Farewell

Monday , 6, November 2017 45 Comments

It’s been a good run, y’all. And I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

I went from writing mostly about Car Wars and on to game design and role-playing games in general. After taking Lewis Pulsipher’s course on game design, I realized I liked writing about games far more than I did making them. But under his direction, I also learned how to be productive– and to focus my efforts on developing completed works.

I remember when Sad Puppies first came to my attention. Upon reading the most vilified author of the whole crop– Vox Day, of course– I saw a nominated story that’s worst fault could only be that it was explicitly Christian. Looking up the publishing house it was produced at, I found a manifesto stating their goal to restore fantasy and science fiction to more what it was like when it was written by Tolkien and Howard. (And yeah, I had no idea how the person that wrote that could possibly think that a pulp writer like Robert E. Howard could be anywhere on par with J. R. R. Tolkien. And even more ironically, I couldn’t imagine how a “Campbellian Revolution” they claimed to want could be anything other than good.)

Nevertheless, it struck me as something I was born to do, so joined up with the intention of taking my own writing to another level. I soon went to work writing a series of posts that would ultimately become Appendix N: A Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons. These efforts would culminate into several things happening:

  • A modest literary movement would form, i. e. the Pulp Revolution.
  • The Castalia House blog would catapult up in readership to the point where it could rival the leading fantasy and science fiction group blog on the internet.
  • Upon release, the book Appendix N would manage to land an impressive #1 spot in the Amazon rankings in the category of Literary Genre History & Criticism.
  • And thanks to the efforts of an entire group of pulp historians, a more accurate picture of science fiction and fantasy’s history would emerge which placed the field’s politicization as occurring much earlier than most people would have thought.
  • Last but not least, a whole range of people would go on to get better results with their vintage fantasy role-playing games as a result of their playing them the way they were designed to be played.

For a guy whose greatest aspiration up until then had only been to share his undying love for the unsung sport of autodueling with the world, I gotta tell ya… this was all some seriously mind blowing stuff.

So much is happening in the wider scene today that I can barely keep up with even a portion of it. Along with that, I find that areas of my life outside of gaming and fiction have increasingly laid greater and greater claims to my time. And while I wish I could do all the things that I can think of that could really capitalize on everything that’s developed here… I’m afraid I instead have to admit that I’ve run with all of this about as far as I can.

It’s a tough thing to do, but I think it’s the right thing for me at this time. So I’m handing over editorship of Castalia House blog to Morgan Holmes, who has been writing about classic fantasy and science fiction here almost as long as I have. (Good luck, man!)

To everyone at Castalia House and to all the readers and bloggers here… thank you. You’ve all inspired me greatly and have continually surprised me with your dedication and your love for the field. It really has been an exciting trip, and I’m grateful to everyone that took the time to join with me in this voyage of discovery.

So long for now.

45 Comments
  • Bruce says:

    Appendix N was great. Best of luck in further projects.

  • Jon Mollison says:

    Your enthusiasm, insights, and incites will all be missed. It has been an honor, and with Morgan you leave the place in goid hands. Vaya con dios, mis ami.

  • John E. Boyle says:

    Congratulations on what you have accomplished and for what you have started.

    Best of Luck.

  • Wilbur says:

    Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. It’s been insane. Also, when we meet one day, I’m doing the driving. But cheer up – – that way you’ll be free to do all the shooting.

  • Congratulations! Your recent volume of social media output has been superhuman. And Appendix N was a milestone. I have no doubt It will be used as the essential source on the topic for a long time to come. You should be very proud.

  • JD Cowan says:

    Thanks for everything, Jeffro.

  • Bryce Byerley says:

    hopefully, you might be inspired to write the off article from time to time. I’m hoping to grill the old timers about the sandbox days and Appendix N at GaryCon this year. I will gladly send the videos to you…

  • VD says:

    Thanks so much for your excellent guidance of the blog! You did a wonderful job and left some big shoes for Morgan to fill.

  • Xavier Basora says:

    Jeffro.
    Good luck and I hope you do some occasional blog posts.
    And thanks for your contributions, I’ve learnt much and made a lot of online relationships

    xavier

  • Rawle Nyanzi says:

    Sorry to hear you’re leaving. Best of luck on your future endeavors, and I hope you come back to visit on occasion.

  • Morgan says:

    I just hope I don’t screw up!

  • Freddo says:

    Thnx for all the hard work.

  • Mark says:

    Good luck to both you Jeffro and to Mr Holmes. It’s been an excellent ride, and here’s to many more years of it under the new stewardship 🙂 .

