Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kaiju Rising

Shh. So I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m one of the authors who will be unlocked if funding is met and exceeded in a new Kickstarter. There’s at least three of us mysterious contributors (I won’t tell you the identity of the others) who will be revealed if Kaiju Rising meets its stretch goals.

As it’s an anthology for monster stories, you can darned well bet that I’m drafting a new Dabir and Asim story for the collection. I’m pretty busy with other stories right now, but it was such a great looking assembly that I couldn’t stand to pass up the opportunity.

The project is being published by J.M. Martin, Tim Marquitz and Nick Sharps (the latter two serving double-shift as editors), illustrated by Dan Howard, and will feature stories by Larry Correia, Peter Clines, James Lovegrove, Erin Hoffman, James Maxey, Jaym Gates, Timothy W. Long, Mike MacLean, Natania Barron, Joshua Reynolds, David Annandale, Clint Lee Werner, Jonathan Wood,  Gini Koch, Paul Genesse, Edward M. Erdelac, Samuel Sattin, Bonnie Jo Stufflebean, and Peter Rawlik.

The first stretch goal will include additional internal art from Robert Elrod and Chuck Lukacs, and the next three stretch goals are authors. I’m not sure which of those three I am, but I’m hoping you’ll join in the Kickstarter and unlock my story. The full details can be found here.


Conan and The Fan Fic Writers of Doom

If I didn’t love the writing of Robert E. Howard I would probably never have bothered with any Conan pastiche. As a matter of fact, those Conan novels on store shelves in the ’70s and ’80s made me so skeptical of Conan that I didn’t try Robert E. Howard’s fiction until years later. I wrongly assumed that because the series looked cheap and mass produced that Howard’s writing would sound that way. (Robert E. Howard, of course, had NOTHING to do with the mass marketing of his character, having been dead for decades before that marketing was carried out by other hands.)

You can fit the sum total of all the Conan that Howard wrote (including some fragments and rejected stories) into one large hardback. That’s not a lot of fiction about such a great character, and so for decades people have been trying to create new tales of adventure starring Conan, mostly because they wanted MORE!

What makes those stories pastiche instead of fan fic, I suppose, is that many of these writers were paid to write it and the result was distributed widely. You would assume that meant that the work was well-edited and had some kind of consistency, but a lot of people, me among them, would tell you you’re wrong.

Conan and the Emerald Lotus

THIS is one of my favorite Conan books. You’ll note that it is not by Robert E. Howard. Howard himself actually wrote only one full-length Conan novel, as Conan was aimed at Weird Tales, a short story market. (If you’re THAT curious, you can go read up on REH at various sites.) I will add that it is my favorite pastiche Conan, ever, much as I greatly enjoy some of the John Maddox Roberts Conan novels. And it’s better than Karl Edward Wagner’s Conan novel The Road of Kings (often the default “best pastiche” answerand ANY Conan novel by Robert Jordan.

Conan and the Emerald Lotus was written by John Chris Hocking about twenty years ago. A big fan of Robert E. Howard, noir, and Weird Tales, Hocking wrote Emerald Lotus and sent it in, unagented… and because it was so danged good the publisher snapped it up and printed it. (In case you’re wondering, that NEVER happens.) The second Conan novel by Hocking, as it turns out, is even better, and L. Sprague de Camp relayed to Hocking that de Camp and his wife were so eager to see how it unfolded that they sat together on the floor of their study turning the pages. Conan and the Living Plague, unfortunately, never saw the light of day even though it was intended to re-launch the Conan line, because the purchasers of the line seemed uninterested in anything that had come before.