Tag: Clive Cussler

Reading Round Up & Crossover Universes

This week’s reading includes the following:

  1. John Dickson Carr’s Doorway to Doom

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This one I found a few years back at the local library on the shelf of books they were shuffling off into oblivion by selling for a buck or two. The one I picked up had no cover sleeve and looks precisely like the book on the right of this photograph–except mine has the added character of being a bit more battered.

This is another one of those books that looked intriguing and I gambled a couple of dollars on it. It’s a collection of detective tales–usually of the locked door variety where no one can possibly have gotten in our out (or so it appears)–and also includes a number of radio scripts.

John Dickson Carr has a wonderful grasp of evocative language and though one or two of the stories fell flat for me, I found myself imminently entertained by the rest. All of these stories have weird elements. Often times these weird elements are explained away by the end of the story, but in some cases they are not!

I found I enjoyed the radio scripts just much as the short stories.

2. The Solomon Curse by Clive Cussler

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Treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo discover underwater temples that have been swallowed up by the ocean on the coasts of the Solomon Islands and at the same time they got tangled in a coup attempt to overthrow the local government.

Bonus Weird Plot Element: Cannibalistic Giants!

3.  Dillon and the Prophecy of Fire (Chapters 1-3) by Derrick Ferguson

This story is currently only available via Patreon , where patrons of the arts can choose to give financial support to creators of their choice. For $1 a month you get a chapter of Dillon and the Prophecy of Fire.

Here we find Dillon hosting tech-whiz Wyatt Hyatt, professional thief Reynard Hansen, and the lovely Professor Ursula at his secret home, even while sinister forces marshall against him.

As usual, Ferguson assembles a colorful cast of characters in a highly entertaining story.

Bonus Crossover Content in Chapter Three: Wyatt Hyatt uses the Clip Pad computer device that he developed, which is first mentioned in Dire Planet, and Dillon wears a Gantlet Brothers: Black Intelligence tour t-shirt. Both of these crossovers were a complete surprise to me.

 

What I’m Reading: Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler

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It’s highly possible that this book was more an effort by collaborator Grant Blackwood than Clive Cussler but, by design, its very much written in the vein and style that Cussler made famous with his Dirk Pitt books.

This is the first of a series of books featuring husband and wife treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo. Though I certainly enjoyed the book, there were times when I felt that Sam Fargo might have been interchangeable with Dire Pitt (if he were the marrying sort).

There were a number of lines where I thought the author could have swapped Sam’s name for Dirk Pitt’s name, because the quips coming out of Sam’s mouth sounded very much like what Pitt would say.

Perhaps, to be so adventurous one must be cut out of a very similar mold and might speak similarly. However, to differentiate Sam from Pitt the author does play up the aspect of Sam Fargo being an engineer and he uses this know-how to engineer a trap and an escape or two. This does help draw a distinction between the two characters, along with Sam being in a monogamous marital relationship.

When I first read one of Cussler’s other non-Dirk-Pitt series, featuring Kurt Austin (again cut from a similar mold to Dirk Pitt), I wasn’t completely sold. However, Kurt Austin gradually grew on me and I found I enjoyed those books just as much as the Pitt books.

The Kurt Austin books often feature the recurring characters of another husband and wife team: Marine Biologist Gamay Trout and her husband, the bow-tie wearing Paul Trout. At the moment, Paul and Gamay still stand as my favorite Cussler-related  husband and wife team–but I will be checking out the further adventures of Sam and Remi.

P.S. In an honored pulp tradition, Sam and Remi Fargo are fabulously rich–which greatly facilitates their ability to jet around the world searching for lost treasures. However, I somehow managed to miss how they had gained their wealth. Perhaps it was an inheritance, a brilliant invention or just the fact they are so good at finding ancient treasures. If anybody knows, please comment below!

-Joel Jenkins
Author of Weird Action & Adventure Fiction