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Tales of the Shadowmen 4: Lords of Terror Paperback – January 1, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
Book 4 of 9 in the Shadowmen Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Hollywood Comics (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934543020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934543023
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,707,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Black Coat Press once again presents us with an amazing new series of short stories in Tales of the Shadowmen 4. For those not familiar with this series, Tales presents new short stories using French pulp heroes adventuring with American fictional characters. The stories themselves are exciting, fast paced and present the reader with heroes they may not have experienced until this time. The stories that particularly impressed me were Matthew Baugh's "Captian Future and the Lunar Patrol", Win Scott Eckart's "The Atomos Affair", Micah Harris's "The Anti-Pope of Avignon", Rick Lai's "Corridors of Deceit", Jean-Marc Lofficier's "Madame Atomos' XMas" and John Peel's "Twenty Thousand Years Under the Sea". Don't miss this book!
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Format: Paperback
[a preliminary review until I finish it. read it a while ago.]

Tales of the Shadowmen v4 is the latest volume of this eclectic anthology series from Black Coat Press. It makes use of a concept of Philip Jose Farmer that has various fictional characters set in the same 'universe', thus able to met and interact. Don't make the assumption that all the stories are linked. They often are not. Most are standalone, can usually be read in any order.

What can be daunting is that this series uses characters of popular literary culture (mainly written, but sometimes film and tv), and not 'high brow' characters. And the characters are taken from American, British, French, and other countries, so often if you're not familiar with those characters, it can be confusing. OR, it could lead you to start reading the original stories of these characters, which BCP does (such as Fantomas, Nyctalop, the Black Coats, Belphegor, Judex, and many more).

The stories in this collection are:

Matthew Baugh: Captain Future and the Lunar Peril starring Captain Future, Eric John Stark, Northwest Smith, St. Menoux.
Bill Cunningham: Fool Me Once... starring Harry Dickson, Fascinax.
Win Scott Eckert: The Atomos Affair starring Madame Atomos, UNCLE.
Micah Harris: The Anti-Pope of Avignon starring Solomon Kane, Fausta.
Travis Hiltz: Three Men, A Martian and a Baby starring Dr. Omega and a surprise guest.
Rick Lai: Corridors of Deceit starring Josephine Balsamo, the Black Coats, Fantômas, Mabuse.
Roman Leary: The Evils Against Which We Strive starring Sâr Dubnotal, the Shadow.
Jean-Marc Lofficier: Madame Atomos' XMas starring Madame Atomos.
Randy Lofficier: The Reluctant Princess starring Doc Ardan.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tales of the Shadowmen is a series of anthologies where authors write science-fiction and fantasy stories based primarily on old public-domain French literary characters (the French equivalent of pulp heroes in most cases). That in itself isn't so bad; some of the old French adventure stories deserve to be read, and some are fun enough to deserve continuation. But some of the authors do pastiches on American characters; again, not a bad thing, but deserving of a little bit better attention.

I purchased this book specifically because it had in it a Captain Future (my all-time favorite SF hero) story. As it turned out, the author really mangled not only Cap and the Futuremen, but all of the other SF heroes that he pulled in for crossover action; it was truly bad writing, not to mention poorly-researched ahead of time. That left enough of a bad taste in the mouth that when I went to sample the other stories in the book, I was less willing to put up with what is, at best, fanzine-quality writing. (No, not even that; I'm friends with fanzine writers who write _much_ more professionally than do most of the contributors to this volume.) Some of the stories are so badly-written that I couldn't make myself finish them, and I'm usually able to put up with pretty bad craftsmanship if the story's interesting.

A couple or three of the stories weren't badly-written (Brian Stableford's offering stands out), but the well-written ones held no interest for me.

Another of the Shadowmen anthologies also came with this one, and the writing hadn't improved. I was truly disappointed in the quality of the writing; I love old pulps and pulp heroes, and wanted very much to enjoy the Shadowmen books. Alas that the quality just doesn't justify getting any more of them.
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