Superman’s Rash Solution

The Bottled City of Kandor

Today, in honor of Superman’s 75th anniversary, I’d like to share a story…

Not many people are aware of the fact that the Bottled City of Kandor actually uses kryponite-run nuclear reactors for power, and there is a (relatively) huge mass of the element beneath the city. Naturally, mining the ore can be very dangerous for those of Kryptonian descent, and early on even the best protective measures proved insufficient, as miners continued to develop terrible rashes even when wearing highly shielded suits. Superman ultimately solved the problem, of course, by developing a special cream which completely eradicated the rash and even had a mild pleasant scent. This salve is now sold in pharmacies in Kandor under the name “Kal-El Mine Lotion.”

Thank you! Thank you! I’ll be here all week…

Silhouette (A Poem)

I don’t write much poetry, and when I do, I do it sort of like I write my blog posts, off the cuff with little polishing. Years back, I took a poetry writing course in college, taught by the man who would go on to be Georgia’s Poet Laureate, David Bottoms, and one day, while suffering through some terrible piece by one of my classmates, I flipped my copy of the poem over and spontaneously wrote a poem on its back.

Later, I workshopped the poem, and Bottoms praised it highly. It was always one of my favorite poems I’d written, but at some point I lost any copies and didn’t feel I could recapture it by trying to write it anew. Recently, however, I dug out my folder of other people’s poems from that class (to share some particularly hilariously bad ones with a friend), and was thrilled to find the original, scrawled draft on the back of that other guy’s poem.

Here it is. I hope you like it.

The silhouette and
Me.

I must know.
Is it He?

I step forward
hearing my ankles creak
like old wood.
I feel the bones in my feet.
The silhouette, through watching,
glides toward me as well.

We approach each other through the mist
in this, my home,
my cold, damp, musty tomb. 
There is a jump in my heart
as I hear the clank of chain,
as I dimly see the blade
glorious at his side.

Then I see.
The silhouette, like a thousand times before,
is me.
In my own bloody mirror.
I, a master of illusion,
have deluded myself once again.

Above, beyond the frozen bars of my tomb,
my captor shrieks shrill laughter.
She knew, all along,
that it was not He.

And I, old fool,
broken stick of a wizard,
sink to my knees and cry. 

Free Fiction Friday: Three Thieves Plot In SKULLDUGGERY!!!

With everything going on, I only just managed to squeeze in an update: chapter 15 of my serialized hardboiled fantasy novel, SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES, in which three thieves meet and plot…

SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES

As always, keep in mind that this is a first draft of a novel that I wrote nearly thirty years ago. I’m proud of it, and think it’s loaded with cool stuff, but it is a tad rough hewn.

Also, just a reminder that the Kickstarter project relaunching my Doc Wilde pulp adventure series (which I had been publishing with Putnam, but have now taken independent) is now LIVE!.  It will run until midnight (PST, because I wanted to give the left coasters a fair shot) Saturday, April 28th; it encompasses three books which will be released by the end of the year, in fully illustrated editions available both as ebooks and trade paperbacks.

The project is kicking ass: after just a week, we’ve achieved the $3,000 goal we needed to hit for Kickstarter success, and it’s still climbing. The more we raise, the more we can put into making the Doc Wilde books as awesome as they can be. So please consider visiting The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde and helping us out.

I hope you’ll get Wilde with us…

Free Fiction Friday: Rapiers In The Rain In SKULLDUGGERY!!!

 Because of things I explained this morning, this week’s Friday falls on Saturday.

Of course, the very week I started doing this, I did say that Friday usually falls on Friday. I did foresee the need for flexibility. I’m very wise.

Just a token taste of free fiction this week, chapter 14 of my serialized hardboiled fantasy novel, SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES, in which Darton squares off with another swordsman for some frantic combat in the rain…

SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES

As always, keep in mind that this is a first draft of a novel that I wrote nearly thirty years ago. I’m proud of it, and think it’s loaded with cool stuff, but it is a tad rough hewn.

