Page 2 of 2

New Pulp Recommendation of the Week: The Spider – Shadow of Evil by CJ Henderson

Every Friday I focus on a New Pulp work that I think merits your attention. Sometimes it will be something that’s brand new, other times I’ll look at something that’s a few years old. This week, I’m encouraging you to check out The Spider- Shadow of Evil by CJ Henderson. Before we dive into the book itself, let’s see how Moonstone Books describes the work:

The first new Spider novel in 65 years picks up where the last left off, packed to the gills with the greatest slam-bang action ever penned by master pulpster CJ Henderson! Richard Wentworth, the Spider, wonders if his long struggle against the forces of evil has been worth it? Should he continue, or grab for personal happiness before his time runs out? Then, at the moment he makes his decision, fate unleashes the most hellish horrors of all time against New York City!

For those who may not know, The Spider was one of the most popular heroes of pulp’s golden age. His stories were adrenaline-fueled action-oriented tales that nevertheless managed to display some strong characterization for both The Spider and his romantic partner, Nita Van Sloan. While The Spider was never one of my favorite pulp heroes, I have read a small handful and feel comfortable in saying that I understand the nuances of the character. In recent years, Moonstone has done a lot of comics and short stories with the hero but this novel is the first full-length story in decades. Dynamite has also used The Spider in both his own ongoing series and in the crossover Masks. In general, Moonstone’s version is far more traditional while Dynamite has made numerous tweaks to his personality and appearance.

This is a digest sized paperback, affordably priced at $6.95. It feels very pulpy — and yet classy at the same time. Everyone I’ve shown it to has remarked on the package itself. I really, really like this format and hope to see more of it from Moonstone and others.

The story picks up several months after the last published Spider, with Richard Wentworth in retirement following the supposed death of The Spider. He’s turning 40 years old and ready to settle down with his long-suffering romantic interest, Nita Van Sloan. But just when it looks like true happiness might finally be found, someone starts killing people — lots of people! — by using devices that seem very familiar to Wenworth. In fact, they’re weapons he’s faced before… who has gotten access to the weapons of The Spider’s past foes forms the mystery at the heart of the book. It’s a compelling one and offers a good excuse for Wentworth to reminiscence about his past and do some soul-searching about what he’s really accomplished.

All the old supporting characters are back and are utilized very well. The story is smoothly told and never lets up — all the classic Spider tropes are here, especially the mass destruction.

Call me a heretic, but I honestly think this is the best Spider novel I’ve read. Admittedly, I’ve read a half dozen or so… but I’m definitely interested in reading more of CJ Henderson’s version and it’s caused me to consider seeking out more of the classic novels. Good stuff.

The only downside were quite a few typos, many of which were of the same variety, repeated again and again. But this hardly stopped me from loving the book.

If you’re an old-time Spider fan, this is a great return for the character. If you’re new to him or have only discovered him via Masks or something similar, I think this can serve as a fine introduction to the hero’s prose adventures, despite the fact it relies heavily on past continuity. They tell you everything you really need to know.

Check it out – I think you’ll enjoy it!

Friday’s Here!

rook_v2_cover_mock_up_smallIf you’re like me, the arrival of the weekend is considered a good thing — it offers a chance to unwind and hang out with the family, get some reading done and momentarily forgetting the stresses of work. Friday is also a time when I can look over some of my writing responsibilities and get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working and what I never should have agreed to do in the first place! Here’s an update on various projects that I’ve talked about in recent months:

Gravedigger – In the hands of the folks at Pro Se. Should be out for sale in March or April.

Lazarus Gray Volume 3 – See Gravedigger.

Lazarus Gray Volume 4 – I’m about 47,000+ words into the writing of this right now.

The Rook Special Edition Volume 2 – See Lazarus Gray Volume 3. And Gravedigger. Should be out for sale in May, though. The cover mockup is here with this post. George Sellas did a great job on it!

The Rook Special Edition Volume 3 – George Sellas is working on the cover and interiors now.

G-8 and His Battle Aces – Moonstone has approved it, not sure when it will see print.

The Avenger – My newest Avenger story will be out in The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, due out in April from Moonstone.

The Phantom Detective – Started on this story but got sidetracked by Lazarus Gray.

Sherlock Holmes – I’m supposed to do this for Pro Se… Maybe I can get started once Lazarus 4 is in the can.

The Rook – I need to do a short story for Tales of The Rook Volume 2 – I have an unfinished Claws of The Rook tale that’s been sitting in my Dropbox account for quite awhile. Maybe dust that off and complete it for this?

The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible!

THE AVENGER: ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

Moonstone Books’ third anthology collection chronicling new tales of pulp hero, The Avenger is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Titled, THE AVENGER: ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE, the book is scheduled for release in April 2013 in both softcover trade paperback and limited edition hardcover.

