Table Talk Wednesday

I’m still basking in the pleasure of seeing my Avenger story in print but beyond that I’ve written about 10,000 words in the newest Lazarus Gray story, so all’s well in the land of Reese.

There’s a new Table Talk that’s been posted at the New Pulp site — it’s entitled Kill ‘Em All and deals with our attachments to our creations. As usual, it’s me, Bobby Nash and Mike Bullock shooting the breeze. Check it out and enjoy!

A Dream Come True

In my hands is the The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files limited edition hardcover.

Such an amazing moment — The Avenger is my favorite pulp hero of all time and to see my name on the back cover… and have my story included… I can’t put it into words.

For one incredible moment I was Kenneth Robeson (the house name under which The Avenger novels were written) and I’ve never been more proud as a writer. My story, “The Devil’s Workmen,” begins on page 147. It was very daunting to write — I kept revising and revising — because I wanted to put everything I had into the tale. Major thanks to my editors, Joe Gentile and Howard Hopkins, for guiding me along in that process.

I hope to get my paperback copies soon — but until then, I’m going to lovingly flipping through the pages of this hardcover edition.

In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made. In the raging flame of personal tragedy, men are sometimes forged into something more than human.

A Partial Inspiration for Max & Evelyn Davies

When I first started writing The Rook, I knew that I wanted to have a romantic interest in the series that could eventually become a true partner for our hero. There were many inspirations for this, most notably The Thin Man and… The Mummy movies. I wanted to have a couple who could verbally spar with each other but who, at their core, loved each other passionately. Rachel Weisz was the actress I pictured when I wrote those early scenes with Evelyn — in fact, her name was taken from Rachel’s character in The Mummy: Evelyn Carnahan. I’m a big fan of the first two Mummy movies and I was thrilled to be able to capture a little of that chemistry in my own work.

Scoring Free Stuff? I wish.

So over on the Altus Press site, a few people have chimed in with their opinions on the recent “At What Price?” controversy. To recap, I reviewed the new Doc Savage book published by Altus Press. I loved the book.

I did say that charging $24.95 for a 250 page book felt like a ripoff to me.

I ended my review with these words: “Aside from that, however, this book is a treasure and I highly, highly recommend it to pulp fans far and wide. A worthy return of one of pulp’s greatest characters. ” I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.

In response, the publisher of Altus Press tore me a new one and in a private email said that if I didn’t like his pricing, I should stop buying his books.

Imagine what would have happened if I’d disliked the book.

Well, folks are continuing to respond to the Altus Press’ blog on the events and a few days ago someone named Reggie Van Draught posted the following:

“Hello!

A few words in response if I may be so bold.

I believe that part of the problem is in the inherent nepotism within the new pulp movement community.

Compared to the cost shared amongst the new pulp author clique reading and reviewing each others books (i.e. gratis) the price for an average Altus collection must seem weighty indeed.

In all honesty to this relatively impartial observer it sometimes seems as if the whole “New Pulp” branding was created as a means for the purveyors to “score” more of the recent plethora of pulp material for themselves sans actually…you know…buying it.

Perhaps if Altus kept them supplied with an ongoing flow of complimentary copies of your fine publications the criticism would be less severe.

I find all Altus Press publications to be worth each and every penny.”

Okay… not sure what to say here. I have zero problem if Mr. Draught is fine with Altus and their pricing. I never told anyone — anyone! — not to buy their products. In fact, I’ve made it clear that I plan to keep buying the Doc books, even if I think they’re overpriced. I’m willing to pay that for Doc but not for most of the other stuff that Altus publishes. That’s my choice and Reggie has the right to make his own decisions, just as everyone does.

But I have a problem with the statement that “it sometimes seems as if the whole “New Pulp” branding was created as a means for the purveyors to “score” more of the recent plethora of pulp material for themselves sans actually…you know…buying it.” Where did that come from? I know in my case, I buy 99.9% of the things that I review for All Pulp. Some of them I check out from the library. Some of them I am sent in pdf format by the authors — I’ve received 3 of those in the past year. I certainly don’t troll for free books.

Given how much I spend on books, maybe I should.

New Pulp as a branding has ZERO to do with book reviews, however. It has everything to do with putting a recognizable tag on the books so  that fans of this material can use to find other books that they may enjoy. That’s why New Pulp is around. I was there for the ground-floor discussions about New Pulp and not once — NOT ONCE — did anybody say anything about “scoring free stuff” or about reviews in any way, shape or form.

Didn’t happen.

Could you argue about nepotism in New Pulp, in the sense that there’s a lot of bleed-over between publishers and writers? Yes, I think you could. But not in the way described above.

I’m looking forward to the new Doc Savage book. Desert Demons rocked.

