Blog Archives


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 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 […]

We conclude our discussion of the influence of pulp on Philip Jose Farmer with a look at his Wold Newton family. In Tarzan Alive, Farmer links his favorite British lord to dozens of fictional characters, many from the pulps, including Sherlock Holmes, Bulldog Drummond, The Shadow, Sam Spade, Nayland Smith of Dr. Fu-Manchu fame, James Bond, Professor […]

Every few months lately we get another round of comment from people that are concerned about the #PulpRevolution getting co-opted by infiltrators. I’m not really worried about this sort of thing. Seriously, bring up the topic of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the snake people will out themselves every single time! This post from the ODD74 boards […]

Whole swaths of my commentary gets accused of being “errors of pattern-matching”, but the thing is… there does turn out to be more than just coincidence involved in the connections and trends I’ve been pointing out. And as this episode of Geek Gab: On the Books reveals… sometimes there’s an explicit connection even in places where […]

Hooc Ott dropped a blog post-sized comment on Jon Del Arroz’s post about cultural differences between the two main factions in the science fiction and fantasy scene: A divide I have found is Christian and post-Christian atheist. Throw a rock at a crowd of Pulp revolutionaries and you will hit a Christian 9 out of […]

A “geoffrey” over at the ODD74 boards has this comment on the subject of Appendix N: I think it takes about 200 years before a civilization can assuredly judge literature. During the century a book is written, it partakes of the nature of that century. The century after a book is written, the civilization is […]

Tarzan as imagined by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a vivid hero that epitomizes full-blooded adventure and influenced generations of writers.  The Tarzan of Jose Philip Farmer is better; the ultimate, indomitable hero and my favorite fictional character. As we noted in last week’s column, Farmer was utterly fascinated with Tarzan and wrote several different pastiches […]

Ken St. Andre’s role in the earliest stages of the development of a roleplaying games can be summed up in one sentence. It’s on the opening page of the first edition of Chaosium’s Runequest, where a small note reads, “DEDICATED to Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, who first opened Pandora’s Box, and to Ken St. Andre, […]

It’s often been asked what later science fiction writers the pulp masters influenced.  I wager there were many, even when it’s not directly obvious from the works themselves.  For instance, the adventurousness of Heinlein’s stories and his classic heroes remind me strongly of the best pulp authors. But speculation aside, of all the great science […]

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year contemplating what the followup to Appendix N should be. Before the Big Three: The Real Golden Age of Science Fiction? Appendix T: the Literary Antecedents of Traveller? A Survey of Contemporary Short SFF? What hadn’t crossed my mind until now was the fact that I may […]

Over at Save Versus All Wands, a post about a throwaway blog comment of mine has gotten record levels of traffic. Which is ironic, because I would have thought such sentiments would have been completely unremarkable among “old school” gamers. Fortunately, some people get it. I find Steve Queen’s comment there to be particularly cogent: […]