Another 5-Star Review!

lg01_lazarus_solo_with_textBestselling author Mat Nastos took time out of his busy schedule to review The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Seven on Amazon recently. Here’s what he had to say:

REESE PULLS OFF NEW PULP GREATNESS ONCE AGAIN 5 Stars

Read through through Kindle Unlimited and loved it enough that I’m going to buy it as well. I have been a fan of the Lazarus Gray series since Barry Reese published the first volume years ago. Reese writes rich characters and great action. The only bad thing about Lazarus Gray Volume 7? It looks like this is going to be the last entry in the series for a while.

This book is great for fans of new pulp adventure and was perfect for me!

Thanks, Mat! I’m glad you continue to enjoy the series. I’ve written the first two stories in what will eventually be Volume 8 but I have several projects that I have to work on before we get around to wrapping that one up. Thanks again for the kind words.

Lots Of Stuff!

dark_gentlemanWelcome back, my friends, to the blog that never ends!

The new Pro Se edition of The Damned Thing should be out very soon. This edition will sport a brand new cover plus a fresh set of edits so I hope people who may have missed the book in its Wild Cat edition will check it out. I like to think it’s one of the best things I’ve written.

I also hope to put the finishing touches on The Dark Gentleman short I’ve been working on for many months. It’s a little thing but with my schedule being the way it is, I haven’t had time to focus on it the way I should. Plus, I’ve been working on the crossover novel lately and that’s taken time away… But superstar artist Jeffrey Hayes has delivered the amazing image you see at left, using yours-truly as the model for The Dark Gentleman. I love it! With that image serving as inspiration, I’ll be focusing on the tale for the duration and getting it completed so you can all enjoy it.

On the review front, Mat Nastos delivered the following review of Lazarus Gray Volume Three:

I’m a long time fan of Reese’s pulp-adventure work, having started with volumes of his Rook adventures before checking out the Lazarus Gray collections. Volume 3 introduces one of the most interesting characters Reese has created in the conflicted/mentally unstable Eidolon. I can’t wait to see more of this character in the future. The work is very well-written and moves along at a great clip. If you like short story collections filled with action-adventure and pulpy heroes, then you should check out the Adventures of Lazarus Gray.

Thanks, Mat! I’m glad you enjoyed Eidolon… most readers seem taken with The Darkling more than Eidolon but I enjoyed writing both. Please be sure to check out Mat’s latest, Man With the Iron Heart, if you’re in the mood for some good New Pulp reading!

Hope everyone in the United States had a great Thanksgiving holiday last week… now we’re in the stretch run for the end-of-the-year celebrations! Stay safe and happy, my friends.

From the Vault: My Favorite New Pulp Heroes

Dillon---CthuluThe past couple of weeks I’ve listed out my favorite classic pulp heroes and villains. This time around I decided to dive into the New Pulp waters. Basically, I’m defining New Pulp as characters who are written in the same breathless manner as the classic heroes… but who are appearing in brand new stories and have been created since the end of the classic pulp era. I’m putting emphasis on characters who have made their debut in prose (so no Indiana Jones, I’m afraid) and, furthermore, those characters who are mostly a part of what’s called the New Pulp Movement.

A lot of rules, eh?

That’s just the way we play the game, my friends.

So here’s my Top Ten Favorite New Pulp Heroes:

10. Brother Bones (created by Ron Fortier)
9. Garvey Dire (Created by Joel Jenkins)
8. Fortune McCall (Created by Derrick Ferguson)
7. The Pulptress (Created by Tommy Hancock)
6. Hardluck Hannigan (Created by Bill Craig)
5. Malcolm Weir (Created by Mat Nastos)
4. Mr. Brass (Created by Josh Reynolds)
3. The Black Centipede (Created by Chuck Miller)
2. Elisa Hill (Created by Percival Constantine)
1. Dillon (Created by Derrick Ferguson)

This was actually a really hard list to come up with — I left off lots of heroes that I genuinely love but I had to limit it to just ten. If I did a # 11, it would be Hugh Monn (Created by Lee Houston Jr.).

I’ve actually gone back and modified this list several times already. Oh, well. I think it does give you a nice overview of the best of New Pulp, in my opinion. I should give a special shout-out to Derrick Ferguson, who’s the only author to place two characters on my list!

My Favorite New Pulp Heroes

Dillon---CthuluThe past couple of weeks I’ve listed out my favorite classic pulp heroes and villains. This time around I decided to dive into the New Pulp waters. Basically, I’m defining New Pulp as characters who are written in the same breathless manner as the classic heroes… but who are appearing in brand new stories and have been created since the end of the classic pulp era. I’m putting emphasis on characters who have made their debut in prose (so no Indiana Jones, I’m afraid) and, furthermore, those characters who are mostly a part of what’s called the New Pulp Movement.

A lot of rules, eh?

That’s just the way we play the game, my friends.

So here’s my Top Ten Favorite New Pulp Heroes:

10. Brother Bones (created by Ron Fortier)
9. Garvey Dire (Created by Joel Jenkins)
8. Fortune McCall (Created by Derrick Ferguson)
7. The Pulptress (Created by Tommy Hancock)
6. Hardluck Hannigan (Created by Bill Craig)
5. Malcolm Weir (Created by Mat Nastos)
4. Mr. Brass (Created by Josh Reynolds)
3. The Black Centipede (Created by Chuck Miller)
2. Elisa Hill (Created by Percival Constantine)
1. Dillon (Created by Derrick Ferguson)

This was actually a really hard list to come up with — I left off lots of heroes that I genuinely love but I had to limit it to just ten. If I did a # 11, it would be Hugh Monn (Created by Lee Houston Jr.).

