Tagged: Earth Station One

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Pulp Fiction Reviews and The Red Reunion

New Pulp Author Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at Stein and Candle Vol. III by Michael Panush.

STEIN AND CANDLE Vol III
By Michael Panush
Curiosity Quills Press
232 pages

From the talented imagination of writer Michael Panush comes this third volume in the adventures of Mort Candle, a grizzled ex-Sergeant and his ward, the teenage occult expert Weatherby Stein.  Panush continues to chronicle their post World War II exploits as paranormal investigators and within these pages you’ll find the duo’s newest exploits as they travel the globe encountering all manner of supernatural monsters.  There are a total of six cases set forth here and each is a well presented pulp actioner, all worthy of the 1930s classics.

The book kicks off with our guys in Japan in “Trouble in Tokyo.”  They are hired by a police detective discover who it is attacking rival Yakuza clans and in the process fomenting a gangland war that could severely hamper the city’s reconstruction efforts.  Soon Candle and Stein aren’t only dealing with sword wielding crooks but a secret ninja clan controlling ancient Japanese creatures of mythology to wipe out their foes.  This one is exotic wall to wall action without let up from beginning to end.

The X-Files meets Happy Days in “Teenage Wasteland” when Weatherby goes undercover in a suburban high school to investigate teenagers meddling with the occult.  Along the way he encounters ethnic prejudices, an athletic bully and a Sandra Dee like blonde beauty that turns his head and melts his heart.  Easily one of the weirder but most enjoyable stories in this series yet.

Then there is “Lounge Lizard” wherein our heroes head for Lake Tahoe to find a missing crooner who has run off with the his boss’ cash. This leads them into a deadly parallel world of dinosaurs and their lizard-men riders.  Exactly the mishmash Panush excels at.  Whereas in “Drac’s Back,” Castle, short on funds, accepts an assignment from a group of American vampires to help them travel to Transylvania and resurrect the greatest bloodsucker of them all, Count Dracula.  Stein is opposed to the idea and has good reason to be.  It doesn’t turn out well.

The fifth tale, “Stein Family Reunion,” has Mort and Weatherby in San Francisco encountering Adam, a monstrous individual created from parts of dead bodies by an earlier member of the Stein clan.  Thus do our heroes come to the aid of one of the most iconic monsters in English fiction.  After introducing Dracula to the series, we just knew “the monster” couldn’t be far behind.

The book wraps up with “Big City Showdown,” parts one and two and is the longest single Stein and Candle adventure yet.  And it deserves that extra space as it has a sense of climatic finality to it.  Dracula and the Stein’s twisted wizard ancestor, the Viscount Wagner Stein, team up in New York with an audacious plan to conquer America.  The challenges these two powerful entities posed singularly proved to be difficult to our heroes in past encounters.  Now combined, they are virtually unbeatable; unless that is, our two occult detectives can assemble their own team to battle them.  And this is exactly what transpires until almost every major supporting character in the series reappears for this one cataclysmic confrontation between the forces of good and evil.

There is a definitive air of closure by the story’s end that had this reader both pleased and sad.  If this is the end of the Stein and Candle Detective Agency, then they go out on a grand note that we applaud.  But we truly hope this isn’t the last chapter in one of New Pulp’s most imaginative series ever created.  Please, Michael Panush, we want more!

Legacy Author Visits Earth Station One

The ESO podcast crew are not what they seem, but they do enjoy a damn good cup of coffee and a slice of cherry pie. Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, Jennifer Hartshorn, and the award-winning author Bobby Nash are joined by The Oncoming Storm’s Josh Wilson to discuss the ground breaking 90′s series, Twin Peaks. We wanted to put the Log Lady’s wooden friend in The Geek Seat, but it turns out its answers were not able to be recorded, so we settled for Gerald Welch, co-author of The Legacy Series with Warren Murphy, who found the experience only slightly less painful than a match with Chiun. We also make time for the usual Rants, Raves, Khan Report, and Shout Outs.

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: Who Killed Laura Palmer? ESO Visits Twin Peaks at www.esopodcast.com

Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/earth-station-one-episode-176/

ESO would love to hear from you. Let the ESO crew know what’s on your mind at esopodcast@gmail.com, www.esopodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. We love hearing from you.

