This Mutant Life is a neo-pulp anthology available in paperback and ebook format. Just what is neo-pulp you might ask? (I did.) The short answer is that it’s a successor to the original pulp fiction of the 20s and 30s, amped up with superheroes or other modern flourishes. Funny story—I Googled “What is neo-pulp” when I was reading the anthology’s submission guidelines. I came to this page, which prominently featured the cover for Devil’s Cape. So I guess I’ve got that covered!
Edited by my old Aussie gaming compadre, Ben Langdon (a damn fine writer), This Mutant Life is a crackling “collection of of 21 stories where the ordinary world is well and truly gatecrashed by the extraordinary. There are tales of flying boys and miniature girls; dark creatures beneath the waves; scientists losing their mind; and heroes trying their hardest to make the world a better place.”
It also features “Raiden’s River,” a new Devil’s Cape story featuring the mysterious fortune teller Jazz.
Fun fact: Three of the story contributors, including Ben, are old gaming pals of mine whose names made it into Devil’s Cape in one form or another—look for references to Langdon Fork, Louisiana; Lockheardt Street; and Ma’s Spectacular Amusements.
READ MORE ABOUT THIS MUTANT LIFE
And here’s an excerpt from “Raiden’s River”:
I shake my head. “You can fly and shoot lightning. You’re teammates with a dinosaur man and a girl who can lift a tank over her head. And yet when you come in here to have your fortune read, you’re surprised to find out I can actually do it?”
I jab a finger at him. “You need to leave and leave now. This ain’t Vanguard City, boo. Heroes die in Devil’s Cape. You hear of the Gray Fog? Our last superhero. Strung up from a tree. Out-of-towners, too. The Omega? I can show you a crack in the cement down by City Hall that’s all that’s left of him.”
“There are half a dozen organized crime groups in this city that I know about,” I say. “The Kalodimos crime family. The Pang Hui tong. Gangs like the Hombres Asesinos or the Concrete Executioners.” I swallow. I know more than I want to about the Concrete Executioners. “Hell, the Devil’s Cape Police Department, if you don’t want to put too fine a point on it.” I look past him through a window as if expecting to spot an assault team poised to take him down. I see nothing but darkness. “Nobody would be happy to see you in this city. No one would think twice about killing me in the process of getting to you.”
Now go buy the book already!