Blog Archives


Mass Effect: Andromeda is a failure. A massive failure. A failure so large, the company shuttered the “Mass Effect” series entirely and even shut down the studio that made it. You see… It only sold three million copies. Three. Million. Copies. Of a game that costs $60 apiece, and requires a $400+ piece of equipment […]

Cirsova Editor Alex Kimball has a great find from the May 1943 issue of Planet Stories: Jane, if the Vizigraph were but the length of one letter, yours would be printed! By golly, we’ve waited years for somebody to brag about our yarns, other than ourselves– and you’re our adopted fan club as of this […]

Not too long ago I finally got through Sterling Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey. Although it undeniably put forth some creative and inspiring ideas, I wasn’t overly impressed. Jeffro’s noted that the book was one of the primary influences of Gamma World, and though I’ve never played it, reading the basic description of the game’s setting is indeed evocative […]

Women have made some truly astonishing contributions to fantasy and science fiction. First wave feminist author Francis Stevens wrote so much like the man that would later become known as “The Lord of Fantasy”, she was often mistaken as being one of his pseudonyms. Andre Norton pioneered the style of post-apocalyptic mutant adventure that would […]

This recent conversation from Twitter is one I’ve seen play out many, many times: Sarah Edelweiss: Fire Emblem is making me want to reread The Lord of the Rings trilogy. TLotR was the grandfather of the RPG genre. Kiefer‏: I like to think of it as the father of the entire modern fantasy genre in […]

Dean McSmith has a surprisingly thoughtful review of Appendix N. Here’s just a highlight from it: There is a theme running through the entire book and it’s a powerful one. It’s loss, principally the loss of a number of great writers from the view of the public. Their memory holing is noted and lamented and […]

It comes down to the lousy names, really. Tolkien spoiled us all. And yeah, being a philologist that had invented several languages and then creating a fantasy world to serve as some sort of a Method acting preparation in order to lend them the sort of savor and roots that real languages have…? After reading […]

“…Let the scholar take steel, smelted according to the previous formula, and by his understanding skill beat, grind and sharpen it into a sword. Let it be engraved with the words and symbols ordained, and employed in the performance of mysteries. Let none touch, save those deserving…” *     *     *   […]

When Gary Gygax penned the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, the world was very different. The fantasy role-playing hobby was an entirely different beast than it is today, for one thing. But even the term “fantasy” would have had an entirely different connotation. While it’s possible to dive into the old guide, take a random rules […]

We deserve another Conan movie.  One that is more 1982 Conan the Barbarian and less Conan the Destroyer or 2011 Conan the Barbarian.  (I posted short reviews of the three Conan movies over at Every Day Should Be Tuesday.) Making a good Conan movie brings certain challenges.  Not the least of which is the difficulty […]

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 […]

If you have not read very much science fiction or fantasy from before 1940, then you are liable to struggle with this. If your concept of science fiction and fantasy is derived primarily from movies and television, then you will definitely struggle with this. And if Christian thought is so offensive to you that you’re […]