The Dark World, by Henry Kuttner was originally published in the Summer 1946 issue of Startling Stories. Right now, I’m reading the reprint in Winter 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine, which can be found here on Archive.org.

I’m not going to be able to do a full review of this story this week, as I’m buried in Cirsova submissions and of course the first story I’d pick up would be “a complete novel”, but I don’t want to deprive you of this gem and leave you hanging on Friday.

I’m only a few chapters in, but Kuttner’s got this dark, Byronic gothic vibe down. It’s been ages since I read Norton’s Witch World, but the setup has some striking similarities.

Kuttner’s hero is a wracked and soul-cursed WW2 vet who’s never been the same since his plane crashed over Sumatra. The witchdoctors did what they could, but if those heathens were the sort, they’d all be crossing themselves at the sight of him.

Witchfires, shades, nightmares and werewolf apparitions haunt him even back in the good old US of A. Then, she appears…

 

Castalia House is pleased to announce that Dr. C.R. Hallpike’s SHIP OF FOOLS is now available in print.

 Dr. Hallpike spent his first ten years as an anthropologist living with mountain tribes in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea and writing up his research for publication. He learned that primitive societies are very different from our modern industrialised societies and that it takes a considerable amount of study to understand how they work. But since all Man’s ancestors used to live in a similar manner, understanding these societies is essential to understanding the human race itself, especially when speculating about our prehistoric ancestors in East Africa.

Unfortunately a wide variety of journalists and science writers, historians, linguists, biologists, and especially evolutionary psychologists erroneously believe they are qualified to write about primitive societies without knowing much about them. The result is that many of their superficial speculations have about as much scientific credibility as The Flintstones.

The various critical studies contained in Ship of Fools: An Anthology of Learned Nonsense about Primitive Society examine some of the most popular of these speculations and evaluate their scientific merit. Among the learned fools whose works are critiqued are:

  • Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
  • Emma Byrne’s Swearing is Good For You
  • René Girard’s theory of learned behavior
  • William Arens’s The Man-Eating Myth
  • Noam Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar
SHIP OF FOOLS: An Anthology of Learned Nonsense About Primitive Society is available from Castalia Direct for a discounted price of $14.99.

A late Sunday night live stream between myself (Anthony Marchetta) and Ben Wheeler, author of the excellent “Sheik or Mars”. Here we discuss the latest season of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, the philosophy of “Fullmetal Alchemist”, how Protestantism would re-form in space, and more!

Fun show folks, I think you’ll like it.

The scenario ends in a major German victory. 

Instead of retreating my opponent continued to fight forward and left his last tank company exposed.  I was able to mop up the company and a couple disrupted platoons off screen.

After the jump I’ll compare the Mk III and T-34/1941 using the Campaign Series unit data and my thoughts on this scenario.

Part I of this series can be found here, along with Part II and Part III.

Read More

An old-school YA adventure from an author friend of Castalia House: Pirates of the Electromagnetic Waves.

A young radio engineer travels across an alt-history America, encountering primeval gods, mythical beasts, and tall tales come to life, in a quest to build a radio transmitter that can reach the stars.

It all starts in the mountain town of Porterville. Twelve-year-old Philo starts a pirate radio station with his friends, and learns that the world is a stranger place than he ever imagined. The Ancient Marauder, the Bright and Terrible Birds, the Mishipeshu, and other creatures of myth and legend populate this enchanting mixture of science and fantasy.

YANKEE REPUBLIC is an old-school adventure series with traditional values and down-to-earth heroes. Escape from the pessimism and propaganda of modern fiction, and take a journey through a mythic America that might have been.

Castalia House is not doing YA right now, but we want to support right-wing authors like Fenton Wood who are.

“This message is for my fleet. What I have to say is hard to accept, but you must listen.” Ibarra looked up at the camera. “As of now, you are all that is left. Every human being on Earth, the moon, Mars, everywhere…is dead.”


An alien probe lands south of Phoenix, Arizona in the Gila River Indian Reservation with a warning for Marc Ibarra, a promising young college student attending Arizona State. Sixty years later, after ushering in a revolution that led humanity into space, Ibarra watches over a colonization fleet aimed for the outer planets.

He lied.

Moments after the Chinese attack the fleet, the drives “malfunction”, sending the colonists and their military escorts 30 years into the future–30 years after the alien Xaros erased humanity from the solar system. For the sole ember of humanity to survive, it must drive the remaining Xaros from the system–something countless extinct alien species have failed to do.

