Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pulp of the Week - Green Lama: Scions

The Green Lama: Scions  by Adam Lance Garcia

Adam Garcia's third Green Lama tale is a terrific addition to the saga. Scions (and planned future books) are published by Moonstone Books and feature the mysterious Green Lama facing off against a bizarre, monsterous, foe.

The story begins with the crash of a passenger ship into Liberty Island. All on board are dead, save one. Dead long before the crash at their own hands. A bloodbath of unspeakable horror. A portent of Lovecraftian delights to follow in this and other adventures.

The Green Lama is joined in this adventure by Jean Farrell, Lt. Caraway, Ken Clayton, and Gary and Evangl Stewart-Brown all get involved, Jethro Dumont puts in an appearance or two as does reporter Betty Dale (from the Secret Agent X stories). She also refers to fellow reporter Din from the Planet (she is the reporter in the Foster Fade stories) and to the Spider. Adam seems to be having a ball with the references and I found it fun, too.

For those interested in such things, there is a handy timeline in the back of the book that shows where Scions fits into the Lamaverse. One of the nice things about the Green Lama saga is that were only around a dozen original stories published in the pulps of the 1930s (unlike the hundreds of Shadow and Doc Savage stories which gives Garcia much less existing canon a lot of space to work in.

I will close by saying that Adam Garcia has another fun pulp tale and really gets the Green Lama and his supporting cast. I eagerly await future volumes. Enjoy this little excerpt of reporter Betty Dale speaking to Dumont's manservant, Tsarong:

    "When are you expecting Dumont back?"
    "I couldn't say Miss Dale, I am not his keeper."
    "Guess we're just gonna have to wait, then." She dropped down into Jethro's desk chair. She waved at the rows and rows of books lining the walls. "Does he read all those?"
    "Not all at once, and usually one page at a time."
    "Now that's interesting," she said, ignoring Tsarong's quip. "By every account, our friend Dumont is little more than an immature womanizer who won't crack open anything that doesn't have two legs and here he is with more books than the Library of Alexandria."

I give "The Green Lama: Scions" a 9 out of 10 and the cover is an awesome painting of Adam by Doug Klauba.

You can buy Scions in print here
 ebook here
4 wheels here


Monday, April 7, 2014

Pulp of the Week - The Return of Foster Fade

The New Adventures of Foster Fade - Pro Se Press - Digital and Print

I picked up this volume of pulp tales featuring one of Lester Dent's lesser known characters for a few reasons. One, I like Dent, and two, it features a couple of stories by Adam Lance Garcia. Garcia is one of the best of the New Pulp writers out there and his main story in this anthology doesn't disappoint.

For those not familiar with Foster Fade, he was featured in a number of stories by Lester Dent prior to Dent's work on Doc Savage. Foster Fade is a sort of Sherlock Holmes with gadgets. The love of gadgets is the source of any similarity to Doc Savage. Otherwise, Fade is quite different. He's tall, lanky and a bit of a prankster. He has little time for figures of authority. And he knows just how good he is.

Part of me wonders if Adam Garcia has modeled his Fade a bit after the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, but regardless, the character is fun and smart.

Foster Fade occupies a large space in Planet Tower, the skyscraper in Manhattan that houses The Planet, a very popular Manhattan daily newspaper. (Perhaps yet another debt that the Superman creators owe Dent.) Fade has an office, living quarters, and the laboratory where he creates his outlandish crime solving gadgets.

The Planet gives away this prime real estate to Fade in exchange for having exclusive access to the Spectacularist (great word, isn't it?) and his exploits. Also included in the deal is that writer Dinamenta Stevens has full access to Fade and is the official writer of his tales. The relationship and banter between Din Stevens and Foster Fade is the most fun part of these tales, and the stories are indeed fun. Pro Se Press should be proud of this volume.

The collection opens with Adam Garcia's mystery as Fade and Din track a cop killer that is sending Fade the murder weapons. Pro Se has put its best foot forward and Garcia's tale is the best in this collection. The other tales are good, but don't match the level of Garcia's prose. The second tale, by Derrick Ferguson is the other standout.

After reading this book of original tales, I will be seeking out the collection of original Lester Dent stories (available from Altus Press) as well.

I'll give The New Adventures of Foster Fade a 7 out of 10, but Garcia's first tale scores a 9, and finally, the cover by the Spectacular Mike Fyles scores a 10. Great work with dynamic characters. One of his best.