Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Other reviews and links to the books of which the reviews are of them (the books)


5.0 out of 5 stars Black Centipede's Back !, April 14, 2013
By Raven "Raven"

I found this volume of the Black Centipede fascinating, with its mixture of the occult and the simply criminal. The Centipede is called to Hollywood to consult on a movie featuring one of his pulp magazines. With him, as a special envoy from President FDR, travels Amelia Erhart, who proves to be handy in a tussle, plus helping the Centipede rein in some of his kill lust. She also has a secret that will be crucial to stopping Jack the Ripper, if only for a time.

But I want to share something I found to be fascinating. The Centipede is dreaming of a court case with twelve jurors. Each person rises and says something unusual. It was awesome to see how Chuck Miller used verbal tapestry to allow one to identify each as a suspect in the unsolved Jack the Ripper case. He names one of them but even without that, what the person says would allow most readers to recognize the individual, although they might NOT have known this person was even a suspect.

The book is a wild roller-coaster ride with some of the usual suspects from the first book, Rise of the Black Centipede, such as Bloody Mary Jane Gallows and Lizzie Borden, along with Baron Samedi and Jack the Ripper. It also introduces a fearsome female who calls herself The Black Centipede Eater, and the very mysterious White Centipede. If you love pulp fiction, you'll love this book!

The part that deals with Jack the Ripper raises yet another genuine suspect, although exactly who or what the Ripper truly is may leave you still wondering by book's end. This is far from a bad thin since there are hints that perhaps the Ripper is still not truly gone. The discovery of just who is the Black Centipede Eater is also worth the read. Then there is the White Centipede, a conglomeration between a real person infamous for madness and drunk with power, and an undisclosed Symbiote from a burial ground. Miller also ties this volume in with other characters of his creation, such as Dr. Unknown, Jr..

Well worth reading, highly enjoyable.

Quoth the Raven...
The Pop Virtuoso of Psychedelic Pulp Strikes Again! April 23, 2014
By Josh Reynolds

Entertaining and unique, written with the sort of tongue-in-cheek humor I've come to expect of Miller's writing. There's plenty to enjoy here for fans of occult detective fiction, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, steampunk and comic books, all mashed up together in one quirky, slightly psychedelic package.

Plus, Moriarty hits Dracula with an asteroid. How can you not love that? 

5.0 out of 5 stars An injection of originality May 20, 2014
By Percival Constantine
To be honest, I'm not a fan of the masked vigilante in the pre-WW2 era. There have been a number of them, and with each iteration, it seems like there is less effort going into them. So it was a wonderful change of pace to be introduced to the Black Centipede.

Chuck Miller's mind clearly has as many thoughts as a centipede has legs, because you can see the roots for an endless series of stories embedded within the lines of this one book. Not only that, but he's continuously planting the seeds for even more stories of the Black Centipede's adventures throughout social media. He manages to weave together important historical figures into this captivating pulp tale with such ease that you might find yourself double-checking their Wikipedia entries to see what is real and what's not.

I've already picked up a copy of the second book in the series, Blood of the Centipede, and I'm looking forward to cracking it open. 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014



After the two strange young women vanished, I sank into a near-torpor. This current adventure was beginning to get on my nerves. There were plot threads all over the place, and we seemed to be getting further and further from any sort of resolution. I had started hoping that Bloody Mary Jane would pop up out of nowhere and tie the whole thing up neatly, as was her custom, but I knew how unrealistic it was. Anyhow, there were too many characters in the damn thing already. My dear deus ex machina would likely just get lost in the shuffle.

No, if this mess were ever to be brought to an end, I would have to take strong unilateral action.

The first thing I would need to do would be to finish off the entire bottle of whiskey. This I did, in record time. Thus fortified, I made my rather unsteady but absolutely determined way back down to my nerve center.

"Are you all right?" Anonymoushka asked. "You seem a bit wobbly."

"I am absolutely shitfaced," I said with my customary forthrightness. "And it's time to start cleaning house. That process starts with you, my fine faceless filly. I want you to vacate these premises immediately, if not sooner. You are nothing but a distraction, a pointless plot device whose purpose is beyond my ability to imagine."

