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Sensor Sweep: 13th Warrior, GURPS, Sword & Planet –

Sensor Sweep: 13th Warrior, GURPS, Sword & Planet

Monday , 10, June 2024 1 Comment

Comic Books (Fandom Pulse): Marvel Ultimate’s stretch has been going for some time now, but the most recent Ultimate Spiderman, which started in January, brought waves of excitement back into the comic industry. The main cover of the first issue hit over $100 on eBay! This had some fans weary that Marvel would not stay on this trajectory for long and some fans excited for the stories they’ve been asking for.

New (Rough Edges): DOOM OF THE DARK DELTA is the first novella in the Snakehaven series from bestselling author James Reasoner. Part sword and sorcery, part alternate history, and all action and adventure, it’s a thrilling tale that begins a saga of epic scope. And it all begins here in DOOM OF THE DARK DELTA!

Warhammer (Lord Samper Library): So… ‘Longshot’ joins a very small number of books that I actually stayed awake to finish on the way home from work (and if you know me, you’ll know that’s a big deal) but that almost wasn’t the case… Like I said the other day, this was more on me than the book but… While I get that urban warfare can be long and drawn out for the poor soldier fighting house to house.

Cinema (Silver Key): I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the film. It has its rousing moments, awesome pre-battle speeches, and a couple epic scenes, but drags in other places. It has a bit of a “talky” introduction, too much telling and not enough showing, though this works better in the 1976 novel on which its based, Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead. The filming was beset with difficulties; Crichton came on for a script rewrite and took over as director, firing John McTiernan—but reportedly was happy with the end result. McTiernan disputes much of this.

GURPS (Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog): I am driven by two inscrutable desires. One, my hatred of all things GURPS and two, my desire to live the dreams that my fourteen-year-old self had for his second edition GURPS Basic Set. I thought maybe that making a game with the classic Denis Loubet Cardboard Heroes counters would do something for me. Maybe it did.

Culture (Kairos): The movie theater I once worked at years ago closed for good recently. To anticipate longtime readers’ follow up question, yes. It was the location notorious for high strangeness that’s been featured on this blog before.

RPG (Matthew J. Constantine): This is different.  Stephan Surratt’s Elfland: Beyond the Fields We Know is a combination solo journaling guide and a toolbox for a Dungeon Crawl Classics judge to take characters into the realm of the Fey.  As I’ve been experimenting with solo games lately, I was glad to find the former aspect built into this little booklet.

Science Fiction (SF&F Rembrance): Big Planet and Planet of the Damned were published mere months apart, and it’s likely they were also written in close succession. Unfortunately, as I had just implied, while Big Planet is the hit single, a real breakthrough for Vance as a world-builder, Planet of the Damned is the lower-effort B-side that smells of “second verse, same as the first.” But it’s not entirely lesser than its big (haha) brother, for there are a couple things Planet of the Damned at least tries to do better.

Fantasy (DVS Press): “Fantasy” means simply imagination, as the word is used in music composition. So the simple and robust definition of fantasy is an imaginative work of fiction, but that by itself is somewhat wanting since all fiction involves imagination on some level. Fantasy fiction, therefore needs a tighter definition: fiction that involves the imaginative as opposed to the real.

Genre (Swords Lore): For the month of June, Senchas Claideb is going to be digging up some lore on Sword & Planet, an obscure genre from the early days of pulp fiction, echoes of which can be seen in modern popular media such as Star Wars and more recently the film adaptations of Dune. As the title of this article suggests, Sword & Planet in a nutshell is a weird cross between fantasy and science fiction, leaning much more heavily into the former genre. On a deeper level, it could also be considered Heroic Fantasy (i.e., Sword & Sorcery) in space.

Cinema (Michael K. Vaughn): My Thoughts on the John Carter Movie.

Science-Fantasy (Cirsova): We’re bringing the hardcover omnibus of Illustrated Stark back for a limited run to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Queen of the Martian Catacombs. As some of you might be aware, we split with our printer who was doing Illustrated Stark a few years ago, which resulted in both the softcover and hardcover omnibus formats falling out of print.

