Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A CORPUS VILE Primer

CORPUS VILE is my ode to the "weird menace" and "shudder" pulps of the Classic Pulp era, made popular in such publications as THE OCTOPUS and THE SCORPION, and through the prolific writing of such pulp authors as Norvell Page and Hugh B. Cave.

My serialized CORPUS VILE saga centers around a great metropolis sometime in the late 1930s, a city awakening to a growing horror in its midst, one that will bring its citizens to their knees in terror and pain. Presiding over the city is a blind mayor who seems to be the focus of the mysterious evil that comes in like the fog, a man beloved by the city's inhabitants, but hamstrung by his inability to see through to the truth of the matter. Another man tries to help him, the city's ex-District Attorney, once a trusted servant of the people, but now fallen due to corruption and vice. Together, these two characters will attempt to stave off the creeping horror that infiltrates their home by degrees, and uncover the mystery of two words scrawled in blood at each scene of the evil's progress: CORPUS VILE.

The series begins with a Prelude, CORPUS VILE: DEATH ON BROADSTREET, which introduces not only the story's main characters, but details the first assault on the city by the mystery villain behind the lurking evil.

The serialized novel itself kicks off with CORPUS VILE: DEATH IN THE CITY, CHAPTER ONE: THE RED JUDGE, in which the city awakens from the horror of the Prelude a few months later, only to find it never truly ended. A vigilante also begins his crusade to root out the festering evil, but discovers only more questions, not answers, to the baffling mystery of Corpus Vile.

The story continues in CORPUS VILE; DEATH IN THE CITY, CHAPTER TWO: RATS IN THE WALLS, in which an attack on City Hall sends the city's blind mayor down a path to terror as his friends and associates begin to die around him. The new Chief of Police also fends off his own personal attack, and in doing so unearths a horrifying secret, one which may shed some scant light on the mystery of Corpus Vile.

CORPUS VILE is published quarterly by Pros Se Productions, and available on Amazon as part of Pro Se's Single Shot e-book publishing initiative. As always, please leave me a review!

CORPUS VILE (c)2015 Jim Beard

Saturday, March 7, 2015

An Adventure Team Fiction Primer

It's come to my attention that there may be some small confusion about who's who in my Adventure Team fiction on Kindle Worlds, so I've prepared this Primer to illustrate my cast.

NOTE: This is for my AT fiction only. This does not represent Hasbro's intentions or those of any other writer. This is purely to show with pictures which of the characters in my stories represent the different GI Joe AT action figures.

GI Joe: Ex-soldier, now Adventure Team Commander. Smart, strong, capable, but a lot of heart, too.
Marcus: Joe's right-hand man, been with him the longest. He's the soul of the Adventure Team, cool and composed, a steady hand in times of turmoil.
Sarge: The team's expert pilot. Strong and silent type, but someone you'd want at your side heading into danger.
Red: The salty sailor, mouthy and opinionated, but deep as the ocean.
Greg: Young and resourceful, the archaeology expert who's taken recruits under his wing the same as Marcus did for him.
Kent: One of the team's "beardless wonders" along with Greg. A wizard with the AT equipment, and a mechanical marvel.
Glenn: The astronaut, light-hearted and a music-lover, but always with an eye on the big picture.
Mike: The young recruit with the record collection...
Or is this Mike? Hmm...

You can find the entire Adventure Team in my new novella, available at Kindle Worlds for just $1.99

GI Joe and Adventure Team (c)Hasbro. All else (c)Jim Beard

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GI Joe Adventure Team Headquarters

For Immediate Release:

First G.I. Joe Adventure Team Novella Released on Kindle Worlds

MYSTERY OF THE SUNKEN TOMB is the first long-form G.I. Joe Adventure Team prose fiction novella released on the Kindle Worlds licensed publication platform. It is currently available in e-format only, and sells for just $1.99.

Set in 1973 at the height of the Adventure Team toy era, MYSTERY OF THE SUNKEN TOMB is jam-packed with all the fan-favorite Adventure Team equipment, vehicles, and mission themes of Hasbro’s 1970-73 releases. If that isn’t cool enough, each of the G.I. Joe Adventure Team action figures of the era have been fleshed out as individual characters in the story, each with their own unique personalities, skills, and specialties. Overall, MYSTERY OF THE SUNKEN TOMB offers all the Adventure team action, danger, and excitement G.I. Joe fans crave.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZOM.COM

Jim Beard writes adventure fiction in a classic pulp style. A native of Toledo, Ohio, he was introduced to comic books at an early age by his father, who passed on to him a love for the medium and the pulp characters who preceded it. After decades of reading, collecting and dissecting comics, Jim became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since that time he's written official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comic stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history.

His prose work includes GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES, a book of essays on the 1966 Batman TV series; SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, a collection of pulp ghost stories featuring an Edwardian occult detective; MONSTER EARTH, a shared-world giant monster anthology; and CAPTAIN ACTION: RIDDLE OF THE GLOWING MEN, the first pulp prose novel based on the classic 1960s action figure.

Jim also currently provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, and is a regular columnist for Toledo Free Press.

Please email jsajim@yahoo.com to schedule an interview with Jim, or for more information on MYSTERY OF THE SUNKEN TOMB.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Sgt. Janus Primer

JUST outside the small city of Mount Airy sits a sprawling, patchwork mansion, the home and business office of Sgt. Janus, Spirit-Breaker…

With great and terrible risk to his person and soul, Janus seeks to break the para-physical ties that inexplicably bind the spirits of the dead to the Earth - for an inordinate amount of these wayward phantasms in turn serve to vex the living and make their still-warm existence a living hell.

