Doc Savage Audiobook
Written by Will Murray, Based on a Concept by Lester Dent
He was a role model during the Great Depression and World War II and a pop icon for the millions who thrilled to his paperback exploits from the 1960s thru the 1980s. Now Doc Savage, the legendary Man of Bronze, comes to vivid life in "White Eyes", the new and soon to be released audiobook adventure from RadioArchives.com.
In "White Eyes", a new supercriminal emerges from the underworld. Dressed all in white, his face masked, eyes blank as a blind man's, he calls himself White Eyes. Who is he? What are his goals? All of Manhattan reels under the onslaught of the Blind Death, a scourge so terrible that innocent people are struck dead, their eyes turning white as hardboiled eggs. From his skyscraper headquarters high above the streets of New York City to the sugarcane fields of Cuba, Doc Savage races to crush gangland's latest uncrowned king!
Written by Will Murray and produced and directed by Roger Rittner - the same team that created "Python Isle" and "The Adventures of Doc Savage" audio collections also available from RadioArchives.com, “White Eyes” features dramatic narration by Richard Epcar, cover art by Joe DeVito, and two exclusive audio interviews with Will Murray on the continuing history of Doc Savage and the original Lester Dent manuscript that led to the writing of this exciting edge-of-your-seat adventure.
This Doc Savage thriller is the second in a new line of pulp fiction audiobooks from RadioArchives.com; upcoming releases will feature the classic adventures of The Spider, Secret Agent “X”, and more of Will Murray’s exciting Doc Savage adventures.
The Secret of White Eyes
Written by Will Murray
My second published Doc Savage novel was created in a maelstrom of panicky creativity. When Bantam Books asked me to continue the Doc Savage series after they had exhausted the original run of vintage tales, I had "Python Isle" and a working draft of "The Frightened Fish" on the shelf, ready to go. My editor, however, wanted to contract for three new Docs. That I didn't see coming.
What to do? Then I remembered that Lester Dent had started a version of the classic 1934 Doc adventure "The Annihilist" that he had abandoned for reasons unclear. Lester's widow, Norma, kindly gave me permission to transmute those yellowing pages into gold. I dug out my photocopies of that unfinished manuscript. It had a great opening chapter. Very different characters populated it than had the finished tale. There were places in the later chapters where the two versions converged, but I could delete that material, change some characters and situations, and create a fresh new tale.
I took a pen to those pages, sketching in preliminary alternations and renaming some characters. Fortunately for me, when Lester restarted this story, he dropped the female lead, private detective Dana O'Fall, and transformed the chief villain from a master criminal parading around in front of the reader to an unknown mystery man operating behind the scenes. Other characters were also discarded, leaving me free to keep these abandoned dramatic personae. In the places where some characters shared names, I lucked out. Lester's original outline provided alternates, such as C. Perley Swain. For others, I grabbed them from different unpublished Dent sources. (Had I known twenty years ago that "White Eyes" would be recorded as an audiobook, I might have rethought naming one player Sanchez y. Annuncio de Calabero!)
I struggled for a long time with substituting the murder method both versions shared, finally arriving at something that allowed me to change as little as possible while preserving a clear distinction between both novels. What if the bad guy possessed the power to mysteriously fry the eyeballs of his victims like egg whites on a skillet? Thus was created the grisly Blind Death. That arresting visual gave me the name of my master villain and the title of my new novel: "White Eyes". From that, I extrapolated a supecriminal who dressed all in white, his true features concealed by a porcelain-pale mask in which the blank artificial eyes were the hallmark of the horrific fate he inflicted upon his hapless victims.
And so I began to write in earnest. Something magical seems to transpire when I begin retyping Lester Dent's words. I seem to click into another area of consciousness and continue writing like him when the original material runs out. It happened here so strongly that when I finished "White Eyes" and went on to my next novel, an entry in the Destroyer series, I had a hard time not writing like Lester Dent. In fact, it was painful to switch. I wanted to keep on with Doc Savage.
Writers don't often single out novels they wrote as their favorites. I will break that rule here. Of the Doc Savage novels to come out of my efforts, "White Eyes" has been my favorite. It was the first time I worked with vintage Lester Dent chapters and they really inspired me. In the twenty years since its first publication, many Doc fans have singled it out as one of the best Doc Savage novels Lester and I co-produced - and quite a few have flattered me by ranking it among the top Doc exploits ever written. I owe it all to the 55 page start Lester left me.
