My Liberty Guard novel… is kaput.

noooooo-god-nooooI now have an entire novel written in someone else’s universe that won’t see print. Wonderful. Ah, well. I enjoyed working with these characters and feel that I brought something interesting to what I was given to work with. Some of the characters I have to admit struck me as incredible losers at the beginning but I really liked them by the end. TNT, Blue Fire, even that wacky version of Cat-Man that I think I took in some odd directions from where Jeff Deischer intended… I had fun ideas for one and all. I’ll probably repurpose some of those ideas for other characters down the road.

I hate that you guys won’t get the chance to see it.

It’s awful when things like this happen but that’s life.

Announcing… The Liberty Guard!

TNT_Todd_004Back in the 1990s I was a big fan of a series called Protectors. It was written by R.A. Jones and revived a number of public domain heroes originally published by Centaur Comics. When that series ended, most of these characters returned to publishing limbo… until R.A. Jones revived them in a series of novels set in the Golden Age. The first of these, The Steel Ring, was a tour-de-force of superhero prose… and it was followed by The Twilight War and House of Souls, two more instant classics. I loved these books… and it was with no small amount of excitement that I accepted an offer to write a companion series set alongside R.A.’s incredible work with the Steel Ring.

I’ll be writing a series of novels that will appear in alternating years to the Steel Ring books – the first of which will be published in the fall of next year. I’ll also be using heroes originally featured in the Centaur publishing line and while my series will be self-contained, there will be inevitable “Easter eggs” that connects my work to R.A.’s.

This is what my editor Jeff Deischer posted today in announcing my association with the project: Some very exciting news! Barry Reese has agreed to write a new novel in RA Jones’ Steel Ring universe, tentatively titled The Liberty Guard. When RA told me he wanted to continue the series (it had started off a a one-shot), I pitched him a number of ideas. He’s reached the point in the series when Liberty Guard fits chronologically, AND coincidentally it meshes well with his plans for the Steel Ring. I knew he didn’t want to write Liberty Guard, focusing on his own series, so I asked Barry if he’d be interested, since he is a well respected pulp AND superhero writer. The plan is to release this next autumn. Updates as we progress. To be clear, this novel will stand separately from the Steel Ring — in the same universe but using different characters. Glad to have you aboard, Barry!

I’m looking forward to working alongside one of my favorite writers in R.A. Jones – and I’ve long been a fan of Jeff Deischer’s works so this is a nice opportunity to collaborate with him.

Look for more details – including a list of the character that will be appearing in LIBERTY GUARD – in the near future. You do get to see the team’s leader accompanying this post (that’s TNT TODD) so let that whet your appetite!

New Pulp Recommendations: Millennium Bug

bugJeff Deischer is a prolific author and I’ve greatly enjoyed both his non-fiction works (he wrote a wonderful chronology of Doc Savage) and his novels (mostly featuring superheroes). This time around he’s written a pastiche of Doc Savage in which Doc Brazen returns from retirement at the turn of the 21st century, bringing together a new group of aides to help him in dealing with an attack on the Brazen Institute, which is where Brazen alters criminals to be productive members of society.

This is my favorite Doc Savage pastiche of all time, bar none. It captures the feeling of a classic Savage novel while making enough tweaks to keep thing fresh. The new aides are all fun and I found Oz and Noble to be a nice updating on the Ham/Monk dynamic — to be honest, I think I might actually prefer Oz and Noble! Thankfully there are no pet pigs or monkeys around…

I remember when DC tried to update both Doc Savage and The Shadow to the modern day, with very mixed results. A lot of people think these characters only function in their original eras — but Deischer puts the lie to that theory. He proves that Savage/Brazen can work in any time period.

A masterful novel and one that I know I’ll return to in the future. Bring on more Doc Brazen!