Realm Hunter: Pursuit of the Silver Dirk - a sci-fi/fantasy novel by Bob Greenwade

A few years ago I was researching for an article about alternate universes in storytelling that I was writing for an APAzine. These stories included movies, novels, comics, and games, and I read as much as I could about both the real science of alternate universes and the stories that featured them.

In the stories I noticed that nearly any story about two very different worlds featured a protagonist who was from "our" world (that is, one nearly identical to the real world) visiting the strange "other" world. I thought, what if a novel featured a protagonist from that "other" world, visiting the strange world that was "ours"? How would he describe it for the people back home?

That was the initial thought that created the "Realm Hunter" series, which starts with "Pursuit of the Silver Dirk." Bear Waters, a bounty hunter in the magic-rich, fantasy-styled city of Northport, pursues a criminal called the Silver Dirk and is accidentally transported to Portland, Oregon, USA, the year 2007. He's not transported by magic, either, but by a device that lands squarely in the realm of science fiction.

His exploration of Portland is only the beginning, though. He continues to pursue the Silver Dirk, with clues to the criminal's whereabouts and plans hidden in his observations. He even takes a side trip to a third world featuring cavemen and dinosaurs. Following the story to the second volume, "Trail of the Elder Gods" (which concludes this first story arc), Bear and his friends also travel to a world inspired by the two-fisted heroes of pulp fiction, and another where advanced science, magic, and other forces work side-by-side.

All this is to stop the Silver Dirk Cult from summoning the Elder Gods -- creatures taken directly out of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, including a peek at a horrific world run by such creatures.

Reviewers have been very positive about the story, comparing it favorably to Doctor Who and The Dresden Files, with its authentic characters and quirky humor. The start seems slow and overly detailed (though as I indicated, these details include many clues and foreshadowing to later developments), but things soon pick up and there's a lot of exciting action in the second half.