Sunday, June 30, 2013


A leader in New Pulp and Genre Fiction, Pro Se Productions announces the debut of a New Pulp Character cast in the grand tradition of sword and sorcery classics! From Author Ralph L. Angelo, Jr. comes TORAHG THE WARRIOR: SWORD OF VENGEANCE!

“Journey with me,” Angelo states, “back to a time unheard of, a land of myth, monsters and magic where a steel muscled warrior must battle against an entire nation to avenge the wrongs done to him as well as to avenge his father's death! Without a doubt my favorite creation so far, Torahg is destined to take his place alongside classic heroes such as Conan, Tarzan, Kull, John Carter and many more.”

An honored prince stands first in line for the throne of his father, the most powerful King in the world. Young and unaware that the world he knows, his very birthright is about to be snatched from him by murder. In one fateful day, his own brother, in league with a malevolent sorcerer, kills the king. And The Prince, the rightful heir to the kingdom, becomes a wanted fugitive, forced to abandon his life, to exile himself seemingly forever.

Twenty years later, the fugitive returns, no longer the kind hearted youth who watched his father murdered before his very eyes. He walks with the confidence and scars of a hardened warrior, a veteran of many campaigns, and a trained fighter in many forms of combat. With a heart hardened by twenty years as an outlaw across the world, Destiny calls again, driving him to return to the land of his birth. No longer the Heir to the throne, he is instead a man with only one mission. He is TORAHG THE WARRIOR: SWORD OF VENGEANCE!

“TORAHG,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief and Partner in Pro Se, “is exciting for Pro Se on a couple of levels. First, Ralph’s novel is a great addition to the Pulp fantasy we’ve become known for thanks to Nancy Hansen’s work and it comes from a different angle as well. Also, though, Ralph’s narrative style and presentation overall is unique amongst what Pro Se offers. The story takes the reader and puts them in the flow of the tale actively and allows them to vicariously stand alongside Torahg as he fights his way through his home and his own history.”

Ralph L. Angelo, Jr. is an author who has written for many major motorcycle magazines as well as having written a ‘how to’ instructional book on motorcycling entitled “Help! They’re All Out to Get Me! The Motorcyclists Guide to Surviving the Everyday World.’

His first novel ’Redemption of the Sorcerer’ was recently released. Since then he has written several more novels, including TORAHG for Pro Se as well as the forthcoming Sci-Fi adventure novel ‘The Cagliostro Chronicles’ amongst others.

A young fugitive prince fled the land. Now he returns and he will be forever remembered as TORAHG THE WARRIOR: SWORD OF VENGEANCE! Written by Ralph L. Angelo, Jr., Edited by Nancy Hansen, Cover art by Terry Pavlet, Design and Print Formatting by Sean Ali, Ebook Formatting by Russ Anderson! Fight alongside TORAHG THE WARRIOR in his debut adventure from Pro Se Productions!

In print for$15.00 from Pro Se’s own store, via Amazon, and through Barnes and Noble.

This New Pulp Sword and Sorcery tale is also available as an Ebook for only $2.99 for your Kindle, on the Nook, and in nearly all available formats at Smashwords.

For interviews, review copies, and information, contact Morgan Minor, Pro Se Director of Corporate Operations, at For more on Pro Se, go to

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pro Se Announces Badge of Lies!

Pro Se, a cutting edge independent publisher of New Pulp and Heroic Fiction, adds yet another genre to its already stellar catalog- The Modern Crime Novel! From Author Jason Kahn comes the explosive Police thriller BADGE OF LIES!

“Pro Se prides itself,” Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief and Partner in Pro Se, states, “on providing a wide variety of Genre and Pulp Fiction for readers to take advantage of. BADGE OF LIES from Jason Kahn is the next great step in doing that. Equal mixes of police procedural, crime novel, two fisted pulp, and shadowy noir, this novel also explores several deep themes, including the bond of friendship, the choices a person makes that define them, and the extreme grayness that morality can become. Jason captures each and every character with an almost instant photo type quality- you see them as they exist fully in every moment- and then masterfully pours them together into this hard hitting, fast flowing narrative.”

In BADGE OF LIES, Metro City Detective Frank Arnold has just buried his partner and best friend. Arnold soon learns that Mitch Connell may not have been the man Frank thought he was. And Arnold cannot drink away what’s coming.

BADGE OF LIES peels back the hard bitten exterior of two men- One, a recovering alcoholic detective who’s just laid his best friend to rest, the other the dead friend and all the secrets he tried to carry to his grave. Secrets that Frank Arnold is left to deal with. Like the grieving mistress who winds up dead. Ties to organized crime. A cryptic warning from beyond the grave telling Frank he’s in trouble and not to trust anyone. This is the legacy Mitch Connell leaves his friend, a legacy that sends Arnold into a crazy game of suspicion, pursuit, and murder.

"Badge of Lies," Kahn explains, "is a story of trust and betrayal, of a good cop who has to do bad things to make things right. Thanks to Pro Se Productions for making this possible, and I hope everybody enjoys the ride!"

In Frank Arnold, Kahn creates a character hard boiled enough to walk fictional streets with Hammett’s and Chandler’s creations! A cop hardened by the job, toughened by the very crime he fights, Arnold will stop at nothing to discover the truth about his partner’s death and stay alive in the bargain.

Can a good cop survive in the big city or does he have to wear a BADGE OF LIES? Modern Crime Prose from novelist Jason Kahn with an evocative cover by Mariana Cagnin with Fitztown and design and print formatting by Sean E. Ali and eBook design by Russ Anderson! BADGE OF LIES from Pro Se Productions!

Available in print for $15.00 from Pro Se’s store, and at Barnes & Noble!

Also available as an EBook for only $2.99! Get it for the Kindle, on the Nook, and in most formats at Smashwords!

For interviews, review copies, or more information on this book and Pro Se Productions, email Morgan Minor, Director of Corporate Operations, at and check out Pro Se at and!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

[Link] Valiant signs on to Amazon’s new fan-fic publishing platform

by Kevin Melrose

When Amazon Publishing unveiled Kindle Worlds last month, one of the first questions in comics circles was which publisher would be the first to sign on to the program, which allows fan-fic writers to earn royalties for certain corporate-approved stories. Now we know the answer: Valiant Entertainment.

