Tagged: Charles Saunders

Talking GRIOTS With Milton Davis

GRIOTS is an anthology co-edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders featuring fantasy stories based on African mythology.  ALL PULP is pleased and proud to present an interview with Milton Davis so he can tell us first hand about this ambitious and exciting anthology.  Enjoy!

All Pulp:Let’s start with an easy question: who is Milton Davis?
Milton Davis: Milton Davis works as an R&D Chemist during the day in order to hide his identity as an obsessed speculative fiction writer during the night. He a husband of 25 years and father to two children, a boy and a girl. He currently resides in Fayetteville, GA.

AP: How long have you been writing?
MD: I’ve been dabbling at it since college but got serious in 2005.
AP: What writers have influenced your style and interests?
MD: The main two are Frank Herbert and James Baldwin. Herbert blew me away with Dune and its world building. James Baldwin captured me with his simple but powerful prose.
AP: From where do you draw your inspiration?
MD: I’m inspired by many things but the main inspirations are art and music. Of course I’m also inspired by history, specifically African history.
AP: Before we get deep into this, a bit of explanation first: what is a Griot and why did you choose GRIOTS for the title of the anthology?
MD: Griot (gree-oh) is a French word used for the traditional African storyteller/historian. There are many other words used among different African people; djeli, jali, gassere and gewel just to name a few. We chose GRIOTS because it fit what we were trying to accomplish.
AP: For those who are unfamiliar with the term what is Sword and Soul?
MD: Sword and Soul is fantasy, heroic fiction and sword and sorcery based on African culture, tradition, mythology and history.
AP: Tell us about some of the talented writers who are in this anthology.
MD: We have a wide variety of writers. Some are independent writers like me; others are mainstream published. Some have never been published before and others have been published in other genres. What we all have in common is an appreciation of Africa and a desire to based stories on this wonderful and diverse continent.
AP: Are there plans for GRIOTS to be a yearly event?
MD: I don’t know about yearly but there will be a GRIOTS II next year.
AP: Can you tell us what you learned about putting together an anthology like this? Was there a certain order you put the stories in?  Were there certain themes or stylistic choices on the part of the writers that took you by surprise?
MD: GRIOTS is my second anthology. I did the preliminary work for GENESIS, the Black Science Fiction Society anthology. So this wasn’t difficult to do. The main challenge was getting writers to meet deadlines. Creative people are allergic to deadlines. We hoped that the writers participating would expand the interpretation for Sword and Soul and they did. There are stories that stick close to the definition and there are others that hint at the source. I think readers are going to be very entertained.
AP: What was it like working with Charles Saunders?
MD: It was excellent. Charles is one of the nicest and most gracious people I know. We’re Sword and Soul brothers. We have a lot in common; we were even born in the same month. His excitement about this project was one of the main reasons it came to be.
AP: People of color haven’t been well represented in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and pulp adventure in the past.  Are you seeing a definite and hopefully lasting change in that representation through not only your work but that of other black writers and artists?
MD: I definitely see a change. In mainstream publishing folks like Nnedi Okorafor, N.K. Jemison, David Anthony Durham and others are making great progress. However I think the greatest changes have and are going to take place in independent publishing. With POD and e-books breaking down the gates to reader access we finally have a chance to expose everyone to our work and our perspective. Add to that the growing black middle class and readership, it’s a good time to be a writer of color if you’re willing to work hard to make it happen.
AP: What’s a typical Day In The Life Of Milton Davis like?
MD: I’m up early to cook (yes, cook) breakfast and do a little writing. Then it’s off to work. Once I get home I take a few hours rest then write some more.
AP: Here’s your chance for a shout-out or to plug something; Go.
MD: A special shout out to all the folks who kept encouraging me to pursue my passion. I hope I’m doing you proud. Oh yeah, buy GRIOTS. You’ll love it.
All Pulp: Anything else we should know?
Milton Davis: Sword and Soul is just getting started. 2012 is going to be a special year. I have a few surprises in store.  Peace!
  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: MVmedia, LLC (August 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980084288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980084283


Charles Saunders Makes History—Again!

A review of Damballa, by Charles Saunders.

Guest reviewer Joe Bonadonna
Charles Saunders created Imaro, the first black sword and sorcery hero, over 30 years ago. He made history with that one, folks. Now, with his new novel, Damballa, Saunders has once again made history—giving us the first black crime-fighting superhero in pulp fiction. But this novel is a lot more than an action-adventure story. This one is set in the world of boxing, in 1938 Harlem. It’s film noir and hard-boiled detective, with a wonderful cast of characters. Filled with Nazis, gangsters and jazz, cultural insight, plenty of atmosphere, and a serious subtext dealing with bigotry and racism, this action-packed novel climaxes in one blistering boxing match, and an ending that is both justice served, as well as emotionally satisfying. Saunders knows how to write, how to tell a story and fill it with twists and surprises, and he is an authority on boxing. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes a great story with characters who live and breathe. You won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it.

