Tag: Wayne Reinagel

Writers That Have Influenced Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!”

I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

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New Pulp Recommendations: Sanctuary Falls

Wayne Reinagel is the king of the New Pulp epic. He writes frenetic action scenes that smack of classic pulp but these sequences are nestled in between chapters that go in-depth into the history of the pulp publishing industry, the golden age of comics and so many pastiches and nods to both classic fictional characters and real-life personages that your head will be left spinning!

This book is a whopping 781 pages plus a lengthy timeline. It features hardboiled detectives, outer space action and finally reveals who murdered The Black Dahlia. It is audacious and stunning. The only thing that keeps it from being a 5-star is that sometimes the wink-wink-nudge-nudge cameos and pastiches seem a little off-putting and distracting — in a narrative that spirals outward as much as this one does, that can impede your enjoyment.

Highly recommended – but make sure you’ve read the previous books in the series first!

Writers That Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

From the Vault: Khan Dynasty Recommendation

khan_dynastyWant to check out one of the best New Pulp novels *ever*, in my humble opinion? Then you should run and buy Pulp Heroes – Khan Dynasty by Wayne Reinagel. This book was published in 2010 by Knightraven Studios. Here’s how the publisher described it:

The prequel to Pulp Heroes – More Than Mortal, Khan Dynasty is an epic adventure spanning two centuries in time and linking the incredible lives of history’s most popular Victorian Age adventurers of the 1800’s with the greatest action heroes of the Pulp Era and an assortment of well-known, real-life figures. Beginning in Cairo, Egypt, nearly a century in the past, a series of seemingly random events lead to danger and intrigue, as two generations of heroes race to stop a diabolical duo from unleashing a devastating wave of death and destruction. Is there a dark alliance between the Victorian man-monster Edward Hyde and the insidious devil-doctor Hunan Sun? What is the deadly secret of the mysterious Chimera? In this completely original action-packed story, four champions of justice, Doc Titan – The Ultimate Man, The Darkness – The Master of Shadows, Guardian – Steel and Ice Justice, and The Scorpion – The Deadliest Man Alive, race to unravel a century old mystery, and prevent the destruction of England and America, while the nations of the Earth teeter on the brink of another world war. In addition to the 1930’s pulp heroes, Pulp Heroes – Khan Dynasty also features famous fictional characters from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s Frankenstein, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger series, Chester Hawks’ Captain Hazzard, J.H. Rosny’s Ironcastle, John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There?/Thing from Another World, H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Philip Wylie’s Savage Gentleman and Gladiator, and many more.

If that sounds pretty epic, then you’ve gotten the proper gist of it. This book features everything you’d ever want in a mega-sized pulp novel and would make one hell of a movie. The pastiches are thin enough that you recognize who everyone is supposed to be (The Darkness=The Shadow, Doc Titan=Doc Savage, Guardian=The Avenger, etc.) but also have a few unique twists that make them their own unique characters. Wayne doesn’t stop with just the pulp world, though, throwing in characters and places from a wide range of movies, tv shows and probably a whole bunch of things even I didn’t catch.

As the description says, this is a prequel to Pulp Heroes – More Than Mortal but I read Khan Dynasty first and think it’s a great introduction to Wayne’s work. It’s a little more polished than More Than Mortal and the plot is just so damned cool that I can’t in good conscience steer you away from this one.

Wayne’s able to not only juggle a huge cast of characters but he writes some of the best action scenes I’ve ever read. I’m seriously jealous of his ability to make the fights seem so exciting.

Is it perfect? No. Sometimes Wayne tries *too* hard to shoehorn in references to everything he’s ever liked and the structure begins to creak under the weight of it all. And the cover — which is comprised of multiple fake magazine covers spotlighting the heroes and villains of the story, is too busy. Individually, a number of the covers are great works of art — all pasted next to each other, it looks like a hot mess from a distance.

Wayne isn’t the most prolific of New Pulp authors but I think most of that stems from the fact that every one of his books is a huge, sprawling work that really knocks your socks off. You can’t go wrong with any of his books but Khan Dynasty stands above the rest.

