Blog Archives


Isaac Asimov was not a fan of action fiction. He had this to say about sword and sorcery fiction in an editorial for Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine: “I imagine that almost any male would at least occasionally wish he had biceps as hard as chrome steel and could wield a fifty pound sword as […]

We are reaching the end of our 2017 subscription drive, and while we have long since been “funded”, we are trying to expand our reader base. That is why a digital subscription to Cirsova will only cost you $1. There are a lot of reasons why you should check us out. Castalia House blog contributor Misha […]

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a sucker for a good romantic arc in a story. I mean, come on. I’m a Macross fan, and Macross is about three things: fighter planes in space, pop music idols, and love triangles. Don’t get me wrong; I’m here for the explosions, more often than not. But […]

Much has been written about the masculine nature of the hero and the erosion of that ideal in modern fiction. Today’s sci-fi and fantasy heroes are either bland ciphers, weak men, morally ambiguous, or butt-kicking babes, with classic masculinity all but extinguished. However, rare is the work that can have us view the concept of […]

Tom Kratman and I have approached Castalia House with an idea put forth in this blog last week about doing a California Secession Anthology:  and it’s a go!

The Expanse didn’t initially thrill me, although it’s hard to remember that now, six books later. Leviathan Wakes— the series first book– didn’t really impress me until about a two-thirds of the way through. The first two-thirds followed a boring character (Holden) in an interesting plot arc, and an interesting character (Miller) in a boring […]

An annoyance of mine are illustrations of stupid weapons, generally for book covers. I enjoy reading history. I enjoy reading fantasy fiction with pre-gunpowder settings. Over the years, I think most frequent readers of fantasy fiction read non-fiction works on weapons and tactics from the days of cold steel. The Osprey Men at Arms booklets […]

One in Three Californians Want Out! So this post isn’t political.  It’s about Strategery.  And, maybe an anthology in the making that you get to decide the course of future historical events for.  In other words: you get to shape it.  Over on my Facebook Page this week I floated the “Hey! Let’s (John Ringo, […]

As we saw in part one, Japan’s rich literary history had prepared Japanese writers for the influx of European style speculative fiction in the mid-1800s, and by the end of the century the flow of imported work had reached firehose rates as the literate public scrambled to learn as much as they could about the […]

This is a guest post by my friend Richard Toogood, a lover of sword and sorcery fiction and history. Boudica, the Ultimate Brexiteer: in fact and fiction By Richard Toogood Part One: “Just the facts, ma’am”.      With the United Kingdom on the cusp of beginning the formal process of disentangling itself from a federalising […]

Today is the 111th birthday of Robert E. Howard. Born in Peaster, Texas and lived in Cross Plains for his adult life. He died too young at age 30. There are three transformational writers for fantasy fiction of the 20th Century: Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Almost all fantasy […]

Short Reviews will return next week with George Antonio Wetter’s “Too Smart to Die”. I backed the Starship Grifters Universe Kickstarter for a signed copy of Starship Grifters and some Big Sheep drink koozies on the strength of Robert Kroese’s shitposting alone. Seriously, if you’re not following that guy on Twitter, you’re missing out. Starship […]