Note from Doc Talos author/contest judge R. Paul Sardanas: When I invited short story author Marissa Sarno to take part in the contest, she expressed two wishes: one, to write something that would potentially fit with existing Doc Talos canon, and — after reading the Princess Monja posts here on the Forbidden Pulp blog — to feature Mona, the Talos pastiche of the Mayan princess. So I sent Marissa a timeline of the events in Mona’s life so she could weave her tale into it without any conflicts, and cheered her on to go for it. The resulting story, “Daughter of the King” floored me with its touching sweetness, and wonderful characterizations of both Doc and Mona. Marissa…job well done.
Comment from author Marissa Sarno: I was always the girl who ignored plot. It didn’t matter if I was reading a thriller, a classic, a science fiction opus or an adventure yarn. I wanted to know about the characters, to read digressions into their lives, to have the author give me moments where I feel like I knew them as if they were real people. So though I was fascinated by the gloriously complex dynamics of the Talos Saga, I really just wanted to write a nice moment for those noble-but-unhappy lovers, Doc and Mona. A moment when love feels magical. Because everybody, everywhere, even fictional characters, should have at least one moment like that in their lives.
Additional note: If you are interested in submitting fiction to the Summer 2021 contest (first prize is a Bantam Doc Savage paperback Czar of Fear first edition, signed by James Bama, and all contestants will appear in a special souvenir paperback collection of the stories) you can read the contest guidelines HERE.