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October – 2015 –

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This is to announce a regular new feature here at Castalia House, which is a weekly post devoted to board-and-counter wargames. It will occasionally branch out into the discussion of computer wargames as well, but the emphasis will always be on traditional turn-based wargames. A team of five writers working under an editor – who, […]

I recently contacted Ken St. Andre in order to confirm some of the claims I had made regarding the literary antecedents of his Tunnels & Trolls role-playing game, the second role-playing game ever created. (Update: more details on the “#2 rpg” debate are here.) Before he’d talk to me, he wanted to know why I was […]

October puts me in the mood for reading horror fiction. I used to read a fair amount of horror back in the 1980s but lost interest in reading the newer authors. The past week I have been re-reading Joseph Payne Brennan (1918-1990). Brennan was the last major author to come out of Weird Tales magazine […]

Okay, this game has been the talk of the town this past while. Several people that are into the same sort of stuff that I am have bragged on this one, so I bit the bullet and grabbed a copy of the PDF. I open it up, though and it goes straight into to the […]

A few years back at Pulp-fest, Rusty Burke and I were talking to author Will Murray about the generally poor movie adaptations of pulp characters. Will ended by saying, “At least with Conan, you have the greatest pulp character movie soundtrack ever.” I would have to agree. I bought the Conan the Barbarian 1982 soundtrack […]

The extent of Tolkien’s influence on the formation of the Dungeons & Dragons game is the subject of countless arguments. Most of what Gary Gygax as said on this topic is generally dismissed out of hand as being a transparent effort to avoid legal hassles from the Tolkien estate. Of course, the co-designer of the […]

A new book of essays was released on October 1st. The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales is the last of Rowman & Littlefield’s Studies in Supernatural Literature volumes. Sunand Tryambak Joshi was the editor of this series that made it to seven before getting the headman’s axe for poor sales. Joshi stated he had no […]

There is an odd passage in the book of Hebrews where the author rattles off a list of all the things he’s not going to talk about.¹ The subjects he takes for granted as being too straightforward and elementary to spend much time on happen to include things that have been hotly debated for centuries. (It’s funny, […]

Many of you have probably read H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft has been called the most important horror writer of the Twentieth Century. He incorporated scientific discoveries of the time creating cosmic horror. One friend of mine considers Lovecraft to be no so much horror but “really down science fiction.” If you have read anything on […]

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