Monday, September 20, 2021

NIGHTVEIL - Crisis at the Crossroads of Infinity.

 

NIGHTVEIL

Crisis at the Crossroads of Infinity

By Bobby Nash

Pro-Se Press

171 pgs

Several years ago AC Comics, one of the longest running independent comics companies in the country, joined forces with New Pulp publisher Pro-Se Press to produce several novels based on their colorful comic book characters. Writer Bobby Nash immediately signed on to write a book featuring AC’s female sorceress, Nightveil. The end result was “Nightveil – Crisis at the Crossings of Infinity.”

The adventure opens at a nexus point where all dimensions meet. There an obsessed Nightveil is battling another Nightveil from another world. Believing her world is being slowly destroyed by the creation of multiple worlds, this one time hero is now bent on eliminating all her doppelgangers. The opening chapter is a fierce encounter played out against the backdrop of infinity. Soon the world known as Wastelands is littered with the bodies of fallen Nightveils.

At which point Laura Wright, our world’s own Nightveil, becomes aware of this threat and nearly becomes the evil sorceress’ next victim. Realizing she cannot defeat the crazed Nightveil alone, Laura devises a plan to recruit other Nightveils and heroes from the myriad dimensions to help save infinity. All of which culminates in a cosmic encounter overseen by a powerful entity with the ability to change reality as we know it.

In reading this fast paced adventure, we were impressed with Nash’s ability to write all the various incarnations of the same person. He expertly moves from scene to scene and we are never once confused as to who’s who. In the end, the adventure works brilliantly and wraps with a satisfying climax.

In 2019 “Nightveil – Crisis at the Crossroads of Infinity” won the Pulp Factory Award for Best Novel; an award it totally merited.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

MOONSTONE DOUBLE SHOT

 

MOONSTONE DOUBLE SHOT

Edited by Joe Gentile

Featuring - The Green Hornet & Kolchak

By Nancy Holder &

Johnny Dollar

By Tommy Hancock

Moonstone Books

55 pgs

Recently Moonstone Books has started publishing new short Green Hornet prose adventures by various New Pulp scribes in small booklets. Each features a GH tale backed up by a second story featuring another pulp character. In this edition, that is radio investigator Johnny Dollar.

Nancy Holder’s GH story, “House of a Thousand Screams” is fun in that a young reporter named Carl Kolchak shows up at Sentinel publisher Britt Reid’s office looking for a job. He tells read that if given a chance, he’ll uncover the identity of the Green Hornet within two weeks. As this develops, Kolchak also discovers murder at a rundown amusement park and actually ends up working GH and Kato to capture the bad guys. Again, lots of fun.


Then we have Tommy Hancock’s Johnny Dollar story “The For Jenny Matter” about a murdered young woman who worked as a secretary in the police station. At first it appears she is just another victim of a twisted serial killer, but things aren’t what they appear to me and slowly Dollar begins to suspects the real monster is someone he knows personally. This is by far one of Hancock’s best works and the ending is powerful in so many emotional ways. Look for this to get award nods at the end of the year.

All total a little book that packs a solid punch. Way to go, Moonstone!

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

GHOSTS OF THE JACKAL

GHOSTS OF THE JACKAL

By Jonathan W. Sweet

Brick Pickle Media LLC.

157 pgs

This is the second book in this series featuring Sweet’s original pulp hero and we are delighted. As much as we enjoyed his first outing, this one is twice as much fun. We’re given two really great adventures.

In the first the Jackal, with the assistant of actor Edward Van Sloan hunts a real vampire. Of course this is a delight in that Van Sloan portrayed Prof. Abraham Van Helsing in the film “Dracula” opposite Bela Lugosi. Sweet enjoys setting the tale in his own twin-cities backyard of Minneapolis and St. Paul and it works to perfection.

In his second outing, the Jackal teams with a former lover/vigilante, the beautiful Eurasian Charlie Becker aka the Black Wraith. She is after a killer who may be in possession of a lost manuscript supposedly penned by Edgar Alan Poe before his death. The man is attempting to sell the document to unscrupulous book dealers who are willing to pay exorbitantly for the lost tale. An added bonus to this particular adventure is basis of truth behind the story and Sweet actually reprints Poe’s original pages to the tale he never completed. Fascinating stuff.

All in all, “Ghosts of the Jackal” is simply terrific and Sweet a really polished writer who is clearly having a good time with this series. So much that his enthusiasm translates to every scene, pulling us readers along for the ride. Honestly, we want more.


 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

THE SHADOWED CIRCLE

 

The Shadowed Circle # 1

Editor/Publisher Steve Donoso

A Renaissance Press Publication

50 pages

From a wonderful cover image to the last stunning back cover pix, this little magazine is a pulp gem. Especially for those of you who consider the Shadow the greatest pulp creation of them all. Editor Steve Donoso and his staff have collected eleven insightful articles that cover a huge range of topics.

