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January – 2017 – - Page 3

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You already know about Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft. You already know about Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan and John Carter. You’ve seen Leigh Brackett’s handwork on the big screen. There’s a strong chance you’ve missed out on the guy that combines the best elements of all of these creators into one tight package. […]

Jeffro asked me to write an introduction for his book and talk about “why Appendix N started a literary movement.” But I don’t pay attention to literary movements and don’t care about them. I read what I choose and that’s that. On the other hand, I’m a teacher at heart, and Jeffro is a great […]

There’s no one way to slay a dragon. It takes a combination of strength, fortitude, and brains. Father Abner Holyoak’s adventurous days of crusading are long past him, but when he stumbles into a dark manor house plagued by a vague menace, he knows that he is the right man in the right place at […]

Short Reviews will return next week with George Antonio Wetter’s “Too Smart to Die”. I backed the Starship Grifters Universe Kickstarter for a signed copy of Starship Grifters and some Big Sheep drink koozies on the strength of Robert Kroese’s shitposting alone. Seriously, if you’re not following that guy on Twitter, you’re missing out. Starship […]

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The year is 1997.  Otherwise known as the “far future” for people living in 1974.  William Mandella is a bright, young physics student.  Or he was, before he got drafted into the United Nations Exploratory Force (emphasis on force) under the Elite Conscription Act of 1996 (because wars aren’t really an outrage until the elite […]

I have never owned a Dungeon Masters Guide. I discovered Dungeons & Dragons in the fall of 1975, when I started Junior High School. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It combined the backyard playing pretend that I have never outgrown with rules to settle those pesky “I shot you!”/”No, I shot […]

These days, no-one really questions Japanese influence on modern science fiction – from the dark Orientalist fantasies of Japanese corporatism as a symbol of oppression in cyberpunk near futures, through Japanese industry’s place as a signal for “high tech”[1], and on through the ongoing anime and manga boom Japan seems almost omnipresent in modern science […]

When Jeffro asked if I could help explain why his series on Appendix N helped to start a literary movement and how it played into my becoming a retro-pulp editor and starting Cirsova Publishing, I’d warned it might sound a bit hippie-dippie. “A harmonious convergence of galactic coincidence,” I’d called it. There were so many […]

Welcome back, grognard-in-training. Last time we discussed the decision process you follow when choosing a new wargame project.  This time we discuss the first steps in constructing your wargame.  After you’ve run through the iterative process of choosing figures and a ruleset, and have the figures themselves in your hot little hands, it’s time to […]

I still remember the first time I heard those three magical worlds. My cousin Ariel was visiting. She was a whole year older than I was and lived in Manhattan. She was a sophisticated young lady compared to my country mouse self. A couple of years earlier, she had told my parents about some books […]

After the events of “A Pius Stand,” Sean A.P. Ryan has spent the last year in Italy, keeping his head down and his mouth shut. But now, he has been brought out of his exile for one big job: security at the world’s largest science fiction convention, WyvernCon. His mission? To keep the peace between […]