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Jeff Duntemann’s collection, “Cold Hands and Other Stories” shouldn’t work. The works included span more than four decades of writing.  His largely Campbellian style gives way to urban magic and deep looks at the role of religion in space exploration. This collection lacks a consistent voice or theme.  And yet it works wonderfully! This collection of short […]

In an Empire beset by internal rebellion and ferocious yaomo, the elite Shenwujun stand ready to defend human civilization. Among the Shenwujun there is none finer than Ensign Zhang Tianyou, who earned the nickname Zhang the Invincible. During a mission to quash a nascent rebellion, a Shenwujun detachment discovers evidence that the Grand Union is […]

Robert E. Howard continues to shine as a better model for Lovecraftian gaming than Lovecraft himself.  In Pigeons From Hell, available in its entirety from the Australian Project Gutenberg, two New England hikers stop for the night to make camp inside an abandoned Plantation Home somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.  A ghostly face appears […]

Last time, when we looked at the first half of Norvell Page’s “When the Death-Bat Flies”: Hirotoyo had lost his smile, “Speak, my friend, and if I can help you….”  “You can,” Dunne said shortly. “Donald Henderson was murdered last night and the death arranged to look like hari-kari. Another associate of his, Paul Tarsus, […]

The burglar fumbled in his pocket, and Dunne leaned forward sharply, the gun jutting out. It was only the jewelry. It glowed on the man’s big palm and Dunne whistled softly.  “You damned fool,” he whispered. “You utter damned fool. That’s moonglow jewel jade! Worth a fortune. Good lord, it’s priceless! That bit there shaped […]

Independent authors would do well to take a page from Darkest of Dreams, a collection of short stories written by four different authors.  The prospect of writing a 100,000 word novel, which provides around 300 pages of entertainment, requires a serious time commitment.  To say nothing of the costs associated with investing in editing, proofreading, and […]

Imagine if you will, a boy that kept a box of his most favorite things under his bed. It could include all kinds of things: a huge rhinoceros beetle and a perfect lunar moth, wheat pennies and buffalo nickles, a Skylab commemorative stamp, a few worn out copies of some really old issues of Justice […]

Was Conan a murderer?  Pshaw, I say! When thrown out into the Twit-Box arena as red meat to the lions, the question of when Conan committed murder elicited two responses.  One of which was flat out wrong, the other of which…it’s complicated, baby. In the first case, The Tower of the Elephant, Conan most certainly […]

I admit it. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with Astounding Frontiers kicking off three different serials in the first issue. But now that I have the second issue in hand, I’ll tell you. The first thing I did was go check up on Haroun and Zira in Ben Wheeler’s “In the Seraglio of the Shiek of […]

When I came cross an old hardcover copy of the Best of Cordwainer Smith at a nearby 2nd Ave. Value Store, I had never heard of any such author. Over the past couple of years, though, my adventures with Appendix N and similar canonical texts have taught me that this means little. It had an […]

Not too long ago I finally got through Sterling Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey. Although it undeniably put forth some creative and inspiring ideas, I wasn’t overly impressed. Jeffro’s noted that the book was one of the primary influences of Gamma World, and though I’ve never played it, reading the basic description of the game’s setting is indeed evocative […]

Frequently, fans of the genre will lament that science fiction is dead.  I strongly disagree; there are still talented, imaginative writers producing worthwhile, even great work.  But in one regard, they are correct. Aside from a faint glimmer here and there, the science fiction short story has been snuffed out. Now, it’s not particularly illuminating […]