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Last month at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention held near Chicago, longtime Friend of TGR and contributor Charles Saunders scored an award for his pulp novel Damballa, winning The Pulp Factory Award for Best Pulp Novel of 2011.
Of course, most readers of this blog are familiar with Charles’ sword and sorcery hero Imaro, featured in four novels and numerous short stories, along with Imaro’s female warrior counterpart, Dossouye.
Damballa is a pulp adventure hero in the tradition of The Shadow and The Spider. Per Charles, this character from the 1930s is a hero not unlike movie tough guy Shaft. As Charles states, “Damballa, like John Shaft, will risk his neck for his fellow man. The difference is Damballa wears a cloak instead of leather jacket, and uses both ancient African wisdom and modern science in his battle against injustice.”
Needless to say Charles is on cloud nine over winning thid prestigious award. While he was unable to attend, he did provide this acceptance speech which was read by author Van Plexico:
Writers ordinarily possess extensive vocabularies, with an abundance of words to choose from. In some cases, too many. Yet I am almost at a loss for words that would adequately describe the extent to which I am honored by the choice of my novel, Damballa, for this award. Damballa was an attempt to bring balance to an old situation in which pulps and people of color didn’t mix too well. Clearly, that situation is changing for the better, and I am proud that Damballa is part of that change.
I do not deserve all the credit here. I want to thank my old friend, Ron Fortier, for believing in Damballa and making it possible for the novel to be published. Thanks are also due to my new friend, Rob Davis, for his excellent book design. Artists Charles Fetherolf and Clayton Hinkle deserve kudos for the cover and interior art, respectively. And thanks also to Associate Editor Ray Rietmeier for his excellent copy-editing.
Writing Damballa was one of the highlights of my long literary life. Receiving this award is another. Thank you.
I hope you will join me in congratulating Charles on his award and if you have not yet read Damballa, get yourself a copy – it is a great read.