Monday, January 27, 2014
Flying Freebooters: A new Adventure collection by FREDERICK NEBEL
I’ve been waiting thirty years to read some of Frederick Nebel‘s air adventure fiction. And guess what? It was worth the wait.
In the first five years of his pulp writing career, Nebel sold dozens of air adventure tales, most to Air Stories and Wings. Several of those tales were full length novels, novels that were lost to the ages - until now.
Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books has collected two of those full length novels and one novella-length story in this first-ever collection of Nebel’s air fiction. This book focuses on Ben Cowan and Luke Lance, flying investigators for the Straights Agency, an outfit famous for shooting trouble all over the far East.
Here are a few words from the introduction by Evan Lewis (hey, that’s me!):
At the time the stories in Flying Freebooters originally appeared, between March 1930 and January 1931, Nebel’s pulp career was on the upswing. His best markets were Air Stories, Action Stories, North-West Stories and the magazine where he would leave his greatest mark, Black Mask.
After a dozen warm-up appearances in Mask, Nebel brought out the big guns in September 1928, with the introduction of MacBride and Kennedy.
“The Isle of Lost Men,” “Flying Freebooters” and “Fighting Wings” came flying out of Nebel’s typewriter concurrently with several of those MacBride and Kennedy stories, and deliver the same brand of slam-bang action and crackling dialogue.
The rest of that introduction, titled “Nebel on Writing,” collects almost everything I could find pertaining to the author’s thoughts on the craft and business of writing. There’s some insightful (and funny!) stuff here, a rare look behind the mask of this master pulp writer. And most of it is in Nebel's own words, so you know it's good.
Flying Freebooters is available right now, and you’ll find it HERE.
Two more volumes of Nebel’s air adventures, Sky Blazers and Wolves of the Wind, will be coming soon, but in the meantime I suggest you pick up Black Dog’s collection of earth-bound adventures, Empire of the Devil, available HERE.