Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Books You Haven't Read But Should: Weird Heroes


Weird Heroes, "New American Pulp", was a series of novels and anthologies produced by Byron Preiss in the 1970s that dealt with new heroic characters inspired by the classic pulp magazine characters. And like the pulps, the series was also heavy on art, having many well-known artists illustrate the stories.

The series was 'packaged' by Byron Preiss Visual Productions and was published by Pyramid/Jove/HBJ. Four of the books are anthologies, four are novels. During the same time, Preiss was also produced the Fiction Illustrated series with the same publisher.

Unfortunately, most of the characters where never seen after the demise of WH. Preiss did write one novel about his character Guts, and planned a second. This was published by Ace Books, maybe as part of a 'revival' of the concept as single novels. Tor Books reprinted Philip José Farmer's Greatheart Silver stories in a single volume with new art and Reaves's character Kamus appeared in 2 books by other publishers. A lot of these characters had potential and it is unfortunate they did not continue. Most of the authors hoped to write more about these characters. Ron Goulart's "Quest of the Gypsy" was meant to be a series of novels, the first lasting 3-4 novels, but we have only seen two.

Recently, the first volume was reprinted by iBooks, but no word if further books will be reprinted as iBooks has gone bankrupt following Preiss's death.

  • Weird Heroes #7: Quest of the Gypsy: Eye of the Vulture (Ron Goulart)
  • Weird Heroes #8
    • Seward: The Deep Fix Michael Moorcock
    • Kamus: The Big Spell J. Michael Reaves
    • Orion 2: Flood Tide (Ben Bova)
    • Kamus 2: The Maltese Vulcan (Reaves)
    • Robeson: The Grant-Robeson Papers "Savage Shadow" (Maxwell Grant [Farmer])

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