In the tradition of the great pulps of yesteryear, contemporary masters of the macabre Kevin J. Anderson, David Avallone, Nancy A. Collins, Nancy Holder & Alan Phillipson, John Jennings, Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale, Rena Mason, Jonathan Maberry, Lisa Morton, Steve Niles, Jeff Strand, Tim Waggoner, and writer and editor James Aquilone are joining forces for DEAD DETECTIVES SOCIETY. This one-of-a-kind anthology from Monstrous Books features a cover by Hugo Award-winner John Jennings and interior art by Zac Atkinson, J.K. Woodward and Jennings.
DEAD DETECTIVES SOCIETY is now funding on Kickstarter. Everyone who backs at a physical level will receive a signed and numbered Dead Detectives Society membership card. Other tiers include signed books by Steve Niles, Rena Mason, Lisa Morton, and Tim Waggoner.
DEAD DETECTIVES SOCIETY gathers the greatest weird detectives in pulpdom, including:
Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. (who has featured in nine novels and dozens of short stories by New York Times bestseller Kevin J. Anderson),
Cal McDonald (Steve Niles’s occult detective whose adventures have been published by Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing),
Matt Richter (zombie detective who’s been featured in award-winning author Tim Waggoner’s Nekropolis series),
Sonja Blue (punk vampire hunter who has starred in four novels as well as short stories and comics from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author Nancy A. Collins),
and Dead Jack (the zombie detective who first appeared in Weird Tales magazine and has featured in three novels from Bram Stoker Award nominated editor and writer James Aquilone)
…and adds some new macabre investigators to their ranks, including:
A reanimated Nick Carter by David Avallone, based on the character who appeared in the Nick Carter-Killmaster novels written by his father, Michael Avallone.
Saul When: Halloween Detective by John Jennings and Jin G. Fox, Death Investigator by Rena Mason, based on a character from her story in the award-winning anthology Black Cranes.
As part of the Kickstarter, Monstrous Books will also be launching MONSTROUS MAGAZINE, a digest-size magazine — just like pulps of yesteryear — that will feature a mix of comics, prose stories, and articles. The debut issue will include:
A collectible cover by Colton Worley (Classic Monsters Unleashed, The Shadow)
An essay by Elvira Mistress of the Dark writer David Avallone about the legacy of his father, pulp legend Michael Avallone
A reprint of pulp legend Michael Avallone’s first short story “The Man Who Walked on Air, ” originally published in Weird Tales in 1953,
The very first Dead Jack comic, “Dead Jack and Oswald Meet Frankenstein,” written by James Aquilone and illustrated by J.K. Woodward,
“Monster Rally,” a comic story by Nancy A. Collins with art by Zac Atksinson
“‘Monster Rally’ will be packed with all —and we mean all — of your favorite classic monsters,” said editor James Aquilione.
DEAD DETECTIVES SOCIETY will include:
“Mystery Meat: a Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J Anderson
Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. is back from the dead and back on the case. In the Unnatural Quarter, inhabited by all manner of unusual people, Dan has to solve his wormiest case yet, when Mama Fly’s children go missing…and secretive industrial magnate Gold Boris launches a brand new “mystery meat” product that is taking the unnaturals by storm.
“Dead Drop: A Johnny Fade Story” by Nancy Holder and Alan Philipson
Deceased, corrupt, circa-1940 Hollywood Homicide cop Johnny Fade gets a furlow from Deadtown (the last stop before the Worse Place) whenever singing, dancing, homicidal, living movie star Rachel Alcina gets herself in trouble. This time, the L.A. mob has forced her to act in a bio-pic about Oso the Maneater, a professional wrestler and in-the-ring murderer. Rachel knows it will end her career: her medium told her so.
“The Ghost Thieves” by John Jennings
Saul When: Halloween Detective gets hired by a haunted house whose favorite ghosts have been stolen. Saul must use his Halloween tricks to get to the bottom of the ghost-napping and face whatever entity that has the power to actually steal a spirit from its spectral home.
“I was so honored to be asked to be a part of such a groundbreaking collection,” said John Jennings. “The premise is so unique and it’s filled with some of the greats in the genre! The anthology sports my original cover art and my story centers on a new character of mine called Saul When: Halloween Detective. The collection features Saul’s very first adventure called ‘The Ghost Thieves.’”
“Jin G. Fox, Death Investigator: Vixen Screams” by Rena Mason
Slain after receiving the dreaded fourth tail, the unrelenting vixen, Jin G. Fox is given another chance to earn her full powers back, as well as immortality, from the Queen Mother of the West by becoming a Death Investigator tasked with cleaning up 1900s San Francisco to make way for a “new” Chinatown.
“Being a part of the Dead Detectives Society means the world to me,” said three-time Bram Stoker Award winner Mason. “There’s nothing more exciting, fun, and humbling than creating a character who gets to play in the sandbox alongside legends.” – Rena Mason, three-time Bram Stoker Award winner.
“Half A Monster Is Better Than None” by Tim Waggoner
Zombie P.I. Matt Richter works the very mean streets of Nekropolis, an other-dimensional city full of monsters, ghosts, and witches. Matt’s latest client is a shifter with a unique problem. She’s a were-thylacine – an exceptionally rare breed – and someone has stolen her animal form, making it impossible for her to change shape. Even if Matt can figure out who stole her shifter form and why, how can he possibly reunite his client’s two halves and make her whole again? Good thing Matt’s already dead, or this case just might kill him.
“You can’t keep a good zombie P.I. down, and I’m thrilled that Matt Richter is going to join the Dead Detectives Society!” said four-time Bram Stoker Award winner Waggoner. “Get ready for more magic, monsters, mystery, and mayhem on the very dark streets of Nekropolis!”
“Snippy” by Jeff Strand
Timothy Perkins incorrectly promotes himself as the greatest detective who ever lived. His most marketable skill is his ability to wander into dangerous situations, because every time he’s killed he comes back to life. This advantage is offset by his occasional glimpses into The Void, where he screams in uncontrollable terror because there is no existence beyond our current realm. Hopefully he can get his client’s dog back.
“The Case of the Ravenous Werewolf” by James Aquilone
Dead Jack has a dilemma on his hands when a creepy werewolf asks the zombie detective to kill him. The fairy-dust-addicted P.I. must decide to become an assassin or allow dozens of innocent fairies to get devoured.
“This anthology gave me a chance to write a character my father rebooted in 1964,” says David Avallone, who has (literally) reanimated Nick Carter for a new adventure, “and bridge together two pieces of detective genre history that have been begging to be connected ever since…in a short story that should, if I’m successful, remind readers of the particular pulp fiction genius and madness of Michael Angelo Avallone”
“DEAD DETECTIVES SOCIETY is my pulpy passion project,” says editor James Aquilone. “With this annual anthology series I hope to expand the weird detective subgenre and have a blast while doing it.” Aquilone’s first two anthologies — both of which were crowdfunded on Kickstarter — recently won Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards (Best Graphic Novel or Collection for KOLCHAK and Best Graphic Novel or Collection for CLASSIC MONSTERS UNLEASHED). Both books are also nominated for an Imadjinn Award this year, while KOLCHAK is up for the Best Graphic Novel Bram Stoker Award.
Credit: Juan Muro, & Alicia Muro