Month: December 2017

Book Review: Paperbacks from Hell

I got this book for my birthday and really enjoyed it – this review pretty much lines up with my own views on the work. Enjoy!

Breaking it all Down

In the ’70s, and ’80s, there was a massive boom in horror cinema in various stripes, from the US and Italy, combined with the general boom in Exploitation films. This boom wasn’t just limited to film. This period also saw a dramatic increase in the amount of horror novels published in the US – with highly successful novels like The ExorcistRosemary’s Baby, and The Amityville Horror, and Jaws (all of which were later adapted to the screen), leading to an accompanying rise in horror novels.

Paperbacks from Hell goes into this boom and basically breaks down the slew of horror novels into manageable chunks. Not by year, but by sub-genre, getting into what gave each subgenre its appeal. White Flight from the cities and the success of The Amityville Horror helped boost the popularity of haunted house stories, and so on.

The tone of the work…

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FF Reviews: Marvel Two-In-One # 1

img_9423Everyone knows I love the Fantastic Four – but it’s been several years since Marvel has published a series starring Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben. The Marvel Universe hasn’t been the same without them.

Now Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung have revived Johnny and Ben in a series using the title of the Thing’s old team-up series. I’m gonna review the series in anticipation of a hopeful Fantastic Four revival.

So how did they do, overall? The art is GORGEOUS but I had no fears about that – I’ve loved Cheung since his old Crossgen days.

Zdarsky nails the characterizations for both Ben and Johnny. He captures their melancholy perfectly and he even makes me feel okay about Doom’s current status quo, which is impressive given my lack of enthusiasm for “hero” Doom.

I’m excited to see where this goes – this issue is mostly setup and character stuff so it is definitely written for the trade but I saw enough here to make me think that Zdarsky has a real love and passion for the FF.

BTW, I loved the Wizard reference – the Frightful Four are some of my favorite FF villains so I hope to see them in this book soon.

I give it 4 stars out of 4!

WHAT PULP CAN TEACH US

A really good post from a few years ago – some nice info about the classic pulps and how you can write pulp fiction today.

Fantasy Author's Handbook

I know I’ve been talking about pulp a lot lately, but bear with me. I’m in the middle of teaching a two-session Pulp Fiction Workshop, with the second session coming this Saturday. Students have been sending me their stories and I’ve sent them mine. And mine also happens to be the pulp jungle story I talked about in terms of character bullet points, which will be published under Pro Se’s Signature Series in the fall. So, yeah, pulp and new pulp have been on my mind a bit.

I don’t want anyone to think that now I’ve become Phil, Master of Pulp and that there’s some exclusive Oath of Allegiance that I’ve taken or that I’m asking you to take. I’ve said before that I’ve always, personally, been drawn to the opposite ends of the genres I love, with an equal interest in the most literary or avant…

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Merry Christmas!

shadows-christmasFor those that celebrate the holiday, I hope that you have a wonderful day filled with family and friendship!

I’ll cross my fingers for you that you’ll end up getting a pulp novel or two under that Xmas tree, too!

I crossed the 36,000 word mark on the eighth volume of Lazarus Gray this week so hopefully I’ll be able to wrap this one up before too long and you’ll get to see it sometime in 2018!

Take care, my friends!

The (Fictional) Women In My Life

Rachel-Weisz-rachel-weisz-120258_800_1101I’m mostly known for my male creations — The Peregrine & Lazarus Gray, for instance — but I’ve spent a good bit of my career writing female leads. The Damned Thing, Rabbit Heart and Gravedigger all feature strong female characters and I’ve also written a couple of stories featuring Nightveil, from AC Comics’ comic book universe. I’m proud of those books, especially since the pulp field is still so testosterone-heavy. New Pulp does have The Pulptress, Elisa Hill and Callie but those are still just a drop in the bucket.

I’ve tried to add to the diversity of characters within the field while not making too big of a deal about it. The Lazarus Gray series not only features Samantha Grace as a major part of the storyline but I also have Eun Jiwon, a member of the team who is both homosexual and Korean. In Gravedigger, we have Li Yuchun, a Chinese American, and Mitchell, a British hero of African descent. I’m not doing this to make any kind of point, really — I simply want to reflect the real world, which the original pulps didn’t always do.

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Earhart in the Marshall Islands?

I’ve always found the Earhart mystery a fascinating one and I also watched the History Channel documentary that Davide references in this post. Good stuff.

Karavansara

416uDLSiwgL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I started reading about Amelia Earhart back in university, after stumbling on a slim book called I Was Amelia Earhart, a fictionalized account of Earhart’s final days.
Most obviously fictionalized because nobody knows exactly what happened to Earhart after she disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in 1937, together with her navigator Fred Noonan.
The book was strange, not exactly what I had expected, but what the heck, there was a mystery in there, one I had heard mentioned for ages, but never got into.
So I started reading on the subject.

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Two New Reviews

rabbit_heart_newFuntony47 has returned, posting two different reviews on Amazon.com. This time around, he took a look at Nightveil: The Quiet Girls and Rabbit Heart. Let’s see what he had to say about Nightveil first:

Can’t wait for the next adventure! 5 stars

Once again Barry Reese gives us a great character whom we can love. An intricate plot that does not lose you in the twists and a story you want more of. Not a part of his Lazarus Gray universe yet I for one would love to get more from this new one. Eagerly awaiting new entries in this universe where it seems the superheroes are actually superheroines! Awesome story about the possible end of the world by a demonic entity seeking, even more, power through an ancient artifact. No spoilers in here must read to find out the details! And very definitely a MUST READ so sit back and enjoy!

Thanks, Tony! I had a blast writing this book – if you haven’t sampled Femforce or the other titles from AC Comics, I definitely recommend looking into it. They’re fun, old-fashioned superhero books with an emphasis on visually appealing female heroes. I was honored to write Nightveil, she’s a wonderful character.

Now, on to his review of Rabbit Heart:

Barry Reese unleashes his dark side! 5 stars
The surprises never seem to end in this book. This is NOT your normal Barry Reese adventure yet it is still an incredible tale. Seems like Barry has a dark side he has been hiding or maybe it has been caged and unable to have free reign. Either way, we get much more violence and gore. Still very well crafted with memorable characters including one known to those who have read The Peregrine books. Honestly a book I would love to see much more of from him!

Thanks again, Tony! Rabbit Heart was definitely a different style for me but it was intended to be that so I guess it worked quite well. I wanted to go all out in terms of sex and violence — and it seems to have really clicked with some readers. I always say I might return to Fiona Chapman’s story someday… who knows?