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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 […]

On a recent episode of Daddy Warpig’s “Geek Gab” where Dragon Award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author John C. Wright, literary critic Jeffro Johnson, and Youtuber Razörfist held a discussion on Appendix N, the panelists sharply criticized the notion of giving backstories to heroes and villains. They noted that such backstories are used to make heroes […]

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 […]

There’s bit of a push right now for some of us to moderate our tone. The fear is that we’re going drive away potential readers… at the very time when this blog is having it’s best month ever in terms of traffic. The concern is that we might lose our rep for being builders… at […]

I received a free physical review copy of The Adventure of the Incognita Countess by Cynthia Ward from Aqueduct Press. In the aftermath of the Anglo-Martian war, Lucy Harker, the half-vampire daughter of Mina Harker and Dracula, is an agent for the British government who has been sent on-board the Titanic to make sure that […]

Campbellian Science Fiction stories—alternately “men with screwdrivers” or Blue SF—are provably inferior to the Fantasy & Science Fiction stories of the Pulps. Campbell is the Silver Age, the Pulps the Golden Age. This is not because the writers and editors of the Silver Age sucked. They had talent, skill, and imagination in abundance. Unfortunately, what […]

Privateers and Gentlemen (by Jon Williams) is like a Marine’s rifle – there are many Napoleonic naval miniature war games like it, but this one is mine. I played the heck out of it back in the ’90s. Well, at least I played the Heart of Oak naval miniatures portion of it. What got short […]

Bradford Walker has more information on the relatively obscure Fang of the Sun Dougram, the “lost” inspiration to BattleTech: It is a happy accident that the people behind BattleTech put in all the hard SF that they did, from technologies to politics, because it turns out that Dougram itself is a nigh-seamless fit into the […]

In the wake of the Death Star’s destruction in 1977, a renewed hunger for space opera swept across not just the United States, but the entire world. In Japan, this demand was met by such classics as Mobile Suit Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross, as well as a slew of imitators. But the crown […]

Q: What is the most important thing in storytelling? A: The storytelling. Period. Any other answer is sheerest nonsense.

Used to I’d know if I was on the right track because I’d start getting a lot of flak. Not anymore! The low grade hostility and the suppression fire of snide remarks, sneering, and pedantic nitpicking just don’t cut it anymore. When it was just a collection of blog posts, the other side could still dismiss what […]