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Hollywood is a big old pile of suck, and it’s not all the fault of the usual suspects: lazy writers, crappy directors, and incompetent studio execs. No, the MPAA plays a big part as well. The MPAA—Motion Picture Association of America—is responsible for handing out all the movie ratings you see. They, and they alone, […]

SFF History (The Pulp Archivist) The Age of Despair — “By the time ‘The Cold Equations’ killed off the Campbelline Revolution in 1954, science fiction sales had plateaued and most of the Campbelline authors, to include Asimov, the Kuttners, and Heinlein, had either abandoned science fiction entirely or sought out more lucrative markets. Science fiction […]

There was a time in the 1970s when Frank Frazetta retreated as the preeminent painter of fantasy paperback book covers but before the rise of Ken Kelly, Boris Vallejo, and Rowena. This was a time of Frazetta imitators. Among those were Spanish artists brought in by Warren Magazines. One of those was Enrique Torres. He […]

The Comics Code Authority is a much-maligned list of rules that comic book retailers adopted in the 1950s to stave off social criticism and possible government regulation. It is often blamed for “ruining the comics industry” at a time when more adult-oriented crime and horror comics were gaining in popularity, turning it into “kids’ stuff” […]

I was recently pondering why certain works of science fiction horror, whether employing the written word or the moving picture, appeal to me, and others do not.  This is slightly different than asking what makes a good or bad book, because horror works more on the emotions.  Either it succeeds in forming a memorable, strong […]

Leigh Brackett is something of a staple here at Castalia House and for the Pulp Revolution crowd at large, but I must admit it’s taken me quite a while to get to her stuff. I’ve seen Alex’s reviews, of course, and I’ve noted her constant exclusion by the “women have historically been excluded from SFF!!1” […]

The House Where Time Stood Still by Seabury Quinn appeared in the March 1939 issue of Weird Tales. A scanned pdf of this issue can be found here at I’m sure that if I had the time and money to delve deeper into Weird Tales, I’d find myself wondering why and pontificating on the injustice […]

The full Gondwane Epic runs six books.  Lin Carter apparently planned ten.  I have the first four chronologically—The Warrior of World’s End, The Enchantress of World’s End, The Immortal of World’s End, and The Barbarian of World’s End (there are rather expensive copies available on Amazon; I can’t vouch for their quality).  Carter really should […]

The greatest argument for reading much and reading widely is the chance to see sides of things that were invisible to the authors – if only by virtue of having a completely different perspective.[1] An excellent example of this is this article by Vishwas R. Gaitonde on viewing Narnia through a Hindu lens. Gaitonde takes us on […]

It turns out that Rocket’s Red Glare is NOT an exclusively American themed collection.  A few of the stories fit that theme, but now that the number has dipped below .500, I’m forced to conclude that the unabashedly pro-US position in some of the stories is the icing and not the cake.  Which is fine […]

On Google + I discovered The Library of Gaming Maps community and recommend you check it out.  Currently, there almost 4k members with an active contributor base of artists who “……post and share maps they’re making, for the entertainment or aid of other gamers who may not have the chops or time to make their own!”. Browse […]

The question of just what sort of game Classic Traveller really was at the beginning is among the greatest mysteries of gaming. Mind you, that’d be Traveller without the Third Imperium. Without the big ships of High Guard or the grav tank design sequences of Striker. Traveller without “advanced” character generation. Without the Spinward Marches. […]