Give it a try!

New Pulp Recommendation of the Week: Hardluck Hannigan Omnibus by Bill Craig

hannigan_omnibusEvery 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 Hardluck Hannigan Omnibus Volume 1 by Bill Craig. Before we get too deep into our analysis of this book, let’s see how the publisher describes it:

For the first time Hardluck Hannigan’s first two adventures in one huge volume! Join Hannigan as he heads to the Dark Continent and into the Dark Heart of the Congo during the search for the legendary Emerald of Eternity, and then he takes on Nazi flying saucers and The infamous Kondor Legion in The Sky Masters!

As mentioned above, this book collects the first two Hardluck Hannigan novels (Emerald Death — which, strangely, is never given a title in the omnibus — and The Sky Masters). The Hannigan series has spanned seven novels so far and the second omnibus has already been released, collecting the next two in the series. The author, Bill Craig, is one of the more prolific men in the New Pulp field but for some reason, he’s skated along under the radar for a lot of people. I have a few suspicions about why this is – the biggest one being that most of his books are self-published. Now, there are others in the New Pulp field who handle their own publishing and have flourished (look at Wayne Reinagel and Van Plexico) but I think both of those guys have done a little better job when it comes to marketing. Van, especially, rarely has an ‘off’ switch — I’ve seen him turn every conversation conceivable into an opportunity to push one of his novels or a book by another author that he’s published. Nothing wrong with that — in fact, if you’re the guy who’s handling your own publishing and marketing, it can be incredibly useful. Because of this, Van seems to be doing quite well for himself and I’ve personally witnessed him selling large numbers of books at cons. Craig, though, is more of a laid back marketer. He has websites and facebook pages but I just don’t get a strong idea of his ‘presence’ very often. I can understand why he doesn’t want Pro Se or Airship 27 publishing his books but I think doing so might give him more clout — which he very much deserves.

Because this stuff really is good.

I think that nobody in New Pulp today captures the frenetic atmosphere of Lester Dent better than Bill Craig. This stuff is unabashedly PULP. Want a badass man’s man as the leading character? Check. Want Nazi zeppelins? Check. Interested in Hitler’s obsession with the occult? It’s here. Want incredible action scenes where our hero is fighting on the wing of an aircraft or battling undead armies in the Congo? All here.

The pacing is brisk and the characters are easily definable. I mean both of those in a good way — within a paragraph or two, you feel like you know these archetypal characters and you can move forward with the exciting plot. There are winks and nods to classic pulp throughout — one of the characters in this volume receiving the same “clouding men’s minds” training given to a pilot named Kent Allard, for instance.

And this is a shared universe, of sorts, as other characters from Craig’s creations are name-dropped and certain elements introduced here are then further explored in his other series. Having said that, Hannigan stands alone so that you don’t have to seek those out if you don’t want.

Is the series perfect? No. The romance introduced in this book develops at a breathtaking speed — it’s fun but it feels too quick. And I was hoping that the editing would have been tightened up for these omnibus editions but there are still paragraphs formatted differently than the ones surrounding it, typos and so forth. This does feel self-published, down to the fairly generic stock cover image on the front.

But I’d still recommend this without a single hesitation — it’s FUN. It’s EXCITING. Sometimes, the sheer enthusiasm of the author makes up for any technical flaws that may exist in the work and this is one of those times. I hear people deservedly praising certain New Pulp characters as being the symbols of the field (Derrick Ferguson’s excellent Dillon series come to mind) but Hardluck Hannigan deserves to be in that category as well. I had bought several of these novels in single form but I’m buying them again in omnibus editions because I’m excited to re-read them and easily catch the ones that I’ve missed.

If you haven’t read Bill Craig’s work, then you’re missing out on some of the most fun and entertaining New Pulp on the market. It’s not revolutionary… but that’s not his intent. He’s giving us new adventures in the classic style and I, for one, can’t wait to see even more. Highly recommended!

From the Vault: Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson