Between the skin shows and an endless supply of cocaine and hard liquor, the city of Las Vegas was perfect for any predator, mortal or otherwise. Usually, the mortal predators lurked in noisy casinos, preying on unsuspecting tourists. Vampires, bloodstalkers, like Atlas, on the other hand typically took to the streets to find their next meal.
Atlas appears in the story “Fangs and Formaldehyde” by Monica Valentinelli, published in The New Hero Volume 1.
You’ll get no sparkling from Atlas, the tortured bloodsucker prowling a modern day Vegas, this tough-guy vampire protects a diffuse and not-always-grateful undead community from those who would prey on them. Here a pair of surprise no-shows at a poker game lead him to the trail of an old love…and a threat that makes a wooden stake seem quaint.
The New Hero’s format allows us not only to explore the iron structure of the iconic hero tale, but to take a temperature reading of which genres feel exciting to our stable of writers. As pitches came in the modern horror-action thriller took an early lead and never looked back. (Western mash-ups made a strong, late play for second place. Given the resurging hotness of the fanged crowd, we’d be remiss not to have a vampire noir in the mix, and Monica Valentinelli delivers that in straightahead, hard-boiled fashion. Within the bounds of her iconic tale, she hints at a broader mythos, one I hope to see her revisit.
“The theme of New Hero allowed me to take the iconic nature of an elder vampire in a wildly different direction,” quips Monica. “I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Atlas’s next detective story!”
Monica Valentinelli is an author and game designer who lurks in the dark. Her publications include non-fiction, original and tie-in fiction. Stories range from Redwing’s Gambit, a novella set in the universe of the Bulldogs! RPG, and “Tailfeather” which debuted in Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy. In addition to her short stories, novellas, articles, and RPG contributions, Monica crafted one of the first enhanced e-books titled The Queen of Crows. In her spare time, she dons the role of project manager for horror and dark fantasy webzine, Flames Rising. For more about Monica and her work, visit www.mlvwrites.com.
All New Hero artwork by Gene Ha.
The Stone Skin Press Kickstarter and more information can be found here.