Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

Reincarnated Cave Girl: Vic Challenger

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, May 6, 2016 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Reincarnated Cave Girl: Vic Challenger

Time Doesn't MatterAn interesting series was brought to my attention recently: Vic Challenger. (Full disclosure, I was sent one of the novels.) The premise is different, but one I think could have been used in pulp stories of the time.

Set in the 1920s, the series starts young Victoria Custer who discovers she is the reincarnation of a cave girl, Nat-ul, born and died 100,000 years ago. Using the name Vic Challenger, she works as a travel writer (and adventurer) while looking for her soul mate from 100,000 whom she thinks is also reincarnated. But in her travels she gets into various dangers, and her past life as a cave girl warrior helps her out. She is accompanied by her long-time friend Lin Li.

So far, Jerry Gill has written five novels, with a sixth on its way this summer:

  • Time Doesn’t Matter
  • Mongol
  • Never Give Up
  • Terror Incognita
  • Fast

The character actually comes from Edgar Rice BurroughsThe Eternal Lover.  But here Victoria doesn’t meet her reincarnated lover as in the original story.  This is revealed in the first novel, and even had Tarzan (tho never referred to as such, but only as Lord Graystoke, probably for copyright reasons).  This work is in the public domain, but am sure calling the character “Vic Challenger” is to make it easier to copyright this different take on the character.

Gill says they are written such that each stands on its on, like a Doc Savage novel. Clearly there is that back thread of Vic’s search for her soul mate, but not such you can’t read them in any order, tho I do wish I had read the earlier novels first, seeing the references to past adventures.

FastI received the latest work, Fast. Most of the action is set in Australia. She is there visiting with relatives of her mother, when she has a run in with bad guys. And other creatures (cryptids, to the use the modern general term).

Vic and Lin land in Australia, and on their way to Vic’s aunt’s station (as they call ranches) in the Outback, they are traveling with an Aborigine, who shows them how to live in this hostile environment. Once they arrive, they learn of a bit of family lore. A cousin had traveled to Australia, bringing with him family treasures, but got lost along the way and had to leave it in a safe location. A map was made, but torn in half, one half is lost.

While a celebration is held, armed gunmen hold up everyone and take the second half of the map. While most of the men are off in pursuit of the gunmen (though actually following a decoy), Vic and Lin go after the real group and after a grueling trek, find their hideout. But they have to contend with Tasmanian wolves and other creatures in their pursuit. Eventually, they do catch up and get the treasure, but we learn that one person’s treasure, isn’t anothers.

The author actually spends a bit of time telling how the two characters survive in the outback on their travels. I assume the information is accurate, and would point to quite a bit of research. I wonder if this is true of the other works?

I found this a good read and I will probably get some of the others. Check them out for a different kind of pulp adventurer. Also check out the character’s website for more info and other goodies.