When I was a kid, Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken was everywhere. Not only were there sequels galore but the notion of ‘ancient astronauts’ popped up on episodes of In Search of… and even formed the basis for Jack Kirby’s Eternals. I remember reading Chariots of the Gods and coming away convinced that we’d been visited by aliens in our ancient past. Of course, I was a sucker for all things ‘weird’ at the time, devouring material about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs and Atlantis.
All of this brings us to Flinch Books’ newest release, Quest for the Space Gods: The Chronicles of Conrad von Honig. This book features stories by Jim Beard, Desmond Reddick, Frank Schildiner, Brian K. Morris, Terry Alexander and Fred Adams, Jr and all of the tales follow the exploits of author Conrad von Honig — he’s basically von Daniken only cast in more of an action hero mode. Despite the variety of authors, the character remains remarkably consistent throughout, which is a testament to both the overall concept and the editorial oversight of John C. Bruening and the aforementioned Jim Beard.
The setting is great, taking place in the late sixties/early seventies — not only is this a time period that you don’t see much in New Pulp but it feels perfectly suited for the material and all the authors do a fine job of capturing the flavor of the era.
My favorite story was probably Reddick’s and I have to give him props for not only writing a corker of a tale but I love the title of his story and wish I’d thought of it first. Other stories that really appealed to me were the ones by Beard and Morris but all of the tales are quite good.
I could easily see this being a series of television movies or even an ongoing show. The cover reinforces that feel — I wanted Lee Majors starring in this!
Highly recommended for all fans of New Pulp and/or ancient astronauts!