The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible features stories by New Pulp Authors Matthew Baugh, James Chambers, Greg Cox, Win Scott Eckert, Joe Gentile, CJ Henderson, Nancy Holder, Michael May, Matthew Mayo, Will Murray, Bobby Nash, Barry Reese, Chris Sequeira, John Small, and David White. Edited by Nancy Holder and Joe Gentile. Cover art courtesy of E. M. Gist (soft cover) and Jay Piscopo (hardcover).

The greatest crime-fighter of the 40’s returns in a third thrilling collection of original, action-packed tales of adventure, intrigue, and revenge. Life was bliss for millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson until that fateful day crime and greed took away his wife and young daughter… and turned him into something more than human. Driven by loss, compelled by grief, he becomes a chilled impersonal force of justice, more machine than man, dedicated to the destruction of evildoers everywhere. A figure of ice and steel, more pitiless than both, Benson has been forged into an avatar of vengeance, possessed of superhuman genius supernormal power. His frozen face and pale eyes, like a polar dawn, only hint at the terrible force the underworld heedlessly invoked upon itself the day they created… The Avenger!

Exclusive HC BONUS material: An Avenger timeline by Rick Lai, a story by John Small, plus solo tales of the Avenger’s aides by Howard Hopkins!

Coming April 2013 from Moonstone Books. You can order the softcover trade paperback and limited edition hardcover now.

20121103-082954.jpg

A Bloody Good Year

rabbit_heart_smallAs we slowly approach the new year, all of us are looking back over the past twelve months and wondering what the next 12 will bring. For me, I hope it’s continued good health (I’ve lost 71 pounds this year), much happiness with my family and more writing opportunities. I know I’ve got gigs lined up with Airship 27, Pro Se and Moonstone but maybe I’ll branch out to some other publishers this year – I’ve never done anything for Pulp Empire or White Rocket, for instance, so maybe it’s time to send them a pitch. We’ll see — I have enough projects already lined up that it’s dangerous to commit to anything new.

I recently looked back over the 10,000+ words I wrote on the Rabbit Heart sequel a few years back. It’s damned good stuff but it’s very intense — if you’ve read Rabbit Heart, you might be shocked to learn that this one is far more violent and sexual. That’s why I’ve held back on it. But maybe I can tweak it… maybe it’s time for Fiona to slash her way back onto readers’ shelves (and eBook readers!).  We’ll see… What say you, faithful readers?

Wild Cat Books seems to be mostly out of business — it’s been awhile since they’ve published anything and I’ve seen no announcements about more things coming so any sequel would probably come through Reese Unlimited… maybe it’s time for a reprinting (with a fresh coat of editing) for Rabbit Heart, too?

 

Looking Ahead to 2013

Gravedigger & Mitchell from 2013's Gravedigger novel. Art by Will Meugniot
Gravedigger & Mitchell from 2013’s Gravedigger novel. Art by Will Meugniot

So yesterday we talked a lot about what stories had been published in 2012 — now let’s talk at length about what’s coming up in 2013! I have no idea about dates on any of this, sadly — I’m at the whims of my publishers!

Moonstone

I should have three stories coming from Moonstone in 2013 – a Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar tale; my second Avenger story and a G-8 story.

Pro Se

A bunch of stuff! The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 3 – Eidolon; Gravedigger; Tales of The Rook Volume 2, The Rook Special Editions 2-4.

Airship 27

I’ll be doing a Phantom Detective story for Airship 27.

So you should have quite a bit from me stocking the shelves next year.

Our art today is by the amazing Will Meugniot and will be featured in Gravedigger!

Friday Stuff

pen-nibEnded up coming a bit short on my Liberty Girl word-count so I’m trying to find a way to stretch it out without it seeming like I’m just stretching it out.

Also got back my suggested edits on my G-8 story for Moonstone. Nothing to intense, though they want me to rework the opening, which I actually thought was the strongest part of the story — still, I’ll find a way to make it work. I may not always initially agree with the suggested edits I get from the guys at Moonstone but in the end, I do think they usually make for a tighter and more professional story. They’ve been doing this for awhile 😉

I’ll be working from home next week so hopefully I’ll find time to record episode 11 of The Shadow Fan. I’m currently reading “Cyro” and really enjoying it. The Shadow travels to New Orleans in this one and Walter Gibson’s writing is very fine.

I’ve been feeling the onset of another case of writing blah’s, I’m afraid. Sales are okay, compared to a lot of the New Pulp field, but they’re definitely lagging far behind anything that equates to the time and energy I put into writing these things. There are definitely times I wish I could find the strength to stop writing and just find myself a productive hobby that would be fun. And cheap.

 

 

 

The Avenger Returns!

THE AVENGER: ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

Moonstone Books’ third anthology collection chronicling new tales of pulp hero, The Avenger is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Titled, THE AVENGER: ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE, the book is scheduled for release in April 2013 in both softcover trade paperback and limited edition hardcover.

