Blog Archives


Book Collecting (DMR Books): As important to me as Abraham Grace Merritt (I prefer his byline – A. Merritt) is, it constantly surprises me that there are still many today who have never heard of him.  Actually – let me walk that back a bit.  It used to surprise me.  I’ve seen that blank look […]

The Lost Bomb by Rog Phillips appeared in the May 1950 issue of Amazing Stories. It can be read here at Rog Phillips certainly dominates this issue of Amazing stories with around 50k words of his fiction. Unlike Slaves of the Crystal Brain, The Lost Bomb is published under his own name. The Lost […]

I stopped at the regional Barnes & Noble bookstore last week with some time to kill. I was surprised. The normally very well stocked remainder section had bare shelves. The Barnes & Noble bargain hardbacks seemed scarce. A trip to the fiction section was also a surprise. The section with Barnes & Noble imprint paperback […]

Short Reviews will return next week with more Rog Phillips in Amazing Stories! Cirsova Publishing is thrilled to announce Duel Visions, an all-new anthology of horror and macabre by Misha Burnett and Louise Sorensen. Duel Visions marks Cirsova Publishing’s second departure from its flagship publication, Cirsova Magazine, and its first ever traditional format book release. […]

A lot of ink has been spilled on trying to categorize science fiction into hard and soft categories, whether at the Castalia House blog, other online sites, and in print. What quickly emerges is how fluid the definitions are. Hard science fiction may refer, depending on the speaker, to fiction addressing the physical sciences, adhering […]

If This Be Utopia… by Kris Neville appeared in the May 1950 issue of Amazing Stories. It can be read here at Kris Neville’s “If this Be Utopia…” is a classic example of one of those “warning what the future will be like under this or that political system” sci-fi fables. In a future […]

I have been following China’s naval ambitions and aggressive sphere-of-influence expansion with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is a return to normalcy as they are a neighborhood powerhouse with which our foreign policy elites are still coming to grips and considers it a strange thing indeed, but on the other, I laugh at the […]

With 2018 finally in the history books, and 2019 stretched out before us, it’s a perfect time to take a moment to examine just what happened to science fiction and fantasy in 2018, and, in science fiction’s tradition of extrapolating into the unknown, what readers might expect of the new year. Let’s begin with 2018. […]

Fiction (Pulp Rev): A couple of weeks ago over dinner, Troy Tang and I discussed some of the fundamental problems facing PulpRev. PulpRev makes for a fine umbrella term for writers to rally around, but every writer has different ideas about the direction of their own writing. This makes it hard for people to define […]

Slaves of the Crystal Brain, by Rog Phillips (as William Carter Sawtelle), was featured in the May 1950 issue of Amazing Stories. It can be read here at Slaves of the Crystal Brain has probably been the best pulp story I’ve read in a while. Sure, there was some okay stuff in the issue […]

THE BOOK OF FEASTS & SEASONS, by John C. Wright, is a beautifully mind-bending stroll with a grandmaster of science fiction through the annual Catholic calendar. Over the course of the year, from January to December, the author takes his inspiration from ten different holidays and explores their meanings in a series of stories of […]

Doing something a little different for this Retro Fandom Friday. Honestly, none of the letters in this issue of Fantastic Story Magazine really grabbed me, and I’m not steeped enough in that fandom to appreciate or get a lot of the references yet. There were a few shout-outs regarding C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner’s “Earth’s […]