    Perhaps you can pop over for the odd guest column or two?

  • Best wishes to you, Jeffro, in your future endeavors and to Morgan Holmes as the next editor in Castalia House’s ongoing Sci-Fi thriller series, “Editor Who.” 😉

  • Taarkoth says:

    Best of luck to you, sir.

    I would follow Vox’s recommendation to show my appreciation by buying your book, but I already did so when it came out!

  • N.A. Roberts says:

    You made us what we are today. While it will be a devastating loss for us, you can rest assured that we will keep forging ahead in the paths that you scouted and cleared for us. May all your future endeavors be as successful! And please, drop in on us sometimes.

  • Jack Amok says:

    Blogs may perhaps be the new Pulps, and if so, Jeffro, you have done as much as any of the great pulp editors of the past. CH is one of the best group blogs on the Internet.

    Beyond that, you’ve reintroduced me to a genre I’d forgotten, and through that introduced my kids to it.

    Best of luck, and thank you.

  • I read this blog practically every day. Thanks for making it awesome!

  • Alex says:

    Thanks for everything

  • anonme says:

    I’ve agreed with most of your stuff, though disagreeing with you from time to time, but your writing here has always been compelling. Your work will be sorely missed, and I wish you luck with your future endeavors.

  • Astrsorceror says:

    Thanks for bringing us an excellent blog. I hope you will make an article or two once in a while in the future. Best of luck with whatever you’re doing next.

  • Thank you for your hard work Jeffro. You really changed the way I look at fiction.

  • Congrats on your success, and wishing you luck on your next journey. Congrats to Morgan! Can’t wait to see what great things you bring to the table.

  • Please do come back to blog when you feel like it. Your posts are among the best I’ve ever read.

  • Todd Everhart says:

    This isn’t even his final form! I hope we get to see more of your other works soon.

  • deuce says:

    Thanks for everything, Jeffro. Best of luck!

  • Amadan says:

    I loved your articles, including the wargaming ones. See you at PrezCon, maybe.

  • Perplyone says:

    Good luck in your future endeavors, sir!

    So long, and thanks for all the words!

  • You did great things as the editor of the blog, Jeffro. Take what you learned into your endeavors going forward and you will only build on the success you had here. Good luck, and good hunting!

  • Nathan says:

    Thanks for the vision, the trust, the enthusiasm, and the good reads.

  • Fletcher Vredenburgh says:

    You will be missed here, but I expect to read great stuff by you in the future. Appendix N is a valuable reminder of where fantasy has been and can still be.

  • Man of the Atom says:

    Jeffro, thanks for your work here and for “Appendix N”. You rekindled “Pulp” for many!

  • Emmett Fitz-Hume says:

    Jeffro No!!

    Take care and good luck. I was a huge fan of your Sensor Sweeps!

  • Thank you for your superlative work, Jeffro. You will be missed!

    And congratulations to Mr. Holmes.

  • T. Everett says:

    Congratulations on a job well done, and success in your future endeavors!

  • Rick Derris says:

    Congrats on everything you’ve done here. It’s a great site!

  • Dan Wolfgang says:

    I’m really honored that you included the Sci Fi video QuQu and I made in your goodbye post.

    Take care, Jeffro.

  • Dominika says:

    Thanks Jeffro for all of the inspiring thoughts/posts you’ve shared here.

    See you around, Space Cowboy… 🙂

  • Donald says:

    You are an inspiration, and an exemplar of erudition and grace under fire.

    I look forward to seeing what comes next!

  • […] TURNOVER AT CASTALIA HOUSE BLOG. Jeffro Johnson is leaving the Castalia House blog. Contributor Morgan Holmes will take charge. Culture warrior Johnson said in his farewell post […]

  • Bryce says:

    Thanks, Jeffro. May you find success in all your endeavors.

  • DanH says:

    Sad to see you go Jeffro, I have really enjoyed your writing and to get to interact with you from time to time in the comments. I hope we will still see you from time to time.
    You have do a fantastic job not just here but also you have had a profound effect on the ‘pulp revolution’ movement. Congratulations, well done and best of luck in your new endeavors!

  • mistaben says:

    I’ve been here since day one and watched the blog blossom under your care. Terrific work, Jeffro.

  • instasetting says:

    We argued, but I learned stuff from you.

    Best of luck, man.

  • […] I must say so long to my editor at Castalia House, Jeffro Johnson. He’s stepped down as site editor for time reasons, and he will be much missed. Morgan Holmes has taken over duties for the time being, and Morgan is a solid guy and great, […]

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