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January – 2015 –

Monthly Archives:


Congratulations to Rolf Nelson, whose debut novel THE STARS CAME BACK has been nominated for the Prometheus Award! Founded in 1982 to provide encouragement to science fiction writers whose books examine the meaning of freedom, the Libertarian Futurist Society revived the Prometheus Award for best libertarian novel of the year. LFS began in 1982 sponsoring […]

Conventional wisdom (i.e., Jim Dunnigan) says that computer games ate the monster wargames in the mid 1980s – the kind of record keeping that turned Campaign for North Africa into a horrifying joke (where you have a form to keep track of your forms, for keeping track of the maintenance conditions of your trucks carrying spare […]

I do stress that being into science fiction and fantasy in a really knowledgeable way…was not in any way associated with nerd-dom or geek-dom. Being into that was more associated with finding yourself, with some degree of alienation, with the counter-culture, with various degrees of nature-ism or questioning modernism (in its plastic/boring sense), with political […]

A. Merritt is easily my favorite of the early pulp writers. His descent into obscurity since his heyday might be hard for me to fully comprehend sometimes, but it makes me relish his works all the more: it is as if his books are a secret that I practically get to keep all to myself. I […]

So you have read a five hundred page anthology of recent, nuanced fantasy and have a need to blow all the sensitivity out of your veins. The antidote is The Big Book of Adventure Stories. This hefty tome came out a few years back from Vintage Crime. Otto Penzler edited the book as part of […]

I intend herein and in the next few posts to ponder the personality of adaptations; specifically, of the paper-to-celluloid variety. Though certainly less controversial than politics, or religion, or which is the hottest Victoria’s Secret model, it is nonetheless a hotly contested country, and one that requires a certain degree of passion for admittance. As it happens, […]

In my post last week, I posted up this Venn diagram, which is part of my philosophy about game design.  While there are proponents of several models of how RPGs work, including the three-fold model, the actor-response model and the “story model,” I look at roleplaying games as the intersection of three different reward mechanisms. […]

In Jeffty Is Five, the narrator has a lifelong relationship with a childhood friend who never ages. The titular Jeffty, Jeff Kinzler, seems stuck in an alternate timeline, where Robert E. Howard keeps coming out with new stories (but only for Jeffty) and there’s always a new Captain Midnight every week on the radio, decades […]

Jeffro: I have spent a great deal of time the past six months investigating the Appendix N list to find out how to (among other things) use it to rejuvenate classic D&D by going back to its original sources. But in your case… when these games were relatively new, it was your familiarity with the literature that proved […]

This is a new anthology in the Mammoth series published by Running Press in the U.S. and Robinson in the U.K. Trade paperback in format, 515 pages, $14.95 price and Sean Wallace is the editor. Twenty-five stories, most on my guess around 10,000 words length on average with a couple that get into novelette territory. […]

Please enjoy my first foray into fantasy:  a short story, for the New Year. WHITE TAIL The warg with the white tail stared dumbly at the dead elf. He had been staring for some time, and now the dark had swallowed the blue suns for supper, and the snow was falling fast in the taiga […]

I am far from the first person to note that role-playing games, especially fantasy RPGs, do not bear a strong resemblance to the literary sources most often referred to, Epic Fantasy. While fantasy games may be filled with dwarves, orcs, elves, and goblins during play the characters do not act as if they were on […]