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

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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!

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* 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.

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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:

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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.”