PULP FICTION REVIEWS AND THE RED REUNION

PULP FICTION REVIEWS AND THE RED REUNION

New Pulp Author Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at Stein and Candle Vol. III by Michael Panush.

STEIN AND CANDLE Vol III
By Michael Panush
Curiosity Quills Press
232 pages

From the talented imagination of writer Michael Panush comes this third volume in the adventures of Mort Candle, a grizzled ex-Sergeant and his ward, the teenage occult expert Weatherby Stein.  Panush continues to chronicle their post World War II exploits as paranormal investigators and within these pages you’ll find the duo’s newest exploits as they travel the globe encountering all manner of supernatural monsters.  There are a total of six cases set forth here and each is a well presented pulp actioner, all worthy of the 1930s classics.

The book kicks off with our guys in Japan in “Trouble in Tokyo.”  They are hired by a police detective discover who it is attacking rival Yakuza clans and in the process fomenting a gangland war that could severely hamper the city’s reconstruction efforts.  Soon Candle and Stein aren’t only dealing with sword wielding crooks but a secret ninja clan controlling ancient Japanese creatures of mythology to wipe out their foes.  This one is exotic wall to wall action without let up from beginning to end.

The X-Files meets Happy Days in “Teenage Wasteland” when Weatherby goes undercover in a suburban high school to investigate teenagers meddling with the occult.  Along the way he encounters ethnic prejudices, an athletic bully and a Sandra Dee like blonde beauty that turns his head and melts his heart.  Easily one of the weirder but most enjoyable stories in this series yet.

Then there is “Lounge Lizard” wherein our heroes head for Lake Tahoe to find a missing crooner who has run off with the his boss’ cash. This leads them into a deadly parallel world of dinosaurs and their lizard-men riders.  Exactly the mishmash Panush excels at.  Whereas in “Drac’s Back,” Castle, short on funds, accepts an assignment from a group of American vampires to help them travel to Transylvania and resurrect the greatest bloodsucker of them all, Count Dracula.  Stein is opposed to the idea and has good reason to be.  It doesn’t turn out well.

The fifth tale, “Stein Family Reunion,” has Mort and Weatherby in San Francisco encountering Adam, a monstrous individual created from parts of dead bodies by an earlier member of the Stein clan.  Thus do our heroes come to the aid of one of the most iconic monsters in English fiction.  After introducing Dracula to the series, we just knew “the monster” couldn’t be far behind.

The book wraps up with “Big City Showdown,” parts one and two and is the longest single Stein and Candle adventure yet.  And it deserves that extra space as it has a sense of climatic finality to it.  Dracula and the Stein’s twisted wizard ancestor, the Viscount Wagner Stein, team up in New York with an audacious plan to conquer America.  The challenges these two powerful entities posed singularly proved to be difficult to our heroes in past encounters.  Now combined, they are virtually unbeatable; unless that is, our two occult detectives can assemble their own team to battle them.  And this is exactly what transpires until almost every major supporting character in the series reappears for this one cataclysmic confrontation between the forces of good and evil.

There is a definitive air of closure by the story’s end that had this reader both pleased and sad.  If this is the end of the Stein and Candle Detective Agency, then they go out on a grand note that we applaud.  But we truly hope this isn’t the last chapter in one of New Pulp’s most imaginative series ever created.  Please, Michael Panush, we want more!

Earth Station One Straps Author Jonathan Maberry in the Geek Seat

On the latest episode of the Earth Station One podcast, Bobby Nash interviews New York Times Bestselling Author Jonathan Maberry and ESO shows him their version of the “Extinction Machine” also known as The Geek Seat! You can listen to the interview here.

Also, on this episode, the ESO crew honors one of the truest geniuses of our time – the award-winning master musician, songwriter, producer, director, author, actor, humorist, podcaster, multi-media artist known as “Weird Al” Yankovic. Plus, the usual Rants, Raves, Khan Report, and Shout Outs!

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: The Satirical Work of “Weird Al” Yankovic at www.esopodcast.com.

Pulpsters Talk Wrestling and Comic Cons at Earth Station One

Earth Station One Episode 172 – The Golden Age of Professional Wrestling

On this episode, the ESO crew enters the square circle to grapple with the early origins of the unique world of sports entertainment. Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, and the award-winning author Bobby Nash face off against Joe Crowe, Nick Ahlehelm, and John Morgan Neal in the ultimate battle for the ESO title belt. We also chat with Larry Johnson from Cineprov and test his quick wit in The Geek Seat! Plus, some Rants and Raves about the San Diego Comic-Con, the Khan Report, and Shout Outs!

