Wednesday, September 22, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 44

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

The Executioner #39: The New War
by Saul Wernick

The Executioner #39: The New WarAs I mentioned back on Day 7 of this series, I got into this series of men's action/adventure novels back in my early teens. The first thirty-eight novels were about U.S. military veteran Mack Bolan and his personal war against the mafia after his family was destroyed. Sound familiar? Maybe like the Marvel Comics character The Punisher. That's because The Punisher character was loosely based upon The Executioner, Mack Bolan.

I loved these books for all the fighting and military jargon, and for all the different guns used throughout the stories.

With this particular book, number thirty nine, the original author of the series, Don Pendleton, retired from writing about the exploits of Mack Bolan. The series now continued with new authors, usually a new one writing each new novel, and back then I seem to remember there was a new novel or two each month.

There was another major change with book thirty nine. Mack Bolan no longer only fought the mafia. Now he teamed up with some folks from the U.S. federal government to tackle terrorists, and no one could bring a fight to the enemy like Bolan.

For a young teen, it was all great fun. As I grew older, I felt the series began to grow thin. I like a good Dirty Harry quote as much as the next guy, but the machismo gets a little old after a couple of hundred pages of it.

What this particular book showed me was that a series, and even the characters within that series, could continued without the original writer. Not only that, but that new writers could bring a fresh approach to old characters and old story lines.

I'm not one much for collaborating with other writers, nor for turning over my characters to others, but it's nice to see that in can work and work well. Maybe I'll give it a try some day.

Up next: Atlas Shrugged

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