Blog Archives


Cinema ( The concept of the sci-fi weapon also has its allure. Whether it’s a cyborg hero taking down villains with some kind of crazy blaster, or evil Dark Lords wiping out entire planets with their mechanical monstrosities, there is no doubt that the destructive capabilities of such futuristic weaponry appeal to a certain base […]

Last week marked the end of an era for the Castalia House blog. Alex said farewell after almost three and a half solid years of weekly blog entries. He provided a service reviewing an older piece of (generally) pulp science fiction. Planet Stories was a favored magazine for him to discuss, a magazine often hated […]

Animated Cartoons ( When CBS ordered a series based on the latest trend, fantasy role-playing games, perhaps they didn’t know what awaited them. Debuting on Sept 17, 1983, Dungeons & Dragons (inspired by the game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and published by TSR) came to air already surrounded by controversy. The game’s use of […]

Where to even begin? It’s been a tremendous privilege and an honor to have been a part of the Castalia House family. Over the course of around three years, I’ve written somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 Short Reviews, Retro Fandom Fridays, and miscellany in an effort to give people an idea of what the […]

This is it, the final Retro Fandom Friday for some time! People were abuzz in the Vizigraph about the Fall issue of Planet Stories, which featured Enchantress of Venus as its cover story. I totally did not plan for this to fall on the day that our Illustrated 70th Anniversary Edition of Enchantress of Venus […]

Last fall Fenton Woods dropped an unheralded work of brilliance on the literary world with which teased us with Pirates of the Electromagnetic Airwaves (previously reviewed at CH) the subtitle Yankee Republic Book #1.  The series continues in the recently released Book #2, Five Million Watts, in which Fenton Woods pulls the curtain a little further back on […]

Sword of Fire, by Emmett McDowell, was the featured cover story of the Winter 1949 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at At last we get to the exciting cover story of the Winter issue! Dashing raygun pulp hero Jupiter Jones is on a mission for the Galactic Colonization Board to […]

This week had me slammed, but we promise that next week, we’ll have a review up for Emmett McDowell’s Sword of Fire!

Let The Ants Try by Frederik Pohl (as James MacCreigh) appeared in the Winter 1949 issue of Planet Stories. It can be read here at A man’s first enemy is his family—for he sees them first—but he sides with them against the families across the way. And still his neighbors are allies against the […]

Mecha madness descends once more in this week’s roundup of science fiction releases, with sky-jumping mercenaries, tokusatsu heroines, and covert bodyguards all donning heavy metal. Meanwhile, a young radio engineer tries to talk to the stars and pulp hero Eric John Stark tries to stop a barbarian invasion on Mars.  Deathangel (The Four Horsemen: Omega […]

Short Reviews will return next week with James MacCreigh’s Let The Ants Try! You guys know how much I love Leigh Brackett and think that everyone really ought to be reading her. So much so that I dropped some hefty coin in creating an all-new, fully illustrated edition of her Eric John Stark Planet Stories. […]

J. Manfred Weichsel has been a regular in the independent short fiction magazines that have sprung up in recent years.  His short works have made the cut and graced the pages of Crisova, Fierce Tales, and Milhaven’s Tales of Wonder, and reading them back to back in an anthology like Going Native and Other Tales it […]