Wow – February 1st, 2015. Blink and it will 2025.
Two major calendric occurrences take place today: anyone who hasn’t registered with Sasquan (or previously with Loncon3 or futurily with MidAmericon2) by now will have absolutely NO SAY WHATSOEVER in determining the 2015 Hugo Award Winners. Nothing. They’ve disenfranchised themselves for whatever reason (some reasonable, most not). Sorry you didn’t feel strongly enough about this to want to participate – you should have. Don’t let me catch any of you complaining that the awards weren’t representative!
The other thing? Superbowl Sunday. Now, on with the news!
Language is key to spreading your message worldwide: English has the greatest spread – followed by Spanish and Chinese. (Gee, Amazing is doing something right!)
The One Million Swab March (in pursuit of personalized medicine)
Time Trap: A Unique Take On Time Travel (Video) (Via Woodall Design)
50 Best 1970s SF Films (via SF Signal) (Zardoz!? Srsly???)
PEW Research Shows Divide In Reliance On Science (But really: most people like technology but don’t understand science…)
Science is BAD. Therefore, We MUST Fear It (and live in the dark, die from an infected cut…)
Not What I Thought But Interesting Performance Piece Anyhow: Women Orgasm While Reading (Won’t Be What You Think It Is Either)
Lasers From Air (Will Airpunk Be Far Behind?)
Anime Inspires Moon Launch Project (Via Petrea Mitchell)
Micropores In Hot Rock Could Have Been Incubators For Life (Makes me think of Surface Tension by Blish. Do you think the people in that story would make a movie called Attack of the Killer Rotifers?))
PRESS RELEASES & NEWSLETTERS
Fantastic Books New Releases: Radio Archives News: EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing
Fantastic Books has just announced a slate of five new upcoming books by Scott Edelman, Carren Strock, Tom Purdom, Bud Sparhawk and Allen Steele.
After several months of more-than-natural quiet, Fantastic Books is roaring back with five new books appearing in trade paperback this April.
Early in the month, we’ll be releasing Scott Edelman’s THESE WORDS ARE HAUNTED, a horror collection, and Carren Strock’s TANGLED RIBBONS, a paranormal romance. Then, at Richmond, Virginia’s Ravencon (https://www.ravencon.com), we’ll launch Tom Purdom’s ROMANCE ON FOUR WORLDS, Bud Sparhawk’s DISTANT SEAS, and Guest of Honor Allen Steele’s newest collection TALES OF TIME AND SPACE. (See below for descriptions of each of the books; for complete information, check out our web site.) We also have several more books scheduled for later in the year, so the lull we’ve been experiencing was just an aberration.
Fantastic Books is the speculative fiction imprint of Gray Rabbit Publications, a small-press publisher of new and reprint books. All of our titles are available through major online retailers, directly from the company, and are distributed via Ingram. Additionally, we distribute directly to specialty stores upon request (). Review copies are available upon request ().
THESE WORDS ARE HAUNTED by Scott Edelman ($13.99, 224 pages, ISBN: 978-1-62755-636-1)
Zombies spar with humans for dominance of a post-apocalyptic Manhattan in the Stoker-nominated “A Plague on Both Your Houses.” The King returns to prove that rock ’n’ roll will never die in “The Elvis Syndrome.” And a dying boy is the catalyst for a deal with a decidedly different devil in “Making Peace with the Leader.” These and ten other nightmarish tales form a bizarre baker’s dozen in Scott Edelman’s acclaimed horror collection.
Five of Edelman’s stories have been nominated for Bram Stoker Awards, and he was four times a finalist for the Best Editor Hugo Award.
Fantastic Books is also the publisher of Edelman’s science fiction collection WHAT WE STILL TALK ABOUT ($13.99, 222 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60459-938-1).
TANGLED RIBBONS by Carren Strock ($14.99, 204 pages, ISBN: 978-1-62755-637-8)
A novel of Earthly—and otherworldly—relationships.
