Saturday, November 9, 2013

Doc Savage: The Miracle Menace

When I heard about the new “wild” adventures of Doc Savage, I had some misgivings. I thought the price was a bit high and I was afraid the larger page counting would lead to story padding. The original Doc novels were lean adventures (even leaner as the series aged).

Also, when author Will Murray wrote several Doc Savage novels for Bantam books in the early 90s, I thought they were rather hit and miss.

My thinking has changed.

It started with Skull Island, Murray’s story of Doc Savage meeting King King. It took place early in Doc’s career, before he had officially begun his life’s work of crusading again evil. The novel was a grand adventure, with an exciting plot and a wealth of detail about Doc’s family and his unusual upbringing. I had no qualms with the size or the price or the writing.        

Now comes The Miracle Menace.

In the latest Doc novel, Murray tells two stories that finally converge into one epic. In the first thread, out of work magician Gulliver Greene and his assistant Spook Davis encounter strange happenings in La Plata, Missouri (the hometown of original Doc Savage author Lester Dent) involving a murdering midget, a suspicious religious cult, telepathy and the rumor that Christopher Columbus is alive and well in 20th Century Missouri. In the parallel story, Doc Savage and his aides investigate a mansion in the Missouri woods that disappears and appears at random.

When the two sections of the novel finally come together, Murray dishes out an explosive finale, including shocking revelations about the past of some of the characters and the appearance of a villain from an earlier Doc novel. The secret of the vanishing house proves to be one of the most amazing mysteries of Doc Savage’s career.

Wild adventures, indeed.

With Skull Island and The Miracle Menace, I was as captivated and entertained as I was when I first discovered Doc Savage as a kid. Back then, those classic James Bama covers drew me in with the promise of action and mystery. Now Joe De Vito paints Doc’s covers and the last two have been spectacular.

I have gone back and found that some of the earlier Murray Doc novels that I had a problem with have magically gotten better.

Apparently the 12 year-old inside of me has issued an order to relax and enjoy the new Doc Savage novels. The older I get the more that kid seems to get the best of me.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Story

Actually, it's a novelette (shorter than a novella, longer than a short story) in Volume 4 of Jim Anthony, from Airship 27th.

Jim Anthony was a Doc Savage imitator for a short time during the pulp era. He was super-strong, super-smart, rich, etc. Unlike Doc, Big Jim loved the ladies. He had a Native American grandpa and a secret hideout called the Wigwam. For a while his stories were wild and wacky. Later, he was tamed down and turned into your run of the mill pulp detective. 

My story (and, I presume, the others in the book) is set during the "fun" era. I know I had fun writing the story. I don't produce much pulp fiction anymore (yeah, The Dead Sheriff is pulpy, but I consider it equally part of the horror genre) so it was a hoot to read the story again. It was written several years ago and, in my biased opinion, it still holds up.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Here's The Pub, Baby

Pub, as in publicity. Here's the official press release for the movie.

Justice’s “Lonely Street” Set For Film Adaptation

Ashland, KY –– Local radio personality and writer Mark Justice is set to have one of his short stories adapted by local filmmaker Jason Jenkins. The story, a horror tale found in Justice’s collection
Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye, is titled “Hell is a Lonely Street” and focuses on a murdered cop who finds himself in a very unusual afterlife. Jenkins will write and shoot the adaptation this Fall in the Tri-State area, likely with local actors and crew. He hopes to have the project fully completed by year’s end.

Justice hosts The Breakfast Club weekdays on 105.7 WLGC. He also writes a weekly column for the Ashland Beacon.

In addition to the collection. Justice has written The Dead Sheriff: Zombie Damnation, the first in a series of supernatural western novels and three books in the Dead Earth science fiction/horror series, co-written with David T. Wilbanks.

Movie Mania

It looks like one of my short stories will soon be turned into a short film. A talented local filmmaker is planning to lens the tale "Hell is a Lonely Street" from my collection Looking at the World with Broken Glass in My Eye.

I've seen this guy's work, and I'm can't wait to discover what he does with my creepy little story.

I'll keep you updated on the progress of the movie. 

Meanwhile, if you'd like to read the story, you can order the book here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pulp O' the Day

Hey, he's got my vote.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pulp O' the Day--Father's Day Edition

Dad was a big fan of westerns, and he introduced me to many TV, cinematic and literary cowboys. On Father's Day, it seems fitting to honor him with a few good western pulps.

And for a slightly more humorous take on life with my father, you can check out this week's edition of  my newspaper column. It should be up for a couple of more days. It's on page 2.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pulp O' the Day

Because a Space Babe with a ray gun makes Wednesday just a little better.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Pulp

Summer always puts me in a pulp mood. While reprints are great, sometimes there's nothing like the feel and smell of crumbling pulpwoody magazines to scratch that itch. Now I just have to decide what to read. To carefully read.

Pulp o' the Day

Escorted by the Olsen Twins.