“The Case of the Missing Alien Baby Mama” is my fourth outing with Leo Persky, “a solid five foot seven, one hundred and forty-two pounds of average, complete with glasses, too much nose, not enough chin, and a spreading bald spot that I swear isn’t the reason I always wear a hat.”
Leo was born in 2008, when I was invited to contribute a short story to an anthology published by Moonstone Books. I’d dabbled in horror before, but in that broody-meant-to-chilling kind of way, so I wanted to do something a little different this time around. That I had been, up until several months earlier, a writer for and executive editor of the fake news humor tabloid Weekly World News probably had a lot to do with my decision to take a little tongue-in-cheek poke at the conventions of the form.
So Leo Perksy, under the penname of Terrance Strange and a picture of his much more photogenic grandfather, is an investigative reporter for WWN. In Leo’s world, everything the News prints, from ghost stories to interviews with alien visitors is the one hundred percent, fact-checked and verified truth. And to say that Leo views his world through jaundiced eyes would be an understatement; Leo is a proud, self-proclaimed snarky asshole because, well, everybody always tells me I should write what I know.
Two more Leo stories followed “Man Bites Dog,” “Vodka Martini, Straight Up, Hold the Jinn” (2012) and “Shunning the Frumious Bandersnatch” (2014), both for horror anthologies.* Then, in 2016 came Russ Colchamiro’s call for stories for the Love, Murder, and Mayhem anthology we’re doing through Crazy 8 Press. Russ had only one rule: “Each story within the SciFi realm must contain at least one component of love or romance, and at least one murder. Mayhem always welcome.”
Funny he should say that, because after finishing “Shunning the Frumious Bandersnatch,” I realized that all three of Leo’s stories had supernatural elements—vampires, genies, and Atlantean magic—and I hoped that in the next outing, I could do something with those other staples of WWN headlines, alien visitations and interspecies progeny, especially human/alien hybrid babies. Within twenty-four hours of Russ’s email invite, we had an approved pitch for “The Case of the Missing Alien Baby Mama.”
And now that alien baby is about to be born, an adorable little tale complete with the requisite love and murder, as well as its fair share of mayhem. As just one of the parents of this beautiful, bouncing newborn book, I couldn’t be prouder.
Love, Murder & Mayhem from Crazy 8 Press will be on sale both in print and digital formats in July. Stay tuned for updates!
*The previous Leo stories are collected in one handy, dandy Crazy 8 Press volume, In My Shorts: Hitler’s Bellhop and Other Stories.
(By the way, if you’re unfamiliar with the “real” Weekly World News or want to revisit that funny old friend, you’ll find an archive of back issues online.
You can follow Paul at PaulKupperberg.com and on Facebook and Twitter. He is a member of Crazy 8 Press.