My cycle of stories would take the premise that a secret guild, called the Fly-Leaves, formed much earlier than the real-life Ladies’ Guild of Francis St. Alban, and that this secret society would plumb the stranger mysteries that were too “out there” for the more traditionalist Baconians, many of whom themselves believed that Bacon was the true author of the Shakespeare plays. The stories would be written in a modern, present-tense style that would yet strive to evoke the period in which they were set, which would span the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. “With Dust Their Glittering Towers”–which has just been released in The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno, a charity anthology for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life–is the first story I’ve written for the Fly-Leaves series. It features intrepid Baconian Alicia Amy Leith, whose trip to Highgate takes a turn for the weird as she explores the crumbling ruins that mark the site of Sir Francis Bacon’s death. Having been inspired by an article by the real-life Alicia Leith, I spent a lot of time researching the historical details behind this one, and then a heck of a lot of time revising and polishing it. While authors are often blind to which of their works are of merit, I’m not afraid to say I think it’s possible this is my best piece of fiction yet–though doubtless I have made some historical blunder somewhere, and I hope the present-day Baconians can forgive the tale’s more fantastic elements. Many thanks to David Herter, one of the most brilliant authors I know, and my wife, Laura, a sharp baloney detector, for being my first readers on this story. I currently count ten entries in my “Story Ideas” file for potential Fly-Leaves stories, though I don’t know if all of these will be written. The current plan is for there to be one long novella, titled “Strange Promus,” which will be set just prior to “With Dust Their Glittering Towers,” and several more short stories that I will squeeze in to my writing schedule as time permits. The hope is to eventually collect the entire Fly-Leaves cycle under one set of covers, though that’s undoubtedly getting ahead of myself! For now, the first installment, “With Dust Their Glittering Towers,” is out there for you to read if you feel so inclined. Oh, yes, and an ebook edition of The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno is coming soon. I’ll post the relevant links when it goes live.
My new novelette “With Dust Their Glittering Towers” has been accepted for a forthcoming, as-yet-unannounced anthology. The story is a supernatural mystery set in 1889, and it both is tied into to the novel I’m working on and serves as the first installment of a new series of short works that I’m calling the Fly-Leaves cycle. These will all be set in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century England and will feature a group of people who find themselves drawn together as they attempt to uncover the secrets of an ancient conspiracy. The way I envision it right now, I plan to eventually write seven more stories in the cycle, one of which will be a novella-length work titled “Strange Promus.”
I’ll be sure to post more details on where “With Dust Their Glittering Towers” will appear as soon as the anthology is announced.
Win Scott Eckert broke the news yesterday about the table of contents for the upcoming anthology Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, due out from Titan Books in October 2013. I’m honored to be collaborating on the book’s introduction with Win, and that the anthology will include “Kwasin and the Bear God,” my 20,000-word novella with Philip José Farmer that’s set between the first two chapters of The Song of Kwasin. I will note that this is the first-ever Wold Newton fiction anthology, so if you like Farmer’s Wold Newton mythos, you’re going to want to pick up this one. The book is now available to preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Here are the full contents:
Introduction by Win Scott Eckert and Christopher Paul Carey
“The Problem of the Sore Bridge–Among Others” by Harry Manders (Philip José Farmer)
“A Scarletin Study” by Jonathan Swift Somers III (Philip José Farmer)
“The Doge Whose Barque Was Worse Than His Bight” by Jonathan Swift Somers III (Philip José Farmer)
“Skinburn” by Philip José Farmer
“The Freshman” by Philip José Farmer
“After King Kong Fell” by Philip José Farmer
“Kwasin and the Bear God” by Philip José Farmer and Christopher Paul Carey
“Into Time’s Abyss” by John Allen Small
“The Last of the Guaranys” by Octavio Aragão & Carlos Orsi
“The Wild Huntsman” by Win Scott Eckert
My story “Devil’s Dark Harvest” is now also available in the Kindle ebook edition of The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files edited by Joe Gentile and Howard Hopkins. (You can nab the print edition here.)
From the publisher:
From the Flames of Tragedy, a Hero Rises In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made. In the raging flame of personal tragedy, men are sometimes forged into something more than human. Life was bliss for millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson until the fateful day crime and greed took away his wife and younger daughter and turned him into something more than human.
Driven by loss, compelled by grief, he becomes a chilled impersonal force of justice, more machine than man, dedicated to the destruction of evildoers everywhere. A figure of ice and steel, more pitiless than both, Benson has been forged into an avatar of vengeance, possessed of superhuman genius and supernormal power. His frozen face and pale eyes, like ice in a polar dawn, only hint at the terrible force the underworld heedlessly invoked upon itself the day they created…
The Avenger! Now, the greatest crime-fighter of the 40s returns in a stunning collection of original action-packed tales of adventure, intrigue and revenge and even a chilling showdown with the Lord of Vampires himself!
Purchase the Kindle edition of The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files here.
The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files edited by Joe Gentile and Howard Hopkins, which features my story “Devil’s Dark Harvest,” is now available from Moonstone Books in both trade softcover and limited edition hardcover editions. “Devil’s Dark Harvest” is a sort of Richard Benson and Nellie Gray meet The Island of Doctor Moreau type affair, which I had tons of fun writing.
From the publisher:
The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files
Written by: Robin Wayne Bailey, Will Murray, David Michelinie, Win Scott Eckert, Mark Ellis, Matthew Baugh, Ron Fortier, Howard Hopkins, Barry Reese, Eric Fein, Frank Schlidiner, Christopher Paul Carey, Chris Bell…
Cover Art: Tom Gianni
Edited by: Joe Gentile & Howard Hopkins
336pgs, b/w, Squarebound, 6”x9”, $18.95
The Avenger…All-New Stories for the Next Generation! Moonstone Books is proud to present this original anthology featuring never before seen tales of The Avenger.
**See it here…for the first and ONLY time anywhere…these two pulp titans collide… The AVENGER meets the uncompromising relentless justice of The SPIDER!
**See the never before told origin of The Avenger’s personal weapons “Mike” and “Ike”!
**The AVENGER meets up with the DOMINO LADY!
From the Flames of Tragedy, a Hero Rises In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made. In the raging flame of personal tragedy, men are sometimes forged into something more than human.
Life was bliss for millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson until the fateful day crime and greed took away his wife and younger daughter and turned him into something more than human.
Driven by loss, compelled by grief, he becomes a chilled impersonal force of justice, more machine than man, dedicated to the destruction of evildoers everywhere. A figure of ice and steel, more pitiless than both, Benson has been forged into an avatar of vengeance, possessed of superhuman genius and supernormal power. His frozen face and pale eyes, like ice in a polar dawn, only hint at the terrible force the underworld heedlessly invoked upon itself the day they created… The Avenger!
Now, the greatest crime-fighter of the 40s returns in a stunning collection of original action-packed tales of adventure, intrigue and revenge and even a chilling showdown with the Lord of Vampires himself!
For a long time, my good friend and colleague Win Scott Eckert and I had been tossing around the idea of writing a story together. We had both been heavily influenced in our youth by the Doc Savage pulps, H. Rider Haggard, and Jules Verne (among others), and each of us had completed novels begun by Philip José Farmer. Win’s collaboration with Phil, The Evil in Pemberley House, came out in 2009, and mine, The Song of Kwasin, lined up behind Up the Bright River (a wonderful collection that came out to commemorate Phil’s long and wildly imaginative career following his passing), and is slated to be published in an omnibus of the Khokarsa series in 2012. So it only seemed natural that we should write a story together ourselves someday.
That opportunity finally came with the story “Iron and Bronze,” which was first published in 2009 by Black Coat Press in the anthology Tales of the Shadowmen 5: The Vampires of Paris (a terrific anthology and series that I highly recommend to pulp adventure enthusiasts), and which features two great heroes of the French pulps. Now the story is available in ebook format for both the Kindle and Nook. Here’s the product description:
Taduki-inspired visions draw an intrepid adventurer and a madman to a lost African outpost of Atlantis where they must confront an ancient mystery from the stars… Drawing on diverse sources such as Jules Verne’s The Barsac Mission, H. Rider Haggard’s She and Allan, Guy d’Armen’s Doc Ardan (who has been called the “French Doc Savage”), J.-H. Rosny âiné’s L’Étonnant Voyage de Hareton Ironcastle, Pierre Benoit’s L’Atlantide, and Philip José Farmer’s “monomyth,” “Iron and Bronze” hearkens back the classic SF adventure pulps of the 1920s and ’30s.
This story first appeared in the anthology Tales of the Shadowmen 5: The Vampires of Paris.
Christopher Paul Carey is the co-author with Philip José Farmer of The Song of Kwasin, the third novel in the Khokarsa series (omnibus forthcoming in 2012 from Subterranean Press).
Win Scott Eckert is the co-author with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel The Evil in Pemberley House, about Patricia Wildman, the daughter of a certain bronze-skinned pulp hero (Subterranean Press, 2009).
The good folks over at SF Signal have posted the table of contents for The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files, edited by Joe Gentile and Howard Hopkins. The anthology, due out this May from Moonstone Books, includes my story “Devil’s Dark Harvest,” and will be available in both trade and hardcover editions.