Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Church of the Eternal Succubus


The P.A.C. Squad discovers the vilest of evils blossoming in a place where the good have lost hope . . .

Jack Rayon only wants to visit his incarcerated brother, but someone has other ideas -- namely, the world's deadliest assassin.

This ice-cold killer is as supernaturally focused on his task as he is hampered in his abilities to communicate -- but he is guided by a brilliant partner, deadly and immature in equal measures, a hateful young super-genius in a frail body.

But combat, violence, and death are in Jack Rayon's blood -- and Sachet Saperstein is at his side.

Yet as the battle rages to an old abandoned church that turns out to be all too occupied, all of them are about to encounter something that they hate and fear even more than they hate and fear each other -- a terrifying evil as old as mankind, nursing an insatiable lust for vengeance. . .

This is #6 in the extraordinary adventures of the P.A.C Squad. Look for more adventures soon.

* * *

Here it is -- the book that ended my father's writing career.

I've entered all the books in the Amazon Prime Kindle thing, so you can borrow them for free -- sadly that means I can't make them available on Smashwords anymore. For now anyway. Right now I'm just trying to get the "word" out there.

(Hell, you want a copy in some other format? Just email me.)

Tucked in this manuscript is where I found the letter from father's publishers telling him that they would no longer be publishing any of his adventures. The word "depraved" is used.

I gotta say -- it's no worse than some shit that I read in other action adventure series from the 70's and early 80's, like SABAT and the CRIME MINISTER. More on that later.

Alas, it was the early 90's, and "politically correct" was the order of the day. There was no more room for autistic hitmen slugging it out with undead nuns. . .

And of course, two words: vagina dentata.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

P.A.C. Squad Rising!

Wow! I put the WRATH OF THE PUMPKIN GOD available on Amazon as a free promotion in the Kindle Prime thing . . .

and I've moved more than a hundred copies in ten hours.


I don't know what accounts for this sudden popularity -- I suppose I must have gotten linked somewhere, although I can't readily locate it -- but could my father's dreams finally be coming true?

Check out its ranking

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,785 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
This is simply insanely high ranking for a self-published story from a completely unknown author. 

Somewhere up there -- or down there, more likely -- the old man is smiling. 
And Dr. Venerius and the P.A.C. Squad thank you too!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Endless Battle: Barry Sadler and CASCA

(I'm still working on getting the other PAC Squad books into ebook format; the other books are now available for free to Kindle Prime members.)

Naturally my father left behind numerous boxes of the men's adventure books that he loved so much, and was attempting to make a living at writing when he died.

I've been examining many of these and probably my all-round favorite is the CASCA series by Barry Sadler.

The wikipedia entry about the CASCA series

The very high-concept story of Casca is the tale of Casca Rufio Longinius, a Roman legionnaire who has the (good? bad?) luck of being granted immortality when he stabs "the Jew" Jesus Christ with a spear during his crucifixion, apparently to relieve the prisoner's suffering.

Gradually, in the first book of the series, CASCA: THE ETERNAL MERCENARY, after being sentenced to work in a labor mine, Casca realizes that he will not age and that he can't be killed. The first book follows his fortunes and misfortunes through a couple hundred years, including slavery and a spell as gladiator.

The series follows Casca as he fights, fucks, and drinks his way through the ages, encountering famous figures and becoming involved with the various great societies and armies of history.

I've only read the first few books -- some sources say Barry Sadler himself wrote the first 29 books, others say that he farmed most of them out to ghost writers -- and they are written in a glibly professional and assured fashion, moving quickly, with just the right mix of gravitas and humor. Sadler displayes a nice ability to alternate gruesome violence with a good fart joke or a roll with a lusty tavern wench and some male bonding over beers. There's enough detail about not just the militaries and weapons of the times, but also about day-to-day life to show that Sadler was probably a genuine history buff.  

Casca is a typical man's man, proficient with weapons as well as his huge cock; fortunately for an immortal, he's also good with languages. He is a soldier first and foremost though, and lives for the thrill of battle. (Just as well for the reader -- CASCA: THE ETERNAL GOATHERDER wouldn't be particularly compelling.) He's also not happy to stab or slice a particularly-hated opponent, when he can castrate them or jam an axe handle down their throat or whatever.

There is, as would probably be expected, quite a bit of casual sexism, racism, and homophobia in the novels, from big-bootied slave wenches to leering child-raping Nubians; but Casca's appreciation of other cultures is rather profound compared to many of his 70's and 80's men's adventure counterparts, who never met a foreigner they didn't shoot.

His second adventure, GOD OF DEATH, finds him leading a shipful of Vikings into Mexico among the Teotecs and Olmecs; he is impressed by their level of civilization and culture, although of course he uses his unique abilities to put a halt to that nasty human sacrifice business.

The author does make some general attempts to deal with the science and physics of Casca's condition; at the beginning of the first book, we witness Casca regenerating from being grievously wounded by an exploding shell in Vietnman. Casca fears lengthy imprisonment or being buried alive more than anything; it is explained that he can survive on the merest traces of moisture and eat practically anything to obtain nourishment.

The story of author Barry Sadler is damn near as bizarre as the story of Casca.

The wikipedia entry on Barry Sadler

Barry Sadler's official website

After his time as a combat medic in the U.S. Special Forces in the 1960's, where he was wounded with a feces-covered punji stick, Barry Sadler released several singles, including THE BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS and I WON'T BE HOME THIS CHRISTMAS, a love-letter to the folks at home written from the trenches of the jungle in Vietnam. He wrote and performed these himself, and though you may criticize the earnest sappiness and jingoism of his lyrics, you can't deny he has a rather pleasant singing voice.

Other highlights of his eventful life include shooting country singer Lee Emerson Bellamy in the head and killing him, and training Contra revolutionaries in South America. He himself was shot in the head under mysterious circumstances in Guatamala City in 1989; even that failed to kill him quickly, though he fell into a coma and died a year later.

Like his creation, Sadler was clearly a tough and interesting guy.

The parallels to something like the HIGHLANDER series or films and TV shows is obvious, though the first book was written several years before the first HIGHLANDER movie. This is extremely rich material for a series of books, and fans of men's adventure, history, and fantasy will all find something to enjoy. The series continues to the present under various other authors. If they can match the level of cocky, deadpan confidence that Sadler brings to the first few books of the series, it's a very worthy series for you to invest your time in.