This sci-fi smorgasbord serves up 9 retro tales inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1920s - 1940s. It drops you into the deco chiseled cities of alternate Americana, airlifts you to exotic locales, then rockets you to the farthest reaches of yesterday's tomorrows!
Witness the otherworldly genesis of Wild Marjoram in a Chicagoland speakeasy as the violence of the all-female Killdeer Gang reaches vigilante-inspired fever pitch in "The Birth."
Flying taxis fight for space over New York as Johnny Grant, Private Eye, sifts streets rife with murder and corruption in "The Maltese Spectrum."
It's class-warfare in Citadel City as Pandora Driver and her Car of Tomorrow cruise the shadowy streets in search of one good cop in "Ready Fire Aim."
Resources dwindle as aqua farming Region 5 Spaceport Terminus pushes maximum population density, and the balance between man and machine collapses in "Bloom."
The fractured politics of the fractured 1920s Aether Age leaves a sheriff struggling to find the truth in "The More Things Change."
Would Ace Rango rather be locked in battle with snarling space lizards or a temperamental, little girl when "Bedtime Stories are Boring?"
World War II drags on into 1958 as one Australian airship officer seeks safe harbor before the lights go out during "Darkness Eternal: Over the South China Sea."
In Fascist ruled skies over prohibition-era America, a rogue pilot risks all to bring down a gang of rocket pack raiders with "The Rocket Molly Syndicate."
Captain Tony Lagarto's flying boat is hijacked by a lunatic Vinlander demanding transport to a place that doesn't exist in "Storming Shangri-La."
Retro adventure awaits fans of dieselpunk, sci-fi, ray-gun gothic, and pulp magazines. Download if you dare!
Excerpt from DARKNESS ETERNAL, OVER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, by Russell Secord:
Three thousand feet above the South China Sea, surrounded by the hum of Her Majesty's Australian airship Inverness, Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Mayfair thought about the end of the world.
She looked at the headline again: China Still A Threat!! The Sydney Morning Herald sold papers with headlines like this one, even if the stories and the reality didn't support them. The Inverness and her sister ships patrolled the waters between southern China and Indonesia, but Mayfair had never seen a Chinese fighting ship or fired a live shell. In fact, she'd never had a more dangerous mission than to drop onto a fishing boat and help fix their engine. In the midst of the greatest conflict in human history, she had very little to do.
Not that she wanted to see combat. She had aspirations beyond becoming a footnote in a casualty report: Inverness Lost At Sea With All Hands!! She'd done well in student government. She wanted her own headline: PM Mayfair Signs Peace Treaty!! Her mother couldn't get her a deferment, though, so into the draft she went.
Nobody called it “World War Two” any more, mostly just “the war.” Some called it “the Dark War.” Australia itself had avoided the worst of the fighting, but too many men had gone to their deaths in faraway places. Her own father had died in some trackless pasture in western Russia. What had the world already lost, in skills, in memories, in the simple humanity of talking and feeling and touching? How much more could the world stand to lose?
Women had taken over the fighting, and they'd have to handle the rebuilding as well. Around the world, cities and peoples lay in ruins, some beyond recovery. Plenty of opportunity awaited someone with a good nose for advancement and a little luck. Someone like Elizabeth Mayfair.
Until then she felt like a sailor in the doldrums, far from port and unable to move. One good breeze and she could get her life going again. The direction didn't matter.
She looked around the bridge, her “office.” Every sharp corner had a cushion, in case of turbulence. The aluminium girders looked like cobwebs. To save weight, every metal surface had gaps and holes built into it, leaving it structurally sound, but only barely.
She shook her head, tucked a stray blonde curl under her cap, and made her regular scan of the instruments. Radar: only a few clouds. Airspeed indicator: twenty-five knots. Compass: heading south-southwest. Fuel consumption: forty gallons per hour. Chronometer: 0945 hours. Danger on an airship could come quickly, but it could also come slowly, so slowly that you might never notice it. Stray off your heading by a hair's breadth and you could end up in the midst of a storm... or in the midst of an enemy fleet. At best you had to take a crosswind leg to reach your destination.
A faint pressure on her eardrums told her the door to the bridge had opened. She turned, recognized her captain, and shot to her feet with a salute.
“At ease, Liza,” said Captain Stephanie Williams. She wore the same red lethyrene uniform as the rest of the crew, with slacks, jacket, and cap. Try as they might, the crew had never found anything that left a stain or a wrinkle in lethyrene.