Action: Pulse Pounding Tales – Vol 1

Editor: Matt Hilton
Authors: Stephen Leather, Zoe Sharp, Adrian Magson, Col Bury, I.S. Paton, James Oliver Hilton, Joe McCoubrey, Matt Hayden, David Barber, Jochem Vandersteen, Ian Graham, James Hopwood, Iain Purdie, Keith Gingell, Terrence P. McCauley, Asher Wismer, Graham Smith, Andrew Scorah, Paul D. Brazill, Paul Grzegorzek, Mark Dark, Robin Jarossi, Richard Godwin, Laird Long, K.A. Laity…and a few more to come
Publisher: Sempre Vigil Press
Published: May 2012

Growing up in rural Australia, the local bookshop (and I use the word loosely, as it was the newsagent) didn’t have much in the way of Men’s Adventure fiction. It had some of the Dirty Harry series – which was a grubby little series written by Dane Hartman. I still have about five of them. I seem to have lost a few along the way which I lent to people (Clive, if you are reading this, I will hunt you down! You cannot hide. I will find you!) And of course, there were the Conan books – which I also read quite a few. But I don’t recall Nick Carter, Mack Bolan or Remo Williams being on the shelves.

I came to these quite late in life, a by-product of my penchant for stalking second-hand book shops looking for old spy thrillers. But I found I loved them. They were simple, over-the-top, fast paced slabs of entertainment, that could be read quickly.

Earlier in the year, I wrote a review for Matt Hilton’s Cut and Run, which I enjoyed (so far I have enjoyed all of Hilton’s books that I have read – I still have Dominion waiting to be tackled on my Kindle for PC). While reading Cut and Run, I couldn’t help but notice, that in some ways, Hilton’s Joe Hunter adventures were an updated version of the old Men’s Adventure paperbacks – albeit with denser plots, and the punchy writing style adapted for the audiences of today.

It should come as no surprise then, that Hilton has launched a new project called Action: Pulse Pounding Tales. The book is an anthology of stories that purposefully attempt to capture the style of Men’s Adventure stories of the past.

Here’s Hilton’s project spiel:

Does anyone have any familiarity with the 1970s ‘action books’ typified by Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan: The Executioner, or Warren Murphy and Richard Saphir’s Remo Williams: The Destroyer? Do you remember the UK homegrown westerns by the Piccadilly Cowboys, exemplified by George G. Gillman’s Edge, Adam Steele, or The Undertaker? Have you any memory of barbarian swordsmen like Lin Carter’s Thongor, or Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane? Or even the Kung Fu boom, where we had books like Marshall Macao’s K’Ing Kung Fu: Son of the Flying Tiger?

Those were the days when heroes were heroes and the action was furious and full-blooded. Often as not, the hero was quite the opposite: an anti-hero. But he needed to be, to bring the kind of violent justice to villains worse than him. Political correctness took a back seat, even as the bullets and the karate chops were flying. Basically it was good old harmless fun. It was a case of disengaging your moral compass and getting down with the hero as they took on all comers, and they did it with balletic grace and uncompromising violence. Gratuitous? Yes. Realistic? No. Great fun? You betcha!!!

So here’s what I am planning to do:

I want to bring back the good old days… but with a contemporary twist.

That spiel was six weeks ago, and nearly all the submissions for the project are in, and the book is taking shape.

Writing under the pen name James Hopwood, I am proud to say a story I submitted, called Cutter’s Law made the – pardon the pun – cut. My story will be appearing alongside contributions by established authors such as Stephen Leather, Zoe Sharp, Adrian Magson, Paul D. Brazill, and Hilton himself. There is also a swag of new talent on display, names that may not be household names, but guys who know how to put down a fast and furious tale of adventure.

For Cutter’s Law I tried to come up with a story that captured the style (and possibly the mythology) of the Executioner series. Here’s a brief synopsis.

Sergeant Nathan Cutter of the Australian Army is coming to the end of his tour as a ‘Peace Keeper’ in war torn Iraq. All he wants, is to get home to Sydney and his loving wife and daughter.

On the day of his flight back to Australia, his wife and daughter are killed in a car crash. They are the innocent victims of an underworld gang war, that erupted on the city streets.

When Cutter finds out who is responsible, and the authorities prove impotent, he decides to take the law into his own hands, acting as Judge, Jury and Executioner!

Action: Pulse Pounding Tales will be out in early May 2012 (in about a week or two), so if fast paced, heart-pounding, high-octane adventure is your thing, then keep and eye out for it – you won’t be disappointed!

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