Month: October 2012

The Rook Volume One – Special Edition (Press Release)

Press Release

Pro Se Productions, a cutting edge Publisher of Heroic Fiction and New Pulp, is proud to announce the perfect jumping-on point for fans of adventure – The Rook Volume One Special Edition!

Created by author Barry Reese, The Rook has become one of the most famous New Pulp heroes. Originally published by Wild Cat Books, The Rook joined Pro Se prior to the release of Volume Six. Now Pro Se begins the process of bringing books 1-5 back into print.

“I’m thrilled,” said Reese, “to have The Rook Volume One back in print. This is the book that kicks off the entire series and is really the beginning of my greater interconnected pulp universe. The work that was done on the book has left it significantly improved – the editing is much tighter now, Sean Ali knocked it out of the park on the design as
pect and George Sellas brought out the big guns with his artwork. Max Davies has been living with me for nearly a decade now.. and he’s never looked better!”

“It’s our honor,” stated Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se, “to not only have Barry as a major part of our lineup, but also to have the opportunity to really put our brand on the whole Rook franchise from the start. This volume is the first of making sure that The Rook’s entire written history has a classic, uniform look. One that will be a great literary and visual addition to any bookshelf.”

With a beautiful new cover and four interior pieces by George Sellas, The Rook Volume One Special Edition has been completely re-edited and gorgeously packaged by Pro Se designer Sean Ali.
THE ROOK VOLUME ONE SPECIAL EDITION is available at Pro Se’s Createspace store at https://www.createspace.com/4035771.

Get your copy from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Rook-Volume-1-Special-Edition/dp/1480164321/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351654211&sr=8-1&keywords=the+rook+volume+1

Happy Halloween!

It’s that wonderful time of year, when the veil between the living and the dead is stretched so thin that anything can happen!

Hold on to your head, friends — it’s easy to lose it on a day like this.

———————————————

The Hessian spat out the blood that filled his mouth, hefting his saber for another attack. He was standing in ankle-deep mud, his uniform stained with grime and gore, and the men he faced were poorly trained Revolutionaries. Their main advantage was the fact that they knew the territory well but the Hessian also knew that a man fighting for his home and family was given extra strength and ferocity.

The Hessian roared, stepping over the severed limb of one of his compatriots. He approached an opponent from behind, reaching around with his blade to slit the man’s throat so deeply that the head was only attached to the body by a thin strip of gristle.

The rain had begun again and the roar of thunder, coupled with the sounds of battle all around, made it hard for the Hessian to focus. He dodged the thrust of a young man’s bayonet before finishing the youth with the point of his sword.

It was moments like these that filled the Hessian with joy. Unlike many of his fellows, he had volunteered for service, rather than being conscripted by Landgrave Frederick II. He was a soldier in wartime and a killer in peacetime. The names mattered little to him. He had grown up the youngest of six bloodthirsty brothers, trained to be rabid murderers by their drunk of a father. The only thing that the Hessian enjoyed as much as battle was sex, and both were done with equal amounts of violence and glee.

He whirled about, eager to kill again. He was not a handsome man and he currently looked even more nightmarish than usual. His longish hair was caked with blood and his right eye, marred by a small scar that ran underneath the bottom lid, was bloodshot and slightly bulging. Earlier in the battle, he had come into close quarters with an enemy, biting off the man’s earlobe. Now blood stained his teeth and dripped from the corners of his mouth.

He saw the enemy on the hill, packing one of their cannons for another shot. They were a motley group and their weapons misfired as often as they worked. But the Hessian knew that his own regiment was not faring well. Of the 80 men they had begun this battle with, less than a fourth were still standing.

Charging towards the hill, the Hessian hacked his way through those in his path, friend and foe alike. A well-placed shot from that cannon could end the battle and he could not allow that. He screamed a German battle cry and then stopped in his tracks, eyes wide. It was too late, the cannon’s fuse had run out.

An explosion of fire and smoke accompanied the launching of the cannonball. It soared straight towards the Hessian, who was suddenly frozen with the realization that his life of brutality was about to end. The cannon smashed right through his skull, leaving his body standing in place. It twitched and danced for a long moment, as if it hadn’t quite realized yet that its head was gone. The torso twisted and the hands reached out, as if in hopes that it could find its missing top.

The Hessian’s body spun about and crashed to the mud, coming to rest no more than four feet from the remains of his head, which smoldered in the rain.

A New “Die Glocke” Review

Mat Nastos has reviewed the second book in the Lazarus Gray series, Die Glocke. Here’s what he had to say:

I am a fan of Reese’s work, having read a number of his “Rook” collections and the previous volume of “Lazarus Gray,” and generally like his style of writing, which is fairly straight forward action without a lot emotional bits bogging it down. “Die Glocke” was a little different than the previous books I’d read in that it only featured 2 stories, one of which took up most of the volume and was longer than anything else I’ve seen from Reese. Because of that – being used to a lot more stories in a Reese book – this “Die Glocke” felt very short to me.

The only downside for me (and the reason I’m giving it 4 stars instead of 5) is because of the second, much shorter story that starred the public domain character, Black Terror. It read very rushed and almost unfinished, like it was tossed in as an after thought or filler. However, the quality and fun of the main story more than made up for it.

“Die Glocke” is a great offering for fans of neo-pulp and readers of quick action stories. 4 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for the review, Mat! I’m glad you enjoyed Die Gocke — I wish you’d gotten as much enjoyment out of the second story. I’ve gotten pretty good feedback on the Black Terror/Lazarus Gray team-up so I’m surprised to see your comments. Of course, you can’t please everyone all of the time. The important thing is that you liked the book overall. Hopefully you’ll find volume 3 to be just as entertaining — and it will be another novel-length, plus short story.

New Pulp Best Seller List (Based on Amazon Sales Ranks 10/29/12)

It’s that time again! Before I unveil the Top Ten, let’s go over a few of the ground rules, shall we?

1) This list only tracks sales through AMAZON. It does not keep track of sales through Barnes and Noble, face-to-face or anything else!
2) This list only tracks PRINT sales. We do not currently track e-books. Exactly how Amazon calculates these things is mostly a trade secret and they vary wildly from day to day. If I checked this tomorrow, the list could be very different. This list reflects sales ranks as of Monday morning October 29, 2012.
3) In order to keep the focus on new releases, eligible works must have been published within four months of the current date. So, since this list is being done in October 2012, I’m only looking at books published since July 2012. Please keep that in mind before complaining that Title X is not listed. Also, keep in mind that for the most part, I’m tracking sales from smaller press publishers who actively publishing New Pulp material. I don’t generally track sales from Simon and Schuster or places like that — they have the New York Times Bestseller List for that. If one of the major publishers starts doing The Shadow or something, I’ll track that… but I’m not tracking Hard Case Crime or similar publishers any longer. The playing field is simply not level enough.
4) I am no longer tracking pre-release orders. Some publishers never actually release their books and when they do, it’s months after they were supposed to be released. Everything listed in the Top Ten is currently for sale.
5) Like the name suggests, we’re tracking “New” pulp — I’m not tracking sales rankings for reprints of classic material. In order for something to qualify for this list, it has to be at least 50% new material that has not been printed in book form before.
6) I am human. I make mistakes. If you are aware of a title that should be listed below (keeping in mind all the rules above), please let me know and I will make sure to remedy the situation.
7) I get most of my information from All Pulp, New Pulp, the Pulp Factory mailing list and a few other sites. If you think I might miss your release, let me know in advance — drop me a line and tell me when it’s being released.

Without further ado, here’s the completely and totally unofficial New Pulp bestseller list as of right now (title, then publisher, then release date, then sales rank):

1) Doc Savage: Death’s Dark Domain by Will Murray (Altus Press, September 2012) – 17,678
2)
The Spider: Shadow of Evil by C.J. Henderson and J. Anthony Kosar (Moonstone Books, October 2012) – 80,388
3) Secret Agent “X” – Volume Four by Various (Airship 27, October 2012) – 199,180
4) The Golden Age by Jeff Deischer (White Rocket Books, October 2012) – 199,922
5) Pro Se Presents # 14 by Various (Pro Se Press, October 2012) – 275,405
6) Monster Aces by Various (Pro Se Press, October 2012) – 355,802
7) Blood of the Centipede by Chuck Miller (Pro Se Press, September 2012) – 506,707
8 ) Captain Action: Riddle of the Glowing Men by Jim Beard (Airship 27, July 2012) – 627,606
9) The Green Hornet: Still At Large by Various (Moonstone Books, August 2012) – 714,123
10) The Spur: Loki’s Rock by Mark Ellis (Fortuna Books, September 2012) – 980,025

