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July – 2017 –

Monthly Archives:


Ready Player One is a festering mound of garbage, with barely any redeeming features. Neal Stephenson did it first, and better, in Snow Crash and Nick Cole did it better, and with more human drama and emotion, in Soda Pop Soldier. Next to them, Ready Player One is a billion dumptrucks’ worth of worthless crud.

D&D (Cirsova) D&D Alignment Part 2: D&D’s Cosmology — “Picking an alignment which fits your character’s personality and shaping the cosmos around those characters’ alignment choices is doing it backwards, which is why many people find alignment rules baffling. Unless you are actually using AD&D’s implied setting and cosmology, of course, there’s no mechanical reason […]

“Believe me, the painting doesn’t do him justice. He’s worse than me.”–Lupin, describing General Headhunter. To keep his nation’s treasury out of the hands of thieves, the king of Zufu moved his nation’s gold reserves to a safe house on Drifting Island. After a coup topples the heads of the king and his son, Prince […]

Mark Kern is one of the biggest names in video game design. But in this latest episode of Geek Gab Game Night, you’ll hear him cover all kinds of gaming ground: He talks about the appeal of Classic Traveller, how new the concept of rpgs was in his scene, how enamored he was with the […]

Melvyn Grant (born 1944) has had quite a long career in paperback cover artistry. He burst on the scene in 1975 in the U.K. and really hit his stride in 1977. The was a sword and sorcery boom going on at the time and Grant was in the middle of it. He did a great […]

In my weekly column, I usually examine good writing.  However, one can learn as much through the mistakes of others and what to avoid as their successes.  Certain aspects of bad writing have been with us for centuries.  Note how dreadful but eerily similar a piece of popular chick-lit from the 19th century, Dora Thorne, is to […]

There’s so many of these it’s getting harder to keep up. Even better, there are some new voices here. The doubling of the scene that I predicted months ago…? It is well under way. Here are some recent shows that are well worth a listen: Brian Niemeier hosts Russell Nequist as they discuss his book […]

Let’s take a look at some of the science fiction and fantasy titles to be published in August. *     *     *      *      * Adventure Constant – Jon Mollison Jack Dashing thought being a rocket test pilot was the most exciting career his world had to offer.  He was […]

Smoke Fantasy by Thomas R. Jordan appeared in the March 1939 issue of Weird Tales. A scanned pdf of this issue can be found here at There really may be times when an illustration can make or break a story. And I think in this case, the illustration breaks it.

Jeffro has been covering the Call of Cthulhu game he’s been participating in and using it as an opportunity to discuss railroading and his various frustrations with the extent of player agency in the game as played. This has gotten me thinking about the topic since I have started running a Classic Traveller game but, […]

The elements of fantasy and science fiction are everywhere, but the core of what really made the old stories function has evaporated. For instance, Rogue One is routinely compared to The Magnificent Seven, but only the most superficial aspects of the classic Western’s premise are carried forward. The overall approach to how characters are established […]

Conflict across the cosmos. New frontiers discovered. What it means to be human reimagined. Dreams of tomorrow become reality in this third collection of bestselling authors and newly emerging writers from Sci-Fi Bridge. From the inner worlds of unforgettable characters to alien planets at the farthest reaches of our galaxy and beyond, our writers examine […]