Friday, September 21, 2012

Superhero Month: BEAT TO A PULP: SUPERHERO edited by David Cranmer, Scott D Parker

This was my first foray into the BEAT TO A PULP (BTAP) series, edited by David Cranmer.  He initially created the BTAP e-zine as a way to present well written stories that recalled the old traditional pulp adventures and now there is also a series of books that compile even more of these same great stories.  I came across the series while exploring more pulp and noir reading, after finishing 8 Pounds by Chris Holm and I'm very glad I took the chance and got myself a copy of Beat to a Pulp: Superhero.

This volume, edited by Cranmer and Scott D.Parker doesn't just deal with the traditional "superhero"; as a matter of fact, most of the stories deal with ordinary people rising to the occasion and doing heroic things.  So while not exactly what I was expecting, given the title, the excellence of the stories was very much what I      was expecting and I found myself enjoying this anthology very much.

There are thirteen tales in this volume; I will highlight my favorites:

The collection kicks off with a firecracker of an introduction by Parker that really sets up the tone and theme of the book; you can also read it here as a teaser!

Jake Hinkson's The Long Drop places superheroes squarely inside the New York City police department.  Cooper, a NYPD officer, wakes up in a hotel room, with no memory of how he got there or why there is a severed head in the shower.  Hinson introduces a gritty, alternate reality that I'd like to see him explore further, where people with super powers have been accepted in society and builds the tension nicely as Cooper tries to unravel the mystery of who has set him up and why...

The Revenge of the Red Avenger called to mind the innocent kids from Stand By Me and The Sandlot; Billy and Carole are just a young boy and girl who are best friends and share a love of comic books.  They decide to become heroes, like the ones in  their comics, so they can find and fight crime in their neighborhood. Kevin Burton Smith packs an emotional wallop with this story, turning a tale of carefree innocence into one of tragedy with a powerful climax.

The femme fatale of the group, Sandra Seamans, also presents an emotional story with Moon Mad.  Molly hides from the moon at night, safely amongst the nooks and crannies of the city, because the moon brings her bad "dreams".  Then one night, Molly's memories won't be denied and she has to relive a terrible past in order to save a group of innocent girls.  Seamans made me care very much about Molly and while I guessed the ending, it was no less sad for me when the story was over.

Benoit Lelievre gives us Doberman: Third Party Law Enforcement and introduces us to a mercenary called upon by a politician to save his twin sons from a madman.  The story is just the right amount of violent and the protagonist reminded me of in some ways of Frank Castle, the Punisher.  Lelievre writes a dark story and I hope he chronicles more of the Doberman's adventures.

And finally, to round out my list of favorites, is Chad Eagleton's Somewhere Beyond the Pavement.  It is another tale of young kids finding themselves in dire circumstances and having to find the inner strength to fight.  To live.  The way Eagleton writes the story, switching from the children, to their father, to the villains and back again really creates a thrilling edge-of-your-seat story and a made it my favorite entry in the collection.

I enjoyed this collection very much and will definitely be seeking out more from the BTAP series, as well as other works from the individual authors.  It is a great collection, and each story is was highly readable; there wasn't a clunker in the bunch.  You can get Beat To A Pulp: Superhero here and when you do, plan on reading this action packed volume in just one sitting, it's that good!

Happy reading!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Are you ready for some more trailers?!  Here are a new batch of teasers, and don't forget to follow the clues!  :)

And I want to send a special thanks to the Darkdhalia for sharing these creepy teasers!  I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of the new season!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Some more interesting tidbits from the web:

Andrew Wolter has released the first chapter of his New Mythos novel Seasons in His Abyss  here; the novel is due for release in Fall 2012.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has a very interesting post up called "Two Racists for the Price of One" that discusses Robert E Howard and H P Lovecraft, their beliefs and writing today in the genres these two men helped create.  Her and her partner Paula R Stiles also have an amazing new anthology in the works but they need help in funding the project; you can read more about  Sword and Mythos here and here, plus the ways you can help give this new project wings.

Also, blogger Jessica Strider of Sci-Fi Fan Letter has a post here that features a very inspirational endcap display that she created at the bookstore she works at, that itself draws inspiration from a series of posts done earlier this year by that prolific bloggess Sarah from Bookworm Blues; as both Jessica and Sarah point out, disabilities in science fiction and fantasy is a very important but under discussed topic.  Please take the time to read the posts written by Sarah and seek out the books from Jessica's still growing reading list.  You will find it a very enriching experience.

Happy reading!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Must See TV: The creepiness continues on AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM

YAY!!!  More peeks of the upcoming AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM plus a promo featuring the cast!

Superhero Month: Miscellany

Just cruising around the internet, looking for interesting views of superheroes; whether they're original, reboots or mash-ups, I thought these were pretty cool!

I came across Aaron Diaz and his blog via the ever informative  Here is a peek of his reimagined Justice League, Legion of Doom and Batman; you can see them all here:

I also came across another blog by artist Denis Medri via Twitter; the blog is in Italian but his artwork is wonderful and needs no translation.  He has remade the cast of STAR WARS as 80s high school students and Marvel and DC heroes/villains in 70s, Western and Steampunk styles!!!  Please see more of his work here:

                                                         C3-P0 and R2-D2 as The Nerds

                       As 80s high school students: Han Solo, Chewbaca and the Millenium Falcon

                                                             A 70s inspired Punisher...

                                               A truly wicked looking steampunk Venom...

                                                                and a Western Batman

As I've said before, I'm a big fan of reinventions of such iconic characters and found myself wishing to know the stories that would accompany these images!  These are all so great and there are thousands of words here just waiting to be told!  Until they are, I shall keep perusing the web for even more great superhero art...

Happy Reading!