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November – 2016 –

Monthly Archives:


Some years ago I read Ted Chiang’s “The Life Cycle of Software Objects.” This was back before I had learned to be wary of io9, io9’s writer-darlings, and recent Hugo-winners in general. I was unimpressed, and after reading what I took to be a dismissive review of him by John C. Wright, I never really […]

Yes, this volume is every bit as good as the buzz around it suggests. If you’ve been exasperated by the absence in today’s magazines and anthologies of stories of the sort that Lord Dunsany, C. L. Moore, Jack Vance, and Robert E. Howard wrote, then this volume will be a welcome addition to your library. […]

November 22 is a date that you generally hear about the death of President John F. Kennedy. You might read about C. S. Lewis dying on the same day once in a while. You never hear that Jack London died on November 22, 1916. This past week was the centenary of Jack London’s death. Jack […]

Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving and didn’t get too sick from stuffing their faces with plenty or too sick of politely remaining quiet on subjects of national politics. Short Reviews will return next week, but for now, let’s take a moment to be thankful. We are thankful for friends We are thankful for family […]

I ran across Peter Grant’s Walls, Wires, Bars and Souls while working on the Brings the Lightning review and despite not being published by Castalia House it thoroughly deserves its own review. My only complaint about the book is the long *** title so will abbreviate it to WWB&S. Peter mentioned he put his heart […]

A friend and I recently tried Osprey Wargames fantasy wargaming rules, Dragon Rampant . We made a good choice. Dragon Rampant is quick to learn and easy to play, suitable for small games (30 or so figures to a side), though it is possible to scale up. I enjoyed the unit activation feature and the […]

Appendix N (The Pulp Archivist) Questions for Investigation — “When did the idea that the pre-Campbell weird tales and the pulps suck become common? I have a hard time believing that it was prevalent during the 30s through the early 70s. Many of the early Campbell writers were friends with Lovecraft and his Mythos circle. […]

I think there comes a time in everyone’s life when they start to remember the first decade of their life fondly. For a good ten or fifteen years, I remembered the 1980s as mostly a tacky of time overly synthesized music, big hair, gaudy colors, and acid washed jeans. The 1990s were where it was […]

(My quick review is here.) I have a love-hate thing going on with J.K. Rowling. On one hand, her personal and political opinions are obnoxious, nasty, contemptible, and make it very, very clear that she hates and despises people who think like me. And that’s not even to TOUCH the “Dumbledore is gay” controversy. ON […]

When I surveyed the inspirations for the original tabletop role-playing game, I was repeatedly astonished by the extent to which elves had been dumbed down, diluted, and de-awesomed over the past few decades. With each volume I covered, I took extensive notes on just precisely what it was that made old school elves so different […]

Of any member of the Lovecraft Circle, Robert Bloch was arguably the most successful. As the author of Psycho and a couple of Star Trek (original series), just about anyone would have some vague knowledge of his work. Bloch sold his first story (“The Secret in the Tomb”) in July 1934 right after graduating from […]

The Envoy, Her by H.B. Fyfe appeared in the March 1951 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at “His Illustrious Sublimity the Lord Vyrtl, Viceroy of Terra, Emperor of Pollux,” yadda yadda yadda, is on Klo, the moon of Jursa, awaiting the envoy from the planet where the imperial armada has […]