Monday, December 08, 2008
Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom
I have a post on a private mailing list to thank for pointing me towards Tim Byrd's Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, forthcoming from G.P. Putnam’s Sons in May 2009.
Here's the flack from the official site:
“Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom is an adventure yarn in the old tradition. It gets that reading is an intellectual activity, and that an adventure, to be really good, has to engage the reader’s brain. I love a smart book!”If you are catching a whiff of Doc Savage-y goodness from this, you're not alone. And check out Byrd's list of inspirations, from the book's acknowledgments:—Daniel Pinkwater
To the world at large, the Wilde family is an amazing team of golden skinned adventurers, born to daring escapades and globetrotting excitement!
Doctor Spartacus Wilde, world class scientist and inventor, physical exemplar, ultimate warrior, and loving dad!
Brian and Wren Wilde, the worlds most swashbuckling kids, able to survive the most perilous situations through quick wits and the intensive training and astonishing gadgets that are their birthright!
Aided by their dashing majordomo Phineas Bartlett and their loyal driver and pilot Declan mac Coul, the Wildes crisscross the Earth on a constant quest for new knowledge, incredible thrills, and good old fashioned adventure!
The Frogs of Doom…
Now, with adventurous Grandpa Wilde missing, the Wildes confront the deepest mysteries of Dark Matter, penetrate the tangled depths of uncharted jungles, and come face to face with the likely end of the world in the clammy clutches of The Frogs of Doom…
That's not a bad reading list, if you ask me.
For inspiration, I affectionately acknowledge the spinners of countless adventure stories I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid, folks like Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Alexandre Dumas, Paul Dini, Karl Edward Wagner, Rafael Sabatini, Walter Gibson, Ray Harryhausen, Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, Norvell Page, Michael Chabon, and Robert B. Parker.
I owe a special debt to two writers from the pulp magazines of old, Lester Dent who, under the nom de plume “Kenneth Robeson,” brought the world the extravagant adventures of Doc Savage, the original superhero, and H.P. Lovecraft whose spooky stories warned of eldritch horrors lurking just outside our world waiting to devour it. Lovecraft’s work is always readily available, and as I write this, all the Doc Savage stories are finally being reprinted in beautiful editions by Anthony Tollin and Nostalgia Ventures (www.shadowsanctum.com).
I'm really looking forward to checking this out. Of course, my first reaction wasn't quite so charitable. You see, for the last few years I've been shopping around a middle-reader adventure series called the Young Explorers, the main character of which is--among other things--the grandson of pulp adventurer "King" Carmody (though that connection doesn't come out till much later in the series), familiar to readers of Cybermancy Incorporated. Along with his classmates at boarding school, the young Carmody travels all over the world, seeking knowledge and adventure. Sound familiar? In the last month or so it looked like Young Explorers had a better than average chance of getting picked up, but the project fell the last hurdle, so now we've had to move back to the starting blocks (though things aren't entirely without hope).
In any event, it wasn't just that our two series have similar ideas and themes that made me so envious to read about Byrd's forthcoming book, it was the title of the first installment, too. The title of the first novel in the Young Explorers series?
The Young Explorers and the Monkeys of Doom.
Not identical, I know, but still... D'oh!
Okay, maybe a little much on that last bit.
Thanks for the attention. As a first timer, I of course need all I can get. Hopefully there'll be at least enough to justify the continuation of the series.
I'm working on the second book now, Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness. In it, something terrible happens to Doc, and the kids go looking for an ally of their family's from years past, a rather dark character with a tendency to laugh while he shoots people. He's not home, but his just as shadowy and violent teen daughter is. (And she'll be getting her own book).
I hope you find a home for the Young Explorers, because it sounds like something I'd really like to read. And if you're looking for more stories for Adventure any time, keep me in mind.
(Should I mention my own novel Voices of Thunder, set to be republished next year as Book of Secrets, which features the grandson of a similarly shadowy pulp avenger? Perhaps not. Suffice it to say, I like the way your brain works, Mr. Byrd!)
No plans yet for another Adventure, I'm afraid (sales for the first weren't sufficiently high to justify another, yadda yadda), but if I should manage to put something similar together I'll most definitely keep you in mind!
Really excited to hear Voice of Thunder is being reprinted, that's really cool. I'm nearly finished with the copy of Cybermancy, Incorporated I bought off you early this year and it's been great thus far, just finishing off Hollow Days.
And you can count me in for Doc Wilde and family's adventures. Any fan of Sabatini and Dumas is pretty well all right in my book.
And glad to hear that you're liking Cybermancy so far. With any luck, we'll see a new edition of that sooner or later, too.