Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New from Steve Hayes and David Whitehead!


My long-distance friends Steve Hayes (California) and David Whitehead (England) have written yet another book together. It looks to be another exciting adventure from these two superb craftsmen and in the future I’ll be posting reviews of their books. Here’s the blurb:

The president himself gave Special Agent Gus Novacek his orders. He had to stop Koji Shaguma's sinister Armageddon cult before it destroyed the world. But that was easier said than done. Armageddon struck first in Tokyo, then Paris, then London and finally New York, and Gus always seemed to be one step behind the murderous fanatics. Then fate stepped in and set the stage for the final bloody confrontation aboard a hijacked plane bound for Algiers. A plane that was rapidly losing fuel. A plane that was going to crash in the Atlantic and kill everyone on board, unless Gus could find a way to avert total disaster.

To learn more about David Whitehead click HERE

To learn more about Steve Hayes click HERE

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pulp Interview: Tom Roberts from Black Dog Books


Black Dog Books is based in Normal, Illinois and enjoys popularity as one of the pre-eminent publishers of classic pulp fiction. All of the titles from Black Dog Books would make a great Christmas gift so I am running this interview with the hope readers will visit the Black Dog Books website and order up some adventure stories!

You can visit Black Dog Books HERE!

Q:  WHY ARE THE PULPS SO POPULAR TODAY?

A: The explosion of small press operations has allowed many pulp-based works to be brought back into print that were unavailable for decades, both through the rarity of the pulps, and through the price tags the actual magazines now carry. As well, since there is practically no prose market today for new works of this type, some of these small press operations are producing new works by new creators in the tradition of the 1930s pulp hero stories. This gets people excited that always wanted to try their hand at writing a Doc Savage-style or Shadow-type story featuring a costumed hero. I also think people just enjoy the variety found in pulp oriented material. (Maybe it’s a rebellion against the flood of often-mindless reality TV programming. We can only hope!)
 
Q: TELL ME ABOUT THE REPRINTS YOU PUBLISH AND WHICH ARE THE MOST POPULAR IN SALES.

Black Dog Books is one of the few publishing houses that produce books of adventure fiction. I have released mystery, horror and science fiction titles too, but the adventure genre is where my own personal true interest lies. For my titles I have always tried to assemble quality fiction from sources not easily obtained by the average consumer, and I think this has become our growing reputation. Factoring in that all contributors (for forewords and introductions) are professional writers, and experts in their field, just adds to raising the quality level and material presented in out titles. Our best-selling recent title has been The Golden Goshawk, by H. Bedford-Jones. This short collection assembles the adventure of Captain Dan Marguard and his escapades in the South China Sea region. These stories originally appeared in pulp magazines that are nearly impossible to lay your hands (Danger Trail and Far East Adventure Stories). It took me several years to acquire photocopies of the stories for this collection. The book received a couple online reviews, has been well liked by readers, and is doing well. I have recently started two new series: “The Best of Adventure” and “The Adventure Library.” As the title implies, “The Best of Adventure” is a series of anthologies selecting the best stories from Adventure magazine, each volume covered a two-year period. Volume one covers 1910-1912, volume two will cover 1913-1915 and so on. We will be putting out at least six volumes in the set. As with any work of this type, the selections are subjective to taste, but hopefully everyone will find something in each volume they like. Adventure ran a variety of subject matter: Westerns, sea stories, military stories, mysteries, South Sea stories, etc. The magazine between 1910-1912 may have printed ten great sea stories, but to include them all would sacrifice other worthy candidates, so we are trying to not make any volume subject-heavy. Volume one will soon be out and reprints works by recognized authors such as Talbot Mundy, Damon Runyon, Frank L. Packard, Rafael Sabatini, William Hope Hodgson, James Francis Dwyer among others. Many of these works have been unavailable for decades or never reprinted at all. Online banter has been good in anticipation of this series. Issues of Adventure from pre-1920 are difficult to obtain so many readers have never had the opportunity to enjoy this fiction. Titles in “The Adventure Library” will reprint single character series or single author collections culled from the pages of Adventure (and other titles), primarily of uncollected works or forgotten and overlooked series. Volume one of this series, entitled The Black Death, assembled the adventures of Sir John Hawkwood and his White Company in Italy in 1380, written by Marion Polk Angellotti. Volume two collects for the first time in book form In the Grip of the Minotaur by Farnham Bishop and Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, an exciting tale of Vikings in ancient Crete and Minos. Bishop and Brodeur, college roommates at Harvard, wrote a number of early novels of Vikings and other types of historical adventure that again, were never collected into book form. In the Grip of the Minotaur is the first of several titles by Bishop and Brodeur that Black Dog Books will be issuing in the next year or two.

