of Horror Stories (1973)--Contains "Strange Roots"
  • The 15th Pan Book of Horror Stories (1974)--Contains "Among the Wolves"
  • The 19th Pan Book of Horror Stories (1978)--Contains "Neighbors"
  • The 22nd Pan Book of Horror Stories (1981)--Contains "A Cross to Bear"
  • Fantasy Tales Vol. 8 #16 (1986)--Contains "Twins"
  • Fine Frights: Stories That Scared Me (1988)--Contains "The War is Over"
  • The Mammoth Book of Short Horror Novels (1988)--Contains Fengriffen
  • Dark Voices: The Best from the Pan Book of Horror Stories (1990)--Contains "The Hunter"
  • Dark Voices 6: The Pan Book of Horror (1994)--Contains "Cannibal Feast"
  • The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein (1994)--Contains "The Dead End"
  • The Mammoth Book Of Werewolves (1994)--Contains "The Cell"
  • Dark of the Night (1997)--Contains "Reflection"
  • Dark Terrors 5 (2000)--Contains "Pelican Cay"
  • The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume Eleven (2000)--Contains "Jimmy"
  • By Moonlight Only (2003)--Contains alternative and longer version of "Jimmy"
  • The Mammoth Book of New Terror (2004)--Contains "Among the Wolves"
  • The Mammoth Book Of Wolf Men (2009)--Is A Reprinting Of The Mammoth Book Of Werewolves -Contains "The Cell"
  • The Souvenir Book of the World Horror Convention 2010: Brighton Shock!—Contains "The Foreign Bride"

Western Novels[edit]

  • Black Hats
  • Gold Fever
  • Plumb Drillin'
  • The Fighting Breed


External links[edit]