When Cisco Collins returns to his home town thirty years after saving it from being swallowed by a hell mouth opened by an ancient pirate ghost, he realises that being a childhood hero isn’t like it was in the movies. Especially when nobody remembers the heroic bits – even the friends who once fought alongside him..

by Dan Hanks
Angry Robot, November 2021

Struggling with single parenting and treated as bit of a joke, Cisco isn’t really in the Christmas spirit like everyone else. A fact that’s made worse by the tendrils of the pirate’s powers creeping back into our world and people beginning to die in bizarre ways. With the help of a talking fox, an enchanted forest, a long-lost friend haunting his dreams, and some 80s video game consoles turned into weapons, Cisco must now convince his friends to once again help him save the day. Yet they quickly discover that being a ghostbusting hero is so much easier when you don’t have schools runs, parent evenings, and nativity plays to attend. And even in the middle of a supernatural battle, you always need to bring snacks and wipes…
SWASHBUCKLERS is a middle-aged, parenting Ghostbusters at Christmas tale, which blends British folklore and a tiny bit of time travel into the mix too. It explores what happens when those childhood heroes like the Goonies grow up. Do they ever get over what happened? Do some of them hang onto those adventures too much and forget to live in the present? And what happens when they’re forced back together to save the day again?

Dan Hanks is a writer and editor based in the rolling green hills of the Peak District with his human family and fluffy sidekicks Indy and Maverick. One of the co-founders of the OcTBR Challenge and a a long-time reviewer for Fantasy Faction, he writes books, screenplays and comics when he’s not wasting time on Twitter.

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