Blog Archives


There’s bit of a push right now for some of us to moderate our tone. The fear is that we’re going drive away potential readers… at the very time when this blog is having it’s best month ever in terms of traffic. The concern is that we might lose our rep for being builders… at […]

Campbellian Science Fiction stories—alternately “men with screwdrivers” or Blue SF—are provably inferior to the Fantasy & Science Fiction stories of the Pulps. Campbell is the Silver Age, the Pulps the Golden Age. This is not because the writers and editors of the Silver Age sucked. They had talent, skill, and imagination in abundance. Unfortunately, what […]

Q: What is the most important thing in storytelling? A: The storytelling. Period. Any other answer is sheerest nonsense.

Used to I’d know if I was on the right track because I’d start getting a lot of flak. Not anymore! The low grade hostility and the suppression fire of snide remarks, sneering, and pedantic nitpicking just don’t cut it anymore. When it was just a collection of blog posts, the other side could still dismiss what […]

Come children, let me tell you a tale… There was once an age, a Golden Age, an age of wonder and delight, of adventure and heroics, of creativity and imagination unbound… an age undreamt of by modern man, an age forgotten and buried, like hidden treasures beneath the sands of Ægypt. And into this Golden […]

Bradford Walker of Walker’s Retreat is banging the drum for today’s much ballyhooed episode of Geek Gab: Daddy Warpig, Dorrinal, and Brian Niemeier deserve all this hype for making this happen- especially adding John C. Wright after this initially being only Razorfist and Jeffro talking Appendix N and related matters. If you’re not already subscribed […]

You’ve seen the lists. You’ve heard the way they talk. It would go right past you if you didn’t know what to look for, but really… outside of our circles here it’s as if science fiction just mysteriously leaps from H. G. Wells and Jules Verne directly to Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert […]

I want to talk about humility. And I know that’s going to seem like an odd thing, but the subject does come up extemporaneously even if it’s not a common choice for the subject of a blog post. And it does relate to several other things we spend a lot of time digging into around […]

Rick Stump picks up on a couple of recent topics we’ve touched on here: the abuse of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey template in film, the way the industry relentlessly un-imagines characters from before 1980, and of course… Conan: This is another reason the arc of ‘avenge my father’s murder’ is slapped onto the Conan movies; […]

Strong opinions piss people off. Strong opinions, expressed forcefully, piss people off even more. To those offended, I say this: Campbell, confreres, and successors have—for seventy-nine years—pumped out self-serving propaganda that paints the Pulps as worthless. Constant recitation of a litany of calumnies has succeeded in erasing not only the virtues of the Pulps, but […]

You know, I never really liked it but I kind of understood where people were coming from when they eliminated the cleric from their old school D&D games. Not everyone wants to have a flagrantly Catholic Van Helsing style archetype folded into their bizarre post-apocalyptic science fantasy weird future Mediaeval setting. People just can’t handle that […]

Journey to the West is an astonishing film. It simply couldn’t be made here. In the first place, the Orient lacks the sort of contempt for fairytales that is all too prevalent here. Whatever force it is that impels Hollywood revise them to fit our contemporary anti-morals, fill in touching backstories for the villains, and […]