Monday, March 31, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Bughouse Affair

This book is an expanded version of Pronzini's story "The Bughouse Caper," in which his and his wife Marcia Muller's 19th century American detectives John Quincannon and Sabina Carpenter encounter Sherlock Holmes during the Great Hiatus. Holmes also appears in the Quincannon and Carpenter novel following this one, The Spook Lights Affair. Quincannon and Carpenter's second published appearance was in Muller and Pronzini's book Beyond the Grave, which had a framing sequence involving the manuscript of the case being discovered by Elena Oliverez, curator at the Museum of Mexican Arts in Santa Barbara. Prior to Beyond the Grave, Elena was the protagonist of two other novels by Muller, The Tree of Death and The Legend of the Slain Soldiers, which therefore also take place in the Crossover Universe. Win included "The Bughouse Caper" in Volume 1, and I'm planning to read The Spook Lights Affair and Beyond the Grave so that I can include them in the new volumes.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Upcoming Crossovers: Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows

Meteor House, which will be publishing my new volumes, has just made Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows available for pre-order. This novella by Josh Reynolds is a sequel to Farmer's The Other Log of Phileas Fogg. I have a personal connection to this book. When you look at the credits page, you'll see two Continuity Editors listed. One is Win. The other is me. I won't spoil any plot details, but I will say that there will definitely be some crossovers in this one. It's an honor to be involved with this book, and I truly appreciate Win asking me to take part in it. He's a great friend!

Crossover of the Week

October 18-December 6, 1925
            An unlikely assemblage of individuals travels across Europe via the Orient Express to obtain the pieces of a statue called the Sedefkar Simulacrum before the cult known as the Brothers of the Skin. Professor Julius Smith, whose apparent death sets the adventurers on their course, first speaks at the Challenger Trust Banquet Lecture. One of the members of the group, Professor Alphonse Moretti, finds a reference to the Simulacrum in von Juntz’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten. The Duc d’Essientes is a member of the Brothers of the Skin. Moretti finds mentions of a Duc Jean Floressas d’Essientes in fashion and society papers from Paris in the 1870s. The leader of the expedition, Mrs. Betty Sunderland, writes in her diary “I suspect even the remarkable Mr. S. Holmes would find it difficult to uncover a trail grown so cold.” A portly balding gentleman with a small waxed moustache, who is either French or Belgian, appears.
            Novel by Nick Marsh, Innsmouth Free Press, 2012. The Challenger Trust is likely named after Professor George Edward Challenger from Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and other works. Consulting detective Sherlock Holmes is Doyle’s most famous creation. Friedrich von Juntz’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten is a book created by Robert E. Howard to be part of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The Duc d’Essientes (originally des Esseintes) is from J.-K. Huysmans’ novel À Rebours. The Duc appears to have extended his life via supernatural means. The gentleman with the waxed moustache is Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Hounds of Hell

This novel pits Frederick C. Davis' pulp hero the Moon Man against Paul Ernst's villain Doctor Satan, who was the subject of his own feature in Weird Tales.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Little Orphan Annie characters in Dick Tracy

Joe Staton and Mike Curtis' run on Dick Tracy has given me a lot of material for Volumes 3 and 4. Their very first storyline had a cameo by cabdriver Moe "Shrevvy" Shrevnitz, an agent of the Shadow, and since then we've had ties to Batman, the Spirit, Buckaroo Banzai, Popeye, and many more. Today's strip suggests that Dick will be helping the Asp and Punjab find Little Orphan Annie. This crossoverologist is loving what Staton and Curtis are doing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Gardens of Lucullus

This novel by Richard L. Tierney and Glenn Rahman has Tierney's hero Simon of Gitta teaming up with gladiator Rufus Hibernicus from Rahman's Heir of Darkness to battle Empress Messalina of Rome.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Spider: Extreme Prejudice

Moonstone's second anthology featuring the Spider has six stories with crossovers, including team-ups with the Black Bat, the Green Ghost, and Operator #5. One of the contributors is creative mythographer Matthew Baugh, whose story unsurprisingly is one of the ones with crossovers.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crossover of the Week

            Investigating the death of his fellow P.I. Andy McWilliams at Andy’s wife Caroline’s request, Miles Jacoby reads his files, and finds that Andy referred several cases to other detectives, including Jacoby’s friend Henry Po, who usually investigates cases involving thoroughbred horse racing, and a man named Malone, who took a case in New Jersey. After Andy’s death, Caroline took over his agency, and referred another case to a man Jacoby knows in Brooklyn, Nick Delvecchio. Jacoby discusses what to do with a murdered friend’s saloon with another friend, Sal Carlucci, an ex-cop P.I. who runs a saloon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Jacoby also refers to a Boston P.I. who tends to push and prod until the guilty party comes after him rather than try to find some definitive evidence.
            Novel by Miles Jacoby, edited by Robert J. Randisi. Henry Po and Nick Delvecchio are each the subject of other detective series by Randisi. The New Jersey P.I. named Malone is Ryder Malone, who appears in the novels Jersey Tomatoes and Hot Tickets, both written by Shane Stevens under the pen name J.W. Rider. Sal Carlucci first appeared in Ed Gorman’s novel The Night Remembers. The main character of The Night Remembers, apartment house manager and sometimes P.I. Jack Walsh, first appeared in Gorman’s short story “Friends.” Carlucci is also one of the protagonists of The Black Moon, a round robin novel whose authors include Gorman and Randisi, in which Sal at one point calls Jacoby seeking a recommendation for a detective in Lake Superior, Michigan. The Boston P.I. is Robert B. Parker’s Spenser.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Crossover Covers: Moonstone's Avenger Anthologies

All three of Moonstone's anthologies featuring the Avenger have stories with crossovers. Win included the crossovers in the first collection in Volumes 1 and 2, and I'll be including the ones in the second and third collections in Volumes 3 and 4. Win's stories in all three volumes, and Christopher Paul Carey's story in the second, have strong Farmerian ties.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Crossover Covers: Tales of the Shadowmen Volumes 7-10

Here we have the four volumes of Tales of the Shadowmen that have been released since Crossovers Volumes 1 and 2 came out. The various stories in these four will all be in Volumes 3 and 4.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Crossover Cover: NOS4A2

This novel by Joe Hill (nee Joseph Hillstrom King, Stephen King's son) has a few references placing it in the same universe as not only some of Hill's other works, but also his father's as well. This seems appropriate, since Hill's mother Tabitha also included a few references to her husband's work in her own novels. In addition, Hill also includes a couple references to the works of author David Mitchell. All of Mitchell's novels, and most if not all of his short stories, take place in a common universe.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Orange Curtain

In this book, Jack Liffey, a P.I. specializing in cases involving missing children, meets an elderly Philip Marlowe in one chapter. Other detectives Liffey has met are Gary Phillips' P.I. Ivan Monk, who appears in at least two of the Liffey books, and Nathan Walpow's amateur sleuth and former musician Joe Portugal, in Walpow's One Last Hit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crossover Covers: Kennedy for the Defense

In this book by George V. Higgins, the first of four featuring sleazy Boston-based lawyer Jerry Kennedy, Kennedy tells his wife that he cannot bring in P.I. "Bad-Eye" Mulvey on the case he is working, and adds, “Cooper uses a guy named Spenser and says he’s pretty good, but Spenser’s one of those fresh bastards that thinks he’s the sword of justice and goes running off to London every chance he gets, like he was trying out for his own television series.” This is clearly a reference to Robert B. Parker's P.I. Spenser, and brings Kennedy into the Crossover Universe. I've already written this one up. At least a few of Higgins' other novels are connected to the Kennedy books. Federal Agent Pete Riordan, a minor character in Kennedy for the Defense, reappears in The Patriot Game, which also features the title character of Higgins' earlier novel The Digger's Game and his brother. A review on Goodreads says that other characters from previous books appear, but sadly doesn't give specifics, so I'll have to research that on my own. According to Wikipedia, the books Trust, Outlaws, and Bomber's Law also take place in the same continuity as the Jerry Kennedy series, but again details are not given. One of the characters in Trust, Ed Cobb, reappears in Victories. Finally, Impostors refers to both Jerry Kennedy and "Bad-Eye" Mulvey. Therefore, I will be reading all of the aforementioned books and including them in the new volumes.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Crossover of the Week

October 31, 1911
            Sâr Dubnotal and John Silence view a house that is said in Kraighten to be built by the Devil. Silence refers to two other psychic sensitives, a young girl in the Highlands named Crerar and a fellow named Vance in London. Dubnotal says that Count Magnus is no Crowley or Karswell, to be taunted. An Oxford don of Silence’s acquaintance has theorized that Magnus is a 17th century mystic of ill-repute, while an elderly theatre owner in London claims that Magnus is the same individual who led the Tong of the Black Scorpion to its destruction in Queen Victoria’s day. Magnus’ Brotherhood of Gerasene has abducted Thomas Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder, who rescued a man named Baines from their dark plans. Magnus tells the assembled Brotherhood that they will bring their master, the Hog, over the border on which the house sits. Magnus says that he has made the Black Pilgrimage. A group of swine-things attack Dubnotal and Silence; the latter counters one with the Voorish Sign. Dubnotal possesses a cane that conceals a silver blade, inspired by his meeting with an American named Pursuivant. Dubnotal says that Doctor Omega warned him about Magnus, whom he calls “Greel.” Silence suggests using the the Incantation of Raaaee or the Saaamaaa Ritual against the Hog. Dubnotal takes out a sliver of the gem known as the Blood of Belshazzar, which was retrieved from the fire column of Kor. Dubnotal says that the flames of the Faltine lurk within the sliver.
            Short story by Josh Reynolds in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 10: Esprit de Corps, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2013. The Sâr Dubnotal was the title character of a French pulp series by an anonymous author. John Silence is from Algernon Blackwood’s titular collection of stories. The house, Kraighten, and the swine-things are from William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland. Thomas Carnacki, Baines, the Hog, the Incantation of Raaaee, and the Saaamaa Ritual are from Hodgson’s collection Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. Sheila Crerar appeared in stories by Ella Scrymsour, while Aylmer Vance is an occult detective created by Alice and Claude Askew. Count Magnus is from M.R. James’ short story of the same name, as are the Oxford don (Mr. Wraxall) and the Black Pilgrimage. Reynolds conflates Magnus with Magnus Greel from the Doctor Who episode “The Talons of Weng-Chiang,” which is also the source of the elderly theatre owner (Henry Gordon Jago) and the Tong of the Black Scorpion. Although most of the Doctor’s exploits take place in an alternate reality to the Crossover Universe, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier’s translation and adaptation of Arnould Galopin’s Doctor Omega implies that Omega is the Doctor’s CU counterpart. Greel most likely assumed the identity of the real Count Magnus de la Gardie, who may be distantly related to the Delagardie branch of the Wold Newton Family. Karswell is the villain of another M.R. James story, “Casting the Runes.” The Voorish Sign is from Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” Judge Keith Hilary Pursuivant is from the works of Manly Wade Wellman. The Blood of Belshazzar is from Robert E. Howard’s Cormac Fitzgeoffrey story of the same name. Kor is the homeland of H. Rider Haggard’s Ayesha, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. The Faltine are from the tales of Marvel Comics’ Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Crossover Cover: The Shadow of Judex