"Ah!" she exclaimed brightly. "So sweet reason finally dawns in your excuse for a mind! Delightful! Show our lazy and capricious god that you will tolerate no more of his random string-pulling! It is wonderful to see you behaving like a man instead of a sickly gerbil of ill repute! Storm the fourth wall, my preposterous knight erroneous, and show the bastards that they won't have the Black Centipede to kick around any more!"

I grabbed her by an elbow and pointed her toward the door. "Be on your way," I said, "and don't come back until your presence makes some kind of sense."

"Absolutely! I do have a rather major role in Black Centipede Confidential, and a bit of recreation now would not come amiss. See you between the covers! Of the book, I mean..."


She went. I can be very masterful when intoxicated. I turned to Doctor Unknown.

"Is Almanac still at the bottom of the elevator shaft?" I demanded.

"Yes, he is," was the reply. "I think he may be waking up."

"Then he's going to wish he hadn't. Tell me, Raoul, what do you think the net effect would be if someone were to dump roughly 80 gallons of sulfuric acid down onto him?"

"Sweet Hecate," he said, going a bit pale. "I think the effect would be exactly what you'd expect. I don't believe there would be very much left."

I nodded. "I knew that stuff would come in handy one day. I realize you have certain notions about the intentional infliction of suffering and cruelty to even the most vile and obnoxious specimens of animal life, so please just forget I ever asked. I do believe that if I were to twist their arms sufficiently, Patience and Prudence could be persuaded to help me with such a project."

Broad grins appeared on the faces of both girls. This wasn't going to be a hard sell. They had absolutely no love for Doctor Almanac, who had, among other things, ordered the brutal removal of both of their tongues. By allowing them to actually do the deed, I would make lifelong friends of two people whose enemy I would never, ever want to be.

"What do you think?" I said to them. "Can you force yourselves to assist in this heinous operation? For the greater good, of course."

They jumped up and down and clapped their hands. Since the girls were usually the very definition of taciturnity, it was rather like seeing the late Calvin Coolidge strip to his boxers and perform a Cossack dance in the middle of Times Square.

Unknown cleared his throat. "Yes, well, I'm just going to go over here and sort of, ah, pretend that, you know... I don't know anything about this."

And so it came to pass that Patience and Prudence, with minimal assistance from me, committed a truly dreadful act against a truly deserving target. I'll spare you the details, to which I could not do justice anyhow. (Of course, like any villain worth his salt, Almanac managed to survive his ghastly immolation, but I wouldn't learn of that for several more months. As far as we were concerned that day, it was good riddance.) The girls actually kissed me on my masked cheeks after it was accomplished. Perhaps they also silently pledged their fealty to me, so long as my interests did not conflict with those of their boss, the Stiff. Or perhaps they didn't.

They probably didn't. But they were happy. I sent them home in a state of pure homicidal bliss.

I was whittling it down. But I still had Stymie Beard, Percival Doiley, Crusher Cranium, Mag DeMilby, and probably one or two other players whose identities were unknown to me on my plate. Someone had been using Doctor Almanac to get at me, but I had thrown a monkey wrench into their plans by ruthlessly removing him the playing field. It was probably one of those things that would come back to bite me at some point, but I wasn't worried about that. I had changed the rules in an unexpected way, and even if it  ultimately worked to my disadvantage, it had given me the illusion of control, a franchise I was eager to expand.

I sent Raoul home too, in case I needed to commit any more atrocities. He had more of a conscience than I did in those days, which was a damn good thing, considering some of the powerful forces he had at his command. And he could turn only so many blind eyes to my excesses.

Next, I called Percy at home, to confirm that we were still "on" for the next morning. He seemed pleased to receive this confirmation-- so much so that he did not complain about the lateness of the hour. I smiled as I hung up the phone. The combination of liquor and sadistic mayhem had truly unleashed my diabolical creativity. I had a very clear and daring plan in mind-- God help us all. 