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: The Golden Age of Professional Wrestling at www.esopodcast.com

Next on ESO– SNIKT!

Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/earth-station-one-episode-172-the-golden-age-of-professional-wrestling/

 
Next week: the ESO crew heads back to the theater for a screening of the latest adventure of everyone’s favorite mutant, The Wolverine. Plus, we celebrate 50 years of The X-Men.
 

When Monsters Attack– Earth Station One Reviews Pacific Rim

On this week’s episode of the Earth Station One podcast, the ESO crew powers up their Jaegers to battle invading the Kaiju! Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, Jennifer Hartshorn, the award-winning author Bobby Nash, Ashley Bergner, William Faber, and the award-winning artist Mark Maddox join together in one massive neural link to share one another’s deepest thoughts about giant mechs fighting colossal monsters. The apocalypse may have been canceled, but San Diego Comic Con is still on schedule! On the eve of the biggest conventions of the year, we also give our thoughts on the already released info as well as some predictions of news to be revealed. All this, plus the usual Rants, Raves, Khan Report, and Shout Outs!

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: When Monsters Attack – The Pacific Rim Movie Review at www.esopodcast.com

Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/earth-station-one-ep-171-when-monsters-attack-the-pacific-rim-movie-review/

Feedback is always appreciated at esopodcast@gmail.com, www.esopodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. We would love to hear from you. Who knows, we might just read your comments on the show.

Pulp Fiction Reviews Fuzzy Nation

All Pulp’s Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at FUZZY NATION by John Scalzi.

FUZZY NATION
By John Scalzi
A Tor Book
301 pages

In 1962 the late H. Beam Piper’s well loved science fiction novel, “Little Fuzzy” was published.  This reviewer was a sophomore in high school and has fond memories of discovering that book via the recommendation of a fellow student who was also an avid reader of science fiction.  For those of you unaware of the book’s premise, humans have traveled to the starts and giant corporations mine alien worlds for their resources.  On one such planet, prospector Jack Halloway discovers a race of furry little creatures and befriends them.  When evidence indicates that the “fuzzies” might actually be sentient beings it establishes the plot’s primary conflict.  By interplanetary law, if a planet has aboriginal sentient life, then it is off limits to all who would attempt to harvest its natural resources to include the mining outfit on Zarathustra, lush alien setting for the book.

Part science fiction adventure and courtroom melodrama, “Little Fuzzy” ends when Halloway and his friends win their case convincing an Interplanetary Judge to declare the “fuzzies” sentient beings and thus the unquestionable owners of the planet.  The book was hugely successful at the time of its release and Piper went on to write sequels, several actually published after his death in 1964.  Beside these, other authors were hired to write new Fuzzy novels; these included William Tuning and John Smith.  The late Ardath Mayhar wrote “Golden Dream,” a novel telling the self-same story only from the perspective of the Fuzzies themselves.  In her book she even invented the fuzzies’ language; parts of which were used by Wolfgang Diehr who wrote two new Fuzzy novels.

We relate all this because my own connection with the series is a personal one on several levels.  After reading several of the sequels, we wrote the publishers suggesting how the original Piper book do extremely well if done as a childrens’ book.  In 1983 such a volume was produced; “The Adventures of Little Fuzzy” written by Benson Parker and beautifully illustrated by Michael Whelan.  The aforementioned Ardath Mayhar was our writing mentor at the time of her involvement with the license and we recall how happy she was with her efforts.  As most fans of the Star Wars movies know, it was the “fuzzies” that inspired George Lucas’ Ewoks and one of the TV network channels produced a made-for-TV movie loosely based on Piper’s though as I recall, no credit to that fact was ever stated.