But I still think it cost too much. 🙂

Weekly Sales Update

It’s a Monday so that means it’s time to check out what’s moving and shaking at Amazon.com. The five bestselling Barry Reese titles are:

1) The Avenger: Justice Inc. Files

2) How the West Was Weird, Volume Two

3) The Green Hornet Casefiles

4) Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island

5) Rabbit Heart

That’s an interesting list… Not a single Rook title in the top five, which is rare enough. Then add in that Guan-Yin, probably the worst-reviewed book I’ve ever written, is now at # 4… What’s the world coming to? Not surprised to see strong sales on The Avenger and The Green Hornet but it’s nice to see the How the West Was Weird hanging in there, week after week. Oh, and Rabbit Heart slashed its way back into the top five. Yay!

Don’t Forget…

Lazarus Gray Volume One is coming next month! Buy it… Or femme fatale Miya Shimada might come gunning for you.

Art by George Sellas.

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Various and Sundry

I’ll be writing on the go this morning – my son’s visiting his grandma so I’ll sneak in a bit of writing while I’m there. Folks are used me to reading and/or writing all the time.

The “mystery project” that I was offered… No update. My cowriter and I sent in our sample and now we’re waiting to hear back from the publisher. It’s the kind of writing I’ve done before but for a new -and major – publisher. Wish me luck!

Only a month or so away from Lazarus Gray Volume One…

And keeps your ears tuned to The Book Cave podcast by Ric Croxton and Art Sippo — I’ll be a guest on their September 13th episode!

TOC for The Green Hornet Casefiles

Earlier this week I posted the complete Table of Contents for The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files and several people thanked me for doing so. So here’s the full Table of Contents for The Green Hornet Casefiles, which features my story “Summer of Death.”

  1. The Outlaw Hero – Introduction by Ron Fortier
  2. “Sting of the Yellowjacket” by Howard Hopkins
  3. “Lair of the Living Dead” by Joe McKinney
  4. “Through a Green Haze” by Dan Wickline
  5. “The Black Widow” by John Everson
  6. “A Thing of Beauty” by Bobby Nash
  7. “The Insincerest Form of Flattery” by Paul D. Storrie
  8. “Bad Medicine” by Vito Delsante and Win Scott Eckert
  9. “The Gray Line Between” by F.J. DeSanto, Michael Uslan and Joe Gentile
  10. “Up in Smoke” by Deborah Chester
  11. “The Worst Angels of Our Nature” by Paul Kupperberg
  12. “Now That Would Be Telling” by Bradley H. Sinor
  13. “Summer of Death” by Barry Reese
  14. “The Wet and the Wicked” by David Boop
  15. “The Carlossi Caper” by Arthur A. Lyon
  16. “Soldanus, the Sultan of Crime” by Gary Phillips
  17. “The Dangerous Game” by Eric Fein
  18. “Beauty Is As Beauty Dies” by James Mullaney
  19. “Auld Acquaintance” by Matthew Baugh
  20. “Memories of My Grandfather, Raymond J. Meurer” – Afterword by Lisa Meurer Long
  21. “If These Walls Could Buzz” by Tim Lasiuta and Rafael Nieves (Bonus Story In Limited Edition)

The Black Terror

The Anthony Castrillo Black Terror image (colors by Tom Smith) will be used for one of Pro Se’s magazines, an issue that will feature a major Lazarus Gray/Terror teamup and a Terror solo story – both of which set up the Terror’s previously published appearance in The Rook Volume Five (the first Terror/Lazarus story is set in 1936, the solo story is 1943, and the Rook appearance was 1946). All part of my ongoing world building in The Rook Universe.

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Stuff

Been working on the new Lazarus Gray story a bit more. It’s going well. The plan might be for this one to appear in a Pro Se magazine first, before being reprinted in Lazarus Gray V. 3.

Saw that Doc Hermes reviewed Desert Demons for All Pulp. He said ” $24 is a bit of a gouge for a trade paperback this size…” and I had to chuckle. Given the grief I took from the guys at Altus Press when I dared question their pricing, I’m curious as to whether or not they’ll say anything to Doc. I doubt it, since they probably expended their vitriol on me. For the record, I agree with Doc’s overall view: the book is very good and well worth supporting (though I wish it wasn’t at $24.95 for a paperback book — still, that’s better than the $34.95 (!) they’re charging for their collection of Will Murray’s essays, so maybe I should be happy with that). Looking forward to more Doc — great character and Will Murray has nailed capturing Dent’s voice on the series.

TV-wise, I’ve been watching Torchwood: Miracle Day. It’s been… good. But I’ve been disappointed overall. It feels like this should have been at most a 5-part serial. The pacing is glacial. I love Captain Jack but it might be time to put Torchwood to bed.

Loved Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Highly recommended. Reminded me how much I loved the series back in the 70s.

About to start reading Nancy Hansen’s novel Fortune’s Pawn. I don’t read much fantasy these days but I have high hopes for this one.