Van Allen Plexico has twice been nominated for "Pulp Writer of the Year" and his character "John Blackthorn" won "Best New Character" at PulpArk 2012. Praised by Kirkus Reviews, he is best known for his popular SENTINELS novels (Swarm/Permuted Press), pushing New Pulp into the contemporary superhero and space opera genres, for the critically acclaimed SF novels LUCIAN: DARK GOD'S HOMECOMING (Airship 27 Productions) and HAWK, as well as for the ASSEMBLED! books (White Rocket Books), exploring the history of Marvel's AVENGERS comics.
Anthologies he created (or co-created) and edited include BLACKTHORN: THUNDER ON MARS, GIDEON CAIN: DEMON HUNTER, and MARS McCOY: SPACE RANGER . He has also contributed stories and novellas to books from Airship 27, Pro Se Press, New Babel Books, Adamant Entertainment, and others, as well as contributing to publications from Rittenhouse Archives and Maple Street Press. He writes occasional columns for RevolutionSF.com and TheWarEagleReader.com, and is a founding editor of the "All-Pulp" news site.
His books have been incorporated into reading programs for young people in libraries in several states. He lives in Illinois and serves as an Associate Professor at Southwestern Illinois College.
Van Allen Plexico seems determined to create a new sub-genre of adventure fiction I like to call tekno-pulp. The link between the roots of American pulps and comics books are so intertwined, it would take a Solomon to untangle them. At the height of their popularity in the late 20s and early 30s, hero pulps were the main course for imagination starved kids in this country. They feasted on tales the Shadow, Doc Savage and the Spider with unabashed relish, and then they grew up to create their own heroes; Sueprman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, etc.etc. And thus as the pulps died out, at the end of World War II, the superhero comics easily stepped in and took their place in the hearts and minds of the new post-war generations.
Over the subsequent decades, many writers have made cursory attempts to bring the excitement and wonder of super-hero sagas into the prose field. Few have had limited success. Which is why this series by an avowed comic-book lover, is finally breaching that gap between the two formats and doing it brilliantly. Plexico, inspired completely by the Marvel and DC books he read as a child in the 70s, has invented his own super-hero team, the Sentinels, and they are clearly his homage to those comics. But with a truly wonderful difference in his understanding of prose and the potential it offers to dig deeper into the psyches of his spandex-wearing characters. His gift of storytelling is razor sharp and he captures the reader's interest from the first chapter to the last, never allowing the action to flag once.
SENTINELS - The Shiva Advent is Plexico's fourth book in this series, taking up where he left off with his first Warlord Trilogy.Read more ›
The Sentinels are back in a brand new adventure that could place the existence of the entire galaxy at stake! Plexico succeeds once again at capturing in prose the vibe and spirit of the best superhero team comics. Fans of the previous books in this series should not hesitate to pick up this one.
The main thing I took away from this book was its pace. It reads very quickly. There's just a constant sense of forward momentum to the whole book, and when you couple that with interesting characters it makes it very difficult for the reader to put the book down.
Plexico returns enough characters and conepts to put returning readers on familiar ground, but introduces enough new ones to still lend the book a sense of mystery. Yet, he reveals enough to satisfy a sense of discovery. And, all the while, he's just setting up the next book. A tricky balancing act that he pulls off very well.