Death is only the beginning, as Jenna finds herself a Spirit Guide on the Celestial Tableland, and tasked with helping Bev to meet Anne, her soul mate, as the two women are destined to become a Perfect Pairing. But Cornelia, a vengeful Spirit, will stop at nothing to destroy this pairing. Jenna’s struggle leads her to some surprising answers—and to a forgotten past of her own.
Gray Rabbit Publications is also the publisher of Strock’s nonfiction A WRITER’S JOURNEY: WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER WRITING A BOOK ($14.99, 200 pages, ISBN: 978-1-61720-068-7), and her mystery novel IN THE SHADOW OF THE WONDER WHEEL ($14.99, 208 pages, ISBN: 978-1-61720-730-3)
ROMANCE ON FOUR WORLDS: A CASANOVA QUARTET by Tom Purdom ($12.99, 150 pages, ISBN: 978-1-62755-635-4)
Historian, musician, and author Tom Purdom brings us along for the adventures as a new character based on Casanova travels through an interplanetary society in the same way the real Casanova had traversed 18th Century Europe. He starts his odyssey on the Moon, and then moves on to other worlds, other adventures, other lovers…
Purdom has been a finalist for the Hugo Award, and long-listed for the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award.
Fantastic Books is also the publisher of Purdom’s collection LOVERS & FIGHTERS, STARSHIPS & DRAGONS ($15.99, 356 pages, ISBN: 978-1-61720-943-7).
DISTANT SEAS by Bud Sparhawk ($13.99, 216 pages, ISBN: 978-1-62755-633-0)
Sailor Bud Sparhawk takes sailing and science fiction to new heights, and depths. Sail around the world, solo, with Louella Parsons, avoiding ice bergs, orcas, death, and disaster. Then head to the wine-red seas of Jupiter’s cloud tops for a race unlike any ever seen. And after surviving the rigors of the king of planets, face a new challenge: sail the frigid plains in the thin-to-nonexistent Martian atmosphere beneath a cloud of ultra-thin fabric. In a sailing race, there is nothing Louella will not do for her team to cross the finish line.
Sparhawk is a three-time Nebula Award finalist.
This is Sparhawk’s first book with Fantastic Books.
TALES OF SPACE AND TIME by Allen Steele ($14.99, 242 pages, ISBN: 978-1-62755-634-7)
From the multiple Hugo Award-winning author of Coyote comes twelve astounding stories of science fiction: tales of adventure, mystery, and romance in the grand tradition by “one of the field’s very finest writers” (Robert J. Sawyer). From the deserts of Mars to the distant frontiers of the galaxy, from an island paradise of the 1930’s to an apocalyptic showdown between humans and robots on the day after tomorrow, Allen Steele transports you to worlds unvisited and events that haven’t been experienced… until now!
Steele was the 2013 recipient of the Robert A. Heinlein Award. He’s won three Hugo Awards, and been a finalist for five other Hugos, and three Nebula Awards, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.
Fantastic Books is also the publisher of Steele’s novel A KING OF INFINITE SPACE (292 pages, $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-60459-919-0) and his mammoth collection SEX AND VIOLENCE IN ZERO-G ($19.99, 514 pages, ISBN: 978-1-61720-735-8).
Cover & Synopsis: “Apollo’s Outcasts” by Allen Steele Cover & Synopsis: “V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History” by Allen Steele Table of Contents: LOVERS & FIGHTERS, STARSHIPS & DRAGONS Edited by Tom Purdom
Will Murray’s Pulp Classics #70
Mysterious death, suicide, and madness took uncanny toll of New York’s most prominent citizens. Only the Spider sensed the presence of the criminal genius whose tentacles were strangling the city—and the Spider was next on the crime monster’s death list!
Here, in answer to many requests, is the second and final Spider novel penned by the mysterious R. T. M. Scott. The Wheel of Death first appeared in the November, 1933 issue of The Spider magazine. With the next issue the byline changed to Grant Stockbridge, a house pseudonym concealing the great Norvell Page.