Just missing the list were: Pulp Ink 2 by Various (Snubnose Press, July 2012) – 1,437,559, Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira by Derrick Ferguson (Pulpwork Press, August 2012) – 1,620,294 and Aliens Among Us by Various (Pulp Empire, August 2012) – 1,770,050

Now this is more like it! After a couple of months of soft sales, we now have a top ten list that features every book with a sales rank of under 1 million. That’s very good! At the top of the list, Doc Savage, The Spider and Secret Agent “X” take the lead — showing that classic characters are still leading the way. In fact, our highest debut is at # 4 and it features a whole host of public domain comic book heroes, so it fits in perfectly with the above. Jeff Deischer’s superhero pulp has a very solid debut. Pro Se’s newest, Monster Aces, debuts at # 6, with numbers that on some weeks would have put it in the top 3. Captain Action remains strong at # 8, in its last week of eligibility on the list.

From a publisher standpoint, we have six publishers represented. Pro Se leads the way with three books, followed by Moonstone & Airship 27, who have two each. White Rocket, Fortuna and Altus have one each.

Take it all with a grain of salt, folks.

Favorite Comics of the Moment

Everyone knows I love comics, just as much as I love pulp novels. So what are my current faves? Read on! The list is broken down by publisher, ’cause I roll like that.

Note: I actually buy more than just these titles… but these are my favorites.

DC Comics
Aquaman
Batman
Batwing
Earth 2
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE
Green Lantern
Sword of Sorcery
Talon
Worlds’ Finest

Marvel Comics
Scarlet Spider

IDW
Mars Attacks
Star Trek (ongoing series)

Archie
New Crusaders

Valiant
X-O Manowar
Bloodshot

Abstract Studios
Rachel Rising

Dynamite
The Shadow

I’m really looking forward to Shadowman (Valiant), Masks and Hickman’s Avengers but none of those are out quite yet.

Today… A Shindig! Tomorrow… The World!

This is where I’ll be later today — please join me!

Press Release –

Following the tremendous success of its first online promotion party with Shindig, Pro Se Productions proudly announces its next Promo Party for upcoming releases!

October 27- From 2:00 PM- 3:30 PM EST
PRO SE PRODUCTIONS PROMO EVENT- THE ROOK VOLUME 1 SPECIAL EDITION
AND MONSTER ACES!

Professional Author Barry Reese is perhaps best known for his seminal New Pulp Creation, The Rook! Join Barry as he discusses all things Rook to promote the re release of The Rook Volume 1 as a Pro Se Productions Special Edition! Giveaways, readings, and more! Also, Join Barry Reese as well as concept creator Jim Beard to talk about the all new MONSTER ACES anthology featuring great heroes against classic monsters out in time for HALLOWEEN!!

Get your mike ready and your webcam, too (if you have one) and enjoy the fun!

To RSVP, go to www.shindig.com/event/prose2 and sign up today!

Friday Fun

First of all, thanks for the amazing success of The Shadow Fan, my weekly podcast devoted to The Shadow. It’s been downloaded a LOT in just 24 hours and I’ve seen it tweeted and re-tweeted all over the place. The Shadow is such an amazing character and I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a fan-oriented podcast featuring discussion related to him… glad to see I’m not the only one with a pent-up desire for Shadow talk. I have some fun places for episode two, coming next week.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is my Shindig, devoted to talking about The Rook Volume One Special Edition and to Monster Aces, the Pro Se anthology created by Jim Beard and Tommy Hancock. I’ll have a story in that collection and I think it’s going to be a smash hit (the anthology, not necessarily my story in it! lol).

Those of you who are Ubergeeks fans — note that we’ll once again be recording the show on Monday night, so episode 35 won’t be posted until Tuesday of next week. Real life gets in the way of scheduling sometimes!

Work continues on Gravedigger — I’m approaching the 25,000 word mark!