Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021: Now available in hardcover and trade paperback!

So, it’s like this: Back on March 16th, Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 was released by Crazy 8 Press in eBook format. As editor Bob Greenberger explained at the time, the eBook was obviously easier to format and make available as a download, helping him to start sending digital perks to those folks who supported the Kickstarter campaign to secure the funds required to publish the book. At the same time, preparations were being finalized to have the book made ready to offer in hardcover and trade paperback formats.

Well, they’re now available!

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 is yet another celebration of those exciting pulp fiction stories of yesteryear, but with something of a modern twist. The book is jammed to overflowing with 27 stories told in classic pulp style, each one filled to overflowing to action, adventure, excitement, thrills, chills, mystery, romance, humor, and all sorts of juicy pulpy stuff.

Several of the writers from the original Thrilling Adventure Yarns return for the new volume, spinnning all-new tales with characters created for the first go-around. Others take on popular characters who now lurk and quest in the public domain, such as Sherlock Holmes himself! There are also new additions to roster, which explains Kevin Dilmore and myself teaming up for a new story, “Protocol 23,” which might very well be the first such yarn featuring characters we created. Plus, the cherry on top has to be a never-before-seen story by legendary pulp writer Lester Dent, the creator of Doc Savage. That alone has to be worth the price of admission, but buy your ticket and you still get 26 more stories as a bonus, amirite?

The roster for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 includes: Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Greg Cox, Paige Daniels, Lester Dent, Mary Fan, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Heather E. Hutsell, Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, William Leisner, Jonathan Maberry, David Mack, Ron Marz, Danielle Ackley McPhail, Stuart Moore, Will Murray, Jody Lynn Nye, Scott Pearson, Aaron Rosenberg, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, Richard C. White, and Sherri Cook Woosley.

The book also contains all-new art to go with each story, so readers be treated to the artistic stylings of June Brigman, Kerry Callen, Gary Carbon, Mike Collins, Daerick Gross, Matt Haley, Karl Kesel, Peter Krause, Luke McDonell, Ron Randall, Dan Schkade, Bart Sears, Daniele Sera, Jeff Weigel, and Mark Wheatley.

The book’s page at Amazon.com has been updated to reflect the availability of the hardcover and trade paperback editions along with the eBook version, so go and get your pulp on, whydontcha?

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 is NOW LIVE!

That’s right, I said it.

Following up on 2019’s original Thrilling Adventure Yarns, editor Bob Greenberger and Crazy 8 Press are bringing forth yet another celebration of those exciting pulp fiction stories of yesteryear, but with something of a modern twist.

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 comes at ya with 27 — count ’em: 27 — stories told in the classic pulp style, each one filled to overflowing to action, adventure, excitement, thrills, chills, mystery, romance, humor, and all sorts of juicy pulpy stuff.

Several of the writers from the original volume have returned, spinnning all-new tales with characters created for the first go-around. Others take on popular characters who now lurk and quest in the public domain, such as Sherlock Holmes himself! There are also new additions to roster, which explains Kevin Dilmore and myself teaming up for a new story which might very well be the first such yarn featuring characters we created. Plus, the cherry on top has to be a never-before-seen story by legendary pulp writer Lester Dent, the creator of Doc Savage. That alone has to be worth the price of admission, but buy your ticket and you still get 26 more stories as a bonus, amirite?

The roster for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 includes: Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Greg Cox, Paige Daniels, Lester Dent, Mary Fan, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Heather E. Hutsell, Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, William Leisner, Jonathan Maberry, David Mack, Ron Marz, Danielle Ackley McPhail, Stuart Moore, Will Murray, Jody Lynn Nye, Scott Pearson, Aaron Rosenberg, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, Richard C. White, and Sherri Cook Woosley.

Thanks to a wonderfully supported Kickstarter campaign, Editor Bob also was to commission all-new art to go with each story, so readers be treated to the artistic stylings of June Brigman, Kerry Callen, Gary Carbon, Mike Collins, Daerick Gross, Matt Haley, Karl Kesel, Peter Krause, Luke McDonell, Ron Randall, Dan Schkade, Bart Sears, Daniele Sera, Jeff Weigel, and Mark Wheatley.

A trade paperback edition as well as a fancy schmancy hardcover are in the works and should be available soon, but for now? Get your pulp on over at Amazon.com as the book is NOW AVAILABLE as digital format as an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing exclusive! That’s right! Yesteryear is here as a cascade of free-flowing electrons right to your device du jour. Go check it out!