To this day, over eighty years later, the mystery of Scott’s departure remains unsolved. R.T. M. Scott was a famous byline in the 1920s and ’30s, the author of a series of hardcover novels featuring sophisticated detective Aurelius Smith and his Hindu aide, Langa Doonh. They were the template for Richard Wentworth and Ram Singh.
But there were two R. T. M. Scotts, father and son. And the son worked for Popular Publications under the name Maitland Scott! So, which Scott initiated the Spider series? There are two clues. One, that Popular Publications president Harry Steeger remembered the Spider author as a younger man. Another is that a later Terror Tales story bylined Maitland Scott, “Shadows of Desire,” featured a villain named Ram Singh!
One of the more intriguing theories posits that R. T. M. Scott Senior penned The Spider Strikes and, having kicked off the series in grand style, handed it off to his son, who was 24 at that time. Whatever the case was, neither man was likely up to the job of writing a monthly pulp novel. Enter Norvell Page.
The Wheel of Death is a crime story set in New York City and revolves around a strange after-hours nightclub catering to the elite. Donning the disguise of a hardened gangster, Dick Wentworth, alias the Spider, penetrates this place, and allies himself with Molly Dennis, a young woman whose father sits on Death Row, awaiting execution for a crime he may not have committed. What is the secret of Grogan’s Restaurant? Can he unravel a web of blackmail without revealing that Richard Wentworth is secretly the Spider?
Nick Santa Maria reads this exciting suspense story of murder, mayhem and mystery that perfectly evokes 1933 Manhattan.
One of the most daring series ever to emerge from Harry Steeger’s Popular Publications came when he converted Battle Birds magazine to Dusty Ayres and His Battle Birds back in 1934. Not content to tell tales of World War I, the new title focused on forecasting the Next War!
As Robert Sidney Bowen, the writer Steeger trusted to fill its monthly pages, recalled:
“Frankly, it was a spur of the moment thing that Harry Steeger and I cooked up one day in 1933 when we were having lunch together. It was this way, as near as I can remember it. At the time I was turning out some one hundred and fifty yarns a year of all types and lengths. War-air stories, gangland stories, mystery stories, sports stories, detective stories, adventure stories, and what have you. And I was sort of tired of banging out one kind of story one day and another kind of the next, etc. Well, at the time one of the mags that Harry was publishing was G-8 and His Battle Aces, and the whole mag was being written once a month by Robert J. Hogan, a very popular writer, and a very swell guy.
“Anyway, I happened to mention to Harry that I’d like to do a whole magazine a month like Bob was doing. And Harry said, ‘Okay, let’s think up something.’ Well, naturally I didn’t want to do a mag that would be in direct competition with Bob’s, so that type was out. Well, Harry and I tossed ideas at each other during the rest of the lunch and came up with the idea of an air-war magazine but about a war in the future. Of course it wouldn’t be wise to write about a war in the future between the U. S. and some other country in the world. So we decided to make the enemy a bunch that rose up out of darkest eastern Asia and started to conquer the world. I took it from there and doped out the series and wrote it. I wrote every darn word in the twelve issues that were published. By the twelfth issue I’d had it up to here with sweet little Dusty Ayres, and as it was no big gold mine for Harry we decided to call it a day, and I went back to knocking out a variety of pulp yarns.
“So, that was the way Dusty Ayres was born. And as far as I know it was the only future air-war thing that Popular ever published. And when Harry and I doped it up neither of us hadany idea that there would be another world wide war. Way back in those days World War I was still supposed to be the war to end all wars.”
Set in an indeterminate future, the new series was out-and-out-science fiction built around the popular aviation genre. Flying the futuristic Silver Flash aircraft, backed up by wingmen Curly Brooks and Biff Bolton, Captain Dusty Ayres strove every month to beat back the forces of the modern Genghis Khan called Fire-Eyes, who had conquered all but North America.
In this, the first series outing, the assault on America commences. With Europe in the grasping hands of the Black Invaders and the U.S. Naval Fleets split by the destruction of the Panama Canal, the future looks bleak for the nation. But the Black Dart warplanes of the enemy were about to strike a wall of screaming steel––Air Group #7, commanded by Dusty Ayres!