Science Fiction (Swashbuckling Planets): But why am I reviewing this as a sword and planet piece? Because it practically is one. Even if it’s set on Earth. As the series title says, its setting is the Pliocene era of Earth, six million years ago. The story follows a diverse and colorful bunch of time travelers who, discontent with the pseudo-eutopian conditions of the 22nd century, opt for a one-way trip into the Pliocene.

Science Fiction (SF&F Remembrance): Sos the Rope is the first entry in the Battle Circle trilogy, and having just finished the last installment I can see how it would lend itself to a sequel—not that I wanna read more. I was awfully slow finishing this, not because it was a difficult read exactly but because I didn’t like it and I kept putting it off.

Chesterton (John C. Wright): But we must recall that the French Revolution was the only alternative to the corrupt plutocratic monarchy, with a weak king and a strong aristocratic class running de facto monopolies at the time in England, with a history of looting Catholic monasteries, and enclosing, that is, stealing, public lands and common greens and converting them to private, that is, aristocratic, ownership.

Horror (Old Style Tales): In my estimation, “Ultor De Lacy” is one of the finest, most enigmatic, and most terrifying of Le Fanu’s short fiction, standing comfortably alongside “Schalken the Painter” and “Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street.” It is with sadness, then, that in my research I noted that it accrued very little critical attention indeed (outside of a fine essay by Ann Cahill).

Review (Marzaat): Review: “Robin’s Rath”, Margery Lawrence, 1923. This is one of those stories where an outsider shows up in a small town or rural setting, is warned by the locals not to do something, and goes ahead and does it anyway with disasterous consequences. This story mostly ends up where you expect it to, but the details make it enjoyable and interesting.

Culture (James LaFond): “Ethan Allen, it is commonly supposed, was a pioneer, backwoods chieftain and extempore soldier who suddenly emerged from the wilderness at the head of a band of uncouth adventurers, captured a fortress, shouted an epigram and disappeared again into the obscurity of mountain caverns and first growth trees.”

Horror (M Porcius): We’ve actually already read a bunch of things Dziemianowicz and company selected for To Sleep, Perchance to Dream… Nightmare, and here are the linkerinos to prove it:

Myth (The Lotus Eaters): How Enkidu and Gilgamesh Became Brothers.

Comic Books (Rip Jagger’s Dojo): Now I’m not one thousand percent sure of that, but there’s no doubt that getting my grubby little kiddie mitts on this Gold Key gem was part of what propelled me to become a comic book addict from that day to this. If you check out that date on the ad, you’ll discover that this wonderful and memorable comic hit the newsstands on D-Day.

D&D (Grognardia): In my youth, I didn’t have a lot of direct experience with Judges Guild products. Aside from the Wilderlands of High Fantasy, I can probably count the number of JG releases I owned or used on one hand. Partly that’s because I was an unrepentant TSR fanboy and looked askance at third-party products, even those that were “approved for use with Dungeons & Dragons,” as Judges Guild’s were.

Comic Books (Bleeding Cool): Andrew Sumner, Chief Operating Officer of Titan Comics, bounced up at the MCM London Comic Con Diamond Retailer Day last weekend with plenty to talk about to the assembled comic book store owners and workers.

Comic Books (Kleefield on Comics): I was recently reminded of the website. It was started in 2001 by John Rhett Thomas and initially just kept track of Marvel’s Masterworks books, which volumes were out and reprinted which issues. He later began including info on any of Marvel’s reprint volumes, and an increasingly regular news section noting what new works were coming out and when. And that news section broadened to include DC’s volumes as well as some from Image and Dark Horse.

Westerns (Fifties Westerns): Kino Lorber has announced that they’ll be bring Red Mountain (1951), starring a pre-Shane Alan Ladd, to Blu-Ray later this year. It’s another Quantrill’s Raiders story, with John Ireland as the Confederate guerrilla this time around. The plot is a stew made up of a posse, a lynch mob, Indians, a gold mine and the Civil War.

One Comment
  • deuce says:

    Another great Sweep! Always good to see something on Chesterton.

    May’s ‘Pliocene Saga’ is underappreciated. Epic old-school SF adventure.

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