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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Men's Adventure Smorgasbord

Years ago when snail-mailing traditional publishers in the fruitless attempt to get one of them to answer my query letters, I sometimes wondered if the market for men's adventure, military fiction in particular, had disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle, the Phantom Zone, or whatever nether-region was now home to John Doe # 2, the Lost Ark of the Covenant, and rugged individualism.

Since joining the e-publishing revolution I've discovered that, not only does the market still exist, but I've got competition, too!

First I met Jack Murphy. Anyone who has followed the 2-Fisted Blog is probably familiar with his books. But recently, Jack introduced me to a couple more authors writing the sort of fiction I miss from back in the day. You know--before the tradpub (traditional publishing) fiefdom became all about vampires, chick-lit and political thrillers.

Frankly, I welcome the competition. Hey, I like to read, too, and I've worn out some of my favorite old paperbacks. Know what else? Evidently, the new breed is writing action-adventure with a much more substantial grounding in reality than most of the escapist fare we cut our literary teeth on.

One of my new comrades is Jack Silkstone. If you haven't heard of his Primal series, I don't know where you've been hiding. Maybe the YA paranormal section at Barnes & Noble. Wait a minute...Barnes & Noble IS the YA paranormal section. Anyway, quit pining for your imaginary shapeshifting teenage soulmate, shed those Gothic clothes and the emo makeup and ride along with a private army of well-funded international vigilantes dedicated to putting down the scumbags that western governments are unable or unwilling to kick where it hurts.

Another up-and-coming author is D.R. Tharp, who has conceived Task Force Intrepid, an ethical mercenary unit following in the footsteps of Executive Outcomes--fighting battles that SpecOps won't and conventional armies can't.

Is it just me, or did the collective cinematic output of Hollywood in 2011 suck even worse than normal? No doubt the Tinseltown suits are rifling through old TV series, action figures and board games right now to find the next fresh, original, CGI blockbuster.

Now you can rediscover your literacy without drowning in a sea of estrogen. Unless you want to.

Enjoy the kind of stories somebody in Hollywood should be telling, with pyrotechnics detonated directly in your mind; and characters who are true badasses--not pampered wimpy movie stars pretending to be the real deal.

This is just the beginning of the dude-lit renaissance. Pencil-necked lawyers and bisexual werewolves are no match for us.


  1. The science fiction genre was long ago abandoned to rants about evil corporations, a failed America, and ecological failure. Female warriors lead the charge.

    I am happy to see the fall of the New York gatekeepers.

  2. Excellent Hank! Spot on in your analysis.

  3. Thanks, John. I usually strive to be kinder and gentler in my blog rants, but was feeling salty last night.

  4. Sad to say, but I abandoned new science fiction for that very reason, Walter. Hmm. We should probably do something about that.

    Also, when I get bored just reading the blurb on the back cover of any given sci fi book at the store, that is a bad sign for the state of the genre.

  5. Science fiction is only about six percent of the book market, but there is a shortage of good military science fiction.

    There is a demand to fill that void.

  6. BTW, reviews of the Tharp and Silkstone books are forthcoming...


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