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

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

Free Fiction Friday: SKULLDUGGERY, A TALE OF THIEVES (Prologue thru Chapter 10)

Welcome to Free Fiction Friday. This is a day, usually Friday, when I will post some free fiction for you, if time and energy allows. I’m going to try to post as close to weekly as I can.

Today, and for a while, Free Fiction Friday will focus on the second novel I ever wrote, way back when I was a callow-yet-dashing twenty-one, a gritty and dark fantasy epic titled Skullduggery, A Tale of Thieves. I started to post it a couple of years ago and didn’t get very far, but this time I’m going to make it a priority. (For the interesting history of the novel, you can read my original blog post or the Introduction page at the site I’ve built to give the book a home).

Drogarth.

The name alone conjures dark images of spilling blood, of blackest magiks, of lawlessness and chaos. Throughout the kingdom children hear stories of this evil city and are told they must never go there — and they wish with all their hearts that one day they will. For children are the custodians of wishes, of dreams; they know in their hearts, in their souls, that only in the darkest of pits can the brightest adventures be found…

As of today, the prologue (called “Exploratory”) and the first ten chapters of Skullduggery are posted. Click below to find yourself in the violent streets of Drogarth, the City of Thieves…

SKULLDUGGERY

While we’re talking about free fiction, you might also check out the excerpt I posted yesterday from my novel Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom. This is the first book of a series of adventures that I had been publishing with Penguin/Putnam, but have now taken independent and will be launching a Kickstarter project soon to restart the series in nicer, fully-illustrated editions (for more on that, go here). You can read the beginning of Frogs at the link below, and I’ll be posting excerpts from the two novels that follow it (Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull and Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf) in the next couple of weeks as we get closer to the March 30th beginning of the Kickstarter.

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM