FULL DISCLOSURE:Thanks to a special promotion, I had acquired a complimentary electronic copy of this book for purposes of review. In addition, not only has Mr. Ferguson said positive things about my own writing, but I have submitted several stories to this company for potential publication. My opinions, however, are still my own
As I'm gradually entering the world of pulp and "new pulp", I'm learning that there's an awful lot of books....and a lot of awful books. Occasionally, I'll come across the odd piece that I find myself enjoying (like Pro Se Production's The Adventures of Lazarus Gray), and there's a book that simply blindsides me, and is so good that I can't wait to write a formal recommendation.
Derrick Ferguson's The Adventures of Fortune McCall
is such a book - it's short (about four stories), but quite frankly, is one of the best reads I've experienced this past year. (And between this blog, proofreading, and my tech/social good blog, I've read quite a number of books, and still have both review and personal copies to read).
Fortune McCall is an adventurer (think "Indiana Jones meets Phillip Marlowe with a healthy side order of Bret Maverick mixed in with Shaft") who operates in Sovereign City - the kind of metropolis that only seems to be found in pulps. With a trusted crew of aides, McCall finds himself becoming the city's unofficial "troubleshooter" after his first adventure, drawing attention of both nefarious evildoers and slightly well-meaning rivals. (One such rival, John Lawman, swears to bring McCall in for crimes real and/or imagined).
Quite simply, this is a fun, no-nonsense read, with plenty of pulp action with a sly, dry wit that is sorely lacking in a lot of popular culture. It's a short book, but packs a wild punch, and has an old school pulp spirit evoking a strong sense of homage rather than pastiche. The Adventures of Fortune McCall is a must-add for anyone enjoying solid pulp writing.
Buy it. Now.