Blog Archives


The alternative world genre of isekai overflows with the adventures of teens questing through fantasy worlds that blend video game and Western fantasy tropes. While most of these tales escape the server farms and silicon gates of actual MMO games for divinely-crafted fantasy worlds, a few return to the central premise of modern isekai: What […]

The Dark World, by Henry Kuttner was originally published in the Summer 1946 issue of Startling Stories. Right now, I’m reading the reprint in Winter 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine, which can be found here on I’m not going to be able to do a full review of this story this week, as […]

A late Sunday night live stream between myself (Anthony Marchetta) and Ben Wheeler, author of the excellent “Sheik or Mars”. Here we discuss the latest season of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure”, the philosophy of “Fullmetal Alchemist”, how Protestantism would re-form in space, and more! Fun show folks, I think you’ll like it.

Yesterday, IndieGoGo cancelled the Alt-Hero:Q crowdfunding campaign for allegedly violating their Terms and Services. IndieGoGo has begun notifying backers and refunding contributions. If you backed Alt-Hero:Q, please check your email for a message from IndieGoGo confirming that a refund was issued.  Per IndieGoGo, “refunds are issued back to the credit or debit card used to make the […]

The Xi Effect, by Philip Latham was the cover story for the January 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. For whatever reason, it was stripped out of the scan of the issue, but if you’re a masochist, it can still be read here at Wikisource. Welcome to my Friday column, where each week I […]

Beating up on Dungeons And Dragons Official ™ licensed works rightfully has a reputation for playing the literary criticism game with the difficulty set to “I’m Too Young To Die”. The lifestyle brand sells the books, and the community, not the actual prose, and Wizards of the Coast has only rarely made an effort to […]

With Cirsova Submissions open, I haven’t had a chance to get started on the January 1950 issue of Astounding [which will likely be my last for some time]. So I wanted to highlight a few classic stories I’ve covered here at Castalia House. The following are examples of the sorts of stories I’m looking for […]

“Now I have heard tell that death sometimes calls to a man in a voice only he can hear. Then he must rise and leave his friends and go to whatever place death shall bid him, and there meet his doom. Has death ever called to you in such a fashion?”  Fafhrd might have laughed, […]

By now you’ve heard that Castalia House completed yet another hugely successful crowdfunding campaign.  It’s just the latest feather in the cap for the publishing house that’s going to need a bigger hat before long.  On the surface it looks like just another title – a modern day adventurer taking on a vast and shadowy […]

The small press has been the matrix that has produced many sword and sorcery writers. Andrew Offutt raided the small press magazines of the 1970s to fill out the Sword Against Darkness volumes. David C. Smith, Charles R. Saunders, and Charles de Lint all got their start in those literary labors of love. Carnelian Press’ […]

…And Now You Don’t (Part 2), by Isaac Asimov was published in the December 1949 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. It can be read here at A young woman privy to knowledge of a galaxy-shaking conspiracy finds herself a potential political prisoner on the world where a tyrant had sought to rebuild a space […]

  Alterna Comics has been around for a few years, but during the recent resurgence of the independent comics movement they have garnered praise for their character-based storytelling, commitment to their fans, and their economic model which manages to present hard copy comics for about the price of a candy bar.  While slaves of the tech gods […]