Sensor Sweep: Game Reviews, Battletech, 1920s Weird Fiction, C. C. Senf, Ballantine Adult Fantasy

Monday , 4, June 2018 2 Comments

Publishing (Walker’s Retreat): That’s an opportunity I cannot ignore. It is also an opportunity I am undercapitalized to exploit. To remedy this, I set up at Freestartr. I will add this link to the Gifts & Support tab today, right at the top, for future convenience. My post at the Study yesterday addresses the immediate uses I have for this account.


RPG (RPG Pundit): Here’s the video of yesterday’s Livestream of Inappropriate Characters; wherein I (the RPGPundit), Venger Satanis, and GrimJim talk about Anita Sarkeesian being chosen as Gencon’s “Guest of Honor”, about kickstarters and tips for running one, and Grim & Venger talk about the problems they have getting to game while old (I’m pretty sure I’m older than both, and yet I don’t really get what they’re on about). Also, we answer questions from our live viewers!


Gaming (Table Top Gaming News): Woo! Weekend! Woo!Yeah… so, it was actually a short week in the office, since I had Monday at home. But damn, it still felt just as long as a regular week… maybe even longer.
But after seemingly interminable years, it’s finally Saturday again.
So, while I’m playing some D&D, you can read about some game reviews. Sound good? Let’s get to it.

This week we have: Anno Domini 1666, Century Golem Edition,

Vanguard of War, 7 Wonders, Super Mario: Level Up!, The Lady and the Tiger, Chariots of Rome, and Heaven & Ale.


Gaming (Hack & Slash): It’s been a rough day, and I’m doing this late, so I apologize for paucity. I’ve also gotten some feedback about layout and discussion of products. A lot of this is balanced by the huge number of products that come out each week. It leaves me to ask, what’s better? An overview of lots of different things, or a more in-depth highlight of just a handful (3-5) products? My initial thought was the former, but if preferences is for the latter, let me know.


Video Games (Rageaholic): Do you identify as a Light Mech? Battletech review.


Commentary (Rawle Nyanzi): A while back, I made a post critiquing a common modern view of heroism — namely, that there is no heroism, only differing definitions of what is right. I argued against this notion, and received a large number of comments in the process. Below was one of the comments, with the original poster’s words in italics and my responses in bold.


Gaming (The Mixed GM): June is slowly approaching and that means that the North Texas RPG Convention! My adventure is slowly shaping up (and I am trying to write it / format it in a way that I can release it shortly after the convention for others to use) to be a fun and weird little dungeon.

I have gained a lot of respect for adventure writers, even bad adventure writers. There are enough hand-written notes and ideas floating around in myhead to run it, but I want to be able to share it with all of you. Translating my vision / ideas into easily readable sentences is not as easy as I thought it would be.


Fiction (Jeffro Johnson): Each decade has it’s own default setting. It’s sort of a groove that people fall into. The more original and daring the authors think they are, the closer they hew to it. “The Monster-God of Mamurth” by Edmond Hamilton is a prime example of this.

Note how it follows the same overall thrust as Lovecraft’s “Dagon” (1917) without achieving anywhere like the same concision or menace. Neither does it contain either the depths of A. Merritt’s “The People of the Pit” (1918) or the heights of his Through the Dragon Glass (1917).


Cinema (Brian Niemeier): The numbers are in, and Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story has spectacularly let down Kathleen Kennedy and her media cheerleaders, particularly blue checkmark Twitter. The Disney shills’ excuse-making has been markedly anemic this time around. Everybody knew after The Last Jedi fell off a cliff that audiences were fed up with Kennedy’s mishandling of the franchise.


Fiction (Tokien & Fantasy): The iconic list (or at least the starting point) for a definitive bibliography of all of the titles in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series is the one by Lin Carter which appears as “Bibliography II” in his book Imaginary Worlds, published in June 1973, itself a volume of the series. Carter lists 57 numbered volumes of the series, as published from May 1969 through May 1973.  The series would officially last one further year, bringing the official total to 65 volumes.


Art (On an Underwood No. 5): The September 1931 Weird Tales had, perhaps, one of the most farcical blunders ever committed by a magazine illustrator, and it happened to one of Robert E. Howard’s most popular and prized characters, Solomon Kane. The artist was Curtis Charles Senf (C.C. Senf), who at the time, lived in Chicago and began drawing covers and interior illustrations for Weird Tales. His debut cover was the March 1927 issue. In fact, Senf did 8 of the 12 covers for Weird Tales in 1927, and 11 of the 12 covers for 1928. His numbers tapered off a little after these two years, but over-all, Senf was the artist for 45 covers at Weird Tales.

Books (DMR Books): There hasn’t been a great deal of satisfying material for the discerning sword and sorcery fan released in the past few decades. Apart from the Tolkien clones that have dominated the fantasy genre for quite a while, a large amount of books and stories written these days are either nihilistic and pointless or absurd and nonsensical. Sure, there’s some real sword and sorcery out there, but most of it is just so… mild. The settings aren’t exotic or dangerous. There’s action, but nothing that will get your blood pumping. The sorcery is more like a different kind of science rather than something eldritch and strange, let alone soul-threatening. For all the praise Robert E. Howard gets, you have to wonder how closely modern writers pay attention to his stories.

Writing (Story Hack): Learn from some of the fiction writing greats of yesteryear! This book contains 17 articles on writing, written by pulp era authors, helping you learn:

– Several methods of plotting a story
– How to make your characters memorable
– How to study your genre
– How to write a fight sequence
– Tips for revising your novel
– And much more.

  • Thanks for the mention!

  • Rawle Nyanzi says:

    Thank you for mentioning me.

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