At Loki’s Rock, that is!
Funny…in a lot of ways, Facebook has made the old reliable blog kind of irrelevant. I post fairly frequently on Facebook with updates about various projects and the like and therefore my blog has sort of fallen by the wayside.
But for those who aren’t Facebook friends, here’s the short and skinny of it…over the last year, I’ve been extremely busy developing various and sundry graphic novel projects for Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse…from King Solomon’s Mines to Black Amazon of Mars with several others in between.
I’ve also pulled The Justice Machine: Object of Power graphic novel project from Moonstone Books, even though it’s complete.
Recently, Dynamite Entertainment contacted me about doing a new series with the Justice Machine, but after my experiences with Moonstone, I have zero interest in letting a third party have any kind of control over one of my intellectual properties.
There’s no need for it nowadays unless that third party can offer something that you couldn’t possibly do yourself.
My conviction is backed up by the performance of the Cryptozoica ebook over the summer. It really kicked Carnotaur booty, at one point being among the top 20 of all best-selling ebooks on Amazon…and when you consider that there are millions of ebooks on Amazon, I’m not even gonna feign self-deprecation. Even I was impressed.
Which brings me around to this—last year I announced the release of The Spur, the first in a new action-adventure series.
But I became so deeply involved in graphic novel development and creation, I back-burnered the project—but after the skyrocketing sales of the Cryptozoica ebook, I put The Spur back on the stovetop, front right burner and after simmering for an appropriate length of time, the book is now ready for consumption!
Here’s the official press release:
From Mark(James Axler) Ellis, writer of Doc Savage, author of Cryptozoica and creator of the best-selling Outlanders series comes The Spur: Loki’s Rock.
The colony world in the Orion Spur known as Loki wasn’t so much lost as forgotten. In the 188 years since a world-wide catastrophe destroyed what passed for civilization there, Loki had become a savage wilderness of strange cultures, as well as being the sanctuary for every bizarre cult, mad sect and outlawed scientific discipline in the Sol 9 Commonwealth.
Colonel Quentin Crockett of the department of OffWorld Operations leads a team of specialists to Loki to monitor, catalog, and if necessary, eliminate the myriad societies that sprang up in the wake of the global cataclysm.
In their armored ACP Ambler, the team travels Loki, searching for the lost Terran Enclave, while fighting off not only wild beasts, and the wilder natives but also the ruthless schemes of a mastermind about whom they know practically nothing.
In The Spur: Loki’s Rock, Crockett and his team contend with the bizarre native fauna, but also with resurrected Nazi supermen, flocks of flying piranha, and the denizens of the kill-crazy town of Loki’s Rock, led by the psychotic Django Bonner and his bloodthirsty hench-wench, Pagan.
Ellis, the veteran author of 50 books as well as numerous comic properties, including such classics as: Death Hawk, The Justice Machine and Doc Savage: Man of Bronze, spent 15 years writing novels for Gold Eagle, the action-adventure imprint of Harlequin Enterprises.
Under the pen name of James Axler, he created the best-selling Outlanders series, now in its 15th year of consecutive publication, making it the most successful mass-market paperback genre series of the last 25 years.
Ellis says, “Outlanders has been called the ‘thinking man’s action-adventure series,’ and I’m gratified by that because that was always my goal. Now, since most major publishers have done away with their midlist genre lines, Outlanders is also the last of its kind—and I’m perhaps the last of the breed.
Outlanders is the last original “men’s adventure” paperback series published by a major house that was created and primarily written by a single author, instead of a committee of editors and freelancers.
I don’t know if I’d call that single creator/author status a legacy, but it’s not an accomplishment very many commercial writers can cite nowadays.”
Ellis conceived The Spur series as way to blend two of his favorite genres—westerns and SF. “I’ve wanted to write an SF western-type series for a long time, but was too busy with other projects to really develop it, so it took a while for the concept to gel and solidify.
I knew I wanted a ‘men’s adventure’ tone rather than a ‘pulp’ one, and although The Spur definitely possesses pulp sensibilities, I’ve stayed away from the charming, yet dated Planet Stories sort of approach.
The Spur is tough and adult with a loose epic sweep. The best high-concept description is a mash-up between Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, Firefly and Outlanders, but it has its own distinct flavor.”
According to Ellis, the longevity of Outlanders and the popularity of his lost world novel, Cryptozoica proves there is still a robust audience for the bare-knuckled, gun-blazing milieu of action-adventure.
“A tinker should stay to his own, as the old adage goes,” says Ellis. “A creator should stay with what he does best and what I do best is action-adventure.”
It goes without saying that the cover and design of the book is by the multi-talented (and best-selling author in her own right) Melissa-Martin Ellis.
I’m currently working on the second novel in The Spur series, Helldorado…depending on some variables, we hope to release it by the end of the year.
Here are the Amazon links, where it can be ordered as both a trade paperback and a Kindle ebook.
If you’ve been missing the “real” Outlanders or just action-adventure tales in the classic tradition, then you definitely don’t want to miss The Spur: Loki’s Rock!