This Site is for essays on The New Pulp Heroes. It’s about time we catalog new characters appearing in books and anthologies. Since I do not have time to read everything being published, I will offer space here for legitimate creators of new pulp characters to send me their data, and I will post their essays. It is not my place to say what is, or what is not a new pulp hero, and the only changes I will make to essays will be editing and format. If you wish, include a jpeg of a book cover or b&w illustration if you have permission from the artist. By sending me your essays, you are giving me permission to promote and showcase this data. Essays should be up to 500 words, and include information on MC and back up characters, creator, title of books, and where the stories can be found. A paperback edition is now available for $12.00, plus $3.99 postage (US). The book will only be sold through us: Tom Johnson, 204 W. Custer St., Seymour, TX 76380. Send questions or data to fadingshadows40@gmail.com

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Enigma

The Enigma Club

Creator: Rus Wornom
Commander Denis Cushing (Founder M4)

The mysterious M4, master of espionage and disguise, travels to the frozen wastes of Ghutranh and encounters a diabolical trap set for him by his arch-nemesis, the nefarious Cobra!
Trapped in an unearthly landscape of icy death, M4--Enigma Club founding member Commander Denis Cushing--discovers a terrifying secret, and must do battle with a team of assassins . . . and an unspeakable threat that has survived in the Arctic snows for millennia.  There he comes face to face with a terror from beyond the seas of eternity . . . "In the Mountains of Frozen Fire!"
"In the Mountains of Frozen Fire" has just been published in the July/August issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  You can pick it up at Barnes & Noble, or order it at http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/toc2010-19.htm (all the way at the bottom of the site).
I am a lifelong reader of the old pulp novels, such as Burroughs' John Carter and Tarzan stories, The Shadow, Doc Savage, Robert E. Howard's Conan and Solomon Kane stories, and the seminal Adventure Magazine.  Burroughs showed me that a writer is born in his heart, and that even a pencil sharpener salesman could tell stories of extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances that could enthrall generations of readers.  Once I read A Princess of Mars, I knew that I wanted to tell stories that could make people believe in worlds undreamed of. 
I started a comic novel in the mid '90s about a Tarzan wannabe, and in the middle of it, I got shaghaied by the idea that he lived on an island where the old pulp heroes are still alive and well, saving the day from monsters and thugees, evil scientists and aliens.  I based the characters on all the old pulp tropes--starlets, mad doctors, jungle heroes, gangsters, mysterious crimebusters and dangerous spies.  And on the island, I created a place for my characters to mingle and tell tales of their heroics and exploits.

THE ENIGMA CLUB is a contemporary pulp adventure novel, currently being marketed by my agent, Andrew Zack of The Zack Company.  It's the story of how the discovery of an obscure pulp magazine sends the novel's hero in search of the Enigma Club, supposedly located on a forgotten island in the Gulf of Mexico.
What he discovers is a land forsaken by time--Cayo Arcana.  The Enigma Club is a haven for adventurers, explorers, heroes, starlets, scientists (mad and otherwise), warriors and spies, all members of a classic gentlemen's club created by and for all the pulp archetypes from the Golden Age of Adventure.
THE ENIGMA CLUB recreates the pulp era of the '20s and '30s, and also makes an impossible tale and the impossible locale very real and almost interactive, integrating artifacts--photos, sidebars, excerpts from fictional books and pulps, telegrams, and even vintage postcards--to create a world that the reader feels could possibly exist.
My original intent with THE ENIGMA CLUB was to include a sample pulp story for each of the Club's charter members, as published between 1911 and 1953 in the Club's pulp, The Enigma Club All-Adventure Magazine.  However, the novel became too long, so I included only one story, "Sky-Gods of Ixtamal," to represent the themes inherent with the pulp era: adventure, wonder, lost races, fantastic technologies, and everyday characters who embody the heroic ideal.
Two other stories were already finished, and the first of these, "In the Mountains of Frozen Fire," is a tale of Commander Denis Cushing, Agent M4 (a.k.a. the Mongoose), whom I created as a cross between James Bond, Artemus Gordon and G-8.  My inspiration for the story was a painting by Frank Frazetta, The Frost Giants, with a little Lovecraft and a lot of Robert E. Howard thrown in.  My goal was to tell a period story, using the tropes of Howard, Lovecraft and traditional spy fiction, while also serving up a dose of 21st Century humor--along the lines of Indiana Jones meets SNL.

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