It’s Vintage Sci-Fi Month again! For those of you not familiar with this not-a-challenge, it runs every January and is about reading vintage science fiction (or fantasy). “Vintage” is defined as being before 1979 or your birth year, whichever is easier.
I’ll be taking the chance to talk about one of my favorite vintage comic book heroines, Mysta of the Moon.
Mysta first appeared in 1945 in the pages of Planet Comics. I think Planet Comics is a super interesting piece of media and probably would have loved it if I’d been a kid in the 40s and 50s. Each issue contained new episodes of several serialized science fiction stories. There was The Lost World, a post-apocalyptic tale set on an Earth that’s been conquered by aliens, Gale Allen, who basically led an interstellar girl gang to beat up bad guys across space, several Flash Gordon-esque heroes, and that’s just scratching the surface.
I might talk about some of the others later, but I’ll start with Mysta because she’s my favorite and I have a soft spot for moon-based heroines.
Here it is: the last superhero fiction roundup of 2020. This is just a small sample of the new superhero fiction released in the last two months and includes beginnings, continuations, and conclusions of different series. As usual, I haven’t read all of these books personally, so please look at the previews and reviews before purchasing.
This is, incredibly, my sixth superhero roundup this year! I put them out on a bimonthly schedule and (surprisingly) managed to be mostly on time. If you missed any, here’s a roundup of the roundups:
We’re not getting our usual selection of superhero blockbusters in theaters this summer for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean we have to be deprived of good superhero stories. One way to get them is by supporting your local comic book shop, and another is by searching the internet.
Or you can let me search the internet for you and collect a bunch of free-to-read superhero short stories into one nice list. 😉
Sojourner: Forsaken by Will Casel Brown
It is my hope and expectation that Sojourner: Forsaken will eventually grow too long to be considered a “short story,” but I’ll keep it on this list forever anyway because I love it.
The story follows Sojourner, an alien sent to Earth to study superhumans, but who crash-lands and ends up getting involved with the resistance. The main villain is the Enforcer, a costumed superhuman who is definitely not a hero and whom I just hate SO MUCH. Much of the action involves fighting him or escaping from him, and it’s wild how much adventure is packed into the current four chapters. Continue reading 4 More Sensational Superhero Short Stories
The year 2020 is halfway over. Or we still have halfway to go, depending on if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. I try to be an optimist, and while 2020 has been a dumpster fire in a lot of ways, I like to think that we can come out of this adversity as better people–and that superheroes can be an inspiration.
The superheroes we love can’t stand by and watch injustice. They’re driven to right wrongs and help people in need. While most of us aren’t faster than a speeding bullet and can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, there’s plenty of things we can do. We can protest, donate, and petition for racial justice. We can believe survivors and hold abusers accountable. We can demand better protections for the LGBT community. We can listen, learn, and speak up for people who need help.
And we can do it all while wearing actualsuperheromasks that literally save the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors.
So whether you’re looking for inspiration or escapism, here’s a roundup of some recent superhero fiction releases that caught my eye. As usual, I haven’t read all of them personally, so please check the samples and reviews before purchasing. Stay safe out there, and happy reading! Continue reading New Superhero Fiction (May and Jun 2020)
I came across The Netflix Book Tag on Blair Leftly’s Feed the Crime, which is a great book review blog for those of you who like mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction. The tag was created by A Darker Shade of Whitney, and it just seems like a good chance to talk about books, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon.
Recently Watched: The Last Book You Finished
I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy books about the fae recently, including Borderline, Exile, Court of Shadows, and Hot Lead, Cold Iron.
Free ebooks are the best. They’re a great way for readers to try new series risk-free, and they help authors reach new audiences. But there’s just so many of them that it can be hard to find one you like.
Free ebook Friday spotlights a free ebook I’ve personally read and enjoyed, and hopefully, it’ll help you find a good read. The posts come out on random Fridays, not weekly, and the books featured will probably be speculative fiction.
This week’s pick is:
With a stolen experimental starship and a pair of advanced synthetic limbs, Hunter isn’t an average bounty hunter.
“A gunslinger adventure with good, clean fun!”
When he accepted the job on a backwater planet, Hunter thought it would be easy. He and his partner just had to track down a missing researcher. But when they find her, she’s fled a quarter of the way around the massive ring of twenty-seven gates and Hunter realizes all is not as he was told.
A Princess of Mars is serial fiction at its finest. Long before Netflix perfected the algorithm to keep us glued to our seats for episode after episode, Edgar Rice Burroughs had that s**t down.
Originally serialized in the magazine The All-Story in 1912, A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter. He’s a a former confederate soldier who, while on the run for his life, stumbles into a mysterious cave that transports him to Mars. As you do.
Once he wakes up there, the first thing he has to do is relearn how to walk, because thanks to the lesser gravity and atmospheric pressure, each step sends him shooting into the air.
Hold on. A man gets sent to another planet, and the different planetary conditions give him superhuman strength? Why does that sound familiar…
Space cops! Ray-gun fights! Space fashion! Alien divas!
I love all these things, which is why they ended up in a short story I wrote recently called Starstruck. It’s a retro sci-fi adventure that ticks off a couple boxes from my 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes list and is inspired by old science fiction and pulp comics.
That’s probably why it’s such a good fit for Broadswords and Blasters, a “pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.” Their latest issue, number 12, came out yesterday, and you can read over a dozen awesome pulp stories in it. I’m super excited that Starstruck is included in their number.
Space Cadet Duke Rayburn just wants to go one day without getting criticized by his impossible-to-please superior. But when he’s assigned to protect a galactic celebrity who’s being stalked and threatened, he’ll have to do whatever it takes to keep her safe–and worry about the consequences if he survives.
Used bookstores have certain sort of magic. It might be the smell of old pages filling the air like fairy dust, or the chance to stumble upon a hidden gem with a story lost to time. And no two stores are the same, each one giving us a new maze of bookshelves to explore.
There’s a used bookstore about thirty minutes from my house that’s extra awesome because it also sells comics. Its sci-fi/fantasy bookshelves are hidden in the back, and they’re a treasure trove packed full of more stories than I could read in a lifetime. Looking over the rows of spines to pick out my next purchase is always an adventure.
I bought this one mostly because it has a cat on the cover.