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021: Now available for pre-order!

If you’ve been reading my monthly writing updates, you know that my frequent writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, and I got back into our collaborator groove a bit last year, with short stories appearing in not one but two anthologies along with an essay in collection dedicated to the 1960s Batman TV series’ first season. One other thing we worked on is now on final approach to publication, that being a story for the upcoming Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021!

Like its predecessor from 2019, this latest collection of short stories draws inspiration from the tales that once filled pulp magazines from the 1930s to well into the 1960s. Stories of this sort run the gamut from Western to detective/noir to military, science fiction and everything in between. As with the first installment, this second anthology is coming at us via Crazy 8 Press and edited by our good friend, Bob Greenberger, who’s assembled a formidable roster of writers to give you a heapin’ helpin’ of pulpy writing goodness drawn (mostly) from those thrilling days of yesteryear:

Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Greg Cox, Paige Daniels, Lester Dent, Mary Fan, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Heather E. Hutsell, Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, William Leisner, Jonathan Maberry, David Mack, Ron Marz, Danielle Ackley McPhail, Stuart Moore, Will Murray, Jody Lynn Nye, Scott Pearson, Aaron Rosenberg, Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, Richard C. White, and Sheri Cook Woosley!

(Psst: You see “Lester Dent” in the line-up, right? As in “the guy who created Doc Savage?” Yeah. That Lester Dent. There’s a never-before-seen story by him right here in this book, yo.)

Have a look at the cover, whydontcha?

Click to Biggie Size.

Oh, and did I mention each story has its own swank illustration? Bob covered those bases, too, with the artistic stylings of June Brigman, Kerry Callen, Gary Carbon, Mike Collins, Daerick Gross, Matt Haley, Karl Kesel, Peter Krause, Luke McDonell, Ron Randall, Dan Schkade, Bart Sears, Daniele Sera, Jeff Weigel, and Mark Wheatley. Because you can’t have a pulp adventure anthology without some tasty pulp adventure art.

As I write this, a Kindle eBook edition is available for pre-order just by clicking on this bit of highlighted text right here. This edition is set to go live on March 16th, and a trade paperback as well as a hardcover edition is also coming. More info on that as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

It’s gonna get all kinds of pulpy up in here, people.

Aztlan: Investigator For The Empire – A Kickstarter project by Michael Jan Friedman.

My bud Michael Jan Friedman is making with more literary mischief.

Those of you who frequent this space have likely read something I’ve written about one of his various projects. He’s been around a bit, with a list of publishing credits that’s about as long as…well, it’s pretty long, and includes novels, short stories, comics, and TV. Yeah, he’s pretty salty as writing vets go.

Every so often, he sets into motion a somewhat crazy scheme because for him it’s time to bring to fruition a new writing project without the benefit of a traditional path to publication. In recent years, he’s relied on crowdfunding to help him acquire the money necessary to realize these projects. As is his wont, he sets modest fundraising goals in order to cover the expense of bringing the project to life, and in every case (I think we’re up to ten or so, by this point?), he’s hit his mark and delivered on everything promised.

Mike’s also one of the genuinely decent people in this whole writing business thing. He’s been a friend and supporter from the first time I met him — what, something like 17 years ago, now — at my first Shore Leave convention, and he’s on a very, very short list of people to whom I can never say “No,” when he asks for something like promoting his latest project.

This time, Mike’s returning to a character he created some years ago, Maxtla Colhua, a detective living and working in Aztlan, an Aztec empire which in this alternate version of history has survived into the 21st century. Maxtla has appeared in two standalone novellas, Aztlan: The Last Sun and Aztlan: The Courts of Heaven, as well as a third novella, Aztlan: Speaker of the Verse, which appeared in Mike’s anthology Cabal and Other Unlikely Invocations of the Muse.

Maxtla is set to return in Aztlan: Investigator for the Empire, but it can’t happen without the help of folks like you who are currently reading this. What’s it all about? As has become the norm for these things, I’ve learned to just let Mike tell you:


Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Mysteries came out in 2012 (though it feels like it was yesterday), coinciding with the supposed end of the Mesoamerican cosmos. It was comprised of two novellas, Aztlan: The Last Sun and Aztlan: The Courts of Heaven

Since then, I’ve written another half-dozen books under the aegis of Crazy 8 and edited a few more. But I always felt the tug of Maxtla Colhua, hard-nosed Investigator for the Empire–a fiery athlete who followed his father’s path and became a detective after he blew out his knee in the ball court.

