Blog Archives


(What follows is a repost from April 2017, updated to include the chinoiserie explosion of the past three years.) Readers familiar with the Pulp Revolution have certainly by now heard that with the death of the pulps, many genres fell out of favor. Hero pulps, sword and sorcery, and planetary romance have all declined from […]

Spies, thief-takers, and guild politics fill this week’s fantasy new releases. Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense: Summer Special #2 – edited by P. Alexander Eleven tales of heroic adventure, including: “Just Don’t Open the Door” by Mark Pellegrini Sean lives next to a weird house with bricked-up windows and an overgrown yard… One […]

I am much less interested in figuring out why something is bad then I am in figuring out why something is GOOD. This is integral to how I approach analysis. People have accused me in the past, because I now watch more than I read, of passively consuming my media, taking dopamine hits without engaging. […]

In 1939, while science fiction was on the cusp of its first successful bid for recognition, a small fanzine, Futuria Fantasia, presented the first story by the legendary Ray Bradbury. Titled “The Pendulum”, this story hinted at Bradbury’s future works, which Leigh Brackett declared as not science fiction, but too wonderful not to be included. More Gothic Weird […]

Time-traveling warships, giant robot rebels, and virus hunters feature in this week’s science fiction new releases. A Gulf in the Past (The Progenitors’ War #2) – Chris Kennedy Lieutenant Commander Shawn ‘Calvin’ Hobbs and the crew of the Vella Gulf have gone back in time to get the technology they needed to beat the Enemy […]

In early January 1932, Robert E. Howard in a letter to H. P. Lovecraft had this to say: “I love peace, yet I wouldnt [sic] mind a war right now such a hell of a lot, if the country was prepared; but it isnt [sic]. Japan knows it; that’s why she thinks she can kick […]

In 1950, towards the end of Weird Tales‘s run, yet just before his first John the Balladeer story, Manly Wade Wellman turned to the forest for inspiration for a ghost story, “The Pineys”. For amid the dense longleaf pines lives a strange folk known as the Pineys, and those who trespass into their lands vanish. The […]

This week’s science fiction and fantasy new releases feature alien chi cultivators, intergalactic skip tracers, dragon riders, the Legion, and the Four Horsemen. Awakened (The Quintessence: Crucible #1) – C. M. Carney Cultivation. Progression. Ascension. On the world of Crucible, where humanity’s spiritual artists train to fight in a war of universal proportions, Aryc Tal […]

Several authors, including many former Castalia House blogger and guests, got together to provide a free anthology for those itching for adventure and the thrill of the unknown during this time of distancing and quarantine. Inside are a collection of short stories and even four novels filled with tales of high adventure, escapist fantasies, and […]

The yellow ribbon binding the eponymous collection by Robert W. Chambers together, the play known as The King in Yellow is infamous for causing madness among its readers, performers, and audiences. But what other horrible secrets lay in its pages, waiting for the unsuspecting student? For that, we must go to Paris, to the time before the […]

This week’s fantasy new releases feature Appalachian witches, sellswords-turned-usurpers, and vampire hunters more dangerous than the vampires they pursue. Blood Creek Phantom (Blood Creek Series #3) – Jay Barnson An army of the living and an army of the dead converge on the Crossroads, and the fate of two worlds hangs in the balance. Sean […]

So the winter anime season was all right. I liked a few shows, some I even liked quite a bit, but none of them were GREAT. None of them lived up to the best shows of winter 2019, “Kaguya-Sama: Love is War” and especially “The Promised Neverland”. True, I didn’t see “Dorohedro” yet. But even […]