Monday, May 22, 2017

It was the monsters: T. Mike McCurley on Dino Force

Dino Force has 24 hours left on Kickstarter. Here's some words from T. Mike McCurley on his contribution to the shared world. 

Godzilla stomping his way through Japan, viewed on a tiny black-and-white television. Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin, cast in deep shadow one moment and stark closeup the next, telling the world of this titanic monster from the sea. Me, as a kid, sitting on the edge of my chair and watching the display with mouth hanging open. Dreaming for weeks of enormous beasts wading through cities.

That was my introduction to kaiju in general, but it wasn’t my last exposure. For decades, I got my fix with late-night movies, VHS tapes with bad tracking, and the occasional new gem found in some movie rental place.

Shortly after those early kaiju films set a spark in my brain, the discovery of TV shows such as Ultraman, and Voltron: Defender of the Universe fanned the flames. I grew up loving these things. When I started writing, I always had little fragments and snippets of verse that alluded to them.

Years passed, and while I still loved the subject matter, I did nothing significant with it, turning my attention instead to superheroes and serial survival stories. My only exposure was a stack of movies and quite a few television shows. Then one day, I get a message from Nick Ahlhelm telling me of a project he has in the works and gauging my interest. I fairly jumped at the chance. Shortly thereafter I was scribbling notes in a book and imagining where I wanted to take the tale.

When the locations and creatures were decided upon, I threw away all those notes. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t work, but rather a new idea jumped to mind. I ran with the new one, bringing in a teenage girl with a troubled family history and a desire to live her own life more than simply to fit in. I wanted to take her away from the usual patterns I had seen, and so I made her a boxer, used to the dingy, dimly-lit gyms you’d see in old movies. The kind of person who would willingly get up at “oh-dark-thirty” so she could get in her necessary exercise and training before school. Someone willing to sacrifice social standing for her own reasons. Someone who believes in herself, even if others dismiss her. Sam came alive for me, and I am glad I got to share a part of her here.

Where I once had to depend on late night television to feed my love of movies, I now have shelves devoted to DVDs. My “guilty pleasure”, as it were. Since those early days, I’ve seen tokusatsu in many forms, and even at its worst, it tells the stories of people. People from disparate backgrounds coming together, even if they don’t really care for each other on a normal basis, and helping to stop a threat to their homes. It’s that connection to others that brings out the best in humanity. Having my character become a part of that makes me proud to be a part of the Dino Force team.

As I type this, I have yet to see the “final form” of Dino Force. I know the basis. I’ve read the background and the main ideas behind the project, but the only contact I have had so far has been entirely my own. I can’t wait to see what the others have done, and how Sam’s tale fits in with theirs, now that the enemies have returned.

T. Mike McCurley lives in a small city in Oklahoma, where indeed, “the wind comes sweeping” and all that. He began writing superhero prose on a whim one day, and found it enjoyable enough to continue. His short stories soon formed the backbone of what became known as the world of The Emergence, describing events and players in a world of metahumanity that began in 1963 and has continued to grow since. From there came the stories of the metahuman cop known as Firedrake, which has now filled three books, with a fourth in the works. The Adventures of Jericho Sims was born from ideas years ago and they are finally seeing the light of day. Described by the author as “Josey Wales meets Carl Kolchak”, Jericho is a gunfighter cursed by dark forces. Searching for a demonic doctor, Jericho’s travels bring him face to face with the supernatural. Amazon has a full list of available books, and if you want free stuff (‘cause who doesn’t like free, right?) check out the website at where the blog runneth over with free stories!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Only days remain for Dino Force!

Only 3 days remain to make Dino Force a reality on Kickstarter. Help us make this book happen!

Here for everyone to see for the first time, is the cover design for the book featuring art by Chris Hebert.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I blame my kids: Travis Hiltz on Dino Force

Travis Hiltz takes over the page today to talk a little about his contribution to Dino Force, now funding on Kickstarter.

I blame my kids. This story is their fault.

Both of them were huge Power Ranger fans and as any good parent would, I ended up watching a lot of episodes with them.

Yes, it’s goofy, the acting is uneven and trying to make sense of the continuity will make your brain melt. At the same time, it’s got a fun silver age comic book vibe, most of the characters are likable is constantly throwing out ideas that made the writer part of my brain go ‘what’s up with that…? Why aren’t they doing more with that?”

This led to us having all kinds of ‘what if…?” chats, and using their action figures to create our own episodes.

It was fun and as close as I was ever going to get to write Power Rangers.

Then Nick came along and suddenly, all those ideas we’d come up with while playing had a place to go.

Mixed in with that sense of excitement, I was given Africa as my country to protect. The added challenge of being a middle-aged white guy writing about Africa really got my brain firing.

Then I decided I wasn’t juggling enough ideas/challenges and decided to make my hero a teenage girl.

It was a fun, stress inducing experience helping to create this little world and because of the subject matter I might actually get my kids to read one of my stories.

Or receive that most hoped for by every parent bit of praise: “Yeah, it was okay.”

Dino Force is now funding on Kickstarter.

Travis Hiltz has been making up stories for as long as he can remember. In high school he started writing them down. By college he had collected several rejection notices and had a one act play produced. After several years of writing fan fiction, he decided to restart his efforts to get published, and much to his surprise, this time it worked. He has since become a regular contributor to Blackcoat Press and Metahuman Press. He lives in New Hampshire with his very tolerant wife, a slightly less tolerant teenager, two cats and a staggering amount of comic books.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dino Force launches on Kickstarter Tuesday, May 2!

Keep your eyes glued to this site and Metahuman Press on social media! Next week On May 2, we launch our newest project Super Kaiju Battle Squadron: Dino Force! This new book kicks off a new team of heroes inspired by all your tokusatsu favorites!
For more details on this project, check out editor and co-author Nicholas Ahlhelm's Super Powered Fiction.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Saucy Robot Stories now available for pre-order!

Now is the time! Saucy Robot Stories, the new anthology of classic robotic romantic escapades is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Head over there to reserve your copy before it releases on April 3rd!

With a glorious cover by Eric John and six new stories, you can't go wrong with this unique take on 30s pulp adventure!

Pre-order it now!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jim Beard introduces the world to Saucy Robot Stories!

Almost any genre was possible in the classic pulps, and just about everyone of them had a "spicy" version. The spicy pulps were the back counter magazines of their day, although by today's standards they were far more tame than your average PG-13 film.

But that grand tradition of the pulps never quite combined with the emerging tales of mechanical men also prevalent in the 30s and beyond. Until now.

Series creator Jim Beard teams with co-editor Nicholas Ahlhelm to bring the adventures of Sam, the world's first fully automated man. (And we do mean fully automated.)  Saucy Robot Stories introduces him and his friends Augie and Doona as they have weird adventures across New York and beyond.

In six new stories by Sam Gafford, M.H. Norris, Travis Hiltz, Justin Bell, Aaron Smith and Chuck Miller, the pulp genre is stretched with new and unique ways our heroes face down new threats and new weirdness. All with just a bit of sauciness to go along with it!

Saucy Robot Stories will be available in April from Metahuman Press.