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The feels? They’re hurt! The natives? They’re restless! The shark? It’s totally jumped. And through it all there is this insistent pulse: the call for a leader. The desire for a consensus. The wish for things to be simpler than they really are. The demand that we carve out a side, don a jersey, put on […]

Kairos: “Tor Books knows that The Corroding Empire isn’t a counterfeit meant to ride on the coattails of their success. It’s a parody in the venerable literary tradition of calling out emperors with no clothes. It also stands as a solid sci-fi novel in its own right, and even surpasses the subject of its lampooning, as […]

For the past few weeks, I have highlighted opinions masquerading as criticism that are at best highly suspect from the view of 2017. One history of science fiction and fantastic fiction in general that is a joy to read is Lester del Rey’s The World of Science Fiction (Del Rey, 1979). Lester del Rey (born […]

Author Earnings recently released their statistics for 2016 book sales. As industry hands and book reading fans poured over the results, one of the more interesting facts is that science fiction sold the least of all the major categories. This is not a surprise to those who have been following the shrinking sales of the […]

I really did love getting gaming magazines back in the day. Dragon. Space Gamer. Autoduel Quarterly. JTAS. Challenge. Roleplayer. Somehow I seemed to get more mileage out of a pile magazine articles than I did from a big production hardback gaming supplement. Maybe that’s because the writers tended to put stuff together from things they […]

DISCLOSURE: I am Twitter buddies with the author. Joan Shengtu is a smuggler press-ganged into service to the Star Empire after one of her jobs goes awry. Dario Anazao is a freshly minted executive who wants to reform the ways of his father’s vast and powerful corporation. Commodore Zhang, a renowned Imperial naval officer, was […]

As the genre wars rage on, cool headed fans are stepping up to smooth things over. The subtext of some of this is, “ah, we’re not brutish and nasty like some people. We are not doctrinaire like those other sorts of fans. We don’t mistake our personal preferences for objective fact. We don’t poo poo […]

“The Third Reich has fallen, but one of its chief scientists, a Dr. Karl von Mark, has been on the run. He was tracked down to somewhere in Africa where he left Earth on a rocket ship. A crack team (you guys) has been sent to pursue him in its own craft. The team followed […]

Lots of people make a series of errors when talking about chivalry, and the most common (and egregious) is conflating Chivalry with courtesy and Courtly Love. Chivalry is ‘Bravery in war; warfare as an art; the military qualities expected of a noble knight; a body of armed men’. Courtesy is ‘the showing of politeness in […]

Back in the mists of time, I went to college, in Fairbanks, Alaska. While there, I met a scientist, a biologist, who studied bears. I didn’t know him well but, he moved in the same circles I moved in. He was an impressive guy. He was the sort of guy who drove his snow machine […]

Jon Mollison has the lowdown on Castalia House’s latest monster hit: The Amazon blurb brags that, “Kalsi shows himself to be more Asimovian than Asimov himself.” I wouldn’t go quite that far.  The Corroding Empire fails as an Asimov pastiche (tribute?) in a few ways.  It features a long string of characters who are well rounded […]

Over at National Review, classicist Victor Davis Hanson explains why millions of people are dropping out of contemporary culture in order to read or create books like those on Gary Gygax’s Appendix N list: The fall-off in movie viewership is not just due to the advent of cable television and streaming video over the Internet. Nor […]