Following last year’s special collection of tales featuring Rickie Talos (avatar of Pat Savage) comes the second in the series of Doc Talos Files anthologies, each featuring a single character from the Talos Chronicle. Mona spotlights the series pastiche of the classic Doc Savage character Princess Monja.
Perhaps one of the oddest not-quite-love-stories of the pulp era, the relationship of Doc and Monja, in its original form, spanned three pulp tales a decade apart, and never came to fruition. Despite that, generations of readers have envisioned Clark and Monja as a perfect couple…a love story that never was, and should have been.
The Doc Talos stories take as their basis a much more realistic re-imagining of classic pulp characters, and Mona is true to that tradition. Instead of a lost-civilization Mayan princess, Mona herself is a Guatemalan woman of Mayan descent, daughter of a powerful 20th Century gold magnate. She and James Talos meet in the 1920’s, and though immediately attracted to one another, both are shy and reserved…and this begins a long, slow building of their bond across the years.
Through a series of short stories, vignettes and artwork, five authors at last fill out the tapestry of this amazing woman’s life. Perhaps the most introspective of all the works in the Talos canon (with only a little of the intense sexuality and explosive violence of other Talos tales)…it reflects the quiet dignity, warmth and grace of Mona herself.
Doc Talos co-creator R. Paul Sardanas captures scenes like that first meeting in Guatemala, as well as a sojourn at the 1939 World’s Fair, a glimpse of James and Mona’s separate lives across World War II…their devastating parting, and an emotionally complex re-uniting in spirit, remarkably, after Mona’s death. Author Atom Mudman Bezecny’s tale of a meeting between Mona and the Talos pastiche of Tarzan/Lord Grandrith — John Grersoun — is intense and visceral. Marissa Sarno contributes a charming moment during a Guatemalan festival when James proposes to his lady-love…Grace Ximenez provides a deeply touching look into Mona’s heart and soul on the last day of her life. And André Vathier leaps far into the future in the book’s final story, which questions and illuminates the qualities that comprise both memory, and life itself.
The book is illustrated with dozens of black and white line drawings crafted by R. Paul Sardanas to deepen the connection of reader to characters.
A beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking, ultimately uplifting book, Mona is a 6×9 paperback, 153 pages. It will ultimately retail for $19 plus shipping, but is available as a pre-order for $12 plus shipping until May 21st, 2023.
In addition, for those who might have missed the first Doc Talos Files book, Rickie, a special package deal is also available until May 21st of both books — a $40 value, for only $25 plus shipping when purchased together in the Mona pre-order period.
To order either or both books, or if you would like to inquire about any publication in the Doc Talos universe of tales, please send an email to email@example.com
All Doc Talos books have mature content, and are for adults only. Review samples are also available by inquiring at the same email address.
Enjoy this unforgettable look at the life of Doc Talos’ great love…the brilliant and passionate Madonna named Mona.