This Black Coat Press anthology collects 26 stories featuring Judex, the titular hero of Louis Feuillade's 1916 film serial. 10 of the stories are reprints, but 16 are original to this volume. I had already written up the reprinted stories that didn't come out in time to be included in the first volumes when they originally came out, and I also wrote up the new stories.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Crossover of the Week

March 6, 1910-August 27, 1911
            In 1910, a group of men led by Count Ferenczy and Professor Peaslee uncover a meteor in the Tunguska region of Siberia. Peaslee claims that because of Ferenczy’s failure in 1795, they must struggle with men with remarkable skills, and says that this meteor must not create another Holmes or Nemo. The following year, Peaslee requests the criminal Flambeau’s aid in deceiving the criminal organization known as the Habits Noirs. Inspector Romaine visits the Louvre, from which the Mona Lisa has been stolen, and reflects that Chief Aristide Valentin has committed suicide. The best and brightest of the police, including Broquet, Guichard, and Maigret, are attempting to deal with the massive crime-wave in Paris. Romaine meets with a man in an iron mask and his female aide, Joséphine. Peaslee asks a young girl named Nardi, recommended to him by Flambeau, to steal a stone. Peaslee compares that stone, the Tear of Azathoth, to the Heart of the Ocean, the Pink Panther, and the Maltese Falcon. Baron Cesare Stromboli, an agent of the Black Coats, tries unsuccessfully to purchase the Mona Lisa from the man who stole it. The current leader of the Habits Noirs, the Iron King, is furious when he learns of the thief’s refusal. Exploring Paris’s sewers, Nardi is caught by a group of men, one of whom remarks “Rats are getting bigger it seems. Regular Sumatra down here.” The Colonel, previously believed dead, reclaims the mantle of leader from the Iron King.
            Short story by Pete Rawlik in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 9: La Vie en Noir, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2012; reprinted in French in Les Compagnons de l’Ombre (Tome 12), Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Rivière Blanche, 2013. Count Ferenczy is from H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, while Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee is from Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time.” The Tunguska meteor strike was a real event that occurred in 1908, and has been linked to many curious events in the CU. The 1795 reference is to the Wold Newton meteor strike. According to Philip José Farmer, Sherlock Holmes is a member of the Wold Newton Family. In The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, Farmer claimed that Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo was actually Holmes’ foe Professor James Moriarty. Later research has established that Moriarty was indeed one of at least three men who used the name Nemo, though he was not the same person as Prince Dakkar, who used that alias in Verne’s novels. The Nemo referred to by Peaslee is likely Moriarty, who was identified as a member of the Wold Newton Family in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. Flambeau and Aristide Valentin are from G.K. Chesterton’s stories about crime-solving priest Father Brown. Les Habits Noirs, aka the Black Coats, are featured in novels by Paul Féval, as is their leader, Colonel Bozzo-Corona. Inspector Romaine is from the film Charlie Chan in City in Darkness, while Nardi is from Charlie Chan in Paris. Rawlik’s story reveals that Nardi is Flambeau’s niece. Paulin Broquet is the policeman nemesis of the gypsy crime lord Zigomar in pulp novels by Léon Sazie. Commissaire Jules Maigret is featured in mystery novels by Georges Simenon. Chief Xavier Guichard was a real person who also appeared in the Maigret books. The Iron King is from Les Martin’s novel Young Indiana Jones and the Gypsy Revenge; he is a descendant of the title character of Alexandre Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask. Joséphine Balsamo is Arsène Lupin’s greatest foe. Azathoth, “the blind idiot god,” is one of the Great Old Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Heart of the Ocean diamond is from the film Titanic. The Pink Panther gem is featured in the film of the same name. The statue known as the Maltese Falcon is from the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Baron Cesare Stromboli is a gentleman thief appearing in stories by Jose Moselli. In the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire,” Holmes mentions “the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.” The tale of the giant rat is perhaps the most pastiched of the many unchronicled Holmes cases alluded to in the Canon.