From Mr. Pulp Will Murray’s piece on Femme Fatales to Dwight Fuhro’s personal hunt for the most famous Shadow painting of them all. (Check out that back cover we mentioned earlier.) Each article is informative and well written. We knew nothing about the Shadow short-films until reading Joseph Gibson’s essay. All of this is solid fare for any true fan of the pulps.

Then Art Director John Sies does a magnificent job in laying out the pages and embellishing them with various images and drawings that are fitting to each segment. Some are familiar while others we’d never seen before. Each captures a different facet of the Shadow conveying the sense of mystery and danger he exuded whether on radio or in his own title.

In the end, it has been way too long since we’ve had such a delightful magazine devoted to this amazing character. Kudos to all involved and please, go get Ed Hulse to do a piece on Victor Jory’s Shadow serial. Something this reviewer would love to read.

 

Monday, August 30, 2021

MJOLNIR

 

 

MJOLNIR

By B.C. James

Self-published

376 pgs

Often when reviewing a book we’ve absolutely loved, our most daunting challenge is getting that euphoria to you, dear readers.  “Mjolnir” is one of those books. From cover to cover it is a comedy-fantasy-action adventure and if all those elements blended together do not spell pulp, then we don’t know what does?

The plot is most imaginative. Odin, in dire fear of his own demise when the predicted Ragnarok occurs, banishes all the North Gods out of Asgard to Earth. Here, Thor, Loki, Freya and all the others finds themselves having to take on actual jobs to sustain themselves. Thor becomes a professional football player, Loki a savvy business man and Freya an expensive high class hooker. Quite the come down for the Goddess of Love. Of course Odin’s scheme has its flaws in that Loki still desires to knock off the Allfather and assume his authority and power. To do this he conspires with the other dimensional god, Surt.

Surt’s fee for this assistant is the sacrifice of a female Asgardian goddess. Loki agrees and sets his sights on Freya who has repeatedly spurned in the past. The final key element and the book’s title, is Thor’s powerful hammer, Mjolnir. He’s given it up and Odin believes by possessing it, he can thwart Ragnarok. Thus the book begins and within only a few chapters, a colorful cast of characters battling all over the U.S. in cataclysmic encounters the likes only seen in early Marvel comics.

B.C. James is a marvelous craftsman and his satirical wit is evident in every scene and line of dialog. So much that one has to wonder from magic elixir is he drinking. “Mjolnir” is a winner you really don’t want to miss. Don’t saw we didn’t tell you.

 


 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

ATIQUES CARRY ON

 

ANTIQUES CARRY ON

A Trash ‘N’ Treasures Mystery

By Barbara Allan

Guest Reviewer -Valerie Fortier

Severn House

194 pgs

Ron isn’t into Cozy mysteries and when this one arrived in the mail, he dropped it on my desk top with the suggestion I give it a go. Months later it’s still sitting there and I decided to give it a try. As a Mom myself, I totally get the mother-daughter dynamics. Sometimes they gel, other times they are nothing but oil and water.

I would recommend you take time to meet Vivian and Brandy. The mother-daughter team that never misses a chance to inject humor and fun while investigating a new mystery. I really enjoyed the book; especially the great twist at the end in regards to who done it. Just when you think you’ve got it solved, there’s more to be revealed.

The book offers up a truly wonderful cast of characters to “cozy” up by the fire and share some time with.

Final note – This is the start and end of my reviewing career. Thanks, Ron.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

MANEATERS

 

MANEATERS

Killer Sharks in Men’s Adventure Magazines

Edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle

MensPulpMags.com

# new texture

192 pgs

With apologies to Peter Benchley, just when you thought it was safe go back into the Mam’s pulp library comes “Maneaters.” This is a collection of sixteen over-the-top tales of deadly shark encounters as offered in various Men’s Adventure Magazines during the 1960s, to include two wonderful cover photo and illustrations galleries. In all, these stories exemplify the horror thrills associated with these deadly sea predators and each entry provides more than enough blood and guts gore to engender some truly colorful nightmares and keep one from ever venturing out into the sea ever again.

Now we’ve all come to expect this kind of exploitive excellent from Deis and Doyle, but what elevates “Maneater” a notch above their previous titles is the afterwards provided by actual marine biologists who wonderfully debunk the various myths associated with sharks while at the same time offering factual data about these incredible fear inducing creatures.

“Maneaters” is a one kind of book that both applauds the imagination of Mams writers while at the same time demonstrating the dangers such fiction inspired. Today many species of shark are on endangered lists threatening to irrevocably upside the natural ecosystems of oceans around the world. A tip of the fedora to Deis and Doyle for both a fun read and a much needed warning that we must protect these magnificent beast from total extinction. Now that would be a real horror.