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Sensor Sweep: King Kong, Cyberpunk 2077, Edmond Hamilton –

Sensor Sweep: King Kong, Cyberpunk 2077, Edmond Hamilton

Monday , 26, February 2024 3 Comments

Weird Tales (Tellers of Weird Tales): So it looks like Weird Tales is back to its old habits of not providing good service to its readers and customers. This has been going on for years. A couple of people have left comments on this blog telling about their own lack of experience in receiving what they have paid for. I’m sure there are and will be more.

Appendix N (Goodman Games): Derleth was a prolific author in his own right, expanding the scope of the Cthulhu mythos (a term Derleth himself coined), as well as hundreds of pieces of fiction that rank among the greatest pieces of horror fiction ever penned. Anyone who can read The Lonesome Places and then take a walk after dark without looking over their shoulder every few moments has better nerves than this author possesses.

Fantasy (Sprague de Camp Fan): What is Zothique? Let the Sorcerer himself (in the first paragraph of his “The Dark Eidolon”) describe it for you: “On Zothique, the last continent on Earth, the sun no longer shone with the whiteness of its prime, but was dim and tarnished as if with a vapor of blood. New stars without number had declared themselves in the heavens, and the shadows of the infinite had fallen closer. And out of the shadows, the older gods had returned to man: the gods forgotten since Hyperborea, since Mu and Poseidonis, bearing other names but the same attributes.

Robert E. Howard (Tentaclii): Crowdfunding now in French, Howard’s Barbarians : Le Peuple des Tenebres, an adaptation of a Howard tale of Conan as a ‘BD’ (i.e. an oversized hardback graphic novel, of a relatively short page-count by American/British expectations). With an art style that closely emulates Corben, which will please many.

Pulp (Purple Girasol):  “Death Hunt” is The Shadow’s take on that most overused tale “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell in 1924.  In 1932 it was made into a film starring Joel McCrea, Fay Wray and Leslie Banks.  Man hunting man.

Writing (Fantasy Handbook): There should never be an assumption that a prologue is an info dump, because prologues should never be info dumps—not ever, not under any circumstances. And yes, even if your world is really complex and you’ve spent years worldbuilding and you’re sure no one will understand your story unless you “set the scene” or teach them all about your amazing world, and all that nonsense.

Cinema (Rip Jagger Dojo): King Kong is a myth. Imagined by Merian C. Cooper and fashioned with the help of a writers such as Edgar Wallace, Ruth Rose, James Creelman, and Delos Lovelace. But King Kong was also created by Willis O’Brien, a master of stop-motion filmmaking who took a model and turned it into a legend with the help of talented folks like Marcel Delgado.

Cinema (Rip Jagger Dogj): Joe DeVito’s and Brad Strickland’s sequel/prequel to the classic 1933 smash monster flick King Kong is always diverting and sometimes compelling reading. The artwork by Joe Devito is fantastic, lush and at times bristling with energy and drama. The story of Kong – King of Skull Island concerns Vincent Denham, the son of the great showman who tragically brought King Kong to New York.

New Pulp (Rip Jagger Dojo): Skull Island is story written by Will Murray and illustrated by Joe DeVito which brings together two of the great icons of pop culture from the 1930’s. What we end up with is in fact a “secret origin” for Doc Savage himself.

Weird Tales (M Porcius): Weird Tales is most famous for horror stories and sword and sorcery stories, but the Unique Magazine did offer readers some science fiction stories, like Hamilton’s space opera “Crashing Suns” and its sequels and Hamilton’s post-apocalyptic tale “Day of Judgement”, stories full of mad scientists, space naval battles, aliens, mutants, and so on, and I’m guessing the topic of today’s discussion, “Across Space,” will be a science fiction tale of some type.  Let’s dig in and see!

Science Fiction (M Porcius): “Locked Worlds” debuted in Amazing Stories Quarterly and was reprinted in Amazing Stories almost forty years later.  Let’s take a look at that 1968 issue of Amazing, an issue produced in the brief period when that magazine was edited by Harry Harrison of Stainless Steel Rat and Deathworld fame.

Fiction (DMR Books): By about 1984, it was pretty obvious that any prestige and interest that Sword-and-Sorcery had garnered heretofore was rapidly waning. The Ace Conans and the pure pastiche Tor Conans were doing well–and the Elrics were hanging in there–but the overall trend was away from gritty, tightly-plotted, combat-centric fiction. For various reasons, bloated door-stopper epics were in ascendance.