I might add parenthetically that "The Annihilist" is one of my favorite original Doc Savage exploits. It is consistently ranked high by fans of all generations and may be one of the most gripping entries of all the 182 original novels. So I had a wonderful foundation from which to work.
I had tremendous fun stepping into Lester Dent's (or should I say Kenneth Robeson's?) boots in writing "White Eyes". It was my first exploration of the New York of the Man of Bronze. His skyscraper headquarters and Hidalgo Trading Company warehouse with their gadgets and advanced equipment are among the best toys in pulp fiction. I added something new to the bronze legend when I explained how Doc Savage handled all those secret shipments of Mayan gold which funded his global operation during a period when private ownership of gold ingots was illegal in the U. S. And I populated it with the same wonderfully bizarre characters that make Doc Savage such a hoot to read. Although longer than the Doc novels of 1935, the year in which "White Eyes" is set, like all honest pulp stories, it rockets along, piling up exciting incidents and cold corpses faster than the reader can read - or, in this case, listen along.
I'll tell you a secret about the character named Harmon Cash. It was one of Lester Dent's pseudonyms. And like Cash, Dent suffered from an eye affliction that made one eye look in a different direction than the other. That's right, I made the original Kenneth Robeson a major player in a Doc Savage novel!
From the first frightening fatality in Manhattan's Tombs prison, through the escalating action wherein a united Underworld assaults Doc Savage's impregnable skyscraper headquarters, to the blazing climax in the sugar cane fields of pre-Castro Cuba, "White Eyes" is roller coaster ride of pulp-pounding action.
For this second Doc Savage audiobook, Michael McConnohie is taking a well-deserved break after doing such a great job with "Python Isle" - but never fear. He'll be back for our third release, "The Jade Ogre". Here, in "White Eyes", the multi-talented Richard Epcar takes the microphone. Producer-director Roger Rittner believed his skills and delivery fit the story perfectly. And I can't tell you how relived Michael McConnohie was not to have to pronounce, much less voice, Sanchez y. Annuncio de Calabero!
As I write these words, Roger Rittner is still editing Richard's dramatic reading of "White Eyes." I've only listened to chapter one. His introduction of the Man of Bronze - or perhaps I should say our introduction - thrilled me as much as any Doc opening I ever read. And why not? He was bringing to life Lester Dent's words, not mine. I'm confident Richard will do the story justice. I'm really proud of this collaboration.
Will Murray (left) is the author of over 50 novels in popular series ranging from "The Destroyer" to "Mars Attacks". Collaborating posthumously with the legendary Lester Dent, he has written to date nine Doc Savage novels, with "Desert Demons" now available from Altus Press and "Horror in Gold" coming soon. For National Public Radio, Murray adapted "The Thousand-Headed Man" for "The Adventures of Doc Savage" in 1985, and recently edited "Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent" for Moonstone Books. He is versed in all things pulp.
As an audio drama producer, Roger Rittner (right) has written, produced, and directed specials and multi-part series for National Public Radio, including the drama series "Darkness", the mystery/macabre series "Midnight", "The Adventures of Doc Savage", and the musical special "Charlie Sent Me!" Other radio projects have been heard on stations KMPC, KFI, and KGBS in Los Angeles. Roger created and directed The Variety Arts Radio Theatre, live recreations of classic radio drama, for 10 years at the Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles.
Narrator Richard Epcar is well known to animation, anime, and gaming fans, having voiced over 300 characters in his lengthy career. He is "Batou" in "Ghost in the Shell" and he's also featured in a new series from Nickelodeon, "Airbender: The Legend of Korra'. Video game credits include "Robotech", "Kingdom Hearts", "Transformers", "Star Wars", "Mortal Kombat", "Modnation Racers", "Mortal Kombat vs. D.C. Universe", "Call of Duty: Black Ops", "Dead Space", "Star Craft", "Red Faction Guerilla", "Command & Conquer", "Xenosaga", "Guilty Gears", ".Hack", and "Resident Evil", to name only a few. Animation fans have heard his voice in "Bleach", "Bobobo", "X-Men", "Macross Plus", "The New Speed Racer", "Rurouni Kenshin", "Lupin the Third", "Digimon", and "Power Rangers". On camera, Richard has appeared in many films and television shows, including "Memoirs of an Invisible Man", "Columbo", "Diagnosis Murder", "Guns of Paradise", "Beverly Hills 90210", "Matlock", "Who's the Boss?", "Cheers", "Days of Our Lives", and "General Hospital" and he will soon be featured in the film "Broken Spirits", scheduled for release later this year.