Blog Archives


Ben Espen of With Both Hands beat me to the punch with an in-depth review of Galactic Outlaws.  My review of this runaway fright train of action and adventure published right here on the Castalia House Blog tried to convince you, dear reader, to give this series a shot by taking the shallow, non-spoiler, route.  […]

One could make the argument that Fredric Brown (1906-1972) is the most important crime writer of the late 1940s/early 1950s. He certainly seems important enough to warrant two separate reprint series, one in the 1980s and one now. Something I can’t think of any other crime writer from the period. You probably know Fredric Brown […]

I had heard about the anthology The Book of Swords sometime last year before its publication. The cover looked good but I was not filled with any great enthusiasm. I have read anthologies edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin starting with Warriors (Tor Books, 2010). I wrote a review of the anthology […]

We continue reading Robert E Howard’s Conan yarns in publication order, and noting how they have improved with age. Often dismissed as a mere boyish adventure tales, adult eyes rereading these alleged boy’s stories will see depth to them.

Two thousand years ago, aliens destroyed Earth. Our fleets shattered. Billions died. The last humans fled a burning planet, heading to the stars. Today we are still refugees. Hungry. Afraid. Our enemies hunt us everywhere. So we hide. On distant asteroids. In rundown space stations. In deep caves on frozen worlds. And we dream. * […]

“KNOW, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars—Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women […]

On the morning of Boxing Day, I explored the Amazon store for books where I could spend a newly acquired gift card. I chanced upon the fantasy novel whose cover is shown to the right, since that cover had me very curious. Look how shameless it is — how could I not buy it? As […]

The Disney revival of Star Wars has been riven with controversy and growing discontent. For every Rebels, there has been an Aftermath or three–and host of blogs, podcasts, and videos from fans searching for that lost feeling of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Fortunately, in the frontiers of independent science fiction, a […]

For those of you still not convinced that the old pulp magazines have far more to offer than second rate writing by hacks and literary shysters, allow me to present to you the grossly unheralded John Buchan. A Scottish author whose work mainly appeared in the British Magazine Blackwood’s Magazine, John Buchan’s novel Prester John […]

The Heretics of St. Possenti, by Rolf Nelson, presents the story of a disillusioned bishop heading off into the American backwoods to establish a monastery dedicated to the usual sorts of monkish activities. You know the kind: growing their own food, praying at regular hours, singing matins every midnight, studying the bible, learning a trade, […]

Look, I like John Ringo books as much as the next guy, maybe more. I’ve read The Last Centurion at least a half-dozen times, and read “Dark Tide Rising” more times than that. I’ve read his “Monster Hunter Memoirs” entries (co-authored with Larry Correia) twice, even buying the pricey pre-release ebooks (“eARC”) from Baen because I […]

Happy Thanksgiving.  If you are looking for things to be thankful for, here are a couple: Good books No zombie apocalypse (yet) If you haven’t read Daniel Humphreys’ A Place Outside the Wild, go read my review of that book.  I can’t really talk about its sequel, A Place Called Hope, without spoiling major surprises […]