G’day everyone. I trust you had a great Christmas – and wishing you and yours all the very best for the New Year. I have just returned from a short break in the mountains (in Jindabyne) with family which was very pleasant and relaxing (and thankfully not too hot). On the downside I think I’ve put on a few extra kilos (ha ha). With turkey-drumstick in hand, while I manfully gazed at the lake and the wind rustled my unkempt hair, another of my stories escaped into the wild. It is called THE PIRATE KING and it’s part of a new anthology called LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. The book, which is an absolute monster – more like a phone book – is a benefit anthology for a gentleman named Tommy Hancock – who is editor-in-chief at Pro Se Productions (a US publisher who put out my first novel – THE DANAKIL DECEPTION – and have released several of my short stories). Earlier this year, Tommy was diagnosed with congestive heart-failure – and consequentially hit with medical expenses after undergoing treatment/surgery. The New Pulp community (of which I consider myself a part) decided to band together and see what we could do – the end result is a collection of rollicking adventure tales.
When the call was put out for stories, I immediately jumped on board, despite other writing commitments I had. The deadline for the submissions was tight too. I knew if I wasn’t going to let the team down, I wouldn’t have time for universe building – that is to say, start a story from the ground and work my way up. I needed characters and a world I was already familiar with. The obvious choice was Mace Bullard – a character from BISHOP & HANCOCK’S PULSE FICTION. Bullard is a character – a French Foreign Legionnaire – created by Paul Bishop. For PULSE FICTION, I took the character and ran with him in a story called HONOR OF THE LEGION.
I contacted Paul and asked if he had any objections to me using Bullard once again. He didn’t. With Paul’s blessing I was on my way. The resulting story, THE PIRATE KING was a blast to write – and while it is a Foreign Legion tale, it also harks back to great old-fashioned swashbuckler movies I used to watch as a kid, such as THE SEA HAWK, CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE BLACK SWAN and THE CRIMSON PIRATE – to name but a few.
I am proud to be a part of LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. From early on in my writing career Tommy Hancock has been there offering his support. Even before I was part of the Pro Se family, when I self-published my novella THE LIBRIO DEFECTION, Tommy asked me to appear on the PULPED podcast to talk about my work. He got nothing out of it – he was simply helping a new author get a little recognition and exposure for his work. Now, in my small way, I am glad I can repay not only that favor, but many others ever since. Thank you Tommy – all the best my friend.
The press release from Airship 27 follows…
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS
LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION
Earlier in the year we learned that New Pulp writer/editor/publisher Tommy Hancock was suffering from congestive heart-failure. A relatively young family man, this was a dangerous condition that threatened not only Tommy but his entire family. Almost immediately after this news was made public, several members of the New Pulp community began putting their heads together to see if anything could be done to help the Hancocks.
“Jaime Ramos proposed the idea of doing a benefit anthology,” says Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “It was such a great idea, I realized it needed to get done and we began planning such a project.” The first thing Fortier did was bring aboard his partner in Airship 27, Art Director Rob Davis. “There was no way this was going to fly without Rob handling the book’s overall artwork and design.” Fortier then went to Hancock and informed him of their plans. With Hancock’s blessings, he then posted an ad on Facebook explaining the project and seeking submissions from both writers and artists. “It was always our intention to do this as a traditional pulp tome and thus artwork would be a major element in the final product.”
Much to Fortier’s surprise, and delight, the first creator to volunteer his assistance was Douglas Klauba, one of the finest artists in the field. Klauba volunteered to paint the anthology’s cover once the book was assembled.
“Honestly,” Fortier confesses, “I was in shock. Doug is an amazing artist and his offering to do the cover was very much an omen that we were about to put together something truly unique.”
Within 48 hours after posting his recruiting ad, Fortier had received 57 commitments by New Pulp writers while 36 artists signed on to do the illustrations. Amongst these creators were some of the most popular New Pulp writers and artists in the field. In fact, getting so many promised stories in just two days, Fortier begrudgingly realized he and his associates were being handed a giant book and he publicly closed the admission call.
“It was crazy,” he recalls. “Fifty-seven stories in just two days! Of course there were naysayers who warned me we’d never get all of them. They were right, we got 62 instead.”
And so the project began with Fortier reading each entry and then assigning it to an artist to illustrate. Each tale features one black and white illustration. Ramos acted as his assistant editor proofing each story after Fortier. Then, months into the project, Ramos, who suffers from diabetes, found his own health in jeopardy and after having handled half the stories, was forced to sideline himself. What looked to be a major set-back was averted when writer/editor Todd Jones, a protégé of Fortier’s, volunteered to take on the task of finishing the proofing.
And so, after months of ups and downs. Airship 27 Productions is extremely proudly to present LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. A giant treasure chest of some of the finest New Pulp fiction ever produced in an 800 page collection. Representing the varied genres of pulp tradition, this volume features tales of horror, mystery, suspense, pirates, fantasy, private eyes, crime-busting avengers and westerns to name a few.
“Rob and I kidded during the long months of production that we had everything pulp save for a romance story,” quips Fortier. “Then in the final days of story submissions, we were sent a romance. No lie!”
LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION is now available at Amazon.com in both hard copy and on Kindle. All profits earned by this amazing book are going to Tommy Hancock and his family. Sure to become a valued collector’s item, LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION is a one of a kind title pulp fans young and old, will cherish in years to come.
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!
Available now from Amazon and on Kindle.