The recently revived publisher was announced this morning as part of the second wave of licensors, alongside bestselling authors Hugh Howey (Silo Saga), Barry Eisler (John Rain novels), Blake Crouch (Wayward Pines) and Neal Stephenson (Foreworld Saga). Under the agreement, writers will be able to create and sell stories inspired by Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman, with more properties expected to be added later.

In addition, the Kindle Worlds Store will launch later this month with more than 50 commissioned works, including “Valiant-branded” short stories by Jason Starr, Robert Rodi, Stuart Moore and others. The Kindle Worlds self-service submission platform will open at the same time.

Alloy Entertainment, the book-packaging division of Warner Bros. Television, has already licensed Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl, Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars and L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries for what’s being billed as the first commercial publishing platform for fan fiction.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both authors and rights holders: For works of at least 10,000 words, authors will receive 35 percent of net revenue (based on sales price rather than the standard, but lower, wholesale), paid monthly. There will also be an experimental program for shorter works, between 5,000 and 10,000 words, which will be typically priced under $1; the author will receive a digital royalty of 20 percent.

Licensors will provide content guidelines for each “World,” which must be followed; in addition, Amazon won’t allow pornography, offensive content (including racial slurs and excessive foul language), “poor customer experience” (including poorly formatted stories and misleading titles), excessive use of brand names, or crossovers.

Read the original post:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On B-Boys and Pulp Culture

by Michael A. Gonzales

Planet Hip-Hop has always overflowed with folks into various forms of pulp culture. Over the years, I’ve interviewed many rap artists and producers who shared their love for Star Wars, crime movies, karate flicks and the novels of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines. Still, I was surprised when Queensbridge legend Nas told me in 1999 that he had once created a Black Pulp hero when he was a kid.

“I used to used to draw my own character called Sea God,” Nas told me. “I copied the body of Conan the Barbarian, but had him standing on the corner instead of in the forest.” Without a doubt, I’m sure Nas isn’t the only one with a stash of drawings and/or writings detailing the bugged adventures of urban champions.

Last year, when respected crime novelist/comic book writer Gary Phillips invited me to contribute a short story to his latest project Black Pulp (Pro Se, 2013), co-edited with Tommy Hancock, I immediately thought of that long ago conversation with Nas and decided I too wanted to create a hood hero.

Leaning back in my office chair, I closed my eyes and thought of my own pulp filled childhood growing-up in Harlem: of listening to old Shadow radio programs that were released on records, watching blaxploitation and kung-fu flicks every weekend, devouring the Marshall Rodgers/Steve Englehart’s version of Batman, discovering the weird worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard, watching Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon serials on PBS and falling in love with the work of pulp artist supreme Howard Chaykin, the dude George Lucas requested to illustrate the first Star Wars comic book.

After an hour of drifting on those dusty memories, quicker than I could say, “Batman and Robin, Green Hornet and Kato or Easy Rawlins and Mouse,” my own pulp heroes Jaguar and Shep were born. The lead character Coltrane (Jaguar) Jones owns a Harlem rap club called the Bassment and drives through Harlem cool as Super Fly in a fly sports car. His murderous friend Shep, who just got out of prison, becomes his badass sidekick as the two self-appointed crime fighters go in search of a music minded kidnapper.

Although I’ve never been big on constructing strict outlines for fiction, I knew that I wanted the period to be 1988, the last year Mayor Koch was in office. Crack was at its height, Public Enemy’s brilliant It Takes a Nation of Millions was rockin’ the boulevards, Dapper Dan was creating his bugged designer fashions and New York City was still on the verge exploding.

Recalling Fab 5 Freddy, who also appears in the story, telling me about the jazz/hip-hop shows he did with Max Roach at the Mudd Club in the 1980s, the finished story told the tale of a be-bop lover trying to rid b-boys and their music from the streets of Sugar Hill. While working on the story, I consulted with my good friend Robert (Bob) Morales, himself an accomplished comic book writer, co-creator of the black Captain America graphic novel The Truth and a pulp culture aficionado. Although he was working on a graphic novel about Orson Welles at the time, he always found the time to talk. Once, when I thought the Paul Pope/John Carpenter-Escape from New York inspired climax might be too crazy, Bob reminded me, “It’s a pulp story…there’s no such thing as too wild.”

So, after several weeks of calling Bob, sometimes a few times a day, and writing, “Jaguar and the Jungleland Boogie” was finally finished.  Sadly, Bob Morales died suddenly on April 17, so I’d like to dedicate the story to him.

In addition to my b-boy/be-bop tale, Black Pulp has a cool line-up of creators of color that include famed novelist Walter Mosley, who penned the introduction, Gar Anthony Heywood, Christopher Chambers, Kimberly Richardson, Mel Odom and others.

Buy Black Pulp:

Walter Mosley introduction:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

RIP Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson, one of the most iconic writers in America has died aged 87 according to his daughter who posted the information on Twitter. The I Am Legend creator has died after a long battle with an undisclosed illness.

Richard Burton Matheson was born on February 20, 1926 and died on June 24, 2013. He was an American author and screenwriter, who worked primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is perhaps best known as the author of The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, and I Am Legend.

All of the above mentioned books have been adapted as major motion pictures, the last at least three times with Will Smith playing the doomed character in I Am Legend. Matheson also wrote several television episodes of The Twilight Zone for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel.” He later adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the TV movie of the same name.

Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey. He was the son of Norwegian immigrants Fanny (née Mathieson) and Bertolf Matheson, a tile floor installer. Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier.

In 1949 he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married Ruth Ann Woodson on July 1, 1952 and has four children, three of whom (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) are writers of fiction and screenplays.

Matheson wrote 14 episodes for the iconic American television series The Twilight Zone, including "Steel" and the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" which became the most legendary and iconic episode of the cult favourite series. He also wrote "Little Girl Lost," a story about a young girl tumbling into the fourth dimension.

On all of Matheson’s scripts for The Twilight Zone, he also wrote the introductory and closing statements spoken by creator Rod Serling. He adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman, and Dennis Wheatley’s The Devil Rides Out for Hammer Films. He also contributed a number of scripts to the Warner Bros. western series Lawman between 1958 and 1962. He wrote the Star Trek episode "The Enemy Within" which is considered one of the best episodes of the television series.

In 1973, Matheson earned an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for The Night Stalker, one of two TV movies written by Matheson that preceded the series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Matheson also wrote the screenplay for Fanatic (The US title was, Die! Die! My Darling!), starring Tallulah Bankhead and Stefanie Powers.