“When are you going to write another Maxtla book?” fans and friends would ask me at conventions. One really wonderful couple even named their dog Maxtla. “Soon,” I said. And the years flew by.

And Maxtla’s tug on me grew more and more insistent all the time. More urgent. More determined not to be denied. Who was I to say no to such perseverance?

So here we are. Answering the call. You and me. Because it’s between the reader and the writer that the magic takes place, and what do we need more these days than a little magic?

Aztlan: Investigator For The Empire…it may not find a place in the bookstore, but I’m hoping there’s a place for it on your shelf…and in your heart.


Sounds cool, amirite?

As is always the case with his Kickstarters, Mike is offering a number of rewards and even a few surprises for those who choose to back the project. For the complete rundown on Aztlan: Investigator For The Empire and everything Mike’s putting out there for your consideration, hop on over to Kickstarter and check out the project’s page:

Aztlan: Investigator for the Empire
by Michael Jan Friedman

As I write this, the Kickstarter is sitting at $2,535 of its rather unpretentious $3,500 funding goal, with ten days to go. Anyone who’s participated in a Kickstarter campaign knows it’s an all-or-nothing proposition, and it’d be a shame for Mike to lose the ball this close to the goal line. So, if you wouldn’t mind giving this new project a look and you’re willing and able to do so, I hope you’ll consider supporting it.

Good luck, Mike!

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021: A new anthology that needs you!

It seems my friend Bob Greenberger has been busy.

In addition to being a veteran comics and prose writer and editor and one of the genuinely nice guys in the business, Bob is also one of the octet of brains comprising Crazy 8 Press. Among the various projects with which he’s been involved with that scrappy little publisher that could is Thrilling Adventure Yarns.

In 2018, Bob launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the money necessary to bring together an pretty snazzy collection of pulp-inspired action-adventure tales. For that first campaign, he set a very modest goal of $4,500 to cover the expenses of producing the anthology to include paying the writers, the cover artist, printing the books and prepping the eBook versions, and delivering on the various backer rewards. The campaign ended up receiving more than $11,000, allowing Bob to activate a number of stretch/bonus goals and unlock even more rewards for those who donated to the cause, and the anthology was published in the summer of 2019, premiering at that year’s annual Shore Leave convention. The result was a pretty sharp looking tome of which I confess I was a tad envious.

Skip ahead to October 2020, and Bob’s doing it all over again!

That’s right! Mr. G has assembled a cast of returning and new-contributors for a second collection of exciting stories which pay homage in various and sundry ways to the pulpy fiction of Yesteryear. I’m told this new crop of tales run the gamut, from period pieces to stories set in the modern day. A few authors from the first volume are bringing back characters they showcased last time, and Bob promises a few surprises if the planets align in just the right fashion.

However, he–and, indeed, all of us who are a part of this anthology–need your help to get those planets aligned just so. Far be it from me to steal any of Bob’s thunder or any of the words he put together to tout this new effort. Instead, allow me to direct you to the Kickstarter for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021 and let you see for yourself what all the fuss is about:

Another edition of Thrilling Adventure Yarns, a celebration of the pulp magazines!

For those of you new to this sort of fundraising campaign, this is an “all or nothing” deal: if the project fails to hit its initial $6,000 goal, then any money pledged during the campaign period will be forfeited and those who backed the project won’t be charged a thin dime. Any monies received in excess of that mark will go toward realizing the appropriate stretch goals, about which you can read more than you really want to know at the above link. Kevin and I collaborated on an all-new story for this installment, joining this roster of friends and fellow word-pushers:

Aaron Rosenberg, Michael Jan Friedman, Glenn Hauman, Mary Fan, Paul Kupperberg, Russ Colchamiro, David Mack, Paige Daniels, Will Murray, Karissa Laurel, William Leisner, Danielle Ackley McPhail, Greg Cox, Heather E. Hutsell, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Michael A. Burstein, Richard White, Scott Pearson, and Sherri Cook Woosley.

For our story, Kevin and I created a setup and characters I really hope we get to revisit someday, either in a future edition of Thrilling Adventure Yarns or via some other means. However, that’s way down the road. First, we need to get this project funded so we can roll out this volume!

The campaign went live tonight, October 15th, and goes until 9pm Eastern Time on November 14th. The clock’s ticking, all Jack Bauer/24-style even as I type this. So, if you want to get in on the ground floor of a kick-ass new anthology of awesome pulpy short stories, here’s your chance. Go give it a look-see, whydontcha?

Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021!

Pangaea Book III: Redemption

PangaeaIII-coverThe super-continent Pangaea, on which mankind has lived its entire life as a species, has become a dangerous and unpredictable place. The ancient oppressors known as the Aristai are tearing civilization apart in order to rebuilt it in their image.

If the nations of the world are to weather the storm of death and destruction, they will need heroes–not just leaders and lawmen, but also saviors from the unlikeliest of places. A bodyguard who’s lost his way in the wilderness. A chef who knows the value of keeping everything in its place. A truck driver carrying more than what’s in his truck. A professor who’s unlocked the greatest secret of the super-continent.

To guide you on your journey through the lonely mountain peaks, the wide, wild plains, and the teeming seacoasts of Pangaea, we’ve enlisted the talents of a distinguished fellowship of science fiction luminaries–Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Ilsa J. Bick, Michael A. Burstein, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Kevin Dilmore, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Dan Hernandez, Paul Kupperberg, Ron Marz, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Geoffrey Thorne, Marie Vibbert, and Dayton Ward.

In this, the final volume of the Pangaea series, see who will rise, who will fall…and who will be left to pick up the pieces. Continue reading “Pangaea Book III: Redemption”

Zlonk! Zok! Zowie!

Zlonk Zok Zowie-CoverThe Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season One
edited by Jim Beard with Rich Handley

Another Bright, Sunny Day in Gotham City…Or is it?

The Riddler, the Penguin, the Joker, and Catwoman are all making their first fiendish forays to prey upon Gotham’s innocent citizens, but Batman and Robin, the famous Caped Crusaders, stand ready to Z-ZWAP! their diabolic schemes–all the time knowing full well that even more arch-criminals such as the Bookworm, King Tut, and False Face will follow!

Maybe you already know these stories and have thrilled to them since their debut during the inaugural 1966 season of the beloved Batman television series–but when eighteen energetic essayists all descend upon these episodes to evaluate them for enlightenment, suffice to say, citizen, you’ve never seen them like this before!

Join Jim Beard, creator and editor of Gotham City 14 Miles, as he bounds back to the Batcave with a few fearless friends to dig deep into Batman Season One’s seventeen episodes and the 1966 Batman feature film. With particular points-of-view and a worldly wealth of Bat-knowledge, these writers tackle themes, tones, and tropes beyond any previous Batman episode guides–Holy Hooks! They’ll ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! your senses!

Featuring Special Guest Essayists: Jim Beard, Ed Catto, Joe Crowe, Keith DeCandido, Kevin Dilmore, Chuck Dixon, John S. Drew, Pat Evans, Chris Franklin, Bob Greenberger, Dan Greenfield, Rich Handley, Paul Kupperberg, Will Murray, Alan J. Porter, Mark B. Racop, Peter Sanderson, Steven Thompson, and Dayton Ward. Cover by Sean E. Ali.

Trade Paperback from Amazon.com
Kindle eBook from Amazon.com

Zlonk-IntArt-01


Find something “serious” to write about for a show that was never really intended to be taken all that seriously? Sure, Jim. No pressure.

The truth is that despite its over-the-top and in-your-face campy nature, the 1960s Batman series did have a few layers to it. Many of its episodes managed to slip a little bit of subtle messaging past viewers caught up in the on-screen craziness, usually in the form of some sly writing by the likes of Lorenzo Semple Jr., Ralph Ross, Charles Hoffman, and so many other writers who contributed scripts over the course of the show’s three seasons. Anything earth-shattering? Perhaps. Perhaps not. That sort of thing ultimately is for viewers and fans to decide, but maybe we can help a little.

Enter the Subterranean Grotto (not the Sub-Subterranean Grotto…that’s only for emergencies). Published by Crazy 8 Press, Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! is presented as an exploration of just what might be baked into the episodes of the show’s first season along with the 1966 Batman feature film based on the series. Kevin and teamed up to provide a look at the two-part story that features the return of the Clown Prince of Crime himself, “The Joker Goes to School” and “He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul.” It’s all about how Batman’s arch nemesis involves himself in juvenile deliquency. Hey, slow day in Gotham, I guess.

Volumes examining the second and third seasons are already in the planning stages. If you’re a fan of Adam West’s Batman (and really…who isn’t), you should give this new tome a look. To the bookstore*, citizens!

Zlonk-IntArt-03

* Yes, I know that as I write this, visiting a bookstore “just because” is not really an option due to the current state of affairs, but you still have online resources to help you during these trying times until some semblance of sanity is restored!

Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na….Bat Book!

A while back, Kevin and I were invited to contribute to a book being put together by author/editor Jim Beard, with whom I’d previously worked and had much fun when he teamed up with author/editor Rich Handley to assemble Planet of the Apes: Tales From the Forbidden Zone. Having been allowed to scratch my Apes fanboy itch with a new short story based on that longtime favorite property, I was jazzed at the chance to dig in and yammer a bit about another fond childhood staple, the 1960s Batman television series.

Batman1966Logo

Instead of writing fiction this time, Kevin and I would be would be providing an essay about a specific episode. Two episodes, really, since most of the Batman stories were two-parters, especially during the show’s first two seasons, with the halves split between Wednesday and Thursday evenings each week. This collection would feature essays about each of the first season’s 17 stories (or 34 episodes).

The result of all that writing and whatnot? ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66–Season One.

(Say that three times fast. Meanwhile, I’ll be over here contemplating how sweet it would be to actually write Batman ’66 short fiction.)

Our mission? Attempt to give readers and fans–old and new alike–something new to think about regarding this intentionally campy and oft-dismissed incarnation of the Caped Crusader. Kevin and I join Jim in this endeavor along with these fine folks:

BatBookS1-CoverEd Catto
Joe Crow
Keith R.A. DeCandido
Chuck Dixon
John S. Drew
Pat Evans
Chris Franklin
Bob Greenberger
Dan Greenfield
Rich Handley
Paul Kupperberg
Will Murray
Alan J. Porter
Mark Racop
Peter Sanderson
Steven Thompson

You can read more about this project from this little tease article written by one of the book’s contributors, Dan Greenfield, over at the 13th Dimenion website:

Sneak Peek: Dig the Next Great Batman ’66 Book

This first collection of all-new Batman ’66-inspired essays is coming (I think) this summer, available in trade paperback and eBook formats from the gang over at Crazy 8 Press. More info to share as it becomes available. Stay tuned, citizens!

So, I’m gonna write some superhero stuff.

Kinda. Sorta. We’re not exactly sure yet how it’s all gonna go, but it’s gonna have superheroes in it.

Crazy8Press-logoThe other day, pal and fellow writer Russ Colchamiro, one of the eight word pushers who make up Crazy 8 Press, invited me to participate in a “shared world” project he’s putting together, and which will also feature the wordly stylings of other friends and fellow Crazy 8 writers Mary Fan and Aaron Rosenberg. Between the four of us, we’re going to attempt pulling off a series of novellas all revolving around the central idea of superheroes. Kinda. Sorta. It’s like I said up top, okay?

Sure, details are light at the moment. Actually, they’re a little bit heavier for the four us thanks to the eMails we’ve exchanged just in the last couple of days, but for you? Light, which is fine as the resulting collection of novellas isn’t even due for publication until the summer of 2021 or so. With that in mind, I’m thinking….yeah, we’ve got time to figure out some of this stuff, and dial in some of the things that currently exist within the realms of “Kinda” and “Sorta.”

This isn’t my first time working at least in peripheral fashion with Crazy 8, though it’s been a while. My first go-around with them was “Conscript” my contribution to ReDeus: Divine Tales, the first in a series of anthologies edited by Aaron along with fellow Crazy 8-er Bob Greenberger. A couple of years later, I teamed up with my hetero life-mate Kevin on “The Ardent,” a short story for the first of Michael Jan Friedman‘s Pangaea anthologies.

Come to think of it, this isn’t even my first time writing a superhero story. For that, we have to dig way, waaaaaaaaaay back in the dusty archives and pull out “Going My Own Way,” a story I wrote for Gods of Justice, a 2011 anthology edited by Kevin Hosey and K. Stoddard Hayes.

So, you know….it’s been a while.

I know, I know…”What kinds of superheroes are we talking about, Dayton?” Well, certainly no Superman, Batman, Captain America, Black Widow, Wonder Woman, or any of their friends. Nope, not even Deadpool…even though that’d be pretty sweet, amirite? Instead, what I can tell you at this time is that these will be characters and situations of our own creation. Who they are, what they can do, and how they can do it is all part of what we’re just now starting to figure out. As details start to gel, I’ll get the clearance to share this and that, though we obviously don’t want to give away all the surprises, twists, turns, and so on and so forth.

Many thanks to Russ, Mary, and Aaron for inviting me into their sandbox to play for a bit. I’m excited to add this to my perpetually moving “Writing To Do List.”