Malmont, Paul. The Chinatown death cloud peril. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. 367pp.
Now this is a cool book! A phantasmagorical postmodern pastiche-orama, a 1930s pulp plot involving 1930s pulp authors as the main protagonists!
Walter Gibson (Maxwell Grant/The Shadow) and Lester Dent (Kenneth Robeson/Doc Savage) are the main ones, with significant contributions from L. Ron Hubbard, Chester Himes, John W. Campbell, Orson Welles, H.P. Lovecraft, Cornell Woolrich, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Stan Lee, “Otis Driftwood” (I'm not giving that one away...), Blackstone the Magician, even Joe Kavalier gets a mention and Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster get a cameo! And that's not including the ones I don't recognize!
Crammed full of colourful action sequences, daring escapes, dastardly villains with evil plots, weird science, zombies, magicians and evil, cruel editors, it's actually a bit short on plot sanity and cohesion, but it's definitely long on atmosphere and good old pulpy fun. I can't recommend this novel enough. I really enjoyed it, despite a few first novel failings.