Blog Archives


As noted in a recent article, Sax Rohmer managed to write one of the greatest pulp novels ever, The Insidious Dr.Fu-Manchu, as well as one of its worst, Brood of the Witch-Queen.  While I examined the former in-depth, I didn’t do so for the latter. Well, I believe any negative opinion of a book deserves a full […]

At first glance, it seems strange that Arthur Henry Ward, writing under the pseudonym Sax Rohmer, doesn’t garner more attention on this blog.  After all, he wrote the enormously entertaining, successful, and influential The Insidious Dr.Fu-Manchu. But upon further reflection, it makes sense.  The book in question is not fantasy or science fiction.  And as we […]

Over at SuperversiveSF, Declan Finn wades into the strong female characters debate with a roundup of good and bad examples from film and television. The resulting discussion is both brisk and entertaining: Jeffro: Strong Female Characters…? Eh, no thanks. Let’s see some Feminine Female Characters. That’d really be something new! Declan Finn: [Arched Brow] You don’t […]

“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C.S. […]

In Jeffro’s last Sensor Sweep he made note of the Alexandru Costantin’s recent blog post, which puts forth a rather bold claim – that Robert E. Howard did Lovecraftian horror better than H.P. himself. For those who may be unaware, Howard was one of the major contributors to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. In other words, he wrote stories […]

The pulps are supposed to be racist. I mean, if you hear anything about the pulps it generally about how racist they are. Somehow the legions of people that are literally shaking after reading “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” never talk about how the pulpiest of pulp science fiction romances was between an ex-Confederate and a Red […]

Daddy Warpig’s recent posts are generating a great deal of discussion. Well, discussion may not be quite the right word for it. As Alex has noted, it reads more like an all out brawl set to the fight music from season two of classic Star Trek. People are triggered. Cherished illusions are being mauled before their […]

You know the story. In the early days of science fiction, nobody really cared about getting the science right. But then John Campbell came along and changed all that, and a Golden Age ensued. It’s bunk. Science fiction authors were concerned with scientific accuracy even in the bad old days. And there were plenty of readers cruising […]

Rampant Coyote has yet another account of how what he’d heard about the pulps just didn’t stack up to his own reading experiences: As I first started digging into the history of the pulps, the story I heard was that these were a training ground for genre fiction writers. They got their start in the […]

 The Worm Ouroboros Back in the day, ere ever Appendix N was penned by Gary Gygax, the lover of works of fantastic fiction was starved. Paper shortages in World War Two had killed off magazines catering to weird tales of oriental splendor, monsters and wizards and deeds of derring-do, and older books venturing into the […]

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 […]