I checked in with Proofy and Gregor, who were busy pumping an odor-suppressing foam down into the elevator shaft that was-- so I believed at the time-- the final resting place of the noxious remnants of the insidious Doctor Almanac. Stymie had been put to bed earlier, and I spoke with Proofy about arrangements to return the lad safely to the bosom of his family once the current unpleasantness was settled.

Then I went up to my own bedchamber for a few hours' sleep, secure in the knowledge that I would soon bring this puzzling affair to a close-- or die in the attempt.

Either way, I wouldn't have to fret over it any longer...


Wednesday, November 5, 2014


What the reviewers have to say about THE JOURNAL OF BLOODY MARY JANE by Chuck Miller. Check it out-- just 99 cents!

5.0 out of 5 stars 
Like no other science fiction/fantasy writer today!
By N. Dewolfe

"Chuck Miller always serves up a wild ride! Enjoyed it immensely."

5.0 out of 5 stars Anxiously waiting for more
By Stephen P. Allen

"A great beginning. Can't wait for the next installment. Very good writing and story makes you crave more."


 Introductory Remarks by Mary Jane Gallows

Those who have read the first volume of the memoirs of the Black Centipede, the rather grandiosely-titled Creeping Dawn: The Rise of the Black Centipede, may think you know quite a bit about me. You do not. Nobody knows the secrets entombed in the yellowing pages of my journals-- not even my darling William, whom I have known in every conceivable sense of the word for almost 90 years now.

There was a time when I thought I wanted to be like you. I knew so little of myself at the beginning of my journey in 1892. I killed Lizzie's father and stepmother, just as she wanted me to. I couldn't be blamed for that. I was only doing what I was created to do.

Once that was accomplished, I took it into my head that I wanted to be human. I cannot imagine now why that seemed such an attractive prospect. We are foolish when we are young.

My father had gone by the time I completed my mission. I did not know that I would ever see him again, and I sensed that Lizzie would have no further truck with me. I was alone and thought myself free.

I thought I wanted what I thought everyone else had. I didn't know why I wanted this, any more than you do. And, like you, I didn't question it. Not for a very long time. It took years and years for the flesh of the illusory world to rot and drop away and reveal the bare bones of the lies that are the foundations of this world.

But back then, in 1892, I was not wise. I believed all manner of foolishness. I knew nothing of the portentous events taking place all over the globe, events in which I was already deeply involved. It would be many years before I met the one who would give my life shape and purpose and help me to learn the truth about myself. He would not be born for another 18 years, and it would be 17 more before we would come together for the first time.

I was alone and I feared that I would always be so.

But, really, in the end-- aren't we all?

Mary Jane Gallows
Black Kettle National Grassland, Oklahoma
April, 2014

 1.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a book of horrible, repulsive story
November 15, 2014

"Not enjoyable story. This is a book of horrible, repulsive story. Author has written excess amount of murder and blood. It can be causes of unwanted incidents. So, I suggest avoiding this book."


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pro Se Productions


Pro Se Productions, a publishing house based in Batesville, Arkansas, announced today plans for future projects and a more streamlined focus in its overall mission.

Established in 2010, Pro Se Productions entered into publishing focusing on a style of fiction that would come to be known by many as ‘New Pulp’.  Inspired by the usually fast paced, plot centric tales peopled with larger than life characters published in Pulp magazines of the early 20th Century, New Pulp as a style pays homage to classic Pulp, but also often brings a modern relevance as well as other aspects to new works.  Although not the first publisher focusing on New Pulp, Pro Se quickly established itself as a leader in the niche market that existed for stories of this type. 

Since its inception, Pro Se Productions has published over 150 individual titles, either in print, digitally, or both. Pro Se is known for publishing a variety of authors and artists, from previously unpublished creators to New York Times bestselling authors. The company has also established several different imprints, including author centered lines, an imprint focused on genre fiction for young readers, a nonfiction/academic imprint both studying New Pulp and offering facts and resource materials for fans and authors, and others.  One of Pro Se’s newest and strongest innovations has been the development of the Pro Se Single Shot and Pro Se Single Shot Signature lines, providing digital only short fiction – stand alone stories as well as series, serialized novels, and author focused imprints – for 99 cents each.

