In my July 1 post I listed the short stories Michael Crichton had written. One of the stories was published under the name “Jeffery Hudson”, the pseudonym Crichton used when he published A Case of Need.
Crichton also published eight novels under the name “John Lange”, but I had never heard of him publishing a short story under that name. Last year, someone contacted me to let me know of a story “Villa of Assassins” that was published by John Lange in the 1968 Stag Annual magazine.
The FictionMags Index, which catalogs short stories, lists “Villa of Assassins” as a short story by John Lange. But when I finally saw the story, I recognized at once. It was the novel Scratch One (1967), Crichton’s second published novel. (Odds On, published in 1966, was his first.)
While it was disappointing to discover that it wasn’t an original John Lange short story, it was exciting to see it in this format, with many illustrations. The 1970 John Lange novel Grave Descend was also published in a magazine, though with only one illustration at the beginning of the story.
“Villa of Assassins” (1968)
Disguised as a place of healing, it was a torture citadel ruled by a maniacal surgeon bent on turning the entire Mid-East into a nuclear inferno
by John Lange, Stag Annual, 1968, pp. 12-15, 99-129
A magazine adaptation of the novel Scratch One, billed as a book bonus.
“The Death Divers” (1970)
A sunken yacht sends diver James McGregor on a plunge that leads him to a mysterious millionaire and a sex-hungry starlet—one interested in having him die, the other interested in something else
By John Lange, Man’s World, December 1970, pp. 18-19, 89-101
A magazine adaptation of the novel Grave Descend, billed as a book bonus. Unlike “Villa of the Assassins”, the copyright notice on the first page of the story indicates that it is a reprinting of Grave Descend.