I’ve actually gone back and modified this list several times already. Oh, well. I think it does give you a nice overview of the best of New Pulp, in my opinion. I should give a special shout-out to Derrick Ferguson, who’s the only author to place two characters on my list!

The Times They Are A-Changin’

mellisa_clarke_dark_eyesI informed Ron Hanna of Wild Cat Books today that I wanted him to remove The Damned Thing, Rabbit Heart and Guan-Yin and the Horrors of Skull Island from print. I’ve always been really proud of The Damned Thing & Rabbit Heart but the edits on both books have always been a bit rough and I’m going to be making sure they get a thorough scrubbing before I re-release them. I do plan to keep the cover artwork from the amazing Jason Levesque and he’s given me permission to continue the use of the art in the new editions.The main characters of those two books — Violet Cambridge and Fiona Chapman — are two of my favorite creations and I’m proud to say that the people who have managed to make their way through the books seem to agree that they’re amongst my best works.

As for Guan-Yin, I have no plans to return that one to print — it was always the least popular of my works, garnering some pretty terrible reviews over the years. To be honest, I don’t they were entirely unwarranted, either. So Guan-Yin will probably be gathering dust for the time being. I do hope, however, to put Rabbit Heart & The Damned Thing on the fast-track to publication. I’m not sure if these will be out again in print or if I’ll go with eBook only. I’m also not sure if they will appear via my Reese Unlimited imprint or if I’ll self-publish them, which is something that Mat Nastos keeps urging me to do, lol. really don’t want to get into self-publishing but once these things are edited, I want them back out there for sale ASAP and I’m not sure I want to wait for the Pro Se publication schedule to open up for that to happen.

This does mean if you don’t want to wait for the new editions and you want to get those books on the cheap, you better buy them right this second. They’ll be joining most of The Rook series as out-of-print soon, which means online vendors will be selling them for hundreds of dollars.

Or you could always buy them straight from me, courtesy of the Merchandise link at the top of the blog.

Moving on!

A new episode of Ubergeeks (# 45) went live today — check it out! Cari & I hit up the Orson Scott Card controversy and discuss our Top 5 Movie Quotes.

I was the guest on this week’s edition of Ralph’s Rants, where I was interviewed by the irrepressible Ralph Angelo. I think our discussion went pretty well so check it out!

From what I’ve heard, Gravedigger is still on track for a late March release — which means Lazarus Gray Volume 3 should be arriving in April. I really, really think you guys are going to like these books!

Our lovely model today is one of the primary visual inspirations I had for Charity Grace, aka Gravedigger. Dark & lovely… and very, very deadly. Gravedigger will feature a stunning cover by George Sellas and six interior pieces by legendary artist Will Meugniot!

New Pulp Recommendation of the Week: The Cestus Concern

cestus-concern-coverEvery Friday I take a look at a New Pulp release that I feel is deserving of your attention. Sometimes these are new releases, sometimes they’re a few years old. Sometimes they might even challenge your definition of ‘pulp.’ This time around, I’m turning my critical eye towards The Cestus Concern: Weir Codex Book 1 by Mat Nastos.

Before we get too far into the discussion, let’s see how the publisher described the book:

WHO IS MALCOLM WEIR?
Waking up in an operating room, much to the surprise of the attending surgeons, Malcolm Weir frantically fights his way out of a secret government installation, located in downtown Los Angeles. Battling through a mass of armed guards and meta-gene operatives, the cyborg warrior realizes he has no memory of how he got there. The past 11 months are gone. With a hole in his mind, Weir must retrace his steps for the past year, fighting his way through the nearly endless horde of super powered mercenaries and assassins the government sends after him. Travel along with Weir, facing some of the most intense action ever put to paper, along with a body count of ridiculous proportions, as he tracks down the secrets trapped in his head. In the end, Weir must stand alone against a former friend and a squad of the deadliest killers ever created, all to learn the terrifying truth behind Project: Hardwired. Fans of films like “Bourne Identity” or “Smoking Aces,” or the comics of Deadpool and Wolverine, will love the over-the-top science fiction action of “The Cestus Concern” by Mat Nastos.

What surprises me about that description is that it omits any reference to The Six-Million Dollar Man, which is what this reminded me most strongly of. Maybe they decided that comparing it to a television show from the 1970s would make it feel dated? Regardless, this novel feels very contemporary — we have a military officer transformed into a cybernetic killing machine (again, think the Bionic Man, only with a hell of a lot more collateral damage!) and we get lots of references to modern technology and tactics. Our main character, Malcolm Weir, was never supposed to have his own mind — a highly-developed artificial intelligence was supposed to control his actions, making him the perfect soldier: one who could take lots of damage, dish out even more and who would never question his orders. But when something goes wrong, Weir’s personality reasserts itself… and all hell breaks loose.

In that way, this book does definitely give impressions of things like Bourne or Wolverine, in that we have a hero who has been turned into something that he doesn’t understand… and whose memories are now suspect. The quest for identity is a major one in this book but don’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s lots of introspection here — most of that occurs while Weir is acting like a human tank or falling from 30,000 feet. The action starts immediately and never lets up, with a breathless quality that left me feeling spent when I finally reached the end of the story.

Despite that, the characters are vividly described and within paragraphs, you feel like you know who each of them is and how they should react. I definitely admire the author’s ability to craft these  kinds of believable characters while never letting his foot off the accelerator.

Is this book going to change the way you look at the world or give you a deeper insight into the nature of humanity? Hell, no! But what it will do is grab you by the neck and give you a major throttling that you won’t soon forget. It’s a big budget action film played out in prose and if you can kick back with your favorite beverage and give it a few hours, you’ll find yourself immersed in a very engrossing new world.

Sign me up for Book 2!