Welcome to Starfall City. A new novel for the Kindle for one dollar from Kirby Moore. Hmm, what an interesting name for an author…
Starfall City is a young adult superhero novel that’s the antithesis of the overproduced superheroes-in-the-real-world, and firmly set in the pulp fiction world that comics originally sprang from with futuristic sc-fi, aliens, magic, kung-fu, cyberpunk, dragons, et al. It’s the moment from Superfolks when Peter Pan turns up… and at its core, yes, a female teenage Batman and Superman equivalent. Kirby tells Bleeding Cool;
Fifteen year old Frances Black’s father is supercriminal number one. When an evil corporation abducts him, the heroes of Starfall City refuse to help. So Frances forms her own team of strangely gifted teens to rescue him instead. Along the way, they take on the megacorps that control their city, recapture the spirit the the old guard superheroes have lost and find in each other a surrogate, dysfunctional family. It’s my love letter to teen superhero comics of the eighties and nineties.
Here are a couple of pages, to get you in the mood…
“What in bloody hell is Gamma?”
Clara Kinter stared at the banner above the entrance to the Starfall Grand Ballroom, where a giant reproduction of Polly Pluto’s face smiled out over the crowd of well-dressed guests rushing indoors.
“Gamma is the reason for the party, darling.” Jaspin James, the renowned construct artist — or artbot as it jokingly referred to itself — crabbed across the courtyard. “And from what I recall, ‘party’ was all you had to say to get Clara Kinter to show.”
Jaspin’s lower quarters resembled spider legs mounted to a flatbed and off this rose a metallic spine with six delicate arms. Its head was a cube of four monitors displaying the ghosted negative of a face cobbled together from ever shifting fragments. Marilyn Monroe’s mouth flickered for a few seconds beneath Ghandi’s nose and John Wayne’s eyes and then vanished only to be replaced by Sid Vicious’ sneer.
“Jaspin, you look just wonderful.” Clara air-kissed either side of the front facing monitor. “Have you been de-rusted recently?”
“You snarky witch, I’m so glad you’re here. I thought tonight was going to be dreadfully boring. Now take a spin. Let’s see that dress.”
Clara held out her arms and spun. Her backless white dress, custom made in Paris and still charged with static from its teleportation only hours ago, billowed gracefully.
“It’s Veritus Quid. Bot designers are the absolute best.” Clara stood five foot eleven when flat-footed but tonight, atop platinum heels, she was six-two. Her long blonde hair spilled across bare shoulders tanned a warm gold. Her face was beautiful, healthy, sunny. She was seventeen, could pass for twenty-one.
“Should we head inside?”
“Oh, let’s stand around and be seen for a while.”
A young woman in a stylish trench coat approached with a micro-recorder in her fist. She had a small face dominated by a pair of cat’s eye glasses and a wide mouth glossy with red lipstick.
“Nancy Sprinter. Nexus News.” She thrust the recorder at Clara. “Any comment about the kidnapping of the Demon Doctor, Ms. Morningstar?”
“What in the world is Nexus News?”
“Some new trashy tabloid feed,” Jaspin said. “They hated my last exhibit. Said I should have my aesthetics chip recycled into a bot whose optic sensors weren’t color blind.”
“How delightfully brutal, Ms. Sprinter. And please don’t call me by that ridiculous name.”
“I like to think of Nexus as the last bastion of truth in this town.”
“Yes, well, doesn’t Starfall just love those who fight the good fight.”
“You would know better than most. As a former member of the League.”
“Once a member, always a member, dear. I’m still on the reserve team.”
“And have been since you lost your powers six months ago.”
“Doesn’t take long for you to show your fangs, does it?”
“Have I struck a nerve?”
“Like a bad dentist. Take care that I don’t bite.”
The reporter flashed a nervous smile. “No comment about the Demon Doctor then? As a child you were close to him.”
“Don’t make that into something unpleasant. I was orphaned at two and the League took me in. At the time, Black was working with them. He helped me cope with my powers. It was a difficult period for me.”
“And what about the claims that it was a ruse by Black to infiltrate the League? Only a few years later he left his family, and you for that matter, for a life of crime.”
“I’ll answer when someone makes that claim to my face. Care to be the first?”
Sprinter checked herself, stunned by the raw aggression in Clara’s voice. She flushed, clearly embarrassed, and when she spoke again her tone was conciliatory.
“What should your fans think of your presence here tonight? Has the old It Girl of Starfall City come to pass the torch to Polly Pluto?”
“Polly Pluto is a shill. Manufactured from her fake hair to her fake name. Pass the torch to her? Never.”
“How delightfully brutal, Ms Kinter.” Sprinter tagged a silver button on the side of her recorder and scurried off toward the ballroom entrance. She waved the recorder over her head as she walked. “I think I’ve got all I needed.”