The legendary horror novelist Stephen King has listed Matheson as a creative influence and his novel Cell is dedicated to Matheson. As well as Stephen King filmmaker George A. Romero has also frequently acknowledged Richard Matheson as an inspiration and listed the shambling vampire creatures that appear in the first film version of I Am Legend ([entitled The Last Man on Earth] Which starred Vincent Price in the lead role) as the inspiration for the zombie “ghouls” he created in Night of the Living Dead.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now #279 -- Man of Steel

What did you think about the Man of Steel movie?

I do believe Man of Steel is the movie Avengers could have been if there had ever really been any true sense of impending death and danger during the big city fight scene. 

That's still my biggest beef with Avengers -- not once did I ever feel like any citizen or hero's life was in danger even while a city was being destroyed. It was more like a child knocking Lego buildings around with his Mego action figures. 

One the other hand, Man of Steel was about a war initiated by alien forces, and in war people die and are wounded, and you only win them by being soldiers. 

To beat the bad guys, you become a vigilante, you win a war, you become a soldier. 

And that, my friends, is why Man of Steel gets it right. In it, SuperBOY becomes a SuperMAN and has to make tough, truly meaningful, life-altering choices that help shape the man he is willing to become and not willing to become again.

Sunday, June 23, 2013



Intrigue, Espionage, and Danger are primary parts of one of the most enduring genres in modern fiction to date- the Spy Novel. And now Pro Se Productions, a leading independent publisher of Genre Fiction and New Pulp enters into this dynamic field with the latest work from noted author Aaron Smith- NOBODY DIES FOR FREE!

Known for his thirty published stories in multiple genres as well as his work with a wide range of characters, including Sherlock Holmes and Allan Quatermain, Smith adds one of his many own original characters to his writing resume- Richard Monroe.

“I first became aware of the spy genre,” Smith states, “as I suspect many people did, through the James Bond movies. I must have been six or seven when I saw my first one. I became a big fan of those movies and eventually of Ian Fleming's Bond novels too. As the years went on, I came to enjoy other spy fiction as well, some as fun and occasionally over-the-top as Bond or Mission: Impossible, some much more serious, like the novels of John Le Carre, and some in-between the two extremes, stuff like the Jason Bourne movies. Having long had an interest in that type of story, I suppose it was inevitable that I'd eventually write my own.”

In NOBODY DIES FOR FREE, Richard Monroe wants nothing more than early retirement and a peaceful life in Paris with the only woman he’s ever truly loved after years of loyally serving his country in the CIA. But when an assassin’s bullet takes his happiness away, Monroe embarks on a quest to find the man responsible for the tragedy. Monroe is soon recruited back into the clandestine services, but with a difference.

Now a lone agent reporting to a supervisor so mysterious that the official agencies don’t even know he exists, Monroe will deal with situations too delicate and too dangerous for the CIA or FBI to handle. On his first assignment, he discovers a connection between the mission and the criminal mastermind behind his wife’s killing. Business becomes personal again and Richard Monroe sets out to teach his enemies a brutal lesson: Nobody Dies For Free.

Featuring a stunning cover by Ariane Soares with Fitztown and formatting and design by Sean Ali as well as Ebook formatting by Russ Anderson, NOBODY DIES FOR FREE presents a brand new spy to fiction that, while bearing similarities to other literary brethren, clearly stands on his own merits.

According to Smith, “He has certain similarities to James Bond and many other fictional spies: he's handsome, brave, sneaky, ruthless, and enjoys the company of beautiful women. But he's his own person too. He rarely uses clever gadgets and is more likely to rely on just his wits, his gun, his car, and a cell phone. He's American, though his personality has also been shaped by the time he's spent in many parts of the world. He doesn't work for a large organization like the CIA or FBI, although he used to. Now he's much more a solo agent, taking on missions too secret or sensitive for the more official agencies.”

NOBODY DIES FOR FREE is available via Pro Se’s own store at for $15.00!

Smith’s Spy Novel is also available as an ebook for only $2.99 for Kindle at  !

NOBODY DIES FOR FREE by Aaron Smith from Pro Se Productions! Available now!

Find more about Smith and his other work at

Pro Se Productions-

Contact Morgan Minor, Director of Corporate Operations at for review copies, interviews, and further information!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

You could be the author of a new novel set in the world of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal.

From October 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013, The Jim Henson Company and Grosset & Dunlap of the Penguin Young Readers Group will be accepting writing submissions to find the author for a new novel set in the world of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. This author search is open to all professional and aspiring professional writers.

This new Dark Crystal novel will be a prequel story set at the time of the Gelfling Gathering, between the Second Great Conjunction and the creation of the Wall of Destiny. We will be placing all known lore from this era on, the definitive home of The Dark Crystal. There you will find all the knowledge available for you to shape and build your story—and all we ask is that you share your stories with us.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

[Link] The New World of Publishing: Stop Submitting Manuscripts to Traditional Publishers

by Dean Wesley Smith

David Farland did a balanced post on the question of when to be an indie writer or when to sell to traditional publishing. And as usual, I agree with much of what Dave said, although I could quibble on the thrillers. But I don’t feel he went far enough by a long ways. And he didn’t take into account modern publishing contracts for beginning writers. So read his post first and then read on here.

Dave broke apart the idea that some genres are better than others for indie publishing. He’s right, sort of. But the other genres are not bad for it either. I want to make that clear. He sort of left the opinion that indie publishing in some genres is bad. Some genres just have more electronic sales than others is all.

And if you are at the level of David Farland or any of the other writers he mentioned (all friends of mine as well), you have clout to negotiate a novel contract to get out of some of the horrid stuff publishers are putting in smaller-book contracts.

But most writers these days don’t have that kind of clout. I don’t.

And almost no new writer does. So it comes down to a choice of 1) Saying no to a contract with horrid terms or 2) taking a contract and losing all rights to your book forever for $5,000.00 or less. Without clout, you can’t negotiate anything of value.

Just to be clear…

Your clout is basically measured by the desire of the publisher for the project (or you as an author).

If the publisher really wants the project and you have other choices, (either indie or other publishers who want you or the project) you have the “clout” or ability to get terms in contracts changed.

The problem is that for most writers, the myth of being published by a traditional publisher is very strong, and agents are so bad, that a new writer with a first offer will sign just about any contract, giving the publisher basically all rights forever to their work. And worse, the new writer often signs a contract that restricts what they can write going into the future.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

[Link] Independent Authors and Genre Fiction Are Changing the Publishing World

by Percival Constantine

Lantern-jawed heroes. Megalomaniac villains. Hard-boiled crime. Spicy romance tales. Settings that stretched from an ancient, barbaric past into far-off worlds in the distant future. Even if your only knowledge of the term “pulp fiction” comes from the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film, you know something about pulp. Tarzan, Doc Savage, The Shadow, John Carter, Conan — all these and more were creations of pulp fiction. And thanks to advancements in technology and the rise of the digital market, pulp fiction is back in a big way.

Today, a new renaissance of pulp is occurring, thanks in large part to the rise of print on demand, technology, and ebooks. No longer limited to traditional publishing houses, many new and even established authors are instead choosing to go through these routes, made possible through services like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace printing, or Ingram’s Lightning Source. These authors are bypassing the traditional gatekeepers and blazing paths for the kind of stories that traditional publishers may find too risky in today’s market.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

[Link] What makes a ‘strong female character’?

by Andrea Judy

What bothers me about this is that it seems like any time someone mentions a ‘strong female character’ it’s because she fights. She is a badass who can fight with the boys, who shoots, kicks, and punches with the best of them. She’s tough, no nonsense, and physically strong.

But is that the only way to present a strong character?

I want characters that are smart, clever, and bad at something. I want a character who can whip anyone in a game of chess, but has never been in a fist fight. I want to see the female computer hacker save the day without having to blow up everything, without having to be rescued 8 times, and without having to prove she’s strong by breaking something…especially if that has never been her character. If she’s never been shown to fight, or been shown to be awful at fighting, don’t make her a kung fu master just to show ‘Hey, look at this strong female character!’

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Proofreading vs. Editing

  • Proofreading is a final step, while editing is done during and immediately after writing.
  • Editing tackles all writing and readability issues, while proofreading focuses on tying up loose ends.
  • Proofreading checks format consistency while editing usually does not. 
  • When working with professionals, editing will include suggestions for content, while proofreading sticks to the basics. 
For the full article, click here.

Your thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Planetary Stories is launching a contest!

Each issue of Planetary Stories, Pulp Spirit and Wonderlust will be carrying the winner of that contest.

While making the above statement, I realize there is a chance it won't work out. We might not have enough winners, as there is only a few months before our first deadline, which will be September 15th. However, we will do our best to publicize this contest and make that statement come true.

There are three categories, one for stories 250 words or less, one for stories up to 500 words, and flash fiction up to 1,000 words. ONE WINNER PER CATEGORY. The winner in each category will receive five cents per word, as well as a book from the Featured Author. No duplicate entries are allowed.

Each Featured Author will have a book of his on display, similar to those on either side. Anyone can click on the book to purchase it, but the winner will receive a copy and his check.

Stories should be submitted to Single-spaced and 14 pt Arial or Times New Roman is suggested.

We at Planetary Stories are excited about this new development, and are anxious to see the beginning of the submissions.

A panel of judges will determine the winner.

For more info, visit

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pulps and Race -- A Writer's Roundtable

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's been way too long since I posted an author roundtable here. So why not jump back in with one that just may get me run out of town on a rail -- pulps and race?

Yep, I went there.

How much content is there in the classic pulps that can actually taint the experience of reading it for contemporary readers who are either discovering or rediscovering it?

Shelby Vick: Thought I'd contribute from the point of view of one who actually lived thru the Age of Pulps.

Born in 1928, I discovered pulps at age seven. I must admit my initial introduction was thru Westerns and science fiction, altho I did get the occasional Doc Savage. I was limited to the reading tastes of my grandfather, and seldom bought any on my own.

It never occurred to me that there was racism in any of the pulps. Yes, there were no black characters - but, at the same time, all the blacks in my young life were in a minor position; maids, cooks, and laborers. I was aware of racism, of course. "Mama, why are there 'white' and 'colored' water fountains and bathrooms?"

"It's for health reasons, dear."

Frankly, that explanation didn't fly for me, even at that age, but I was not a crusader. It was wrong, but that was the way things were. What could a little boy do to change it? So, correct or not, I accepted it. It never entered my mind that pulp stories should be otherwise.

Today, of course, that's different. Tho e who are discovering pulps for the first time...well, how many read it with a cultural slant? They know they are reading something from the distant past; why would they even stop to think about the lack of the presence of blacks in pulp fiction? You can't go back and argue with Max Brand or others about their shortcomings in the cultural department. Whether they are discovering it or rediscovering it, what would set them off?

Mistreating others would, of course, be wrong - but (as I recall) the primary 'mistreating' was by not using them a t all. In movies, it was different; blacks were 'Stepinfetchet' sort of characters, for the most part. THAT was objectionable.

William Patrick Maynard: To my mind very little is genuinely offensive unless one allows political correctness to run rampant.

I'm not actually bothered by minor censorship such as what Ballantine did with Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books in the 1970s. It was disingenuous to claim the books were "complete and unedited," but the removal of casual racial slurs certainly doesn't hurt the stories and yes, might actually help them. The fact that Burroughs portrayed the Waziri as honorable men is proof enough the man wasn't a true racist, just a product of the thinking of his day. Leaving the slurs in could result in young African-American readers throwing the book down in disgust and never appreciating the fantastic fiction for what it is.

I'm more forgiving in racist and sexist slurs in hard-boiled fiction. It is part of the tough guy patter of the day and one expects it to a degree because everyone comes under fire. No one is good or trustworthy but the knight errant detective. When the worldview is that glum, I'm not bothered by the dismissal of people on the grounds of what would otherwise be baseless slurs.

My concern lies with political correctness. Will the day come that the likes of Hammett, Chandler, and Ross Macdonald will be censored because of the prevailing views of their day toward homosexuals? If we're talking the substitution of a word for a slur or a simple editorial note that the work contains views that are no longer held, I don't object, but the wholesale deletion of passages or the banning of works that are no longer politically correct is what I find unacceptable whether the basis is race, gender, or orientation.

Derrick Ferguson: I think it’s downright ignorant to deny that there is plenty of blatant racism and sexism in Classic Pulp and I’d never suggest that anyone who is coming to Classic Pulp for the first time shouldn’t be mindful of that. But I also think that one has to take into account that these stories were written in a less enlightened time and if you’re going to read Classic Pulp then that has to be taken into account.

Now some people say they can’t get past that and that’s cool. Some people honestly can’t separate like that. But I do have a problem when people suggest that Classic Pulp should not be read at all because of the racism and sexism. Classic Pulp isn’t just escapist literature. It’s also a historical record of the popular entertainment medium of that time period. You can’t ignore an entire genre or try to pretend it doesn’t exist because some of the depictions of race makes you uncomfortable or upset.

Lee Houston Jr.:  At times, not knowing slang terms, a limited knowledge of the past, and the shock of what would be considered racist today. For example: how many people know what a "saw buck" is, look forward to Fibber McGee about to open his closet door, or question why things such as bathrooms and drinking fountains were segregated beyond just the standard gender divisions?

I.A. Watson: For the main part I'm happy to allow that the stories were written in a time with different, more limited understandings of race. Its the same way I can excuse sexist behaviour in medieval and Victorian literature. It's just how it was.

I don't know if you Americans are familiar with the old children's toy, the Gollywog. It's a raggy doll that's supposed to resemble a black man - big white sewn-on eyes, big red stitched lips, frizzy black wool hair, usually with red-and-white striped leggings and maybe buttoned braces and a straw hat. It was based on the old Black-and-White Minstrels image from the stage shows. It was a popular children's toy in the UK up to the 60s - I had a second-hand one as a young boy.

Anyway, the most popular British children's writer of the first half of the 20th century, Enid Blyton, wrote a series of books for very small children about the gnome-like Noddy - and his best friend Golly, a golliwog. Various other toys appeared in the cast too, in the tradition of Winnie-the-Pooh. Noddy and Golly featured in dozens of books, comics, newspaper strips, and eventually as a BBC children's animated TV series.

And then... we all learned that black people shouldn't be depicted as rolling-eyed frizzy-haired stereotypes. Nowadays you'll struggle to find any Noddy book in any library anywhere. I learned to read from Noddy books in my first classroom, but you certainly you won't find him in schools today. Despite generally being the sensible friend who pulled Noddy out of trouble, Golly has become persona non grata, because he was based on a politically incorrect toy.

Now I can see why teachers don't want to expose their young charges to odd old material that requires context the children might not be able to grasp. I strongly object to teachers who vilify Enid Blyton for her "racism" and want her works excised because she was a product of her time.

And that's generally my view of those who want to criticise century-old works for not espousing the current perspective of race, gender, sexuality, geo-politics, or religion.

All that said, from a British point of view we have a different set of race sensitivities to the US ones. We don't have the residual cultural guilt of extinct Native Americans or of Negro slavery (we had slaves, and we sold a lot to America, but we got out of the game early and it never really impacted on us at home). So on the whole we're not as likely to be offended at the N-word or at depictions of black oppression. What we did was conquer or colonise a third of the planet, teaching generations of our citizens that the Chinese, (east) Indian, Asian, and African were in need of our benevolent guidance and rulership. Our literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is riddled with stereotype sinister Chinamen, comedy Indians, cruel Asiatic warlords, mad African queens etc., although there's also a generous subset of loyal Sepoy orderlies, dedicated Chinese manservants etc. I'm more likely to cringe at those characters.

From a writers' point of view, let us thank the muses for the Nazis, an Aryan movement of thoroughly unlikeable mass murderers, the last racial subset we can truly despise and happily blow up without feeling the need to show that their culture and viewpoints had merits that must be respected.

Martin Page: A lot of racism in the old Pulps is just background radiation, or economical story telling - like Shakespeare's Shylock. So - being White and European - I am happy to ignore that. Anything vitriolic or packed with Jewish conspiracies can go in the bin, however.

Ed Erdelac: I think if you come at it with a clear sense of the time period it was written in, you can basically get by. But there is a difference to me, between reading something written during a less culturally sensitive or inclusive time, and reading something by a writer who is actively promoting that racist viewpoint. Most white writers of that era would be considered racist by today's standards in thought and word but probably weren't (in the most important sense) by action. There's no question that Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs had racist views, but I can usually look past them. Conversely, I put down the Doc Savage novel Brand Of The Werewolf, and have never picked up a Doc novel since.

Is it better for pulp writers to just ignore the racism of the past and move on, or do we owe it to culture at large to be more intentionally inclusive in new pulp?

William Patrick Maynard: If one is writing in period, one should be honest. Rick Ruby portrays an interracial relationship but it would be disingenuous to suggest it was the norm for the day. Integrity in writing is important. Your characters can disagree with the prevailing views of their era just as Mark Twain did in his time. You don't have to pander to the lowest common denominator just because the era being evoked looks flawed from today's vantage point.

Lee Houston Jr.:  What was common practice back then is thankfully not accepted in these more enlightened times. However, that does not mean we (the public) should try to gloss over the past and ignore it outright. Those beliefs were wrong, and should be acknowledged as mistakes of the past.

Ed Erdelac: I don't think the racism of the past should ever be ignored, no, and I think candy coating it is equally wrong. You can be racially inclusive without sugar coating the past. My Merkabah Rider series features a white Jewish and an Ethiopian Jewish character traveling through the historical old West, and they are often confronted with and themselves confront racism head on. I believe it would do a disservice to the realism of the setting not to.

Derrick Ferguson: We can’t ignore the racism of the past but neither should we shoulder the burden of it. Those writers did their thing back then and writers of New Pulp are doing their thing today. The only thing we owe the culture at large today is to tell the most entertaining stories we possibly can and provide quality reading that won’t waste a reader’s time or money. That’s got to be first before any other consideration. Everything after that is gravy. That’s not to say if a writer intentionally wants to be more racially diverse in his work he can’t be. I mean, my character Dillon I created because the more I read Classic Pulp the more I felt that a black pulp hero was needed as there simply wasn’t one that I could find. And I tried. Couldn’t find one with a search warrant. But at the end of the day I should hope that people who discover Dillon and read his adventures do so first of all because he’s an interesting character who is living an extraordinary life. His being black adds an extra layer to his character, yes. But he’s got a whole lot of interesting layers as well that have nothing to do with his being black.

Martin Page:
Regarding moving forward, tell stories realistically. Don't assume a white male default, because that default does not hold in reality. And don't call what you do "Pulp."

