All posts by Bob Greenberger

It was 10 Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, Mike Friedman had to pee.

One of the three charity roasts, organized by David Mack. A day later, the idea for Crazy 8 Press was launched and everyone depicted here (from left: Mike Friedman, Bob Greenberger, David Mack, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Dayton Ward) has contributed to at least one release in the past decade,

While he was taking care of business, a gaggle of authors at Shore Leave, the premiere fan-run con in America, were lamenting the idiocy of publishers letting marketing people drive editorial purchases. As a result, ideas that got us excited were being met with, “we can’t pigeonhole that so can’t sell it”.

We were watching other authors begin to self-publish, with more than a few forming their own consortiums. By the time Mike came out of the men’s room, we buttonholed him, since he started this thread of thinking earlier. Before we knew it, a group was forming.

From left: Glenn Hauman, Howard Weinstein, Peter David, Mike Friedman, Aaron Rosenberg, and Bob Greenberger introduce the world to Crazy 8 Press during our debut panel.

A year later, Crazy 8 Press made its triumphant debut at Shore Leave, with the authors publicly writing a round-robin novella that was our first release. Demon Circle was published at the beginning of fall 2011 and we have been going at it ever since.

We started with Mike, Aaron Rosenberg, Peter David, Howard Weinstein, Glenn Hauman, and Robert Greenberger. Others, who were part of the initial planning, bowed out, but we still called ourselves Crazy 8, because, why not? Soon after, Paul Kupperberg joined the band and a few years later, we welcomed in Russ Colchamiro. Two years back, we invited Mary Fan to the asylum. Kathleen O’Shea David and Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg both took turns trying to help our social marketing and wrangling the eight author cats. Silly them. But, both were welcomed to the party and each has contributed to several of our anthologies. Continue reading

Crazy 8 Press to Release ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season One

March 16, 2020 – Crazy 8 Press announced today it has agreed to release ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season One, Jim Beard’s celebration of the 1966 classic Batman television series. This new collection of essays creatively examines each episode of the ABC series which aired during the first half of 1966.

Edited by respected comic book writer and essayist Jim Beard, the 208-page Bat-tastic collection will be released by Crazy 8 in April, both as a trade paperback and eBook.

“There’s still so much to say about this legendary TV series, and this book sets out to prove it,” said Beard, who also wrote the opening essay examining the two-part pilot episode.

The worldwide Batman TV series phenomenon starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, adapting the DC Comics series to the small screen, riding the Pop Art and Camp craze that were trends during the turbulent 1960s. The show spawned a feature film and a bonanza of merchandising the likes of which had never been seen before. Thanks to syndication, the show has rarely been off the air and in the last decade has spawned a fresh wave of merchandising. Continue reading

Introducing Thrilling Adventure Yarns

I’ve often spoken of discovering comics when my mother gave me an issue of Superman (or maybe Action) when I was six. In short order, I began devouring larger-than-life heroes in earnest. Thankfully, DC and Marvel were able to keep up with my growing appetite and it wasn’t long before my father convinced me to add actual books to the diet.

By the time I got to summer camp, I was 10 or so, and had been told of these earlier heroes – Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Conan among them – who lived in dime magazines called the pulps. Somewhere along the way, I began buying Lancer’s set of Robert E, Howard’s adventures, fronted with those gorgeous Frank Frazetta covers. Soon after, Pyramid began releasing reprints of Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow (with those great Jim Steranko covers).

A local radio station ran a different old time radio drama at 7 p.m. on weeknights and X Minus One Saturday nights. I got to thrill to the exploits of The Shadow, the Lone Ranger, and other series.

Ever since, the pulps have been a part of my life. When we were brainstorming ideas for Crazy 8 Press anthologies, I hit on the idea of honoring those stories much as the Michael Chabon-edited book, McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, did some years back. Continue reading

Russ Colchamiro talks Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition

Nearly a decade after making his debut, author and Crazy 8 Press member Russ Colchamiro has gone back to the beginning with a new and updated version of his first novel, the wild scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers.

Crazy 8 Press: Finders Keepers is one of the novels you are most known for. What inspired you to issue The Definitive Edition?

Russ Colchamiro: Haha fair enough! When I first published Finders Keepers back in 2010, it was intended to be a stand-alone tale of cosmic lunacy in the vein of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, with a complete, self-contained story I very much wanted to tell—and in the way that I wanted to tell it.

But when I expanded the adventures into a three-book series, which include the sequels Genius de Milo and Astropalooza, I wanted the first book to more closely match the tone, pacing, length, and style of books two and three, so the entire series feels more cohesive.

C8P: Makes sense! What’s different about the new version? Continue reading

Russ Colchamiro Writes of Thieves in Night – Tales of the Crimson Keep

Talk about a long time coming.

More than 25 years ago, while I was still in college, I had an idea for a story of some kind: two thieves who, by happenstance, happen to rob the same house at the same time.

It was an amusing scenario, and I had a few of the details filled in, but I didn’t have a full blown story I wanted to tell. It needed a hook. I didn’t have one.

The story was never far from my thoughts — I knew I wanted to do something with it — but there it lived, furtively, quietly, in a drawer, and lingering like an ancient mist in the back of my mind.

Enter Crazy 8 Press.

Enter Tales of the Crimson Keep.

The Keep has wizards and ghouls. Magic and spells. Secrets. And, of course, the Keep itself.

In a flash the story that had been percolating for all those years finally had an elixir. I was able to conjure the tale. The hook was provided for me.

And so I bring you “Thief in the Night”.

The core is still there, two thieves with the same target. But this tale being part of an anthology filled with magic, demons… and danger… their night of burglary in no way ends the way either of them had in mind.

But that’s the thing about being a thief. No matter how much you plan and plot, you aren’t the only thing that goes bump in the night.

Enjoy.

Tales of the Crimson Keep the Newly Renovated edition will be out later this month.

Bob Greenberger tests the limits of life in Tales of the Crimson Keep

I don’t consider myself a funny writer. I can’t dash off humor with the ease that my pal Peter David does. I know better than to even try.

As a result, “Assessment”, my contribution may be the most serious offering found in Tales of the Crimson Keep.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Since I am teaching these days, it occurred to me that we had not done anything that tested the students’ skills. I decided to take love-struck and somewhat awkward Athis and the more self-possessed Klaria and pair them up, strip them of their magical skills, and see what happened.

They had to go on a quest, which allowed me to expand the world of the Master. We knew there were Demon Wars and other sorcerers, but what else was there? I do enjoy the worldbuilding aspects of a story so that was a highlight.

I also had to ensure they each had a chance to shine on their own while working in tandem, which also allowed me to address their relationship as allies and maybe friends. This also meant getting them to be intimate with one another, to trust one another, without a sexual component. I was reminded of the training Steve Austin and his female OSO partner had to do in Cyborg, which meant extracting water from their urine (ewww).

Does it work within the more amusing context of the anthology? I hope so considering it’s the longest solo effort in the book. By all means, find out for yourself and let us know with a review at Goodreads, Amazon, or anywhere else.

Tales of the Crimson Keep , the newly renovated edition, goes on sale in August.