Sensor Sweep: Elfland’s Daughter, Magic the Gathering, Dell Horror, and Last Jedi (again).

Monday , 8, January 2018 1 Comment

Fiction (Pulp Rev): “He is not wrong. This is the Second Coming of the Pulps. The difference is that the hustle is even harder now than it was the first time around, both in competing attracts and in the scope and scale of the playing field (truly global). The role of the pulp magazine in the first age is not what it is now; the hustle requires that we reconsider, reconfigure, and reappraise to actually pay bills doing this.

The good news is that the means to get stories to readers is easier than ever. The bad news is that attracting and retaining that audience is harder than ever. The gatekeeper formerly had the incentive, the means, and the motive to play middleman properly; by curating what he thought sold best, he paid bills while performing a useful function that benefited the most people. That’s not the case now, and it hasn’t been for a decade or more, so the entire business has to change to remain functional.”


Cinema (Walker’s Retreat): “I will not brook any apologia for The Last Jedi now that the opening for its run in China has come: $125 million. Of that gross, over half of it will stay in China and never reach Disney’s coffers. That fact sounds impressive, until you consider the following:

  • Warcraft’s China run pulled in 213 million. That movie–even among Warcraft fans like me–is acknowledged as a dumpster fire that deserved its failure, however much we wanted it to succeed. TLJ did worse than that.”


Books (Might Thor Jr.): “I have been adding many new books to my collection recently. My interest in reading has shifted to older books and authors. So I thought instead of just a simple book haul post I would do more of a spotlight/introduction post as well. So in the post below you will not only find the usual book haul photo’s, but book and author info as well. I hope you will take the time to look it over and maybe take a chance at checking out books and authors that you may have forgot about or discover in these post!”


Art (DMR Books): “…I thought about the works of the great fantasy writers like Tolkien, Leiber, Howard, Merritt, and Hodgson. I must tell you something though, I have been fortunate to have illustrated the works of those great writers, with the exception of one; J.R.R. Tolkien. But I was offered a chance to do so by a book publisher who was going to reprint ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.

”Tolkien however, objected, he wanted to illustrate the books himself! Later on I learned that Tolkien had also objected to Frank Frazetta illustrating his books. That is truly a sad thing, Frazetta’s artwork would have added immensely to the books.”


Books (Too Much Horror): “Not even Dell’s ambitious Abyss line of horror fiction could avoid the dregs of the genre: Ron Dee‘s second title for the imprint, Descent(October 1991) is indescribably awful, incoherent, at once over- and underwrought. You can’t imagine the Sisyphean task it was to trudge through this novel. From the very first sentence—perhaps even before, as you’ll see in a sec—“Suck (ha I shoulda seen it coming) away my death and bring me alive. Lose your self and I arrive.” Good God I was groaning inside instantly (“They threw me off the hay truck at noon” it ain’t). I’d put the book down after struggling through a few pages, then pick it up again, ad nauseam, hoping against hope something could be salvaged…”


Cinema (Tellers of Weird Tales): Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened on Thursday, December 14, 2017, and so far has made a big bucket of money, as you would expect. It has also earned plenty of controversy. Some people–especially non-hardcore fans–really like it. Some–especially hardcore fans–really hate it. Four of us saw it on opening night in a small town in Indiana. The theater was pretty well full. We had to split up, two by two, because there weren’t four adjoining seats left. There was expectancy, though, and when the main title came up and the opening blast of the fanfare sounded, people whooped and cheered. They laughed and cheered during the movie, too. And at the end, they clapped, as people used to do when they went to the movies. Many stayed all the way through the very long closing credits. If anyone at the theater that night didn’t like The Last Jedi, we didn’t know about it. It seemed that most everyone there was happy to have seen it.


Culture War: (PJ Media): “Jon Del Arroz won’t be going to the Worldcon science fiction convention, even though he is the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction and he bought a ticket.The multi-award nominated military science fiction author was banned publicly from the upcoming festivities in San Jose, California, without ceremony or explanation by Worldcon’s Incident Response Team. “At this time we are converting your membership to Worldcon76 to a supporting membership as you will not be permitted to attend the convention. On your personal blog you have made it clear that you are both expecting and planning on engendering a hostile environment which we do not allow. If you are found on the premises of the convention center or any of the official convention hotels you will be removed,” the organizers wrote.”


Cinema (RMWC Reviews): This has been on my mind for a while now, butThe Last Jedi and a lot of people’s visceral reaction against it, helped crystallize this line of thought.

The Last Jedi, in an attempt to be dark and serious, and “different”, hates heroism and actively punishes it. Poe Dameron, hotshot fighter pilot, is the only truly heroic character in the film. He’s the only one who consistently, and without hesitation puts his life on the line for the cause and makes hard, decisive command decisions in stressful times aimed at protecting lives. He is constantly punished for this. By other characters, by plot twists, by supremely horrid writing.


Gaming (Gaming While Conservative): “Ye Holy Cats and the Great God Almighty, what the hell is going on in MagicLand?

Your old Pal E. Reagan Wright was never much one for CCGs.  Richard Garfield breathed new life into the tabletop hobby with his money pit of a game, but he also moved the dear sainted center of the RPG universe from good old middle-Merican Wisconsin and my hometown of Lake Geneva to the Left Coast where it was destined to be infiltrated by SJWs like my backside in the shower during my recent ninety-day spa treatment at the local County Men’s Club for Wayward Rapscallions.”


One Comment
  • Great post as always! Thanks for sharing!

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