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“It’s your job to create events outside the standard sequence of ‘I roll to hit. They roll to hit. I roll to hit.’” — Matt Finch “Playing the game as written removes an astounding number of the problems people had with AD&D.” — -C It’s funny how things like this get started. A Dungeon Master […]

We play board games, especially D&D and its variants, for the feel of adventure with our friends. Whether the events within the campaign are scripted or organic, we appreciate the experience itself and the social setting for what it is. They are not just the means for the entertainment, but the ends as well. Those […]

Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens has an excellent interview with Marc Aramini up today. It’s wide-ranging, covering how Marc’s book on Gene Wolfe’s stories came to be, why people would want to read Wolfe in the first place, and how Aramini’s criticism has received a dearth of acknowledgement in the wider scene. There’s a lot of […]

The 1990s had a sense of déjà vu when it came to Weird Tales reprints. Sword and sorcery and Cthulhu Mythos anthologies returned. Sword and sorcery underwent near extinction in mass market paperback form in 1985. Karl Edward Wagner had the idea of reprinting early pulp era sword and sorcery in a series of paperback […]

The Giants Return by Robert Abernathy appeared in the Fall 1949 issue of Planet Stories. Quest III has been on a 900 year voyage from an Earth whose burgeoning population threatens the future of Mankind.  As one of three ships sent forth to scout out likely locations to establish colonies to transplant large segments of […]

Easily the most controversial thing to come out of the Appendix N series was my claim that in the seventies, J. R. R. Tolkien was far from being the kind of influence that we think of him as being today. Sure, he practically defines the genre of fantasy today. But it wasn’t always like that. […]

  Worldcon Members who are looking forward to the forthcoming Hugo Voter Packet – which traditionally contains as many of the works nominated for a Hugo Award as possible so that all voters can review the nominees in a unified set of documents – will notice a special warning from MidAmeriCon II in this year’s edition […]

Appendix N (The Arts Mechanical) Jim Baen And SF — “All that’s available in print and media Is stuff based on the same old tropes. It’s cookie cutter SFF without knowing the right recipes. Let alone what it takes to make a new recipe. All that’s left is rewinding the same old tropes. That’s been […]

I hate that it has taken as long as it has to write the follow up to Part 1 of my review of The Guns of August. For one thing, I figured that even connoisseurs of wargames would not be interested in all of the minute back and forth struggles between the Austro-Hungarians and the Serbs […]

Vox invited me into his class on video game development and I wanted to try to convey a little bit of what it’s all about. Up front, the most striking thing about it to me was just how much Vox is into every little nuance of the history of the medium. You know, the guy […]

One of things that made me fall in love with anime back in the 90s was the sheer amount of science fiction you could find in anime, and how inventive they tended to be. In recent years, I feel like “inventive” hasn’t necessarily been the way I would describe anime offerings, but honestly, I’m not […]

The Original Tomb Raider: Jo Clayton’s Skeen’s Leap Trilogy Jo Clayton published Skeen’s Leap in 1986 with Daw Science Fiction, and followed up with Skeens’s Return and Skeen’s Search, both in 1987. As near as my crack team of internet researchers can determine, all three volumes are out of print. Nor is Audible any help—Audible, […]