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I used to look forward to taking in a movie or two every year. Somewhere around the turn of the century, though… it just seemed like everything was a reworking of either the first Star Wars movie (aka “A New Hope”) or The Wrath of Khan. Sure, the computer graphics and special effects improved over […]

Pulp Revolution (The Puppy of the Month Book Club) Author Interview: Brian Niemeier — “In hindsight, I think it’s safe to say that the Soul Cycle—Nethereal in particular—is responding to the same creative exhaustion in contemporary genre fiction that’s motivated the pulp revival. Almost every story released by the major movie studios and publishing houses […]

The inclusion of a complete wargame has long been a staple of magazines dedicated to the tabletop wargame hobby.   The tangible difficulties are minimal, as the physical requirements are limited to a foldable paper map and a few counters, and the marketing value obvious.  At the cost of a (relatively) expensive sheet of counters, a […]

Peter Schweighofer over at Hobby Games Recce weighs in on the recent uptick in Appendix N discussion with a bit of cautionary advice: I’d encourage D&D or OSR gamers of the more literary persuasion to use these lists as a starting point, but would emphasize them to explore fantasy literature on their own – particularly […]

The problem with cyberpunk is that it generated a handful of wonderful, iconic works and then as far as I can tell, it just sort of disappeared. On one hand, I think we left behind the context that birthed it pretty drastically in the 1990s. On the other hand, as I understand it, both William […]

I admit it. I never did “get” the whole thing with talking animal stories when I was a kid. It always seemed self-evident to me that Tolkien’s Middle-Earth was superior in every way to C. S. Lewis’s Narnia. How could anyone not see that?! And judging from the commentary on John C. Wright’s “The Parliament […]

“At the Mountains of Madness” is H. P. Lovecraft’s third longest work coming in at 40,881 words. He wrote it from February 24 to March 22, 1931 (Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life). I read 1/3 of the short novel 33 years ago but bogged down and scanned through portions of the rest. I think […]

If it was just up to me, I’d only play the best of the best games out there. Yeah, I’d go to a convention and try before I buy, I’d watch box opening videos on YouTube and track down a half dozen reviews. I’d play the game solitaire in order to master the game before […]

Garden of Evil by Margaret St. Clair appeared in the Summer 1949 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org. Garden of Evil is a short, sweet, absolutely delicious swipe at anthropologists. When I had finally read some of Vance’s Gaean Reach, I had an “aha” moment—“So, THIS is what LeGuin was […]

Note: Scott owned the first incarnation of West End Games, but not the three that followed it. Also, while he is affiliated with Final Sword Productions and Under the Moon Books, he is semi-retired. His statements here are his own and do not reflect on any of these other entities. — Jeffro: First off, let’s […]

Over at The Players’ Aid, Grant A. Kleinhenz has a great interview with designer Harold Buchanan. This nugget in particular is of especial interest to aspiring game designers: Grant: What was the hardest part about the design for Liberty or Death? Harold: Finishing the game! Mark Simonitch said: “The last 20% of the game takes […]

Life as a Macross fan is hard. Harmony Gold’s copyright jerkery makes it difficult to obtain in the West. Installments are infrequent, usually years apart. (Compare that to the Gundam meta-universe, which appears to have a new series in some continuity every other season.) When those installments do come, I, for one, start this whole emotional […]