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Scott Cole: From the Cirsova zine submission guidelines: “Original short stories between 2000-7500 words, specifically those in the vein of Leigh Brackett, Jack Vance, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fritz Leiber and Robert E. Howard” What other old school authors do you enjoy and hope influence the content? P. Alexander: One of the reasons why I list […]

Fans of World War II history, asymmetrical warfare, and microgames will rejoice: Brian Train’s The Scheldt Campaign is back! The Player’s Aid has the full scoop; what I find so intriguing is the Staff Card system: Each player has a C2 Level which represents the maximum number of Staff cards he may have in his […]

I have a lot of respect for animation, and the highest respect for Pixar. Animation is the one genre where you’re allowed to take real risks since the critics are never going to give you the respect you deserve anyway, so why try to please them? Children’s animation especially tends to take more risks than […]

It’s positively baffling how hard it’s become for anyone to make a straight ahead adventure story these days. First classic Westerns like Rio Bravo and El Dorado evaporated and the old school leading man with them. An echo of that sort of thing lived on with Luke Skywalker, Alex Rogan (The Last Starfighter), and Billy […]

August Derleth was a member of the Lovecraft circle from the late 1920s until Lovecraft’s death. He was also one of the first to make use of the Cthulhu Mythos (with Lovecraft’s blessing). He remains controversial among Lovecraftians for his handling of Lovecraft’s legacy and especially for his Mythos fiction. A review of Derleth’s Mythos […]

The Star Saint by A.E. Van Vogt appeared in the March 1951 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org. The Star Saint is the first story I’ve read by A.E. Van Vogt; it’s a deconstruction of the Raygun Romance, and I hated it. A ship full of colonists is on its […]

Traveller (Tales to Astound!) TRAVELLER: Out of the Box–“Giants of the Imagination” — “In particular, the tales that inspired early RPGs (books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jack Vance, Robert E. Howard, and countless others) were never about one definitive setting, obsessed with the defining the top-down organization and structure like some obsessive compulsive gazetteer. Instead, […]

I don’t hate fantasy novels, I just generally prefer science fiction. I have my tastes, y’know? We all do. Mine usually run to things with spaceships and antimatter torpedoes and Ominous Dark Things from Beyond the Stars, but every now and then, it’s good to branch out. Get a change of pace. Get some elves […]

One of the surprising books of the late 1980s was a Robert E. Howard collection, Cthulhu: The Mythos and Kindred Horrors. This was a Baen paperback published in May 1987. David Drake edited the book. It sold for $2.95, was 247 pages, and had three printings. The cover by Steve Hickman is spectacular. This book […]

Duel on Syrtis by Poul Anderson appeared in the March 1951 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org. One is a big game hunter who complains about liberals and suffrage, the other is a cute Martian owlbear just trying to make it in the cruel world. Riordan has a spaceship, a […]

Okay, I’ve been causing a stink lately. It drives me nuts that people act like science fiction began with the Campbellian revolution. Everything I’ve heard about the pulps has turned out to be egregiously wrong. And anything anyone says about the history of science fiction comes off to me like warmed over narrative from three […]

Kyle at Miniatures Market has this to say about the Band of Brothers system: I’m convinced this system is one of the only squad systems to effectively communicate genuine World War II period tactics, without silly gamey tactics or hundreds of pages of rules. It’s a ballet of bullets, armor, blood, and sweat, whirling around […]