—Joe Bonadonna, author of Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser


The Lance Star: Sky Ranger interviews – Author/Publisher Ron Fortier

Ron Fortier

With the announcement of Lance Star: Sky Ranger joining the iPulp Fiction Library, we wanted to introduce readers to some of the Honorary Sky Rangers involved with making these stories happen. Next up is Lance star: Sky Ranger Publisher Ron Fortier.

LSSR: Tell us a little about yourself and where readers can find out more about you, your work, and Airship 27 Productions?

RF: Okay, Reader’s Digest version here. Been writing professionally for past thirty-five years, mostly comics and now pulps. Folks can visit my website (www.airship27.com) to see what I’m up to on a weekly basis and learn more about Airship 27 Productions etc.

Airship 27 Productions

LSSR: How did you become involved with the Lance Star: Sky Ranger series?

RF: Having been a fan of the old pulp aviation heroes, we wanted to do our own series and Lance Star was the answer. He and his Star Rangers are classic aviation heroes with tons of adventures to tell.

LSSR: Who is Lance Star? What makes pulp characters like Lance and the Sky Rangers appeal to you as a writer, a reader, and a publisher?

Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 1

RF: Lance Star is an flying adventurer and veteran of World War One. He and his crew travel the globe of the 1930s and setting them against this ear as historical background is always fun.

LSSR: Digital content has changed the publishing landscape. As a creator and publisher, what excites you about digital content? As a reader?

RF: Obviously the ability to get our books out to a much larger audience, folks who own Kindles and Nooks, is the biggest attractions. We want lots of people to have the fun of reading our books and the digital market has opened that possibility far beyond our wildest dreams.

Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 2

LSSR: Airship 27 currently has two Lance Star: Sky Ranger anthologies in print and available as eBooks with several of those stories soon to be released individually at iPulp Fiction. What’s next for these pulp heroes?

RF: Simply more of the same. We have a third Lance Star anthology in production and hope to follow it up with his first ever full blown novel.

And I’m told there are more shot comics in the works. We plan on keeping Lance and the Sky Rangers flying high for a long time to come.


LSSR: Any upcoming projects you would like to plug?

RF: Airship 27 Production just released its third SHERLOCK HOLMES – CONSULTING DETECTIVE anthology and will soon be releasing the first ever African American 1930s avenger, DAMBALLA by novelist, Charles Saunders. It’s a book we’re damn proud of.

LSSR: Thanks, Ron.

Sherlock Holmes Vol. 3

For more information on Airship 27 Productions, please visit http://www.gopulp.info/
For more information on iPulp Fiction, please visit http://www.ipulpfiction.com/


From Airship 27 Productions-

Making Pulp History!
From the heart of Africa to the streets of Harlem, a new hero is born sworn to support and protect Americans of all races and creeds; he is Damballa and he strikes from the shadows.  When the reigning black heavy weight boxing champion of the world agrees to defend his crown against a German fighter representing Hitler’s Nazis regime, the ring becomes the stage for a greater political contest.  The Nazis’ agenda is to humble the American champion and prove the superiority of their pure-blood Aryan heritage.  To achieve this end, they employ an unscrupulous scientist capable of transforming their warrior into a superhuman killing machine.
Can the mysterious Damballa unravel their insidious plot before it is too late to save a brave and noble man?  Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Book Publishers are proud to introduce pulpdom’s first ever 1930s African-American pulp hero as created by the acclaimed author, Charles Saunders.
“Racism and sexism were a few of the ugly aspects of the pulps we’d all like to forget,” Editor Ron Fortier comments.  “Minority groups based on race, sex and religion were ostracized and either ignored completely or denigrated in their outlandish portrayals.  Since its creation, Airship 27 Productions has made it a goal to address these wrongs and help correct them within the context of providing top-notch action fiction to our readers.  DAMBALLA is a major step in that direction and we are truly excited about its release.” 
Praise for DAMBALLA and writer Charles Saunders has already begun.  “Having revolutionized the genre of epic fantasy with the creation of Imaro, a black warrior easily equal to such classic characters as Tarzan and Conan, Charles Saunders has done it again.  This time he has created DAMBALLA, a true hero in every sense of the word. Battling racism and evil in the 1930’s, DAMBALLA is no pale imitation of The Shadow or The Avenger.  In fact, after reading this excellent book, I think that they would be proud to consider him a brother in the ceaseless war against crime and injustice.”   Derrick Ferguson – “Dillon and the Voice of Odin”
DAMBALLA by Charles Saunders features a cover by Charles Fetherolf and interior illustrations by Clayton Hinkle, with book design by award-winning artist Rob Davis.
Airship 27 Productions – Pulp Fiction for a New Generation!
ISBN:  1-613420-12-9
ISBN 13:  978-1-613420-12-6
Produced by Airship 27
Published by Cornerstone Book Publishers
Release date: 06/17/2011
Retail Price: $24.95
On-Line Shop (http://www.gopulp.info/)
$3 Digital copy (http://homepage.mac.com/robmdavis/Airship27Hangar/index.html)