Today we have another guest post by eSpec authors and The Side of Good / The Side of Evil contributors Gail Z. Martin and her husband, Larry N. Martin. In addition to WWW, the Martins have also contributed to the upcoming eSpec anthology The Weird Wild West. This guest blog is a part of their Days of the Dead blog tour, so be sure to follow the links provided for all the goodies they have pulled together!
The Evolution of Ghost Wolf
By Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin
Danielle asked if we’d do a story for her The Side of Good/The Side of Evil flipbook anthology, and we were delighted to agree. Then we needed to think of a superhero, one we could call our own.
Gail had already done several superhero stories, one for the Heroes anthology by Silence in the Library and one for With Great Power for John French. But both of those stories were one-off sort of tales, with characters that didn’t lend themselves to other adventures. Then we hit on the idea of placing the superhero in our Iron & Blood alternative history Pittsburgh in 1898—and the wheels (or should we say gears?) started turning.
First, to narrow down the type of superhero. Neither of us are big Superman fans. He’s too invincible, not very nuanced, and kind of arrogant. Radium was just on the cusp of discovery back then, so maybe irradiated bug bites weren’t going to be the thing. An Iron Man sort of character might have been fun, but we already have automatons and clockwork monsters in the regular series, so it didn’t seem different enough. We went through a lot of options, and came back to a mutual love of the Dark Knight motif—a regular person with a mission (Calling? Obsession? Madness?) who augments his natural abilities with cool gadgets. We were off and running.
New Pittsburgh has its own Gotham-esque vibe to it. Back then, the sky was dark at midday from the huge steel mills and the coal smoke. A journalist at the time actually referred to Pittsburgh as ‘hell with the lid off’. Doesn’t that sound like just the kind of place you’d find a moody superhero?
Of course, our alternate history New Pittsburgh has magic and supernatural elements along with super-cool Steampunk airships, mechanical men, experimental energy weapons, prototype spy gadgets and so much more. The real-life Pittsburgh was pretty cool, too. Forgotten tunnels crisscross beneath the city, a fourth hidden river runs deep underground, and there are places the Native Americans considered to be too evil to venture.
And in the 1890s there were Dickensian street gangs and tenements, as well as fantastic wealth and power controlled by Robber Barons like Andrew Carnegie. The city was a technological marvel with steel mills the size of medieval castles, inventors like George Westinghouse harnessing electricity, massive locomotives running day and night and steamboats and barges traveling the rivers. Immigrants from all over the world came to work at those mills, and they brought their superstitions, ghosts and legends with them, along with old, long-standing grudges.
Just the bustling, dark, dangerous kind of place that needs a gritty superhero like the Ghost Wolf.
Our Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with never-before-seen cover art, brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, we’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories and for books by author friends of ours. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Details here: www.AscendantKingdoms.com
Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! Grab your envelope of book swag awesomeness from us & 10 authors http://on.fb.me/1h4rIIe before 11/1!
Trick or Treat! Excerpt from Gail’s new urban fantasy novel Vendetta set in my Deadly Curiosities world here http://bit.ly/1ZXCPVS Launches Dec. 29
Treats not Tricks! Read an excerpt from Bleak Harvest a Jonmarc Vahanian story by http://bit.ly/1W5Gly6
Trick Or Treat with an excerpt from our friend Leona Wisoker—Guardians Of The Desert http://thescribblinglion.com/the-pack/free-fiction/guardians-ch-one/
About the Authors
Gail Z. Martin is the author of the upcoming novel Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books) as well as the epic fantasy novel Shadow and Flame (March, 2016 Orbit Books) which is the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga. Shadowed Path, an anthology of Jonmarc Vahanian short stories set in the world of The Summoner, debuts from Solaris books in June, 2016.
Other books include The Jake Desmet Adventures a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin as well as Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) from Orbit Books and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities from Solaris Books.
Larry N. Martin is the co-author of the new Steampunk series Iron and Blood: The Jake Desmet Adventures and a series of short stories: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Jake Desmet universe. These short stories also appear in the anthologies Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil and Alien Artifacts with more to come. Larry and Gail also have science fiction short stories in the Space and Contact Light anthologies and a new novella, Grave Voices.
Gail writes four series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures, The King’s Convicts series, and together with Larry N. Martin, The Storm and Fury Adventures. Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Realms of Imagination, Heroes, With Great Power, and (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) Space, Contact Light, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.