Like many of its contemporaries, Richard Fox’s The Ember War is a genre-blender, combining mecha combat with classic military science fiction battles. The centerpiece for humanity’s survival is the enigmatic and secretive armor, a humaniform mech that serves as infantry, artillery, and, well, armor. piloted by specially trained soldiers who serve as the mech’s nervous system. Unlike most mecha stories, The Ember War follows the infantry as main characters. The arrival of armor in a battle is not just a fearsome force multiplier, it is the unleashing of brutal destruction on the battlefield. Unlike most mecha tales, Fox knows combined arms, so while armor dominates the battlefield, it does not dominate the action.

The keen-eyed will find more than a few homages to the classic mecha show Macross. Humanity’s survival depends on a fleet lost when FTL drives “malfunction” and defended by somewhat variable shaped mechs. And much of the action takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland–or Phoenix in the summer. Fortunately, there is no sign of a Minmei or any other idol singer, and the homages are far more subtle than the American Macross, Doc Travis Taylor’s Tau Ceti Agenda. Still, the familiar beats help bridge the barriers caused by a new and unfamiliar universe.

However, the unique universe of The Ember War has been give plenty of room to unfold. As the first book in the nine-volume series, The Ember War serves as the introduction to a larger framework of stories, including the Terran Armor Corps. Featuring the Dragon Award-winning Iron Dragons, the Terran Armor Corps series adds Heinleinesque and Ringoesque explorations of why soldiers fight without the excesses Heinlein and Ringo are known for. Iron Dragoons joins Cartwright’s Cavaliers and A. I. Destroyer as recent classics exploring the soldier’s life, masculinity, and growing into responsibility. That future rests on the solid foundation of The Ember War.

As an aside, The Ember War is part of the growing body of science fiction written by Rocky Mountain authors. With the rise of popularity of Orson Scott Card and Kevin J. Anderson, a vibrant science fiction and fantasy scene has sprung up in the mountainous West, one prone to using the mountains and the Southwest as a setting. Phoenix has become an increasingly popular setting for such authors, reflecting its growing importance in music and culture. And, as one who could once look out the window and see where The Ember War takes place, Fox nails South Phoenix, placing the action in an area with unique ties to space and defense.

In short, the Ember War is a thrilling mecha mil-sf series that you can give without reservation to younger readers. And as the series develops, you have a chance to watch Fox come into his own as a writer. Highly recommended.


As of the time of writing, there are three days left in The Ember War Graphic Novel crowdfunding campaign. The creative team of Flying Sparks (Jon Del Arroz, Jethro Morales) is bringing Richard Fox’s bestselling series to life with 120 PAGES (150 with stretch goals!) of action-packed comic. 

Money isn’t evil. Money isn’t even the root of all evil—the love of money is. So why are so many people enamored of the notion that making money is bad bad terribad?

It’s true: there are immoral and ignoble ways to make money. (Like manufacturing candy corn or making pizzas with pineapple on them.) And those vocations are vile. But setting aside the obviously immoral, and presuming that you don’t worship money or wealth, making money in and of itself is not immoral.

Working to make money is a moral good.

Read More

Fiction (Black Gate): There are guilty pleasures, and there are guiltier pleasures, and then there are the pleasures that have you wearing an orange jumpsuit and standing in front of a stone-faced judge with your hands and feet shackled together, wretchedly staring at the floor, unable to look anyone in the eye, so tongue-tied with shame and degradation that all you can do is whisper, “I just can’t help myself, Your Honor… I never meant to hurt anyone, and… I know it’s wrong, and… and, there’s no excuse… but… I just can’t help myself.”

That’s reading The Destroyer.

 

Tolkien (The Prancing Pony Podcast): Season 3 is here, and we begin by welcoming Tom Shippey to The Prancing Pony Podcast! We discuss his classic works The Road to Middle-earth and J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, and the remarkable story of his personal meeting with Professor Tolkien in 1972. We also talk about his new book Laughing Shall I Die, an exploration of the Viking heroic mindset and their grim (often inappropriate) sense of humor. Plus, the shocking link between Beowulf and a young woman searching for the perfect bowl of porridge.

 

Publishing (Injustice Gamer): Galaxy’s Edge does a lot of stuff very much right. They started with a bang, filling a desire with their #starwarsnotstarwars postings on twitter, and marketing that as the overall idea of the series. The money they spend on covers is large, but clearly successful, as they get emails from new readers drawn in by the covers. They’ve even been spotted in a few physical bookstores, something few indie books get, at least before they get signed by a publisher. Their output is about a book a month, and while that’s great, all the books are by them, and start feeling the same after so many.

Read More

The Cimmerian was a one of the best Robert E. Howard small press magazines ever produced. Editor/publisher Leo Grin had the idea of a magazine that contained well edited, entertaining non-fiction articles, a few poems, and a letter section. Art, all too often bad art would overwhelm many a small press magazine. The Cimmerian had a few small pieces per issue. The most radical idea was a regular publishing schedule. It was a bimonthly magazine for four out of five years. It ran monthly in 2006.

