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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 […]

In the 1960s, while working in America, writer Pierre Christin and illustrator Jean-Claude Mézières met to collaborate on their next bande dessinée (BD) comic serial. Both men originally wanted to draw a Western, but the market in France had already been saturated with such stories. Instead, they turned to their other great American literary love, science fiction, […]

This is really, really good. Now… I’m necessarily going to be inclined to say that and not just because Jon Mollison is a friend of mine. Take a look back at the sort of thing I criticize harshly whenever I discuss fantasy and science fiction since 1980. I could not find anything that I normally object […]

Like the previous article in the series, this one looks in-depth at a Wargame, trying to find elements that are interesting or good, which can be used to learn because the best games are yet to be made. The game for today is Chaos in the Old World, and was published in 2009 by Fantasy Flight […]

A lot of people have asked me what “Appendix N: The Game” would look like. I usually just joke that we already have one: it’s called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition! The thing is, people have been arguing about this for decades. Open up early issues of The Dragon and you’ll find longwinded letters […]

I’ve already talked about “The Incredibles” once, but I think it’s worth talking more about it. Because here’s the thing. “The Incredibles” is not a good movie. It’s not even a great movie. It is a brilliant film. It’s one of the best movies of all time – and I am dead serious. It really […]