Which brings us to “Fuzzy Nation,” John Scalzi’s rebooting (his own words) of this science fiction classic released in 2011.  Having experienced many television and movie “remakes” we have to admit to being really curious to see how such a thing would work with fiction.  How much does the new writer keep from the original and how much does he or she change?  All valid questions that filled my thoughts as we started reading page one.  What is obvious from the start is that Scalzi understands the essence of Piper’s plot, the tale he wanted to tell and yet he strips it down to suit his own style of writing; one we admire greatly.  Scalzi is one of those science fiction writers who, though knowledgeable about the science he is extrapolating, he never uses hard facts to get in the way of his story spinning.  Our protagonist is still Jack Halloway, the lone independent ore prospector, though now he’s younger and a whole lot less altruistic.  In fact he’s a lawyer who was disbarred back on Earth.  This not only adds a new element but of makes Halloway a logical champion when we get to the book’s courtroom scenes.  All the original “fuzzies” are back, pretty much as we remembered them as is the giant mega corporation gutting the planet Zarathustra.  Whereas the old supporting cast is gone and Scalzi has replaced them with his own creations, both good guys and villains.

Scalzi’s easy-to-read prose is one of his greatest assets as a writer.  Most of his books are intimate and he has an unerring way of pulling the reader into his tale; a result of truly craftsman-like pacing.  There are very few slow moments in “Fuzzy Nation” and we were unable to put the book down once we had reached the half-way point.  “Fuzzy Nation” is a wonderful book and worthy “rebooting” of a beloved sci-fi classic.  Not to overly repeat ourselves, H. Beam Piper’s cautionary tale of environmental mismanagement is at its core a David vs Goliath fable and there have never been any cuter Davids than “the fuzzies.”  Scalzi embellishes that fable for our times in a truly exciting and fun new interpretation.  This is one of those rare books we want to give to all my friends, you among them.  Go out and read it.  Now.

Pulp Fiction Reviews El Mosaico

New Pulp Author Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at EL MOSAICO (Scarred Souls) by New Pulp Author Michael Panush.

EL MOSAICO
(Scarred Souls)
By Michael Panush
Curiosity Quills
201 pages

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Michael Panush is rapidly becoming one of my favorite New Pulp writers.  Having discovered him via “Dinosaur Jazz,” a book we nominated for Best Pulp Novel of 2012, we then discovered his “Stein & Candle Detective Agency” series about two post-World War II occult detectives.  As if that isn’t enough to keep this prolific writer busy, now he’s launched as yet another series which can best be described as Frankenstein done western style.

During the Civil War, a Confederate doctor/occultist has the brilliant idea of stitching together body parts from dead soldiers and then animating them using black magic. His plan is to fill the rapidly diminishing ranks of Southern companies with these reanimated corpse soldiers.  He manages to create one such patchwork man before being killed by Union bombardment.  That one and only success is Clayton Cane.

Cane is a bounty hunter traveling the untamed west of the late 1860s and because his very nature is always encountering one fantastic monster after another in this first collection of adventures; there are eight total and each is a gem.

In “Bayou Bloodshed,” Cane is hired to find a black girl who has run off to a secluded island in the middle of the swamps.  The island is populated with two desperate clans; one of gatormen and the other of werewolves.  Needless to say, Cane’s mission is not an easy one.

Then Panush offers up “Red Blades of Whitechapel,” whereby his jigsaw hero end up in London to hunt down a serial killer with a royal pedigree.  Considering this story’s open-ended climax, the main villain could well return for a future encounter.

With “Dead Man’s Band,” Cane captures an outlaw alchemist named Black who leads a band of dead outlaws.  When these deceased desperados attack the hotel Cane is hold up in the pitched battle appears to be El Mosaico’s last stand.

“Monster Men of Malchite Falls” has the bizarre bounty hunter infiltrating a weird fortress laboratory in the middle of the dessert to rescue a little boy. What he discovers is another mad scientist much like the man who put him together.

In “Tomb of Kings” Clayton Cane is one again employed by the British Government to act as security for an archeological dig in Egypt. When the leader of the expedition unearths and revives the Nameless Pharaoh, Cane must ally himself with Arab dessert warriors to defeat an ancient army of monsters.

Back in the U.S. the man-made gunslinger is next hired by the cavalry to help down an old Indian shaman who may be unleashing an army of ghost braves to defend their land in the moving “Ghost Dances.”

In the seventh story, Cane travels south of the border hunting a gang of vicious stage coach robbers and teams up with a wily Mexican bandito named “Tarantula.”

Lastly Cane is hired by a foreign professor to help him track down the whereabouts of the Ragnorak Hammer before it can be used to destroy the world. When their hunt takes into a brutal Minnesota blizzard, they received unexpected aid from an immortal Viking legend.

