Greetings, my scaly Dino-friends!
Apologies for the radio silence for the past few months. There simply hasn't been much to report -- fiction development can be like that. The authors who are slated to craft up some words have been doing exactly that. Synposes are getting written; drafts are getting drafted; revisions revised; all that stuff!
This past week, something showed up in my inbox. A full draft, ready for initial review. It was King Khan, from Harry Connolly. (Given the time-shenanigans kicked off by the psychosaurs in Dinocalypse Now, it only figures that we'd get the latest novel in our timeline first, huh?) We've sent him some early notes on this draft, and have put Harry together with editor (and fellow Dinocalypse backer) J.R. Blackwell to start the polishing phase for the novel.
Now, folks, I should tell you from my experience getting fiction from Harry Connolly before -- he contributed a story to our Don't Read This Book anthology -- that he's a speed demon when it comes to getting this stuff written. Harry actually apologized for "taking so long" when he turned in his short story for that book -- despite being the one of the first to turn one in. So don't go expecting that all of our novels will come together quite so fast! (Not everyone was available to start as quickly as Harry was, too.)
At any rate, once we get King Khan edited and laid out, our backers will get a chance to read the novel likely well before we print it and release it to the rest of the world -- from a sales perspective, we think this one will do better with more of the other novels in release as well, given its position in the timeline (covered in our last update).
King Khan is going to be nuts: Professor Khan stumbles into a reality-bending mystery in 1930's Los Angeles, encountering corrupt cops, the walking dead, stars of the silver screen, mad-science gadgetry, and Hollywood producers, and... and... well, why keep listing things when we can just show you?
Here's your exclusive excerpt from the upcoming King Khan!
The blast wave was hot and raw, tearing through their clothes and scraping their skin with hard-blown dust. The others fell hard against the fence, but no one struck as powerfully as Khan did. Wood splintered. The fence bowed backward. Their ears rang.
For a second, Khan thought he'd been struck blind and deaf, but then the dust began to settle over him and he could hear Sylvia and Bertie's choking coughs at the same time as the air cleared enough to see them. They looked dazed--no surprise there, he felt a little wobbly himself--but otherwise unhurt. The wooden fence had bowed over, cushioning their flying bodies.
Jorje pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and pressed it over Sylvia's mouth and nose. She accepted it gratefully, and he looked back toward the source of the explosion. Khan struggled to his feet as well.
They were dressed in torn rags--the force of the explosion had ruined their clothes. Jorje's expression betrayed a moment of grief, but only a moment.
The light above the back door of the club house flickered unevenly. The explosion had damaged it but hadn't destroyed it.
Surely a blast that powerful would be enough to destroy a desiccated corpse?
But no. When the air cleared, they saw The Princess stalking toward them. The slender white feathers of her headdress remained intact. She wasn't even dusty.
The other zoot-suited gangsters had long since fled into the darkness of the orchard, but the Princess ignored them. She stalked toward Khan and the others. Whatever she was searching for, one of them had it.
"You must flee," Jorje said. "I thank you, Señor Simio, for saving my life after I treated you as an enemy. Still, it is clear. This dead thing has come to kill me, and you must be far away when it happens."
Then he turned away from them and clenched his fists, preparing for a fight he knew he could not win.
Just then, a figure darted by them, coming from atop the fence of the alley. The man sprinted toward the mummy, leapt high into the air, then landed on her shoulders.
His legs locked around and his momentum carried them both backwards. He landed on his hands, pulling the Princess off her feet and hurling her back several feet.
As she sprawled in the dirt, the man neatly rolled over onto one knee, his head bowed and his arms spread wide as though apologizing for offending royalty. He wore an impeccable charcoal grey suit with a navy tie, and his whole head was covered with a bright blue mask. He pleaded in a language unlike anything Khan had ever heard before.
The Professor scratched at his chin. A masked man. Of course. If there was one thing this adventure lacked, it was a masked man.