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September – 2015 –

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Pulp fiction gets a bad rap, really. Whenever the newspapermen want to invoke classic science fiction and fantasy from the thirties and forties, they go out of their way to dredge up a particularly lurid magazine cover from the period. Sure, even fans of the stuff get a chuckle out of the crazier ones. But the […]

The Gundermen play a specialist role in the Hyborian Age. They are mentioned in some of the Conan stories with certain skills in the military realm, namely as the best infantry of the period. The Gundermen are given a separate section in “Notes on Various Peoples of the Hyborian Age.” Howard stated Gunderland was originally […]

Fantasy role-playing games from their outset have included the possibility of epic level play. And though players often passed over these possibilities in their campaigns, nevertheless it was integral to the zeitgeist of the medium. In first edition Tunnels & Trolls, player characters could raise their attributes to god-like proportions as they leveled up. In […]

R. F. Tapsell’s The Year of the Horsetails is the greatest novel you have never read. It ranks probably in my top five favorite novels alongside The Hour of the Dragon, The Broken Sword, and Eagle in the Snow. I first heard of it in a book review by L. Sprague de Camp in an […]

There are a lot of people, even powerful, influential people, who seem to think that the goal of humanity is to spread itself. I want this book to make people think really hard about — Maybe there’s only one planet where humanity can do well, and we are already on it. – Kim Stanley Robinson, […]

Frederic Brown’s stories are impeccably well crafted. He really is a master of the short story form. From the opening hook, through the pulse of each development, and on down to the final kicker, there is not one extraneous word or sentence. His tales usually have twist endings in the same style as, say, the […]

One of my finds at a stop at Mac’s Back Paperbacks on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights last month was an upgrade of Tanith Lee’s Cyrion. I had read some of the Cyrion stories in various sword and sorcery anthologies about 31 years ago. I have a very beat up used copy of the D.A.W. […]

New Mount Carmel Center was the home of the students of the seven seals, better known at the time of the Waco Siege as Branch Davidians. It served as a formidable defensive fortress during the two-months long siege and two skirmishes that ultimately left 4 federal agents and more than 80 American citizens dead. The […]

Margaret St. Clair’s formula for an original novel is to start with a realistic dystopian near-future, then layer in a major fantasy element for counter-point, incorporate widespread drug use and hallucinations, and finally… throw in at least two over-the-top science fiction elements that (in comic book fashion) fail to disrupt either the setting or the plot overmuch. It’s […]

Swords Against Cthulhu is a brand new trade paperback anthology from Rogue Planet Press, an imprint of Horrified Press. Edited by Gavin Chappell, artwork by Stephen Cooney, 154 pages in length. Cost is $13.87 if you order from The idea of a sword and sorcery anthology with the Cthulhu mythos is long overdue. In […]

Well, the spokescientists are trying to put the freeze on innovation again: Reining in the growing power of artificial intelligence could be a matter of human survival. That sounds like over-the-top science fiction, but a growing number of ordinary computer scientists agree that AI is now unstoppable. This week, a study from the market intelligence […]

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