Sensor Sweep: Materialism, Le Guin, New Sun, and Rokugan

Monday , 29, January 2018 1 Comment

Fiction (Tellers of Weird Tales): “Lovecraft aside, weird fiction is a warning against materialism, for it is a genre that lives in a pre-science, pre-Enlightenment age, one in which magic and supernatural monsters are still possible. Its materialist characters are science-minded, working in physics, chemistry, medicine, and so on. The materialist himself is arrogant, superior, sure of himself in his beliefs and dismissive of anything that can’t be measured, quantified, or described by a mathematical equation or an abstruse theory. Moreover, he lacks imagination and sensitivity. His mind is unbending. And because it doesn’t bend, it breaks as he comes face to face with the non-material.”

Fiction (Jeffro Johnson): “Le Guin doesn’t even go through the motions to create a transparent allegory. Gosh, the dreaded “message fiction” of today is actually a step up from this. All of the smarminess of an NPR radio essay is here, sure. But even the pretense of honest storytelling is gone. All of the skill and powers that fantasy and science fiction authors devote to their craft to create a sense of verisimilitude…? It’s not only dispensed with entirely. This story doesn’t even get the tongue-in-cheek cogency of a shaggy dog story!”

Fiction (Mighty Thor Jr.): The Book of the New Sun is unanimously acclaimed as Gene Wolfe’s most remarkable work, hailed as “a masterpiece of science fantasy comparable in importance to the major works of Tolkien and Lewis” by Publishers Weekly, and “one of the most ambitious works of speculative fiction in the twentieth century” by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionShadow & Claw brings together the first two books of the tetralogy in one volume:

The Shadow of the Torturer is the tale of young Severian, an apprentice in the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession — showing mercy toward his victim.

Fiction (On an Underwood No 5): History is littered with unrealized literary projects—books that were never written, anthologies that were never published. While the primary market of writers like Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith was the pulp magazines, they continued efforts to see their fiction published in book form—efforts which, for Lovecraft and Howard, amounted to relatively little during their lifetimes, besides a handful of placements in the British “Not At Night”anthologies, as well as Dashiell Hammett’s Creeps by Night (1931) collection and a few small-press or self-publishing efforts on the part of Lovecraft.

Games (Howard Andrew Jones): Sunday I spent an hour and a half with Lock ‘n Load Tactical: Heroes of Normandy. When I’m away from the game I worry that the play might grow stale, but all my fears are allayed the moment I start on a scenario. Now that I know the rules it plays so very fast, and I have a blast every single time. I’ve been saying it’s ONE of my favorite wargames, but I may just have to break down and declare the Lock ‘n Load Tactical system my absolute favorite.

Games (Bradford Walker): The other day, WOTC’s D&D Boss–Mike Mearls–stuck his foot in his mouth about women in gaming in a stupid attempt at virtue-signalling to the SJWs in and around tabletop RPGs. By claiming that women cannot handle complex rulesets or setting lore, he shows his own opinion on the matter through projecting that on to a strawman and then “firing” it.

This is all about some “gatekeeping” thing he alleged to be a problem. This too is projection, as it is he and his fellow travelers that want to do the gatekeeping. Wizards of the Coast, Paizo Publishing, and the rest of the Socjus Death Cultists in tabletop gaming wish they had the power to exclude people they don’t like from the scene as their counterparts in videogames do.

Games (Table Top Gaming News): “This week we have: Museum Heist, Race for the Galaxy iOS Expansions, Battle for Rokugan, Yogi, The Pursuit of Happiness: Community Expansion, Bubblee Pop, XCOM: Evolution Expansion, Dicetopia, Hot Shots, NewSpeak, Dragonfire, Codenames: Duet, Outpost Siberia, and Mage Wars Academy Warlord and Forcemaster Expansions.”

One Comment
  • Great links as usual! Thanks for including me!

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