As a New Pulp publisher, Pro Se has thrown a wide net regarding the stories it accepts and publishes, carrying representatives of multiple genres in its catalog.  In doing this, Pro Se has become identified as a Publisher of Genre Fiction as well.

“Pro Se Productions,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se, “is most definitely a publisher of New Pulp.  The company is also considered a Genre Fiction publisher as well.  The two terms aren’t mutually exclusive.   The bottom line and Pro Se’s mission from here on out is really simple.  We intend to publish quality Genre Fiction, the best of the best, and a fair share of what we publish will be action adventure oriented, regardless of genre, and will appeal to not only New Pulp fans hopefully, but classic Pulp fans, heroic fiction fans, and overall just fans in general.”

“Pro Se,” continues Hancock, “intends to take the type of works we publish, both past and future, not only to the audience we know exists for them, but to new fans, to markets most New Pulp or general Genre Fiction publishers have yet to tap.  We’ll be focusing on genre specific markets for the books that fit in them, but we also intend to introduce fan bases that didn’t know they already enjoyed the sort of work that writers and artists who create for Pro Se produce.  The diversity Pro Se already has in our library is a good platform from which to grow.  And that won’t simply be done just because we want it to be.   In the coming months, Pro Se will be experimenting with different ways of packaging current and future works as well as innovations in distribution and promotion.  We’ve spent the last four years building a company that we are proud of.  Now it’s time to show as much of the world as possible why they should be, as readers, a part of what Pro Se is doing.”

One major area of focus for Pro Se in the immediate future is the Pro Se Single Shot and Single Shot Signature lines.  “The thing,” says Hancock, “about getting what a company publishes into the hands of as many fans as possible is that it has to be accessible and affordable.  The Pro Se digital singles most definitely qualify in both ways and also feature some of the best writers in Genre Fiction today. We’ve also structured the lines in such a way that, within the next two months, we will be making several announcements related to various ways to access the Single Shots, potentially at even a better price than currently.  Much like classic Pulp magazines of the past, the Pro Se Single Shot lines have the potential to be the gateway for new fans into Genre Fiction and perhaps the strongest arm of Pro Se in the future.”

Pro Se Productions is committing to an aggressive schedule in 2015 and beyond.  Known for publishing up to four books or more a month in the last 18 months, Pro Se has no plans to slow down. The company is no longer taking unsolicited submissions until January 1, 2016.  The purpose of this is to focus on the myriad of works already scheduled for 2015, a lineup that is impressive, to say the least.

“To list everything,” says Hancock, “would take pages and pages.  We will be transparent in coming months, making multiple announcements about projects and events.  Pro Se Productions is proud to say, though, that we will be bringing fans not only the best authors we already publish, but new names as well. Some they may recognize, such as John Lutz, Robert Randisi, and Richard Lee Byers, and others may be new to them, like Charlotte Knox, Raymond Masters, and Spencer Loeb.  H. David Blalock will have a collection of short stories published by Pro Se Productions.  Author Paul Bishop is developing a new series of crime fiction and Pro Se is proud to be the home for it.  Van Allen Plexico will also have a much stronger and welcome presence with Pro Se in 2015 and beyond.  New Pulp concepts, like Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon, will receive the academic treatment in our PulpStudies imprint.”

“Pro Se will also continue to bring the best of classic fiction back in new stories, something that we have been doing already in our Pulp Obscura imprint. Beginning in 2015, Pro Se will have a new imprint focused on bringing classic public domain characters back to life in new stories as well as continuing to do so through Pulp Obscura.  Pro Se will also continue to work with companies like Heroic Publishing and creators like Barry Reese and Gary Phillips and publish licensed works for them as well as others to be announced later.”

“Most assuredly,” guarantees Hancock, “we will also continue to bring you the best authors in Genre Fiction, as we have been doing for four years.  More work from Nancy Hansen, Logan L. Masterson, Kevin Rodgers, Lee Houston, Jr., and other Pro Se stalwarts is definitely on the way.  Put simply, Pro Se Productions will continue to produce the best fiction in multiple genres from quality creators possible.”

For more information on this article or Pro Se in general, email Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com.  Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.