Blog Archives


People are long-winded. The art of concision has been lost. In its memory, two concise reviews: Two Star Trek shows debuted this month. The Orville is middling alright. Star Trek: Discovery is a stinking toxic fire in a rubber tire disposal facility spewing thick black plumes of noxious smoke that puts 15 people in the […]

People have strange ideas about the history of science fiction in film.  Some years ago, a Canadian video games programmer and designer in his early 40s, no fool, sagely explained to me that 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) completely changed everything about the genre, and that before then, silly movies like Barbarella were all audiences had to watch. […]

When The Valdemar Legacy showed up on Amazon Prime, I had give it a go. With “Based on the Work of H. P. Lovecraft” emblazoned across the top of the movie poster, I simply had to know. How much of Lovecraft’s approach to fantasy managed to get incorporated into this thing…? The answer is… not […]

Castalia House is pleased to announce that Peter Grant’s science fiction series THE MAXWELL SAGA is now available in paperback. Part Heinlein juvenile, part Horatio Alger success story, these five books chart the rise of Steve Maxwell as he struggles to make his place in the universe. Through honesty, hard work, and even harder won […]

In science fiction and fantasy, whether employing images or words, creators are always looking for big ideas.  A killer premise, a brilliant spin on a standard story, or something wholly fresh and unique.  And while there are no shortage of movies and books that possess those, it’s not nearly as necessary as one initially believes. […]

One of the oddest parts of this decidedly odd job (err, “””job”””) is having people make specific requests for reviews. Not in a “I’d really like to know how good this movie is.” sort of way, more in a “I’d like you to subject your brain to hitherto unknown levels of mental abuse for my […]

Months after a Lupin doppelganger is sentenced to death and hanged, Lupin III returns to the limelight, stealing a number of legendary artifacts tied to longevity on the request of Fujiko. Meanwhile, her mysterious benefactor tries to woo Fujiko, promising immortality to his personal Helen of Troy. But when Lupin double-crosses Fujiko to learn the […]

The thought that there are nowhere near as many good science fiction movies as there should be is one that I’ve had for a long time, probably since my teens, but it’s only recently that I decided to investigate it.  Certainly, everyone’s tastes are different, and we can quibble about the quality of individual pictures, […]

Heroism goes along with my job.–Lupin III After stealing bags of cash from a Monaco casino, Lupin and Jigen dump out their entire haul, recognizing the money as legendary Gothic counterfeits. Resolving to find the plates for their next caper, the thieves slip into the small Italian principality of Cagliostro. Their search is interrupted when […]

Well, if it ain’t the smell of villain.–Lupin III In 1987’s direct-to-video movie The Fuma Conspiracy, the utterly unthinkable has happened: Goemon Ishikawa, famed ronin of the underworld, is getting married. The Lupin gang reunites to attend his wedding to Murasaki Suminawa, the daughter of his martial arts instructor. The wedding ceremony is interrupted by ninjas […]

“Believe me, the painting doesn’t do him justice. He’s worse than me.”–Lupin, describing General Headhunter. To keep his nation’s treasury out of the hands of thieves, the king of Zufu moved his nation’s gold reserves to a safe house on Drifting Island. After a coup topples the heads of the king and his son, Prince […]

During the seven centuries between our age and Valerian’s, the International Space Station has been cut loose from Earth orbit after growing to the size of a small moon. Now known as Alpha, “The City of a Thousand Planets”, it drifts through space, an intergalactic hub for humanity and its hundreds of alien neighbors, protected […]