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Blog Archives


When did “fun” become a four-letter word? When did “excitement” become something to sneer at? When did pleasing the audience become despised as the font of all evil? (Don’t answer. I don’t care. That’s not the point.) Entertainment—now follow me here, because the argument gets a little labyrinthine—entertainment is meant to ENTERTAIN. It’s meant to […]

If you don’t already follow Jon Del Arroz on Twitter, you’re missing a lot. His trolling of the “Mean Girls” club of science fiction this past week his been prime entertainment. But it turns out there’s more to this than you might expect. This is all part of his research into just what has happened […]

Why did Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt have to be torn down the way they were? Why did it matter enough for somebody to dedicate themselves to their displacement? Why is it that their place in the canon had to be contested– and why even the notion that their was a […]

Cecilia D’Anastasio is back with another D&D article that puts the early days of the fantasy role-playing hobby in the worst possible light. Save Versus All Wands has already pointed out some of the inaccuracies it contains, and I won’t go into that aspect of the piece. I’m more concerned with what this article says […]

Just as Science Fiction and Fantasy underwent fundamental transformations in the 1980s and beyond, the comic industry also pushed itself further and further into niche territory. It’s gone from books selling in the millions of copies to a new normal where now a few thousand people read a book. The gatekeepers of comicdom blame the […]

I’m not particularly interested in joining the recent brouhaha over genre, but it seems to me that there’s an elephant in the room that I need to point out. This may seem like a strange thing for a science fiction fan to say, but if we’re honest there’s no such thing as science fiction. OK, now […]

I recently read an essay by Jeffro Johnson about the term “hard sf” and it prompted me to think through whether or not I agreed with the use of that term. I concluded I don’t. So I propose that the “hardness/softness” axis be replaced with a pair of axes, “internal consistency” and “level of imagination.” […]

The book connoisseur podcasting scene has really blossomed this year. The best thing about it is that you can get the latest information that not even the blogs have managed to nail down yet! These are great shows. If you have’t given them a shot already, now’s a great time! The JimFear138 Podcast Ep.45 ft. […]

As the genre wars rage on, cool headed fans are stepping up to smooth things over. The subtext of some of this is, “ah, we’re not brutish and nasty like some people. We are not doctrinaire like those other sorts of fans. We don’t mistake our personal preferences for objective fact. We don’t poo poo […]

Lots of people make a series of errors when talking about chivalry, and the most common (and egregious) is conflating Chivalry with courtesy and Courtly Love. Chivalry is ‘Bravery in war; warfare as an art; the military qualities expected of a noble knight; a body of armed men’. Courtesy is ‘the showing of politeness in […]

John E. Boyle writes in with this astonishing anecdotal evidence for A. Merritt’s enduring appeal: Merritt’s Magic I’d like to give you an example of just how good A. Merritt was. I read the Ship of Ishtar years ago, and then loaned out the paperback to someone, who either moved or loaned it to someone […]

“My own politics are on the progressive side and they influence my writing. My concerns when writing a Cthulhu novel weren’t whether or not I should shun HPL’s creations: I don’t think that at all since if I’m going to do that then the literature of the past 2000 years is going to be a […]