Shelby Vick: Well, even at age 84, I'm not a crusader - but I see nothing wrong in treating blacks, or any group, in a more favorable manner. Have blacks and others handled in an even-handed way. At the very least, no put-downs. Yet I don't see that we 'owe' anything. Proper treatment, yes! 'Crusading'? That's up to the individual author. Nothing wrong with a black detective, a black superhero, etc, but remember: 'Entertainment' is a writer's field. So - entertain us!

I.A. Watson: I'm generally against including material that's not in service of the story as a whole. Unless a point of the story is to challenge racist perceptions then I'll omit it just as I will anything else that doesn't help with the things I want to say.

When I'm writing stories set in an era where particular prejudices existed I'll try not to ignore them. I'm happy to include exceptional characters too. I'll include a free-spirited, wayward Maid Marion who flaunts the straight-jacketed conventions that regulated the women of her age; but that's what makes her the heroine of the story. I'll happily depict a black man in the 1920s as being smart, brave, noble, principled - but not as being a top surgeon at a New York hospital. Likewise I'm comfortable with a 1920s black man being a cheat, a liar, a bully, and a sadist - but not because of his race.

One problem we face using non-white characters in some historic settings is that it can be hard for the story to be about anything other than race. If the amateur detective investigating the murder in 1922 New York is black then the story tends to become all about that. With a white character in similar circumstances it wouldn't be about him being white. On the other hand there are many eras and settings where race shouldn't matter, so why not offer cultural diversity? Would John Carter of Mars have been tremendously different if he'd been a black soldier? Would Buck Rogers in the 25th Century have been worse off if he was a half-Arab half-Australian Aborigine?

Do you consider race-based pulp a step in the right direction, or is it just doing with pulps the same thing some comics and comics movies have done, simply replacing characters (or types) with another someone of another color and trying to get people to accept it -- or just buy it because it's now being "marketed" to them as a more colorful version?

Ed Erdelac: I don't think it should make a difference really what the pervasive racial makeup of a book is. Considering so much of the old pulp was very nearly entirely white, why not have black or Asian or Hispanic pulp etc.? I do think the characters should be original. I don't care for 'takes' on established characters no matter what their race. Making a black Batman or an Indian Superman is lazy, and hearkens back to characters like Supergirl and Batgirl. While these characters have since gone on to have identities of their own, it's pretty clear they started as ways to 'get the girls excited about Bat/Superman.'

Derrick Ferguson: Race-based entertainment is nothing new and shouldn’t be treated as such. It grinds my grits to no end when race based entertainment is challenged. You have those who will make the argument that race based entertainment is in itself racist. Which is flat out bullshit. It’s not racist to want to see heroes and heroines of your own ethnic background in your entertainment whether it be books, movies, comics or television. Black cinema has been with us since the 1920’s. Movies made for black movie goers who went to black movie theaters to see them as they couldn’t go to white theaters. Same thing with Asian cinema. And I don’t see a thing wrong with New Pulp marketing to a specific ethnic group. Every other form of entertainment does it so why shouldn’t we? Especially modern day audiences that welcome and look for ethnic diversity in their entertainment.

Shelby Vick: As I said: Entertain us! 'Race-based pulp' is fine, so long as it's entertaining!!!

I.A. Watson: If the hook is "Hey, look, the character's Black/Hispanic/Inuit/Lebanese!" then that seems to me like a short-term strategy. It's like the profusion of female lead characters in the 70s and 80's: "Hey look- she's a woman and she's just as good a detective as if she was a man!" If the story's going to be about the protagonist's race or faith then fine, there's a reason for making the hero Jewish or Muslim or North African or whatever. If the story establishes the character's Black and then just gets on with telling a good story then that's fine too. If the story's there to show that a Chinese man's just as good as a White man then I'm the wrong audience for it.

I'm not an advocate of the school of writing that says only a woman can write a female lead and only a gay man can write good gay characters and so on, but I still cringe at those 1970s comics where White writers tried to attract Black readers by including "street hip" Black characters. Sweet Christmas!

William Patrick Maynard:
That depends on the characterization. Race-based pulp that is honest for its setting and depiction is to be lauded. Again, writing with integrity is the key. If you're writing a 1930s era pulp with a minority protagonist, then deal with what that would have meant the same way as if one was writing a crime story set in the rural South in the early 1960s with a black protagonist. Pretending history didn't happen is a mistake. Stories succeed on honesty.

Lee Houston Jr.:  For me personally, what type of person the lead characters are and why I should care whether or not they save the world and survive their current adventure are more important factors than the color of their skin or gender. That is what I also aim for in my writings, getting the readers interested in and caring about the characters.

What else can be done to broaden the racial or interracial appeal of pulp fiction, whether classic or new pulp?

Derrick Ferguson: First of all, tell good stories with good characters. That’s the foundation of pulp fiction right there. People will want to read stories about heroic characters fighting impossible odds to do the right thing and protect the innocent no matter what their ethnic background is.  Give people quality every time and everything else will follow. There are some people who are not going to read New Pulp no matter what and having heroes of color is not going to change their opinion or reading habits. And that’s okay. There’s a whole lot of other readers out there who will pick up a New Pulp book with interracial characters. And let me just say that New Pulp isn’t looking to replace or be superior to Classic Pulp. It’s an extension and an amplification of Classic Pulp. It’s no more and no less that the tropes of a genre updated for the consumption and entertainment of a modern day audience.

William Patrick Maynard: Embracing the diversity of the human race in your stories is a great idea as long as it never appears the writer is simply ticking the box just for the sake of it. Want to add a gay character in the first half of the last century? Great, show the closeted life they were forced to lead. Depict any character at any time who is a minority? Don't shun from the prejudices they faced. For the most part, it appears New Pulp does that just fine. From my perspective, so did Classic Pulp. It honestly reflected the thinking of the day. It may not be pretty, but it was what we were. For all of the offensive stereotypes, there were exceptions like the Jo-Gar stories that stand out. For all of the denigration of racism in writers like Burroughs or Rohmer, there is the undeniable portrayal of minorities as people of intelligence and integrity that was equal or superior to the protagonists in their work. That is the truth of pulp and all fiction.