The sergeant’s strange and oft-times mystifying career keeps him quite busy, so much so that he requires his clients themselves to write their own accounts of his struggles to aid them. SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER chronicles eights such stories, including the most difficult challenge yet to Janus’ abilities and fortitude.

Here’s what readers are saying about SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER on Amazon:

“While he may deliberately conjure the spirits of authors of Victorian and Edwardian occult fiction before him, Beard's prose is fresh and entirely modern in his, at times, frank and unsettling tales of the wages of his characters' past sins. Each story breezes by and like the best tales told round the campfire, it leaves the reader hungry for more.”

“…an ingenious and inventive romp full of striking images, subtle horrors, and moments of real shock.”

“I felt transported in time, into another era and there were no breaks in the constructed reality. This is a nicely crafted book…”

“I do have one tidbit of advice concerning this tome. DO NOT read it at night before bed…you may be in for one very long, and frightening evening.”

“I found I enjoyed each story more than the one previous…”

“Great atmosphere, spooky hauntings, superior storytelling. Highly recommended.”

“…a very different and inventive approach to storytelling which succeeded well beyond my original expectations.”

AFTER the tumultuous events of the first volume of Sgt. Janus’ adventures, the world discovers what it is like to be without a Spirit-Breaker. Then, one year later, an amnesiac appears in a sleepy little town’s center square, a beautiful and serene woman who is drawn to spirits and sworn to help those who are troubled by them…

SGT. JANUS RETURNS follows the dark and mysterious path of the woman to discover herself and come into an enigmatic inheritance. Her frequently brutal confrontations with the spirit-world are chronicled by a young layabout who swiftly learns that by following the dark lady, he may be in far over his head.

Here’s what readers are saying about SGT. JANUS RETURNS on Amazon:

“Superior supernatural fiction, and one of the most fascinating female characters in the genre.”

“Hang on for the ride, dear reader, through investigations and battles, with the spirit world and the physical, through tribulation and trial. Some questions are answered, some remain mystery, but it all adds up to a great book.”

“…a brilliant follow-up to the previous volume.”

“There is much going on beneath the surface in Beard’s fiction, but that only helps whet the reader’s appetite for more.”

“This book is one of the best New Pulp adventures I have ever read. High praise? It's well deserved. I've enjoyed the author's past works but I really feel that he's elevated his game with this one. I simply can't recommend it high enough!”

As always, please consider leaving a review of either book at Amazon, or even on a blog or other site. It's always appreciated and very helpful.

Jim

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Brunner For Sale

I've been informed that Zach Brunner, multi-talented artist on SGT. JANUS RETURNS, is offering prints of all the interior illustrations for sale.

Prints are black and white, 11x17, and you may choose from any of the eight pieces from the book. Cost is $50 US each, and that includes shipping.

Drop Zach an email here: zbrunn89@gmail.com

I have one myself and its GORGEOUS at that large size!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Spirit-Breaker (or Three) in Your Future

More than a month after its release, SGT JANUS RETURNS seems to be going over well with readers, which please me to no end and turns my thoughts to the good sergeant’s future. Here’s a little about what Spirit-Breaker fans can expect from the next few Janus projects.

Following SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER and SGT. JANUS RETURNS, the third volume will be entitled SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK. With Roman Janus back in the saddle again, he’s eager to get back out in the world and revive his chosen profession: eliminating ghosts. But, in the middle of a long journey, he gets a bit more than he bargained for when a cunning, willful spirit materializes and forces the sergeant to seek a path that will surprise and shock even him. The third book will return to the multiple-narrator style of the first volume, but with its own twist. If all goes well, SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK may be out by the end of 2014.

Because the future is always in motion and no one, not even myself, can be assured that Janus will survive that adventure, the fourth volume will take a look back into the sergeant’s formative days. SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR follows a young Roman Janus over the course of twelve months, at a time in his development when he was at his most spiritually vulnerable and gathering the experiences he’d need to become a worthy Spirit-Breaker. SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR will also utilize the multiple-narrator format, but again with a flavor all its own. Expect the fourth book some time in 2015.

In addition to the next two full Sgt. Janus books, I will also be supplying a Janus tale to an upcoming Airship 27 anthology called THE OCCULT DETECTIVES. I was honored and thrilled to be invited to contribute to the collection, and decided to re-visit the online Sgt. Janus tale “The Lost Wife of Thomas Tan” and expand it to twice its original length - in effect, it will be almost a new story. If you’ve read it here in its serialized form on the Spirit-Blog, you’ll find that the longer version will be enhanced with new characters and new situations. There is no set publication date for THE OCCULT DETECTIVES, but I’ll give a shout when it arrives.

One more thing while we’re here: it seems that the narrator of SGT. JANUS RETURNS, Mr. Joshua Hargreaves, has been receiving good marks from readers and a small interest has begun to grow to perhaps see him in his own adventures. As I said before, the future is always in motion, but if this idea intrigues you, well, let me know somehow, either here or on Facebook. I have a few thoughts on how to pull it off, but I must be assured that further tales of Joshua would be welcome.

All content © 2014 Jim Beard

You may find the first two Sgt. Janus books and all my other literary projects on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reviews Ahoy!

William Patrick Maynard, author of the new, authorized FU MANCHU novels, says of SGT. JANUS RETURNS, “I’m delighted to see the return of… Sgt. Janus. There is much going on beneath the surface in Beard’s fiction, but that only helps whet the reader’s appetite for more.”

You can read his full review HERE.