A Killer Serial

Serials defined my childhood.

I have George Lucas to thank for that: his love of classic movie serials led him to create Star Wars and Indiana Jones, two series that molded my fiction sensibilities, locking me in to a love of the classic serial style long before I even knew there was such a thing.

So when David Cranmer, crack editor of Beat to a Pulp (and kick-ass author in his own right) dropped me a line to ask if I'd be interested in contributing the first chapter in a serial he was cooking up, I didn't even have to hear his pitch. I was in.

Lucky for me, then, his pitch was awesome. A rough-and-tumble time cop named Simon Rip, who along with his enigmatic partner, Ludwig, is tasked with hunting rogue genius Dr. Berlin across time. David's plan was to recruit writers from a wide spectrum of genres—pulp practitioners all—and just let 'em loose. I mean, who wouldn't want to play in that sandbox? A schlocky sci-fi premise. Larger than life characters. Limitless possibilities. One day, Rip might find himself the unwitting star of a Western. The next, an old-school mob tale. Sword and sandal? Sure! Victorian Gothic? Why the hell not?

David called his serial A Rip Through Time, and I was lucky enough to kick it off. My installment, titled "The Dame, The Doctor, and the Device," is a rollicking adventure that kicks off in the 24th century, takes a little jaunt into prehistory, and then winds up with a good, old-fashioned Prohibition-era gunfight. And oh yeah, ends on a big fat cliffhanger. (It is a serial, after all.)

Who takes the reins for chapter two? I'm not telling. I will say this, though: I'm crazy psyched to see where the story goes from here. Rip's exploits will appear at Beat to a Pulp in serial form, followed by an e-book when the whole shebang draws to a close. More details as I have 'em.