I.A. Watson: We might look at establishing new settings for some of our historical tales. The Wild West's a great place for stories about Native American heroes, and the Mexican frontier would seem ripe for Hispanic protagonists, but there's lots of times and places beyond that, places where being White would make one the outsider. Is there no value in a pulp approach to the Shogun era, or to enlightened the court of Saladin, or in the troubled fall of the Roman Empire when the balance of power was with Attila's Huns? We've already seen some of this happening. Look at Airship 27's Sinbad series.

In fact the further the stories get from 1930s Chicago the easier diversity gets. A black hero in 1930s Congo has plenty to do. A Chinese hero in 2013 Chicago has plenty to do. Unfortunately, the further we go from the established times and places of popular former pulp, the more work it is for the author to get things right, the harder it is to write "from experience," the tougher the sell to readers who think they want "more of the same."

Lee Houston Jr.:  There are a lot of instances within my own writing where, no matter what else I say about how a character looks or the type of person they are, I never mention their race/skin tone. Granted, I have to be more specific with aliens in my science fiction work like HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE; but by not stating a specific color whenever possible, the reader's imagination has more room to wander, and thus gives my work a little broader appeal.

Ed Erdelac: Authors shouldn't waste time remaking the stories they used to enjoy. Move on. Write the stories that haven't been written yet. I don't subscribe to that every story's been told crap.  Not every combination has been explored or there wouldn't be an entertainment industry of any kind. Very often that includes telling the stories of people who haven't been put in the spotlight before. Look at the popularity of the movie RED TAILS. You can argue that story has already been told, but not in this way, and not with those characters. To broaden the appeal of pulp fiction, open it to the audiences that have traditionally not been represented in its pages. People gravitate towards characters they can see themselves in.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Preach On, Brother Kermit!

I think I know why this last story was like pulling teeth (not counting all the crazy stuff that happened from broken laptop to trying to break my back in the garage right around deadline time).

I think I've been writing pulp so much lately that I'm beginning to lose myself in what others say pulp is supposed to be. I started writing with a more lit focus, but with a love for genre fiction, and my earlier writing (around Show Me A Hero and my IDW work) reflects that struggle between lit and genre in a way that made me, well, me.

I think what I need to do is embrace that again and stop trying so hard to write for a style.

I need to tell the stories and let the style simply be what flows. I know I have at least two now that I'm locked into a certain style (third-person only, straight-ahead narrative, etc.) but after those, I'm going to just tell the stories the way I tell them and if my publishers don't like it, then I'll publish elsewhere.

I still want to tell pulp stories, but I don't want to get locked into what was considered pulp only in the past. I want to embrace all kinds of work and style and create something new in pulps, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, superheroes, whatever.

As Kermit sang:

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder why wonder
I am green, and it'll do fine
It's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be

So, I'm gonna be green because, well that's what I am.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Art: Nik Poliwko
Here’s your first look at one of artist Nik Poliwko’s finished illustrations for the story "Mars McCoy is Dead" by Alan J. Porter, appearing in Airship 27 Productions' upcoming detective noir anthology, The Ruby Files Vol. 2. Other stories in this volume are by Sean Taylor, Ron Fortier, and Bobby Nash.

The award-winning The Ruby Files returns for a second volume of pulpy detective yarns in 2013.

Keep watching for more The Ruby Files vol. 2 news as soon as it becomes available.
Vol. 1 cover: Mark Wheatley

The Ruby Files Vol. 1 is still available in paperback and ebook editions at the following:
Amazon (paperback)
Indy Planet (paperback)
Createspace (paperback)
Airship 27 Hangar (PDF ebook)
Kindle (ebook)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"The Comic Book Man" Speaketh!

I did my first spot on B.K. On The Radio as the Comic Book Man this past Saturday, where I delivered my picks of the week: Boom Studios' Clive Barker's Next Testament #1, Marvel's X-Men #1 (all women team), and IDW's Doctor Who Prisoners of Time #5.

Check it out:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Submissions: 'Steampunk Originals: Volume 4' launches Saturday June 1st.

Call for writers, artists, colorists, letterers, and independent comic creators:

'Steampunk Originals: Volume 4' launches Saturday June 1st.

This steampunk-themed anthology, published by Arcana [], is looking for 1-12 page full-color comics. Open to stories of all tones and art of all styles& media, Steampunk Originals has already featured over 100 creators from across 6 continents and we're still just getting started.

Unlike most open-call comic anthologies, writers/ artists/ etc may opt to join as a team or independently and be paired up through the group. Work is never assigned; scripts and other calls are announced and interested creators are introduced to one another. In-progress feedback is always available, questions are answered promptly, and our team will help to facilitate your process as much as possible.

The terms are fully non-exclusive, creators retain full rights to their stories and characters, and the publishers are actively scouting the resulting anthologies for talent and properties they feel can carry a title ( as Arcana is currently launching an entire line of Steampunk themed series.) Both new and reprint stories are welcomed, the deadline for submissions is Sept 9th, 2013.

  • Introduced in Volume 2, 'Humorous Pictorials' is a funny pages section open to strips and single panel gags.
  • Introduced in Volume 3, 'Asylum' is a faux-magazine section open to free-form satire exploring/ lampooning all aspects of a steampunk reality's culture. [[ Note: All features must have a strong visual art component.]]
  • Launching during Volume 4, Steampunk Originals will be expanding to dynamic media: short films, animation, and motion comics. Steampunk Originals V [[tentative title]] will develop parallel to Steampunk Originals: Volumes 4-8. [[Full Details Coming Soon.]]

Full details are available over at the group:

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Watson Report: Behind Every Good Man -- Thoughts on Pulp Heroines

by I.A. Watson

There's a lot still to be written about that class of feisty pulp heroine who devotes her life to an impossible obsessed hero. Her loyalty and involvement lead to danger, kidnap, torture, and constant threat of death. She has to cope with a lover whose brooding character and endless mission preclude her ever being foremost in his concerns. Sometimes she even has to briefly assume his mystery-man mantle or adopt a complimentary masked persona to save him from destruction. There's just a wealth of character stuff to delve into there.

Nita van Sloan, Margo Lane, Carol Baldwin, Benita Juarez and the rest occupy a strange position in modern fiction. Feminists might criticise them for subordinating their outstanding talents to the needs of a dominant male. On the other hand, each of these women has aspects of competence, confidence, assertiveness and sexuality that are far ahead of the perceived norm for the eras in which they were first written. Yes, sometimes they are the helpless hostages; but other times they are dazzling partners in the war against crime. Often they are the only cast member capable of questioning the hero and making him reconsider his actions.

