THE ADVENTURES OF FORTUNE McCALL
By Derrick Ferguson
Pro Se Press
One of the problems faced by any reviewer is simply not having enough time to read all the books delivered to us over time. In our attempts to examine a wide variety of pulp fiction, we often make choices that relegate even our favorite authors to the back of the line when it comes to deciding which title to read and review next. We say this because this particular review is one of those we have, much to our own dismay, put off way too long.
Derrick Ferguson is one of the finest writers of new pulp fiction out there. If you are aware of the genre at all, then you know him as the creator/author of Dillon. Dillon is one of the finest pulp hero series on the market today. Whereas a few years ago, Ferguson went and invented another great character in Fortune McCall for a shared-world put together by Tommy Hancock at Pro Se Press. The idea was that a handful of new pulp writer would all create original pulp heroes that would operate out of the same fictional locale; Sovereign City. In this set up Hancock gave us Doc Daye, Barry Reese invented Lazarus Gray and as noted above, Derrick Ferguson whipped up Fortune McCall who makes his appearance for the first time in this book which collects four of his adventures.
From the offset we learn McCall is the royal heir to a powerful family that rules the North African kingdom of Khusra. Without divulging much of his actual background, Ferguson let us know that Fortune eschewed a pampered life for one of travel and adventure. This he accomplished by having an amazing seagoing palace built called the “Heart of Fortune,” a combination casino/ hotel on which he resides along with a crew of Otwani warriors from his native land and his personal team of fellow adventurers. Each of these is as colorful and appealing as our hero; one of which is his own cousin, Tracy Scott, a diminutive beauty who acts as his personal bodyguard and is quite proficient at the job.
Of course the star is Fortune and he is an educated man who is loyal to a fault, loves good food, action and beautiful women; the latter being his one Achilles heel. In this first volume, McCall and company battle a twisted brother and sister team who have kidnapped a British agent, attempt to stop a madmen from unleashing a deadly virus on the city, search for a missing stage magician and finally go about retrieving a lost fortune in gold. Each story is a whirlwind of action with brilliantly painted characters, both heroes and villains and, as ever, Ferguson delivers quality pulp adventure at its best.
After having finished “The Adventures of Fortune McCall,” we spent a few minutes banging our heads against the wall. To have waited so long to enjoy these fantastic stories again points out the pitfalls we reviewers do our best to avoid. Sometimes we fail but that’s no reason you should. Go pick up this book now!! You can thank us later.