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Book Review and Interview with the Author (First in a series of book and film reviews, focusing on lesser-known works.) Too many fantasy writers fall into two categories: imitative of Tolkien, or consciously reacting against Tolkien. But once in a great while, a writer strikes out into uncharted territory. THE SEVEN CITADELS is a four-book […]

I don’t read a whole lot of YA fiction these days (or ever, really).  Even less middle school fiction.  And I suppose Have Space Suit—Will Travel, like The Hobbit, would be marketed as middle school fiction were it to be released today.  There isn’t a love story, and a book simply must have a love […]

  I have mentioned before that the small press is where the action is with sword and sorcery fiction. Case in point, Swords of Steel. The back cover says “Not For Wimps!” Swords of Steel came out in February 2015. I had heard about the anthology before it came out. Editor/Publisher Dave Ritzlin had an […]

Death by a Dusty Blade by Frank Johnson appeared in the June 1943 issue of G-Men Detective. With Death by a Dusty Blade, I’ll be wrapping up on the June 1943 issue of G-Men Detective. Not counting the Beware! feature, Death by a Dusty Blade was the shortest piece in this issue of G-Men Detective, […]

You Can’t Plant Murder by Donald Bayne Hobart appeared in the June 1943 issue of G-Men Detective. Beware! is an unattributed wartime warning. M. K. Dirigo’s The Black Chamber was a regularly appearing feature of G-Men Detective. You Can’t Plant Murder was very short and simple, so I thought I’d squeeze in a couple other […]

Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun . . . Alfred Bester may have had a touch of psionic ability himself.  The Demolished Man reads like equal parts hardboiled noir and cyberpunk.  It’s tense and taut throughout, if it never quite matches its own ambitions.  But unlike many writers who set their sights high, Bester never […]

WRIGHT ON: Lost Works The Real Buck Rogers II Let us visit the lost and neglected works of the golden age of science fiction pulps or the silver age of pre-Tolkien fantasy, and see the futures as once they were.  AIRLORDS OF THE HAN. by Philip Francis Nowlan is the second half of the seminal Buck […]

David the Good’’s Good Guide to Gardening series is a must for anyone considering a foray into gardening. Grow or Die was written with self sufficiency in mind and urges the reader to prepare for hard times, though David had the unprepared like me in mind when he wrote an appendix titled: The Emergency Quick-Start […]

Too Smart to Die by George Antonio Wetter appeared in the June 1943 issue of G-Men Detective Magazine. Too Smart to Die is a clever and fun little piece of wartime propaganda with a simple message: if you’re a Nazi 5th column agent, the G-Men will find you. Otto Karlweis (a fictionalized version of Fritz […]

Spend enough time with anime, manga, or JRPG video games, and you’ll encounter the seven secrets of the school, a set of mysteries used to awe transfer students. Upon further investigation, each of these secrets is usually revealed to be nothing more than an exaggerated rumor or a strange trick of sound and light. But […]

WRIGHT ON: Lost Works The Real Buck Rogers Inspired by the Appendix N columns of Jeffro Johnson, and by the gift by a generous fan of a complete collection of the Ballantine ‘Adult Fantasy’ line edited by Lin Carter, I would like to invite, in this and future columns, the readers here at the Castalia […]

The year is 1997.  Otherwise known as the “far future” for people living in 1974.  William Mandella is a bright, young physics student.  Or he was, before he got drafted into the United Nations Exploratory Force (emphasis on force) under the Elite Conscription Act of 1996 (because wars aren’t really an outrage until the elite […]