Finnegan moved more quickly than the Dutchman expected. Glasses flew as he flipped the table into the air, knocking Huysman’s gun hand up so his shot went harmlessly through the palm thatch. The tabletop slammed into Huysman’s chest, driving the wind out of him. He could do nothing but gasp for breath as Finnegan took his gun.
Mike Finnegan appears in the story “Against the Air Pirates” by Graeme Davis, published in The New Hero Volume 1.
Mike Finnegan knows planes, the South Pacific, and how to handle himself in a scrape – and in “Against the Air Pirates,” he needs all three. It starts with a Dutchman named Huysmans sticking a gun in his face and demanding a shipment of morphine bound for an island clinic. It ends well, and given the title you can guess where it ends.
A big smile plastered itself to my face as I read this story. Graeme Davis pours his longstanding love of classic aviation into this wonderfully straight-faced tip of the hat to the manly adventure pulps of the 30s and 40s. Graeme’s treatment of the period rings with authenticity rather than genre pastiche: he portrays the nuts and bolts of the vehicles, guns, and other old-time tech with the confidence of long familiarity. His dogfight sequence is a showcase of skilled action. Even if, like me, you don’t know jack about aeronautics, vintage or otherwise, you’ll feel that you do as you read this story.
This story allowed me to fulfill another goal for the book: to include at least one non-fantastic story. Miss Marple, Bulldog Drummond and House are as much iconic heroes as the Shadow, Captain Kirk and Fox Mulder.
Graeme Davis was born within spitting distance of London’s Heathrow Airport and traveled around the world twice by the age of seven, visiting Australia, Fiji, and other places across the Pacific. He is just old enough to remember airliners with propellors and has a lifelong fascination with vintage aviation. Best known as a writer for roleplaying games like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Vampire: the Masquerade, and GURPS, he has also written a Dungeons & Dragons novel and a few short stories. He has always wanted to write an air-pulp adventure. For more information about Graeme Davis, visit his website.
All New Hero artwork by Gene Ha.
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