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I cannot tell you how much I love the concept of Planetary (a comic series by Warren Ellis): All the pulp heroes, all the comic heroes, and much else besides, all exist in the same world. The Shadow (or an expy, that is, a clone), Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Four expys, and on and on. Plus […]

Is Something Happening? Is Something at Stake? (Not Pulp Covers) The Diabolical Miss Hyde — “But what about the actual cover image itself? Why is it so boring, and what could be done to make it better? The obvious answer is to show some action, something happening. This is the classic pulp cover technique. Show someone […]

  Two new Alt★Hero Rewards that may prove to be of some interest to backers, especially to RPGers. But how would Hammer, who is American, ever happen to find himself in combat with Captain Europa of the EU’s Global Justice Initiative? Well, you’re going to have to read the comics to find out. $25.00 Add-On: Site […]

There are three artists whose careers started in the pulp magazines, continued with digest magazines, comic books, trading cards, and a few paperback covers: Norman Saunders, Frank Kelly Freas, and Wallace Wood. Norman Saunders (1907-1989) started in the middle 1930s painting innumerable covers for pulp magazines. He did work for comic books. I thought his […]

Kate writes in with a question about tabletop gaming: Jeffro, What kind of rpg stuff do you enjoy doing around the table if not character interaction? When you object to characters having motivations, what exactly are you objecting to? That they have any motivations at all, or the type of motivations? Great question! But answering […]

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 […]