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February – 2016 – - Page 2

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If you didn’t catch the Superversive livestream this weekend, you missed some of the most substantial discussion on Appendix N I’ve yet seen. The whole thing is good, but the part I’ll be responding to here begins at 1:53:33 when L. Jagi Lamlighter reins everybody in. Briefly, I do want to address the whole picaresque thing again […]

When I read The Moon Pool, Creep, Shadow, Creep!, and Dwellers in the Mirage last year, I noted such a difference between his first novel and his later ones that I mistakenly assumed that A. Merritt’s writing must have improved drastically over the course of the 1920’s. I could not have been more wrong. Everything […]

Adventure fiction, unfortunately is one of those almost dead genres, just ahead of boxing fiction. There are some fantastic tinged novels by Clive Cussler, Douglas Preston, and James Rollins that straddle adventure. They are generally techno thrillers with gadgetry and world wide conspiracies owing more to Lester Dent (Doc Savage) than Jack London. Picking up […]

Appendix N (Pulpfest 2016) ARGOSY at PulpFest — An Abundance of Riches — “Bean’s novel — the first published fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs — would introduce John Carter of Mars to readers. It would soon be followed by the author’s ‘Tarzan of the Apes,’ published in its entirety in the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY. […]

Red Witch of Mercury by Emmett McDowell appeared in and was double-billed with Spider Men of Gharr as the featured story of the Summer 1945 issue of Planet Stories. I’m no longer surprised by how good the average Planet Stories piece is.  Going by what some of fandom was saying in the subsequent issue’s Vizigraph, the […]

The Death & Taxes boxed set is crammed so full, it’s liable to break out of the shrink-wrap on its own! When one showed up in the mail courtesy of Lesser Gnome games, I had to know more about how something this epic got put together, so I went straight to the source and interviewed […]

You can see a complete game of Space Oddity played out in last week’s post. The rules are simple: I’m going to tell you a short genre story that makes sense of the inscrutable lyrics of an otherwise popular song. I’ll do it in very brief parts to keep things interesting. There will be weekly clues. […]

There’s lots of cool stuff this week here…! Brian Train will be giving a talk at the RAND Center for Gaming next week on “How can civilian wargames contribute to the development of professional wargames?” At Inside GMT, Bob Seifert has pictures of an actual copy of Jim Krohn’s Talon— that’s the standalone tactical combat […]

After the crushing defeat I suffered at Austerlitz, my dad and I have moved onto the next scenario presented in Avalon Hill’s War and Peace, “Jena and Friedland”, which recreates the War of the Fourth Coalition. This scenario combines Napoleon’s crushing campaign against the Prussians with his sweep across Poland to head off the Russians […]

Okay, this one is just plain neat. Stuff from Sci Phi has been kind of hit and miss with me– see here and here for details– but Ben Zwycky’s Beyond the Mist is not just good, it is occasionally even astonishing. In these jaded times where it often seems as if everything’s been done better already, this book […]

Last time, I sung the praises of  Warship, a novel about people fighting aliens while tensely staring at computer panels onboard a warship. Today, I move on to the next two books in the trilogy to see if the author can keep us on the edge of our seat while those characters stare tensely at […]

Appendix X is a collection of damned things. I am using the phrase in the Fortean sense, of course. In The Book Of The Damned, Charles Fort discusses the tendency of the human mind to systematize data, to make categories and taxonomic schemas. It is, on the whole, a very positive talent. It allows us […]