Q: LESTER DENT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES AND I BOUGHT TWO OF YOUR REPRINTS. WHAT QUALITIES DID DENT HAVE THAT MAKE HIM SO POPULAR WITH READERS TODAY?

Dent was an exceptional writer of action stories, and action scenes in general. He had a way of weaving pseudo-technology into the works so that it came across as plausible. That is what made his Doc Savage novels so successful. His stories are told in a straightforward manner, and move along at a rapid pace. They never lack for excitement. But yet, at the same time, they do not rely on melodrama. They’re just well-told two-fisted adventure stories. That type of story always seems to have an audience. It may be smaller than it once was, but the genre is still attracting readers. I have three titles currently available in “The Lester Dent Library.” The first, Dead Men’s Bones is a collection of early aviation adventure works; volume 2, The Skull Squadron, assembles all of Dent’s aviation air war, and the third book, Hell’s Hoofprints brings together a series of Western stories Dent wrote for Western Trails. Each book has a new, historical introduction by Dent authority Will Murray, as well as notes, story synopsis and sales information taken from Dent’s working notebooks. As in the pattern with my books, much of this Dent material is from hard to come by magazine sources, being rarely reprinted. There will be at least two more volumes in “The Lester Dent Library.” Lester Dent has never been on the household name level the way some pulp-based authors, lets say Edgar Rice Burroughs, have been, but nonetheless these books have done reasonably well in sales.

NOTE: Thank you Tom Roberts for taking the time to share your thoughts on the pulp industry!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Retro Literary Luminescence: Creep to Death by Joseph Payne Brennan




Originally published in 1981 by Donald M. Grant, the late Joseph Payne Brennan’s (1918 – 1990) strange poetry book Creep to Death was a limited signed edition of 795 copies. The illustrations by Jane F. Kendall match the chilling austerity of Brennan’s poetry. The places in this book are cold, barren and windswept autumnal landscapes of unrelenting despair. Although Brennan is best known as a writer of supernatural fiction, his poetry was equally acclaimed and this volume demonstrates why. Here Brennan describes cornstalks as “…whispering, rows of desiccated witches, rooted in earth, unwilling to die.” Joseph Payne Brennan is nearly forgotten today, except perhaps by a few of us bibliophiles. What horror writers today have yet to learn was mastered by Joseph Payne Brennan in his weird poetry and chilling tales. Less is more. You can find Brennan’s books with on-line booksellers at affordable prices. And so one night, under a full moon and with the wind moaning in the eves, why not find one of his books, begin reading and turn the page…

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give your wife a tingle - buy her a western!

Looking for that perfect gift? The gift that will make your wife pant with wanton ecstasy? Trail of the Burned Man, Wind Rider or Death Rides a Palomino are guaranteed to put her into some type of catatonic shock at which point you can have your wicked way with her! Visit my website HERE for all the bloody details!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturn and Jupiter Images From Nasa!

For those interested in Space Exploration Nasa'a educational website features a photo journal that has some amazing images. Visit their website HERE

The few samples selected here are:

1: Jupiter Polar Winds Movie Blowup at Full Resolution.
2: PIA12652: Tethys in the Fore: A pair of small moons join Saturn's second largest moon in this Cassini spacecraft image spotlighting Rhea in front of the rings.
3: PIA11648: Enormous Elongated Shadow : The shadow of Saturn's largest moon darkens a huge portion of the gas giant planet.
4: PIA02873: High Resolution Globe of Jupiter.

Mind boggling material!




 "Space is deep, Man is small and Time is his relentless enemy." - L. Ron Hubbard, TO THE STARS (1950)

.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trail of the Burned Man is Available in large print!


Trail of the Burned Man is available soon as a large print paperback from Linford courtesy of the Ulverscroft Foundation. You can order it from Amazon.com as well. My old pal Walt Rackowski is selling copies in Chi-town on Wabash under the El. Walt’s got a jug of potato vodka from his cellar and a box of Havana cigars he’ll sell you real cheap. You gotta have cash. Don’t mess with Walt. It’s da Chicago way. Buy da book and we’ll grill some burgers and like, you know, groove on da scene.

Ok, I just said that to see if anyone was paying attention......

