Blog Archives

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#SpaceOperaWeek (SuperversiveSF) When New Is (Not) Best–The Degradation of Grand Master Anne McCaffrey — “I don’t know what is more shocking to me: That this person who supposedly reviews SF spoke so lightly of this Grand Master who changed the field and who still sells today. That a person who is so old-fashioned as to […]

Appendix N (Rampant Games) Breaking the Old-School Fantasy Game Code — “A lot of talk lately has been about how people have suddenly rediscovered pulp because of his book (or the original blog posts), which is something I’ll talk about later this week. But from a game-design perspective, as a guy trying to infuse a game […]

Roleplaying Games (SuperversiveSF) The Superversive in Tabletop RPGs: King Arthur’s Pendragon — “The reason I mark this out as Superversive is that everything about the game emphasizes the fundamental elements upon which Western Civilization rest, especially if you choose to do the default and play a Christian Knight. The game, as a primary mark of distinction, […]

Appendix N (Nixon Now) The Creepy Doll — “You can’t talk about creepy dolls without invoking the ‘uncanny valley’, the unsettling place where creepy dolls, like their robot cousins, and before them, the automatons, reside. The uncanny valley refers to the idea that human react favorably to humanoid figures until a point at which these figures […]

Books (Quintus Curtius) Why Every Man Should Read “Robinson Crusoe” — “Never before had English readers seen a story like it. Instead of telling a tale of man against man, Robinson Crusoe deals with that far more common circumstance: man against himself. While most of us will never be shipwrecked on a deserted island, we will […]

Tunnels & Trolls (Save Versus All Wands) Game Review (Part 2): Tunnels & Trolls, 1st edition: Troll Talk, Character Creation and a Tasteless Joke — “I’ll take a juvenile sexist joke, or, at least, a young hobby where authors occasionally make juvenile sexist jokes in print, over the dumbed down, prudish, committee-composed, corporate, politically-correct pap that […]

D&D (Autarch) Alien Technology in BCK, Or “Science Fantasy is Best Fantasy!” — “The primitive mortal residents of Kanahu have little understanding of the nature of the alien contraptions carried by the mysterious visitors. Before they can use a piece of alien technology, they must first understand what it is. This carries risks far greater than […]

Culture (The Walrus) The Rising Tide of Educated Aliteracy — “By this point host Jian Ghomeshi was driven to make a joke about the situation: ‘I’m glad we populated the panel for Canada Reads with a bunch of people who don’t read.’ What sorts of arguments, he wondered, would the panelists be making in defense of […]

Scientology (First Things) Science Friction — “Although some science-fiction writers, such as Isaac Asimov and Jack Williamson, considered it a scam and criticized it as unscientific, others—including John W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding, the most influential science-fiction magazine of its day—seemed convinced of its importance and validity.” Appendix N (Jon Del Arroz) Retro Review: Tarzan Of […]

Appendix N (PC Bushi) The Overworld and the Undertale — “Cugel is a dick. And not one of those guys who’s a dick but then actually has a heart of gold, a ‘la Han Solo. For example, in one incident, Cugel is interacting with some clam-men (yes, they’re dudes who live in clams). They play […]

Pulp Revolution (Benjamin Cheah) ‘Gritty’ and ‘Realistic’ SFF Isn’t — “In the dark SFF style championed by Abercrombie and Martin, we only see the unpleasantness. A Song of Ice and Fire is marked by murder, betrayal, rape, intrigue, incest, rape, atrocities, war and of course, rape. SFF books in a similar vein feature unsympathetic protagonists with […]

Meanwhile… (Nerdette) The Past, Present And Future Of Sci Fi With N.K. Jemisin — “Science fiction has, for years, allowed a fairly vocal subset of its readership to declare that the only true science fiction is stuff that was written 50 or 60 years ago, that the pulps of the ’40s is what the genre is all […]