Writers (On an Underwood No. 5): :Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian wandered into the pages of Weird Tales with “The Phoenix on the Sword” (Dec 1932), and was followed by “The Scarlet Citadel” (Jan 1933), “The Tower of the Elephant” (Mar), “Black Colossus” (Jun), “The Slithering Shadow” (Sep), “The Pool of the Black One” (Oct), “Rogues in the House” (Jan 1934), “Shadows in the Moonlight” (Apr), “Queen of the Black Coast” (May), “The Haunter of the Ring” (Jun), “The Devil in Iron” (Aug), and the serial “The People of the Black Circle” (Sep-Oct-Nov). Much of the response in “The Eyrie,” the letters-column of Weird Tales, was positive…but in the November 1934 issue there was a letter aimed at the popular series character.”
Comic Books (Marvel.com): “Today, Marvel Entertainment and Conan Properties International are excited to announce the iconic CONAN franchise will make its grand return to Marvel next year. With over 650 issues from 1970 to 2000, Marvel brought fans the adventures of Conan The Barbarian, Conan the Adventurer, Conan the Savage, and Savage Sword of Conan, among other popular titles.”
Board Games (Board Game Geek): “Australian publisher Grail Games has become a go-to publisher for designer Reiner Knizia. After releasing a new edition of Knizia’s classic press-your-luck game Circus Flohcati in 2016, Grail Games released a new version of Medici, Medici: The Card Game, and King’s Road in 2017, and in 2018 Grail will release the roll-and-write game Criss Cross, a new edition of the long out-of-print Stephenson’s Rocket, and the just-announced Yellow & Yangtze, a sister game to Knizia’s best-ranked game of all time — Tigris & Euphrates.”
RPG (Kotaku): “Your bread-and-butter Dungeons & Dragons party won’t include a manticore, a gargoyle, a hyena or a sentient fungi, but maybe it should. One D&D player spent a year and a half converting every single creature in the D&D Monster Manual into playable characters, and now players can live out their dreams of being a great fire beetle who slays dragons.”
Writers (Go Local): “Everyone who writes about H.P. Lovecraft tries to reconcile the visionary pioneer of American horror fiction with the vicious racist. While he was following in the footsteps of Edgar Allen Poe as America’s preeminent writer of macabre, terrifying tales, Lovecraft was also cheering on Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and lamenting the massive Jewish conspiracy he believed secretly dominated American arts and culture. These were not distinct facets of his personality. Instead, the bigotry informed his fiction. Lovecraft’s stories constantly feature cosmic horrors served by grotesque creatures. Those creatures were drawn from his fear of interracial breeding, which he thought would produce deformed, brutish “mongrels” who would plunge humanity into constant chaos.”
RPG (Geek.com): “One of the few truly great trends in 2017 was the return of tabletop role-playing. Dungeons & Dragons got a boost from Stranger Things, but TSR’s fantasy franchise isn’t the only game in town. Back in the glory days, there were dozens of other competing pen and paper RPGs for the true geek’s attention. If you didn’t want to swing a sword and cast a spell, you could travel to the far future, or the Old West, or dozens of other places and times.”
Writers (Pulp Archivist): “Frankly, it seems to me that the average pseudo-scientific tale (always excepting the really fine work of such men as Wandrei, over again, and to resent the slightest variation. I may be wrong, but this is the conclusion I have reached from reading the published letters of pseudo-scientific fans. All readers of the wood-pulps are more or less inclined that way (or I should say most, instead of all) but the p.s.f. seem unusually conventional. A queer paradox.”
Comic Books (Jeffro Johnson): “Okay, you’ve heard the refrain.
Guys like Ethan Van Sciver, Diversity & Comics, and Kasimir Urbanski all love to roast the more ludicrous efforts of the SJW’s within the comics scene. It makes for entertaining YouTube videos, that’s for sure. But Arkhaven comes onto the scene and suddenly they all want to run an angle on it claiming that these guys are just like the SJW’s except they’re just coming at from the opposite end of the political spectrum. Two sides of the same coin and all that.”
Writers (DMR Books): “Merritt is (along with Clark Ashton Smith) the favorite author of this blog’s Most Puissant and Fearsome Editor, Dave Ritzlin, and I rank Merritt pretty damned high myself. Thus, this day shall not go without remark and due respect will be rendered.
‘What’s up with the title?’ one might ask. Surely, A. Merritt can’t be called the “Lord of Fantasy”? Ah, but he once was–by multitudes. In my opinion, he still sits with other great ones at the High Table in the Halls of Fantasy. Just as Genghis Khan was once named the Master of Thrones and Crowns and died as such with sceptre in hand, so was Merritt hailed as the Lord of Fantasy for decades, toppled only after he was in his grave for more than two decades. Also like the Great Khan, Merritt left many (literary) descendants to carry on his legacy and remember his name.
Genres (Jim Fear): “So the good people over at Castalia House have put out a review of the new Gardner Dozois/George R. R. Martin anthology, The Book of Swords. You can read the autopsy of this shitpile here, but I’ll just let you know that it doesn’t look pretty. This is the same problem they had with their Old Venus anthology, which is that these people fundamentally do not understand the medium they’re working in. Either that, or they’re actively trying to kill it. They say you shouldn’t attribute to malice what could be attributed to ignorance and incompetence, but at this point I’m really starting to fucking wonder over here.”