A little over a year ago I participated in a raffle to drum up funds for the KGB Fantastic Fiction program running locally here in NYC. Among many other items I won was a chance to be "tuckerized" by SF writer Lucius Shepard in a future work of his choosing.
For those not familiar with the term, Tuckerization refers to a writer using the names and/or likenesses of friends to populate his/her fiction. The term is attributed to sci-fi author Wilson Tucker, known for using the names of his close personal friends as minor characters in many of his works.
Lucius sent a funny e-mail shortly after the raffle explaining that he would base a secondary character on me to appear in his soon to be written novella, "Halloween Town." Earlier this year he confirmed that the piece would be appearing in the October issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine.
Well, that time is finally here!
Yup folks, you can find the novella and many other wonderful stories and related content in the current 60th anniversary double-issue (Oct/Nov) of F&SF on newsstands now. Or, barring news stands in your neck of the woods, you can find a copy in any store where magazines are usually sold. I know for a fact that Barnes & Noble carries several SF pulp books in their magazine section. Usually amidst the comics and word puzzles, along with mystery and romance pulps, too. So check there.
"Halloween Town" is a thoroughly engrossing tale. It's around 67 pages long and begins on p. 129. The character based on my likeness and named "David Batista" appears on p. 174. I'm a bit banged up and worse for wear when I show up. But I start kicking ass somewhere around p. 189. :) That's where, in a wonderfully lurid passage, Shepard describes me as battling mutant-like creatures called "lurruloo" armed with nothing but a billiards cue. LOL!
I don't want to give the whole story away, but I'll highlight this one bit:
". . . laying waste to the lurruloo as they landed . . .in his sleeveless t-shirt and shorts, Batista the Barbarian . . . [wielding] his Blue-Tipped Stick of Doom."
How damned AWESOME is that? I couldn't ask for a better scene! I wonder if Mr. Shepard knows of my love for all things Robert E. Howard?
As usual, Shepard's writing is slick and fun, with his characters sounding like real everyday people you might know. And I'm not just saying that because my alter-ego is now immortalized in his story.
Seriously, read the novella for yourself. It's tons of fun and, seeing as how the weather around here has turned decidedly Fall-like all of a sudden, has an appropriate Halloween'ish vibe going on.
Now if you excuse me, I have to wipe this big foolish grin off my face. I haven't given the story to Lisa to read, but I know she'll get a kick out of it.
My year has been made! Thank you, Lucius!!!