The magazine paid well for the small press. The result was an overall high quality magazine with contents that continue to be mined today.

The Cimmerian Press has been putting out e-book “triple packs.” The newest this week is Famous Someday: A Robert E. Howard LitCrit Triple Punch Pack!

Contents include:

“He Was Deadly”                                            The Cimmerian, V1n3 (August 2004)

“The Last of the Baker Kids”                          The Cimmerian, V3n3 (March 2006)

“COnun and TarZAN”                                     The Cimmerian, V3n6 (June 2006)

“Robert’ll be Famous Someday”                    The Cimmerian, V3n10 (October 2006)

“it is My Desire”                                              The Cimmerian, V3n9 (September 2006)

“Ur Gent”                                                        The Cimmerian, V3n8 (August 2006) Read More

Castalia House and Arkhave are pleased to announce that The Ember War comic crowdfunding campaign has reached its funding goal of $20,000. Thank you to all 317 backers who have ensured that The Ember War team will be bringing Dragon Award-winner Richard Fox’s bestselling series to life with five issues and 120 pages of action-packed military science fiction.

With five days remaining, there’s still time to contribute to the campaign.

I am Armor. I am Fury. I Will not Fail.” The first stretch goal at $35,000 is an exclusive print of Elias in his armor mecha fighting the Xaros by The Ember War novels cover artist Justin Adams! This print will be included for all backers of the book at trade paperback or above levels.

This week’s roundup of the newest releases in fantasy and adventure features ancient conspiracy theories, Saxon warriors, a Comanche rescue, the ultraviolent Goblin Slayer, and Haruki Murakami’s newest novel.


The Aryan Agenda (Harvey Bennett #6) – Nick Thacker

Ancient conspiracy theories. Neo-Nazis. Nonstop action.

Harvey Bennett and his CSO team receive a distress call from their friend, Sarah Lindgren:

Her father has been kidnapped. Worse, she believes his kidnapping is only the tip of the iceberg.

From Santorini to Egypt, Michigan to Athens, The Aryan Agenda is a nail-biting mystery/thriller of epic proportions!

Harvey Bennett is back in his most intense adventure yet.


Dragon Storm (Dragonwalker #5) – D. K. Holmberg

A war long thought over has returned, and this time the empire is not equipped to survive. Still, the dragons are safe, living in the heart of the forest near an ancient Deshazl settlement. Though hidden from the Damhur who would control them, Fes feels they deserve more and longs to see them fly free again.

When another attack leaves the empire weakened, Fes and a few friends search for allies. Finding those allies is key, but who can they trust? With the most recent attack, the likelihood of defeat looms close, and without help, they will certainly fail.

Worse, not all is as it seems. The war that has raged for centuries has left a far more lasting effect than any have ever known. The empire must be secured, and only then can Fes take the next step in ending the war—this time for good. But if he can’t protect the dragons, how can he defend against the Damhur?


Ghost in the Amulet (Ghost Night #3) – Jonathan Moeller

Caina Amalas was once a deadly Ghost nightfighter, a spy and agent of the Emperor of Nighmar.

For all her life, Caina has run from the memory of her cruel mother.

But her mother was merely the weakest member of a family of powerful and ruthless sorcerers.

Now Caina has the Ring of the ancient necromancer-king Rasarion Yagar, and her aunt Talmania Scorneus is hunting for her.

And to take the Ring, Talmania is willing to kill Caina and everyone close to her…


Goblin Slayer, Volume 5 – Kumo Kagyu

A young priestess has formed her first adventuring party, but almost immediately they find themselves in distress. It’s the Goblin Slayer who comes to their rescue–a man who’s dedicated his life to the extermination of all goblins, by any means necessary. And when rumors of his feats begin to circulate, there’s no telling who might come calling next…

A young noblewoman has disappeared while out on a goblin hunting quest. When Goblin Slayer and his party set out to find her, they are stunned to discover a horde of goblins have built their nest within an ancient dwarven fortress…and these ones even appear to be followers of some primitive, sadistic cult! But what troubles Goblin Slayer most of all is their leader, who is stronger and more intelligent than any goblin he’s faced before… Read More

Yesterday, IndieGoGo cancelled the Alt-Hero:Q crowdfunding campaign for allegedly violating their Terms and Services. IndieGoGo has begun notifying backers and refunding contributions. If you backed Alt-Hero:Q, please check your email for a message from IndieGoGo confirming that a refund was issued.  Per IndieGoGo, “refunds are issued back to the credit or debit card used to make the contribution. It may take three to five business days to process for US issued cards, and up to ten business days for international credit cards.” If there is an issue with your refund, please contact IndieGoGo for resolution.

Rest assured that the Arkhaven team is exploring the next steps in completing Alt-Hero:Q. Keep an eye on the Castalia House blog for further  announcements.