Authors (Adventures Fantastic): Today, February 20, is the birthday of Richard Matheson (1926-2013).  Matheson was one of the great fantasy writers of the Twentieth Century. I doubt he needs any introduction here. But why should I let that stop me? His first published short story, “Born of Man and Woman”, appeared in the Summer 1950 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It was a chilling look at what happens when a child is born with grotesque mutations.

Review (With Both Hands): Doomsday Recon is a story of Cavalry Scouts lost in a nightmare land of Mesoamerican myth and folktale come true. Beset on all sides by demons and monsters, a desperate struggle for survival is thrust upon them. Cut off from retreat or resupply, the Scouts will have to learn whether there is anyone you can trust in the Land of the Black Sun, or perish.

Fantasy (DMR Books): At that time, Flashing Swords was really the only paying quarterly market strictly devoted to sword-and-sorcery, and that’s why I immediately got subs that were far better than a barely semi-pro zine ought to be seeing. (The Latta brothers had an e-site full of great pulpy adventure tales, but if memory serves it was mostly their stuff, and it was a “for the love of it” market.)

Review (Rough Edges): Last week, I reviewed the first four stories in NEITHER BEG NOR YIELD, the massive new sword and sorcery anthology from Rogue Blades Entertainment. This week I’m moving on to the next four stories. I’ve read and enjoyed Steve Dilks’ Gunthar stories. His novella in this volume features one of his series characters I hadn’t encountered before, Bohun, a giant black warrior from a world that seems to be very loosely based on our own.

Legend (Tolkien and Fantasy): In Tolkien On Fairy-Stories (2008), Verlyn Flieger and I noted that in Tolkien’s research notes for his famous lecture/essay, Tolkien queried himself twice about whether on not Andrew Lang had included a retold Beowulf in any of his Fairy Books–the first time briefly, but in the second instance with a bit of commentary.

Comic Books (John C. Wright): Below are illustrations from DR STRANGE comics from 1974, issues 20 and 22, when Rudy Nebres, more famous for his work on CONAN and the black and white version of IRON FIST, did some guest art work for this magazine. These images were my first ever view of Dr. Strange, or of any comic, and this version formed my mental picture of Clea, the silver-haired sorceress from the Dark Dimension, ruled by the tyrannous Dormammu, and of Dr. Strange himself.

Comic Books (DMR Books): Fantasy art legend, Frank Brunner, turned seventy-five yesterday. His b-day snuck up on me, but I still want to pay my respects. A short bio and some pics from my archives will have to do.

Mystery (Historical Novel Society): The 14th in the Sister Fidelma series, Whispers of the Dead (Headline, hardback, March), is actually the second collection of Sister Fidelma short stories. The Fidelma series are also published in the USA and in nine other languages. Some of the stories have been broadcast on radio in Ireland and Canada.

Art (Arlen Schumer): Jim Steranko has worn many hats in his career—artist, author, illustrator, art director, designer, entertainer—but he wore them all when he put on quite a show at Marvel Comics at the end of the Silver Age. It began in 1966 when, as a virtual unknown, he was handed complete control of a second-string Jack Kirby character, the James Bond-knockoff Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. He promptly used Fury as an unlikely launching pad for his meteoric rise to prominence, which would result in him being dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of comics!

Games (Grim Dark Magazine): Cyberpunk 2077 has been a rocky-rocky road since its release in December 2020. While it’s not exactly been three years, as of September 21st, 2023, it has recently received its largest update yet with the release of its DLC expansion, Phantom Liberty, coming in just a week afterward. I’ll be doing a separate review for Phantom Liberty but it’s important to talk about the changes for the 2.0 update that changes the entire way the game is played.

Military (War History Online): In the aftermath of World War II, the

demand for cutting-edge jet fighter technology became paramount. In the 1960s, the Saab J35 Draken existed merely as a vision in the minds of ambitious Swedish engineers. The notion of a tail-less double-delta wing aircraft was exhilarating, but represented a leap into unexplored realms. Undeterred, much like a dragon breathing fire, Saab engineers tackled the challenge with unwavering determination – a saga worthy of legends.

  • Fun fact: the cover illustration on my review of Doomsday Recon uses the original un-censored version of the cover art.

    Floating abs: OK
    Side boob: NOT OK

  • Skyler the Weird says:

    I read the Lonesome Place as a nine year old and never ventured into dark places alone until basic training at Ft Knox years later.

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