Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Wild Hunt!
In the rich and vivid anthology titled Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, Win Scott Eckert's story "The Wild Huntsman" tells of a most mysterious exceedingly old man who shows up from across dimensions to see to it that time follows its pre-determined course, or perhaps not. This one goes to the core of the Wold Newton concept.
It's an exceedingly well written tale which re-introduces John Gribardson, Philip Jose Farmer's hero of Time's Last Gift, who is really it turns out supposed to be a certain rather famous Lord of the Jungle. The Huntsman himself might be someone else all together, perhaps even an All-Father figure.
The next story, also a sequel of sorts to Farmer's The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, continues the Wild Hunt saga in a manner of speaking in "The Adventure of the Fallen Stone" written by Eckert for the Moonstone anthology The Sherlock Holmes Crossover Casebook. In this one an aged Holmes and Watson must once again confront their arch-nemesis Von Bork, or maybe not. The aged man who once upon a time might have been Woden himself appears in what becomes a seemingly never ending quest for true immortality. It's a fun story with a neat twist.
In Moonstone's The Avenger Chronicles a story by Eckert titled "Death and the Countess" begins a curious trilogy of Avenger stories in which the machinations of this same ancient villain plays a part in the murderous plans of a lethal femme fatale called The Countess, though he is only named and remains behind the scenes in this first installment.
In The Avenger - The Justice Files, Inc. the villain calling himself Walden now makes an appearance Eckert's "Happy Death Men" and his previous plots become connected. In a wild yarn about murderous neo-zombies that pits Richard Benson, The Avenger and Ellen Patrick, The Domino Lady together against a revived and strangely altered Countess and the ancient enemy, there's a hint that Benson himself might be connected in ways perhaps even he doesn't understand to his persistent foe.
That idea is picked up again in "According to Plan of a One-Eyed Trickster" by Eckert in the third Avenger anthology The Avenger - Roaring Heart of the Crucible. The secret of the Countess is revealed and as it turns out calls back to a vintage Farmer story about Raffles in the Tales of the Wold Newton Universe anthology where all this started. We learn more about Waldman and perhaps about Richard Benson himself as he and the Domino Lady team up again.
The next installment in this lugubrious saga is scheduled for the upcoming Win Scott Eckert and Matthew Baugh novel A Girl and Her Cat from Moonstone featuring Honey West. I'll have to get hold of that volume and check it out.
I hesitate to say to much so as not to spoil, but I hope I've keened interest in thes Wold Newton stories. The ongoing complexity of a good Wold Newton story when it plays mostly fair can be fascinating and fun as you look for clues which point to other pop culture characters. But it's the story of the Wild Huntsman which it turns out might the spine which threads the elaborate saga together, and as you can see finding all the elements of that saga can be a rather wild hunt all its own.