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August – 2016 – - Page 2

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Another year, another Hugo War. I largely sat it out this year; life is a harsh master and I had better things to spend the money and time on.  But one of the nice things about the internet is that it’s much easier to look into short stories that people are talking about; a quick […]

Long and long ago, I witnessed first hand the final echoes of the eighties Satanic panic. It wasn’t D&D, rock lyrics, or daycare centers that had my modest sized Bible Belt town up in arms in this late stage. It was New Age Teaching Techniques IN OUR SCHOOLS. The local newspapers were running articles about […]

If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him: Roger Zelazny’s Lord Of Light Roger Zelanzy’s Lord Of Light was published in 1967 and won the Hugo in 1968. It was originally published by Doubleday and has been reprinted by Harper-Voyager. There seems to be neither e-book nor audio editions available. (Pity.) His followers […]

Mark Twain said that history does not repeat but it does rhyme. That can be used to advantage in writing military fantasy. I covered some contemporary histories a few weeks back. A good source for material is retrospective histories. The Book of the Sword (1884) by Richard F. Burton was supposed to be the first […]

When I dashed off a few notes about the fantasy battle game my son and I were playing to death, I was really taken aback by the response: a good half dozen people reached for their wallets…! In order to help people get the most value from their brand new copy of Wizard Kings, I’m […]

Priestess of the Flame by Sewell Peaslee Wright appeared in the June 1932 issue of Astounding Stories. A scanned version can be found here.   I have been rather amused by the protests which have come to me regarding the “disparaging” comments I have made, in previous tales of the Special Patrol Service, regarding women. […]

The only people its creators had to worry about offending was the legal department at TSR. There are no rules for demi-human special abilities such as elves with keen hearing, dwarves that can very nearly smell gold, and hobbits that are good at stealth. All of this sort of thing is covered by the “verbal […]

The Scouring of the Shire (CS Globe) 70 Years Ago Today, WWII Vets Took Up Arms Against Corrupt Cops and Ran Them Out of Town — “After the former soldiers retrieved pistols, shotguns, and various other weapons, throngs of citizens joined them in surrounding the county jail where at least 25 deputies had run for […]

The Arab-Israeli Wars takes many of the core mechanics of Panzer Leader and Panzer Blitz, incorporates some of the various fixes implemented to them, adds some various long-range artillery and air-power rules, and sticks it in the deserts of the Middle East. We warmed up to The Arab-Israeli Wars with one of the smaller scenarios, […]

John Denver’s album Poem’s, Prayers, and Promises is surprisingly eclectic. It’s got two of his most famous songs on it– “Sunshine on My Shoulders” and “Take Me Home Country Roads– but they are set off with some real oddities. At one extreme, you have the surprisingly churchy “Gospel Changes” and at the other you have […]

I came to Neal Stephenson somewhat late when compared to a lot of other people. Mostly, I think, because I picked up 1999’s Cryptonomicon when it came out, and, even though I enjoyed it, was disgruntled that I’d read a cryptography textbook masquerading as a novel, and an adventure novel masquerading as a science fiction […]

This fascinating new site aims to test the last year’s claims about kids these days being unable to get excited about classic science fiction. Here’s the deal: I’ve rounded up a pool of younger people who have agreed to let me expose them to classic works of science fiction and assembled a list of older works […]