The wonderful thing about Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds is that when Popular decided to end the series, Bowen penned a concluding chapter, tying up all loose ends, and bringing the glorious conflict to a satisfying conclusion.
So fasten your seat belts! Here starts the wildest ride in pulp aviation history!
Black Lightning is read with dazzling urgency by Alan Taylor. This audiobook also features two additional Robert Sidney Bowen stories of the war against the forces of Fire-Eyes, “The C.O.’s Coffin” and “The Smoke-Screen Ace,” read by Milton Bagby.
Beginning in 1932, Battle Birds brought readers a thrilling main story, referred to as a “novel”, that featured a rotating cast of main characters like The Three Mosquitoes and Smoke Wade. After nineteen issues, just over a year and a half after its debut, the magazine began to feature the air adventures of Dusty Ayres, and the magazine became officially titled Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds. This lasted until the summer of 1935 when the magazine folded after thirty-one issues. But Battle Birds wasn’t finished; it would return. In early 1940, Battle Birds reappeared on the newsstands. But now the focus of the stories was on the conflict that would soon be known as World War II. This resurrected Battle Birds lasted for 26 issues until May 1944. And now Battle Birds is back, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
The greatest adventure of our times! Mr. Myers writes the dramatic sky story of today! — and it is a story that moves across the pages of our living history with the force of a million men! There may be blood on the pages, but you will find it is the Blood of the Brave, and you will think of this novel for long years after you have read it! Burning action in the savage skies over Nazi Germany! Written as history was actually unfolding, this story mirrors the horrors of war in 1940. First Czechoslovakia fell. Then, like dominoes, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Norway and France. England was planned to be next. Day and night bombing raids over London paved the way. And against this background, “Death Has No Wings” was set.This story was originally serialized in Dare-Devil Aces magazine in four parts, beginning with the September 1940 issue. It has been compiled into a complete story here for the first time. Author O.B. Myers (Oscar B. Myers) was a decorated WWI fighter pilot. He is able to bring those experiences to life in his fiction about the air war in Europe. This ebook contains a classic story from the pages of Dare-Devil Aces magazine, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
Sports thrills, ripped from the burning pages of one of the all-time great sports magazines of the 1930s, Sports Novels! Magazines containing sports fiction were one of the staples of the pulp magazines, becoming popular in the early 1920s and by the mid-1930s there were over two dozen titles on the newsstands. In early 1937, Popular Publications decided to enter the lucrative field of the sports fiction magazines. The April-May 1937 issue of Sports Novels hit the newsstands in late March, featuring an eye-catching baseball cover. For the next fifteen years, each issue featured stories of football, boxing, baseball, hockey, track, basketball, tennis and hockey. Nearly every sport imaginable was represented in the long-running magazine. It continued publishing for a total of eighty-five issues until the April 1952 issue, when pulp magazines were in their waning days. Vintage Sports Novels are now being reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
The 50th anniversary of Doc Savage’s blockbuster 1964 paperback revival is commemorated in a special James Bama variant edition featuring a new foreword by the legendary paperback artist and super-powered novels by Laurence Donovan and Lester Dent writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, violent earthquakes lure Doc Savage to Vancouver where he confronts the super-science menace of flying Zoromen in Murder Melody, a novel that inspired a classic 1940 Superman story. Then, Doc and Pat Savage journey to Africa to investigate a strange secret behind golden canaries and their lethal song in Birds of Death. Exclusive Variant Bonus Features the lost “Dead Men’s Club” story outline by legendary SUPERMAN editors Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff, and a Doc Savage paperback history illustrated by ALL 62 Bama covers! This classic pulp reprint leads off with one of James Bama’s most spectacular cover paintings, and also showcases the original color pulp covers by Walter M. Baumhofer and Emery Clarke, Paul Orban’s classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by Will Murray and Anthony Tollin. Double Novel Reprint $14.95