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February – 2017 –

Monthly Archives:


This show is just pure Traveller. And I don’t mean that it’s like the relatively obscure pulp sci-fi inspirations of the old game. No, this doesn’t feel like a battered old Dumarest of Terra paperback– there are no knife fights, no human cattle in low berth, no cybernetic commie infiltrators, no pacifistic space church. It’s […]

Neil Gaiman is a guy who I’ve noticed gets a lot of flak around these parts. It is true he has SJW tendencies, but then, most authors do. And he IS immensely popular. Mostly – and I am going by anecdote here – it seems that people believe that he (along with Ursula Le Guin) […]

 The Worm Ouroboros Back in the day, ere ever Appendix N was penned by Gary Gygax, the lover of works of fantastic fiction was starved. Paper shortages in World War Two had killed off magazines catering to weird tales of oriental splendor, monsters and wizards and deeds of derring-do, and older books venturing into the […]

“Hard” Science Fiction DOES NOT EXIST. It’s a delusion. A phantasm. A phantasmagorical illusion. It’s a lie Hard SF writers and audiences mutually agreed to, the original “consensual hallucination”.

When an unknown man is shot, then stabbed to death on the road between Morijuku and the village of Iwagi, it is natural to assume that he fell victim to bandits preying on travelers passing through the Kiso Mountains. But when Daikawa Tadashi, a samurai from a poor, but ancient noble house, encounters the body, […]

Old School (Weird Words of Joel Jenkins) One Last Book for the Year — “Alexandre Dumas is a literary genius, and this book is a confirmation of that. It was serialized in 1844 and 1845 and there is a reason it took so long to serialize–mainly because the book is humongous. I’m pretty sure I read […]

Excalibur is a 1981 British film directed and co-written by John Boorman, known for the bizarre cult classic Zardoz and the iconic hillbilly horror movie Deliverance. Excalibur is something extraordinary: a faithful adaptation of the King Arthur legend. It’s more faithful than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, which is visually spectacular, but adulterates many […]

Writing in 1988 in the introduction to the short fiction collection “Shrapnel”, Jordan K. Weisman reveals the thinking behind the premise of the BattleTech game setting: The BattleTech game, supplements, scenarios, and other related fictional products are all offshoots of an idea that came to me in 1984, when my own imagination was captured by […]

Today, Castalia House passed one million WordPress pageviews. Congratulations to Jeffro, the Castalia House blog editor, and to all of the authors, bloggers, and readers who made this happen. It may interest you to know that February 2017 has already been an all-time record traffic month.

Damon Knight (1922-2002) was a major editor/anthologist and somewhat mid-ranking writer of science fiction from the 1950s to the 1980s. He edited the hybrid science fiction-fantasy digest magazine Worlds Beyond. He is also often viewed as the first real professional critic within science fiction. From 1950 to 1960, Damon Knight seemed to be everywhere reviewing […]

Bradford Walker continues to school the internet on the more obscure sources of the classic BattleTech game: In terms of BattleMechs, you really only get the Locust, so where the Crushers really come in is with the AeroTech and ground vehicle supplementary rules for the game. The primary Lance-scale Dropship is the Joe’s starship. The […]

I have had a vision of the future. A dark vision. A chilling vision. A vision sent BACK THROUGH TIME from myself, a few years hence. A vision of the time WHEN THE PULP REVOLUTION RULES THE EARTH! I am shaken. I am shuddering. I am shocked. Allow me a moment or two to regain […]