The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible features stories by New Pulp Authors Matthew Baugh, James Chambers, Greg Cox, Win Scott Eckert, Joe Gentile, CJ Henderson, Nancy Holder, Michael May, Matthew Mayo, Will Murray, Bobby Nash, Barry Reese, Chris Sequeira, John Small, and David White. Edited by Nancy Holder and Joe Gentile. Cover art courtesy of E. M. Gist (soft cover) and Jay Piscopo (hardcover).

The greatest crime-fighter of the 40’s returns in a third thrilling collection of original, action-packed tales of adventure, intrigue, and revenge. Life was bliss for millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson until that fateful day crime and greed took away his wife and young daughter… and turned him into something more than human. Driven by loss, compelled by grief, he becomes a chilled impersonal force of justice, more machine than man, dedicated to the destruction of evildoers everywhere. A figure of ice and steel, more pitiless than both, Benson has been forged into an avatar of vengeance, possessed of superhuman genius supernormal power. His frozen face and pale eyes, like a polar dawn, only hint at the terrible force the underworld heedlessly invoked upon itself the day they created… The Avenger!

Exclusive HC BONUS material: An Avenger timeline by Rick Lai, a story by John Small, plus solo tales of the Avenger’s aides by Howard Hopkins!

Coming April 2013 from Moonstone Books. You can order the softcover trade paperback and limited edition hardcover now.

20121103-082954.jpg

The Avenger Returns!

THE AVENGER: ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

Moonstone Books’ third anthology collection chronicling new tales of pulp hero, The Avenger is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Titled, THE AVENGER: ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE, the book is scheduled for release in April 2013 in both softcover trade paperback and limited edition hardcover.

The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible features stories by New Pulp Authors Matthew Baugh, James Chambers, Greg Cox, Win Scott Eckert, Joe Gentile, CJ Henderson, Nancy Holder, Michael May, Matthew Mayo, Will Murray, Bobby Nash, Barry Reese, Chris Sequeira, John Small, and David White. Edited by Nancy Holder and Joe Gentile. Cover art courtesy of E. M. Gist (soft cover) and Jay Piscopo (hardcover).

The greatest crime-fighter of the 40’s returns in a third thrilling collection of original, action-packed tales of adventure, intrigue, and revenge. Life was bliss for millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson until that fateful day crime and greed took away his wife and young daughter… and turned him into something more than human. Driven by loss, compelled by grief, he becomes a chilled impersonal force of justice, more machine than man, dedicated to the destruction of evildoers everywhere. A figure of ice and steel, more pitiless than both, Benson has been forged into an avatar of vengeance, possessed of superhuman genius supernormal power. His frozen face and pale eyes, like a polar dawn, only hint at the terrible force the underworld heedlessly invoked upon itself the day they created… The Avenger!

Exclusive HC BONUS material: An Avenger timeline by Rick Lai, a story by John Small, plus solo tales of the Avenger’s aides by Howard Hopkins!

Coming April 2013 from Moonstone Books. You can order the softcover trade paperback and limited edition hardcover now.

20121103-082954.jpg

Upcoming Publishing Schedule

First up – my Reese Unlimited imprint.

The next book you should see released is the new edition of The Rook Volume One, with new editing, formatting, cover & interior art (those last two are by the wonderful George Sellas). After that, you should The Rook Volume 7 (written by Tommy Hancock) in the early part of 2013… followed soon after by The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 3: Eidolon. Not sure what comes after that, but I would imagine it would be The Rook Volume 2 (new edition)…. and then Gravedigger. Late in 2013, you should get The Rook Volume 3 (new edition), The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 4: Title To Be Determined and Tales of The Rook 2.

From Pro Se, I should have a story in Jim Beard’s new collection but they still haven’t made the official announcement about that, so I’ll hold off on naming it. That should be coming very soon.

Over at Moonstone, I’ve turned in a second Avenger story and it’s been edited & accepted but I have no idea when it will be published. I also wrote a G-8 story that hasn’t been edited or accepted yet. Whenever their Johnny Dollar anthology comes out, I have a story that will be in that one. With Moonstone, I don’t know any hard and firm dates – sorry.

For Airship 27, I’m sketching out a plot for a Phantom Detective story that should appear sometime in 2013.

I think that’s it… but I’m probably forgetting something.

The Rook Volume Six

The sixth volume in the bestselling Rook Chronicles is now in stores!. Featuring a cover by Ed Mironiuk and interior illustrations by Anthony Castrillo. Also, my short story “The Devil’s Workmen” will appear in The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files from Moonstone Books. This collection of new stories featuring classic pulp hero The Avenger is due out soon. My story “Summer of Death” will appear in The Green Hornet Casefiles.