Monthly Archives:

s

World-building is frequently mentioned as a vital aspect of science fiction and fantasy alike.  According to certain critics, it’s what distinguishes standard, forgettable fare from the all-time great works.  They will write paragraph after paragraph praising a book for solely this trait. And yet, while an important element, I have found that it’s far from […]

Ah, fantasy! Who doesn’t like a good fantasy? Dashing knights, greedy dragons, fair maidens, odious goblins, perilous elf women, cunning trolls… it doesn’t get any better than that! But it sure can get a lot worse. And it certainly has. From the inspiring heights of Dunsany, Howard, and Tolkien, fantasy has descended into grime and […]

Psychics, time travel, gods, and sci-fi battle angels. A woman with the power to raise the dead. A man stranded on another world, fighting all alone for a lost cause. Zombies invading New York. Alien artifacts. Sci-Fi battle angels. Samurais fighting demons. Interplanetary detectives and lost unicorns. Read all these and more in this amazing […]

The Happy Castaway by Robert E. McDowell* appeared in the Spring 1945 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at Archive.org. Jonathan Fawkes wakes to a beautiful woman standing over him. He’s crashed on an asteroid while hauling seeds from Mars to Jupiter. Turns out he’s crashed on the same rock where over […]

The opening shot of Star Wars with its slow reveal of a truly gigantic Star Destroyer is arguably the finest single shot in science fiction movie history. It’s so powerful, it not only changed the way blockbuster movies were made from then on. It turned nearly an entire generation into science fiction fans over night! Of […]

The sequel to the 2017 Dragon Award Finalist for Best Apocalyptic Novel, A Place Outside the Wild, by Daniel Humphreys. The survivors built a community and called it Hope. After eight years, they allowed themselves to think that the zombie scourge was ending; the hordes fading away in the face of time. But the enemy […]

Session characters: Sir Percival Jones, 54577B, Age 30, Scout (3 terms, mustered out), Pilot 1, JOT 1, ATV 1, Vacc Suit 1 Elect 3. He’s cash poor, but, a lucky chap who’s survived 12 years as a scout and the service appreciates it by loaning him a ship. He’s playing Galahad on for a mother […]

The wait is over; the penultimate book in Christian Kallias’ Universe in Flames saga has been released. Worlds Collide. Enemies Unite. Heroes Fall. As the last battle draws near, Chase’s confidence is shaken from losing Zeus and Olympus. As tensions arise between Chase and those in his group on how to proceed next, he cautions against rushing […]

In an Empire beset by internal rebellion and ferocious yaomo, the elite Shenwujun stand ready to defend human civilization. Among the Shenwujun there is none finer than Ensign Zhang Tianyou, who earned the nickname Zhang the Invincible. During a mission to quash a nascent rebellion, a Shenwujun detachment discovers evidence that the Grand Union is […]

I never read the Chronicles of Narnia as a kid. The movies were good but I didn’t read the books until early this year. And after reading them all I wish was still a kid. Okay, a lot of people know the story so I’ll make it quick. It’s World War 2, the Nazi Germans […]

The latest issue of Astounding Frontiers is here! Check it out and you’ll find an all new retrospective by yours truly. If you got to the end of Appendix N and just wanted more, then this (along with Cirsova issues 1 and 3) is the place to go! One of the things I did as […]

Fear ripples through human galactic society in the third volume of Peter Bostrom’s The Last War series. Another ship travels from humanity’s bleak future, targets a populated planet … and lays it waste in a fiery apocalypse. Nothing survives, and the ship disappears. In the midst of the recovery, Admiral Jack Mattis finds more questions […]