D.K. Latta CollectionS
from Northern Gothic Press
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A collection of previously published sword & sorcery tales culled from magazines and webzines including Adventures of Sword & Sorcery, Flashing Swords and Bardic Runes. It's an Old School pulp era-style mix of swashbuckling adventure, fantasy and horror with knowing nods to the works of Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock.
The unifying theme -- to an extent -- is series characters who appeared in more than one published adventure. The result is a sampler smorgasboard of S&S archetypes, from barbarian adventurers to soldiers-of-fortune, from daring thieves to doom laden wanderers, including Zargatha of the Demon Hand (whose adventures appeared in Gauntlet and Flashing Swords), Kainar and his enchanted battle axe, Hawk's Wood (Adventures of Sword & Sorcery and Lords of Swords), and the sultry adventuress, Neekin! These and more appear in this collection of five short stories and two novellas!
Some content is aimed at mature readers
About the cover: it's bit cheesy, but that was kind of the point. Since it's a collection dubbed as featuring stories "torn" from the pages of past magazines, the concept is a scattering of small press-style illustrations, jagged as if "torn" from the pages themselves.
"Travel back to the dark days of World War II and the exploits of a band of costumed adventurers!"
Two novella-length adventures were published in the webzine Pulp and Dagger* (and engendered some nice comments) and at long last they've been collected -- along with an All-New, never previously published novella -- for this omnibus edition.
Aiming for the spirit of fast-paced, twisty, pulp-era adventures of the likes of Doc Savage (by Kenneth Robeson a.k.a. Lester Dent) with some of the flavour of the retro WW II superhero comics of Roy Thomas such as The All-Star Squadron and The Invaders. But with the unique distinction of being set in wartime Canada!
Mixing swashbuckling adventure with a touch of emotional gravitas, these epic tales feature colourful costumed adventurers in rip-snorting sagas of plot twists and cliff-hangers. The Dreamstalker! The Silhouette! The Man-Fly! and more...
(*Originally the series was titled The Fellowship of the Midnight Sons, as a kind of play on the phrase. But apparently Marvel used that pun in the 1990s and, hey, who wants to tweak the nose of a corporate beast, eh?)
About the cover: I went for a kind of abstract design look, as opposed to an illustration, just to try something different.
THE MASQUES CHRONICLES:
An Imaginary History
What began in a trial version as "Masques & Capes: An Imaginary History" has expanded now into the first of two volumes -- with more stories, more characters, with Vol. 1 spanning from 1939 to 1969.
A truly ambitious attempt to conjure up an entire Canadian superhero universe in prose, imagining a decades spanning continuum ala Marvel or DC -- something Canada hasn't actually had.
Volume 1 boasts sixteen stories of mystery and adventure stretching from 1939 to 1969, featuring an array of costumed superheroes, while reflecting the passing eras -- both the real world (World War II, the Cold War, the Flower Power generation, etc.) and the changes the superhero genre itself underwent (from the Golden Age to the Silver Age) while also trying to reflect the nation itself -- stories set from sea to sea to sea.
As I said: ambitious!
The stories can be read for their surface action and suspense, or delved into deeper as they play with historical periods, places, and the genre itself!
On my BLOG I've posted a few pieces (in among other topics) about this book, sometimes focusing on individual stories with a behind-the-scenes writer's commentary. Those posts can be found here.
About the cover: I asked (well, begged) my niece -- and Emily Carr graduate -- Meghan "Dene" Latta if she'd be interested in doing a cover illustration. And she delivered this "family crest" concept which cleverly suits generations-spanning stories featuring mulitiple characters.
D.K. Latta has been writing both fiction and non-fiction for years.
His short stories -- mainly in the fields of science fiction and fantasy -- have appeared in publications such as <Strange Horizons, Perehelion, Escape Pod, Daily SF, Prairie Fire, and On Spec and various book anthologies including Land/Space, Lords of Sword, Tesseracts Nineteen and Masked Mosaic. A part time pop cultural commentator and reviewer he has reviewed graphic novels and comics for various venues, and written extensively about Canadian film & TV -- and Canadian cultural identity -- both for his own site and as a frequent blogger at Huffington Post Canada (and annoyed more than a few over the years with his mad insistance that Canada makes as good a setting for stories as anywhere else!)
He lives in Canada. He can be reached at titmus_77 (at) yahoo.com