What is your latest release and what genre is it? Astonishing Heroes: Shades of Justice. I’d say this collection of short stories is a mash-up of several genres – pulp, crime, adventure, sci-fi … even a bit of fantasy. In one compound word; super-heroes.
Quick description: Astonishing Heroes is a collection of 10 prose stories about meta humans, private eyes and vigilantes in the mold of ‘70s paperback series like the Baroness and the Destroyer. In its pages you’ll find the square-jawed and flawed heroes American Black, the Envoy, Ghost Wolf, Kidd Vee, Onyx Adams, the Reclaimer, the Silencer, Terror Flame and Victory Angel. They do battle against villains such as the Blonde Ghost, Stalin (yes, Stalin!), conniving one percenter gentrifiers and Dr. Knightgloss.
Bobby Nash, who has been featured on Reading Recommendations said of the collection, “Everything you’d expect from a Gary Phillips story collection — solid, kick-ass pulp.”
Weaned on the images of Kirby and Steranko in comic books, and Hammett and Serling in prose, Gary Phillips draws on his experiences ranging from teaching incarcerated youth, director of a shadowy political action committee to delivering dog cages in writing his tales of chicanery and malfeasance. He is the past president of the Mystery Writers of America Southern California chapter, and has won the Himes and Brody Awards for his fiction.
What are you working on now?
Hoping to sell a second story to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine; have a story in the upcoming Asian Pulp from Pro Se Productions; working on a revival in comics of a 1940s character, Lady Satan. She’ll be from indie outfit Emerald Star Comics, in the Velvet and Lazarus mold; working as well on my second Decimator Smith story, my 1930s era L.A. boxer turned public hero who first appeared in the Black Pulp Anthology I also co-edited. This will be for Black Pulp II, again from Pro Se.
Gary’s reading recommendation:
He hardly needs the publicity, what with winning the Pulitzer, but read Tom Reiss’ magnificent biography The Black Count. The book is about the real life adventures of Alexandre Dumas’ swashbuckling papa General Alex Dumas, the inspiration for his son’s characters. Slated to be a big budget movie but read the damn book, I tell ya.