“El Mosaico – Scarred Souls” is the epitome of New Pulp fun and originality.  It’s a dandy mash up of cowboys and creatures and the wise reader should saddle up and join Clayton Cane.  The ahead looks to be truly fantastic.

Earth Station One Episode 169 – The World of H.G. Wells

The Collected Works

New Pulp creators discuss H.G. Wells on the latest episode of the Earth Station One podcast.

On this episode, the station is full to the brim with folks celebrating the life and career of “The Father of Speculative Fiction,” “The Patron Saint of Steampunk,” “The Shaper of Things to Come,” “History’s Awesome Outliner,” and “That Strange Gent from Kent,” Herbert George Wells. Showing the Wellsian love along with Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, Jennifer Hartshorn, and the award-winning author Bobby Nash are Mark Maddox and Sean Taylor (two award-winners in their own right), Doctor Q (soon to win an award in something), and Drew Meyer (who should get an award for suffering through The Geek Seat). Plus, we also manage to find some time for Rants, Raves, the Khan Report, and Shout Outs.

Jamie Murray as Warehouse 13’s HG

Join us for yet another episode of The Earth Station One Podcast we like to call: The World of H.G. Wells at www.esopodcast.com
Direct link: http://erthstationone.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/earth-station-one-episode-169-the-wold-of-h-g-wells/

Next on Earth Station One…

Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!

ESO returns to the theater as the crew relive those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver! That’s right, The Lone Ranger rides again! ESO reviews the new Johnny Depp/Armie

Adapted by Sean Taylor

Hammer film and takes a look at the history of The Lone Ranger. You get all this and the usual Rants, Raves, Khan Report, Geek Seat, and Shout Outs on the next Earth Station One.

We would love to hear from you. Tell us your favorite Lone Ranger memories. Did you see the new film? Please leave a short review at esopodcast@gmail.com, www.esopodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. We would love to hear from you. Who knows, we might just read yours on the show.

PULP FICTION REVIEWS TAKES ON VAN ALLEN PLEXICO’S LORDS OF FIRE

Pulp Fiction Reviews’ Ron Fortier returns with a look at the first book in Van Allen Plexico’s new The

Shattering series, Legion 1: Lords of Fire.

LEGION 1 : LORDS OF FIRE
By Van Allen Plexico
White Rocket Books
311 pages

Something foul has invaded the galactic empires of mankind; something ancient and powerful beyond imagining.  Veteran space opera author, Van Plexico once again spins a tale of cosmic proportions but narrates it through the eyes of several believable characters thus bringing the reader along intimately for yet another thrill ride.

Military Colonel of the First Legion, Ezekiel Tamarlane is the protagonist in this book, the first of a new series, and he jumps onto the stage in full action mode having been ordered to steal one of the empire’s more treasured artifacts; an artifact he is personally in charge of protecting.  Thus successfully completing his secret mission he is then publicly demoted for allowing the artifact to be stolen.

Sound convoluted?  You bet it does and soon Tamarlane finds himself the target of cleverly disguised murder attempts.  When he takes his suspicions to his trusted superior and mentor, General Nakamura, he is forced to confess his own part in the theft which has created dangerous political and military ripples throughout the known worlds.  To his credit, the General’s faith and trust in his subordinate motivates him to dig deeper into the affair all of which leads to their witnessing the Emperor’s disappearance into another realm where live gods and demons.

A rescue sortie is launched with Nakamura and Tamarlane in charge and what they find on “the other” side is far beyond their scope of reasoning.  That they manage to save the Emperor and his retinue is the catalyst for further attacks on both their lives until both must accept the undeniable truth that they are mere pawns in a vast conspiracy that threatens all the star kingdoms of man.

Plexico amps his already manic writing pace in this volume and readers had better buckle up because the action never stops from page one to the end.  In fact the climatic battle in the off world cathedral had this reviewer getting paper burns for turning the pages so fast.

In the end this is of course all a set up for much more intrigue and dastardly alien shenanigans.  LEGION 1: LORDS OF FIRE is a fiction stew that is both new and familiar.  Imagine “Dune” as written by Robert E. Howard and that’s the gift we have here.  This is one of the best new pulp titles of the year thus far.  Miss it at your own peril.