Colors by Ian Sokoliwski.
My only 2013 convention appearance will be at the Coast City Comic Con, in South Portland, Maine, the weekend of November 9th and 10th. It looks to be a surprisingly “big” show for this neck of the woods, with a bunch of notable comics guests – Lee Weeks, Mike Norton, Larry Hama, Ed McGuinness, Ben Templesmith, Erik Burnham and many others – and film/TV celebrities, including most of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast, and a reunion of actors from the 1984 cult film Savage Streets!
I’ll have a table in the artists alley and will have copies of my comics, graphic novels and prose anthologies on hand for purchase. I’ll try to have some Perils On Planet X and Gravedigger stuff there, too.
Hope to see some of you there!
Just a small thing, but I’ve added a couple of brief bios to the CHARACTERS page: the beautiful & dangerous Rayvn and the cutthroat Strato-Pirate, Reddjac.
More to come as the saga progresses!
Today, I’d like to acknowledge the birthday of the master of adventure fiction, Edgar Rice Burroughs, born on this day in 1875. He may not have invented the interplanetary romance tale with his first novel, A Princess Of Mars (Edwin Arnold, for one, beat him to the Red Planet), but he refined and defined the genre for every reader – and writer – to follow in his formidable footsteps.
There would be no Donovan Hawke without John Carter. My sincere thanks to Burroughs for the inspiration – and all the hours of reading joy I’ve derived from his stories of Barsoom, Amtor, Caspak, Pellucidar and Tarzan’s Africa.
Last winter – partly in preparation for getting back to work on Perils On Planet X after a long period away from the project – I was reading a lot of interplanetary fantasy adventure. I re-read all of the Leigh Brackett books I had, as well as Gardner Fox’s two “Llarn” novels, and delved deeper into the works of Otis Adelbert Kline – the most successful of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ contemporary pulp-era imitators.
I also scoured the Internet for novels in the genre that I hadn’t encountered before, and came across two early works by the acclaimed, multiple Hugo Award-winning “hard” science fiction author Michael D. Resnick: The Goddess of Ganymede, and its sequel, Pursuit on Ganymede.
The books were published in the late 1960s, when paperback reprints of Burroughs’ Martian and Venus tales were selling tremendous numbers, and nearly all of the major sci-fi publishers were flooding the market with similar material (some of it reprints from the pulps, others all-new pastiches) to satisfy the voracious appetites of readers who wanted more tales of high adventure set on alien worlds. These two books – which I believe were Resnick’s first published novels – are firmly planted in the Burroughs tradition.
The hero of these books, Adam Thane, is an American astronaut sent on a top secret probe to Jupiter (before the Moon landings!), who crashes on that planet’s largest moon, Ganymede, and discovers not only a breathable atmosphere and hospitable environment, but – in rapid succession – a race of winged birdmen, sword-wielding humans, and a tyrannical race of mindbending, immortal “gods.” In the second book, he embarks on a quest that takes him to the “far side” of Ganymede – a post-Atomic wasteland, populated by mutants and strange civilizations.
So… pretty much all of the typical sword & planet conventions. These books came very early in Resnick’s career, and lack the polished prose and stylistic sophistication of his later work. Still, they are perfectly fine, fast-paced (and short!) adventure novels, packed with plenty of blood & thunder.
The two volumes are long out of print, and it took me a bit of searching online to track down copies, but I’m glad I did. They were fun to read, and succeeded in providing additional inspiration for Perils On Planet X. If you’re a fan of the genre – and if not, what are you doing here? – they’re worth hunting up, especially if you can find them at a reasonable price.
I know I may have been somewhat annoying with all of the Perils On Planet X posts on my blogs, Twitter and on the POPX Facebook Fan Page over the past week, but it seems to have paid off. Friday’s Chapter Two launch turned out to be a record-setting day in terms of site traffic, with around twice our usual Friday hits.
Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word (and please keep it up)!
I look forward to reading your reactions to the new Chapter (and the previous one), and encourage you to post your comments here on the site. Gene and I truly value and appreciate feedback from our readers.