Also, the Kickstarter project relaunching my Doc Wilde pulp adventure series (which I had been publishing with Putnam, but have now taken independent) is now LIVE!.  It will run until midnight (PST, because I wanted to give the left coasters a fair shot) Saturday, April 28th; it encompasses three books which will be released by the end of the year, in fully illustrated editions available both as ebooks and trade paperbacks.

It’s been only about thirty hours since the project launched and we’re already at 46% of our minimum goal. And the very highest pledge level, which  was limited to only three people because it offers three one-of-a-kind collectibles, already has two pledges. So if you’re at all interested in getting the maximum rewards we have to offer, you might take a look over there soon. (The second highest level, which is limited to four slots, is still open, and there are no limitations on how many folks can pledge at all the other levels).

I hope you’ll get Wilde with us…

Free Fiction Friday: A Gypsy Girl Faces A Tough Choice In SKULLDUGGERY! Doc Wilde Finds Murder In The Woods!

Just a taste of free fiction this week, chapter 13 of my serialized hardboiled fantasy novel, SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES, in which Aubrey faces a hard choice after the supernatural storm that resulted the last time she tried a tarot reading…

SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES

Also, we are now only one week away from the start of the Kickstarter project relaunching my Doc Wilde pulp adventure series (which I had been publishing with Putnam, but have now taken independent).  The Kickstarter will run from Friday, March 30th through Saturday, April 28th; it encompasses three books which will be released by the end of the year, in fully illustrated editions available both as ebooks and trade paperbacks.

The past three weeks I have posted excerpts from each novel, and you can read them at the links below.

I hope you’ll join me on my Kickstarter adventure…

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

DOC WILDE AND THE MAD SKULL

DOC WILDE AND THE DANCE OF THE WEREWOLF

Read Some Of DOC WILDE AND THE DANCE OF THE WEREWOLF

This week, as promised, I’m giving you an early peek at my novel, Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf. This will be the third Doc Wilde adventure, and along with its two predecessors is part of the big Kickstarter project I’ll be starting on March 30th.

The past couple of weeks I posted excerpts from the other books, which you can find at these links:

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom

Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull

The Kickstarter project will encompass all three of these novels. It will allow folks to help us produce some really nice books in exchange for perks ranging from having your name in the Acknowledgements up to autographed and numbered limited editions and exclusive editions of new Doc Wilde short adventures.

All three books will be released later this year, in both trade paperback and ebook formats, starting with Frogs of Doom in June. More Doc Wilde adventures will follow next year.

All the books will be fully illustrated and have gorgeous covers by Australian comic book master Gary Chaloner. I don’t have any actual advance art to go along with Dance of the Werewolf yet, but you can see some of his work in the Frogs of Doom excerpt linked above.

As you read the following, keep in mind that you’re literally reading the first draft. This book hasn’t entered the editing stages yet. But my first drafts tend to be pretty clean, so I’m comfortable sharing it with you… Continue reading

Free Fiction Friday: More SKULLDUGGERY!!! More WILDE Action!!!

This week’s free fiction is chapters 11 and 12 of my serialized hardboiled fantasy novel, SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES. ‘Tis a tangled web I’m starting to weave…

SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES

Also, we are now exactly two weeks away from the start of the Kickstarter project I’m putting together to relaunch my Doc Wilde pulp adventure series (which I had been publishing with Putnam, but have now taken independent).  The Kickstarter encompasses three books which will be released by the end of the year, in fully illustrated editions available both as ebooks and trade paperbacks.

As part of the run up to the actual project (which will run from Friday, March 30th thru Saturday, April 28th), I’m posting excerpts from the three novels. Last week, I  posted part of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, then followed it this week with the opening chapters of Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull. Monday I’ll post some of Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf. In the meantime, click below to check out the first two excerpts.

I hope you’ll join me on my Kickstarter adventure…

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

DOC WILDE AND THE MAD SKULL