Blog Archives


A full appreciation of just what Campbellian style “Hard SF” really is all about is only possible with an understanding of when it happened and what cultural forces drove it into its temorary and artificial dominance. For that, the most concise summary you’re liable to find is in the preface to Gardner Dozois’s Modern Classics of Fantasy: […]

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 […]

(Note: my brief history of Japanese SF will continue next time as I track down some references.) Heroes. Who needs them! Just another holier-than-thou vehicle for someone’s personal hangups. Just another overinflated cardboard cutout, a power fantasy made flesh. Too strong, too competent, too perfect. Real life isn’t like that. Real people aren’t heroes. And […]

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; […]

The latest episode of Geek Gab is downright epic and you won’t want to miss it! Daddy Warpig responds to feedback on his recent posts here at Castalia House blog, Brian Niemeier responds to fears that SuperversiveSF and Pulp Revolution will become the new gatekeepers, the hosts discuss yet another example of something from before 1980 […]

Why has romance in fantasy and science fiction gotten less effective with each decade since around 1940 or so…? The SuperversiveSF crew weighs in! Check it out!

The Last Redoubt passed this on to me. Yet another example of how almost nothing from before 1980 has survived translation into the twenty-first century: Once upon a time, in what used to be a far away land called Hollywood but is now a state of mind and everywhere, a young actor was handed a […]

We have three more bloggers joining us in the past couple of weeks here: PC Bushi with Solomon Kane: The Original Dark Knight and Man’s Best (SFF) Friend John C. Wright with  WRIGHT ON: Lost Works – The Real Buck Rogers and The Real Buck Rogers II Jasyn Jones with Star Wars Stole Pulp Bushi you’ll recognize from the Top […]

You’ve seen their lists. They’re all the same, full of works that everyone in the newspapers, magazines, and author panels seem to agree are the most significant. But something is off. It’s like there is a whole swath of awesome books that have been weirdly and arbitrarily excluded from the conversation. Just as one example, […]

Penguin books has long been synonymous with the classics. Just as one example, S. T. Joshi cited the Penguin classic edition of Lovecraft’s work as marking the pulp author’s ultimate canonization. But that was a long time ago– way back in 1999. I’m afraid, however, that Penguin is clearly losing their touch. Boing Boing has […]

Over at First Things, Marc Barnes points out how the spiritual element of Star Wars was retconned away in the prequels: In the prequels, the Force is a part of the biological world. It is accessed not by the mind or spirit but by microscopic organisms. This view renders the Jedi religion superfluous—one either has a […]

Top book blogger Hooc Ott crashes yet another safe space in the comments on a post entitled pre- Le Guin SF Short Fic Reviews over at Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations blog. It turns out that, yes, being a fan of one of science fiction’s most beloved pulp authors is in fact triggering to certain […]