Birthed in a time when "Behind every good man is a good woman" and "Only the brave deserve the fair", these characters still have a story to be told about them; and bringing their relevance to a modern audience is surely one of the neglected duties of the new pulp era.

Even in these supposedly-liberated days there's a different vibe to writing principal female characters than male ones.

Perhaps its because the tough kick-ass female is still "against type".

The starting premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was that a blonde cheerleading valley girl was not usually the sort of beat up predatory undead. I can't imagine how that show could have been even a little bit like it turned out with a male lead.

As for girlfriend-heroines (the Lois Lane archetype) there's a long tradition of them being as extraordinary in their way as the hero with whom they associate. There's an old maxim that "A hero is only as good as his rogues gallery". I think a codicil might be "A hero is only as good as his heroine". Tarzan without independent inspiring Jane Porter would be a diminished character. Likewise Flash Gordon without Dale Arden, Robin Hood without Maid Marion etc.

There are distinct sub-classes of Pulp Heroine companions. A few of the most prevalent are:

  1. The Rescued Damsel -- a great many old-school pulp romance interests start out as the victim, often in the hero's origin story. Thrown together with the hero under extraordinary circumstances that show her to be a remarkable women, this female alone has the insight into what makes the hero tick. Thereafter she helps keep his secret, assists with his mission, and probably joins his gang.
  2. The Commissioner's Daughter -- often pulp heroines have some status conferred by their father. He's not always a police commissioner. He might be a millionaire philanthropist, a brilliant scientist, a general, an eccentric explorer, even the monarch of another planet. In any case, the daughter is significant in plot terms because either (a) her father is an ongoing influence on the series - ally, adversary, nemesis, technical support, the hero's boss, or (b) murdered, providing the hero, the heroine, or both with a motivation for their subsequent exploits.
  3. The Tamed Bad Girl -- dangerous and deadly in her own right, probably a criminal, this subclass of heroine either turns from crime because of her relationship with the hero or else teams up with him against nastier enemies because of her affection. She may try to seduce the hero to join her on the dark side. She may try to destroy him only to relent at the last moment. She may turn her back on her villainous allies, even her arch-criminal father (see sublass #2) to save her man. She might end up vying with the virtuous Rescued Damsel described above, leaving the hero to make a choice - or avoid a choice - between naughty and nice.
  4. The Girl With the Cause -- this heroine has an agenda. She may be trying to save rare animals, or complete her father's archeological research, or run her free legal centre despite gangland threats. In any case, her passion for her mission will inevitably lead her into danger. requiring the hero's assistance. It might also end up as a source of conflict between the lovers. Spunky girl reporters, dedicated medics, charity workers, and even revolutionary princesses all fit in this class.
  5. The Thrill Seeker -- an adrenaline junkie hooked on action, she's with the hero because it's dangerous and so is he. She might not be the healthiest of personalities but she's dynamite on two long legs. She's often more trouble than all but the baddest Bad Girl because she actually enjoys taking the risks. Probably the most kidnap-able class of heroine except possibly for the Commissioner's Daughter. Also the class most likely to get spanked by the hero in stories written before 1955.
  6. The Angel -- she's the perfect Good Girl, more ideal than woman, and she's the hero's inspiration and motivation. The knight quests for her. The down-at-heel detective pounds the mean streets knowing he'll never be fit to touch her with his blood-stained hands. She might be supernatural - a literal angel, ghost, alien, or computer intelligence. She's less likely to go in with .38s blazing and more likely to cradle the hero's head as he lies in an alley bleeding to death. Sometimes she dies tragically to provoke the final showdown.

Perhaps the main diffference between the pre-WW2 pulps and today's world is the idea that women who were capable of matching or exceeding men were the exception rather than commonplace. Just as not every man in a 30s pulp novella was capable of beating up half a dozen longshoremen thugs - only our two-fisted hero, so not every woman had the moxie to hold a gun on the villainous ganglord and demand her man's release from his ropes. However, here in 2013 I think we've mostly got the idea that both men and women can equally excel - or be equally pathetic! 

A few odd cultural differences remain as well, of course. James Bond strapped naked to a table while the villain torments his genitals with electrodes is gritty drama. If the naked tortured captive is Natasha Romanoff it's heading towards porn. A male hero graphically beaten to a pulp and spitting teeth is hard-boiled. A female hero similarly beaten up is... uncomfortable reading. At least to my mind.

I'm happy that we're getting more female leads to our pulp stories these days. I still think we need to make sure that when we're polishing the older legends, the characters of yesteryear, that we make sure the excellent female cast members there get opportunities to shine.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sarah White vs. Fishnet Angel

Who is currently hard at work drawing and lettering the new Fishnet Angel Digest book I'm writing took a moment out of her day to drop this doodle on her Tumblr

And yes, long-time fans of the character will notice a few cosmetic costume changes for the Tyranian Warrior Goddess as she makes her jump to the manga digests.

The new books will re-tell all the prose and comic stories to date in chronological order, beginning with the origin story, and then wrapping new stories around them to fill out episodes that have been heretofore untold.

Looking good, Sarah. Can't wait to see the full book and make it available to the fans.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's Big and Bad -- The Big Bad: An Anthology of Evil

My newest book is out from Dark Oak Press, edited by John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett. The Big Bad: An Anthology of Evil features my iHero tale "A Pleasant Valley Sunday" -- featuring the villains Hot Shot and Night Shot as they contemplate having to reconcile bank heists, murder, and homeowner association meetings -- along with tales from lots of other talented folks!

Everybody loves bad guys, and these are some of the baddest of them all. Forget the rules. There aren't any heroes. No one is going to save you from the wickedness in the darkness. Monster hunters can easily become the hunted. Twisted perverts can find themselves on the receiving end of their own deviant desires. No matter how big and bad someone or something may be, there is always something bigger and badder just waiting. Even the classics like a dragon, werewolf, or supernatural being can fall victim to something even more evil. Take a peek, if you dare, inside the malevolent world of super-villains, monsters, demons and just plain evil folk. Be careful, what you see there might be disturbingly familiar...

Available at these fine locations:

Amazon (Kindle) (Softcover) (Hardcover)
B&N (Nook) (Softcover) (Hardcover