Visit Amazon.com HERE.
Visit Ulverscroft HERE

Saturday, November 6, 2010

REVIEW: Cattle King for a Day by L. Ron Hubbard

Originally published in 1937, Cattle King for a Day tells the story of Chinook Shannon who is seeking the true identity of the man who killed his grandfather and is now after his ranch. Hubbard is one of my favorites and this short novel highlights his strengths: fast pacing, strong descriptions and memorable characters. Chinook Shannon is a gem of a character. As Hubbard writes: “He had his health, a good gun-eye, and a fine set of teeth.” Hubbard’s westerns are just as enjoyable now as they were when originally published near the end of the Great Depression. These Galaxy Press reprints are fantastic and fans of classic pulp westerns won’t want to miss any of the action.

I first read L. Ron Hubbard’s classic science fiction novel To the Stars when I was in High School, not to mention his famous Ole Doc Methuselah stories and Battlefield Earth. Hubbard was a genius and I am thrilled that Galaxy Press is reprinting his many exciting stories.

Cattle King for a Day is the fifth western released in the famed Stories from the Golden Age classic pulp reprints, and the 31st title overall in the series. The Stories From the Golden Age series is reprinting 153 of L. Ron Hubbard’s stories in 80 volumes using original pulp artwork and illustrations. The series is being simultaneously released as unabridged, multi-cast audio books with original music and sound effects. The audio books are state-of–the-art productions that capture the feel of classic radio dramas from the 30s and 40s.

For more information visit: http://www.GoldenAgeStories.comhttp://www.goldenagestories.com/

REVIEW: Tanner’s Guns by Matt Logan

I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy of Tanner’s Guns from author David Whitehead who publishes under several pseudonyms including Matt Logan, Ben Bridges, Carter West and many others. He is prolific and he’s good. He is well known as a veteran Black Horse Western writer for the famed series from Robert Hale Publishers. He also writes mysteries and romance novels. He is currently co-authoring suspense novels with veteran Hollywood screenwriter and novelist Steve Hayes. Every book that David Whitehead has written is a top-flight entertainment.

Tanner’s Guns is set in Mexico in 1913 during the revolution. Jake Tanner is a tough guy with the task of helping Elliot Blaze sell is arsenal of weapons. This large-print edition makes for a fun western. Whitehead has done his homework and the historical backdrop is accurate and adds depth to this exciting tale. Now I despise reviews and blurbs by publishers and reviewers who say insane things like “He writes as good as Louis L’Amour” because such hyperbole is generally inaccurate and reflects an ignorance of literary history. But I will say that David Whitehead is equally as entertaining as Louis L’Amour, Mickey Spillane, David Morrell or any other writer of masculine adventures that I so admire. David Whitehead is his own man. Tanner’s Guns is the type of story where “The deep, unsociable roar of a carbine cut across the night.” (p. 93). This is no-holds barred, full-contact writing. No sissies allowed. Kudos to David Whitehead for keeping that tradition alive during an era where bookstores are filled with pantywaist chick lit.

Please visit David’s website HERE, write down some of his book titles and order them!

Mrs. Clause and Her Spider

Mrs. Clause and Her Spider
from Anthropoets by Thomas McNulty

Motherless child, she was
orphaned at three weeks;
war widow at twenty,
keeping company with a spider
at eighty.

In the afternoon she naps.
She dreams swift blue rivers,
the rolling fertile farmland of Belgium
where the air itself tasted clean, but these
are images on a faded tapestry in a monastery
turned to rubble by the Luftwaffe.
She pulls at the tapestry fabric, organizing threads, trying to recall
the fresh scent of lakes –

On Sunday morning the false promise of bells
awakens her.
She takes a glass jar to the playground, sprinkles in sugar,
watches the ants march in, spins back
the lid, brushes away the soot and sand
of another Chicago landfill.
“It’s Mrs. Clause!” the urchins spellbound;
 and regal in her red blouse
she walks the Queen of Marquette Park,
the jar undulating with furious life.

After supper, she sits near her desk,
opens the jar and plucks at the flinching mass.
One by one, day by day she drops an ant
onto the cobweb; then a strike too swift
to see as one movement, the spider feeds.

The traffic hums outside, disembodied voices
catch the wind and flee –
Now, with the sun nearly down, the sky like an unhealed wound,
the freezing wind comes off Lake Michigan,
whips and plummets with the speed of a knife to cut bone,
and this cold wind, unhappy, relentless, sounds
to her like children crying; a distant wail,
rising and falling.

**
Copyright © 2007 by Thomas McNulty

NOTE: this poem is one of three “Mrs. Clause” poems that appear in Anthropoets. I have written three additional “Mrs. Clause” poems for publication later. Mrs. Clause represents a lot of things and when I created her I wanted to explore how people handle grief and that grief sometimes manifests itself into a creative force. Each poem reveals a little more about Mrs. Clause and her tragic past. If you enjoyed this poem I hope you consider Anthropoets as alternative reading material. Thank you.