Art (Kickstarter): Officially licensed and sanctioned by Robert E. Howard Properties LLC, Inc., this nearly 1,500 page examination of the vast publishing illustrated history of Robert E. Howard is divided into four parts. All four volumes are 9.5″ x 12.25″ in size, full color, smyth sewn hardcovers with dust jackets! The slip case will have a heavy board and gloss cover! With more art, page, history and content the standard set will eventually retail for $275-$300.
TSR (G C Sprigg): The next world, however, was completely different, so different that I, in my narrow-minded view of fantasy, was repulsed by it. Dark Sun, a post-apocalyptic setting where the characters are totally overpowered and psionic powers are ubiquitous. Remember, this was in the days before the Pulp Renaissance, when an entire generation of readers had been trained to see Tolkien as the beginning and end of fantasy literature, where door-stopping series of epic fantasy were the only way to read in the genre. Dark Sun was completely out of that mind-set, and I wasn’t ready for it.
Tolkien(Notion Papers Club): What is the unique quality of Lord of the Rings that so powerfully affected me from age 14 and for decades since?… There is, there must be, more to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LotR) than meets the eye – or has been explained by even the very best literary critics; some-thing that goes beyond what a simple work of fiction can achieve. This is evident in the initial impact of LotR when I read it aged 14; and was confirmed by the unique intensity and duration of my lifelong engagement with the book.
Art (DMR Books): Today marks the beginning of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021. While not a motorcyclist myself, my Uncle Gary was one, a former brother-in-law was/is one and my late friend, Chris Hale, was one as well. That doesn’t count all my acquaintances and fellow musicians. I played several motorcycle rallies back in the day. Good times and good people.
Manga (Rawle Nyanzi): A couple of days ago, I mentioned that Kadokawa plans to censor its manga in a larger post about the possible corruption of that industry. Well today, I’m proud to say that regarding Kadokawa, such a fear can be put to rest. According to On Takahashi, not only will Kadokawa keep its current editorial policy, the CEO even apologized for his censorship comments and took a pay cut.
Art (Kairos): The return of #BrandZero has dissident creatives asking how they can use their art to counter the prevailing narrative. Taking the Death Cult-profaned entertainment industry back looks like a nonstarter since Hollywood is quickly falling to China.
Personal (Howard A. Jones): July 30th we had to bury an old family friend. Sometimes you have a pet, and sometimes you have a friend who happens to be a dog, and that’s how it grew to be with Keena. The shelter found her on the streets alone at around two months, and we adopted her and brought her into the family. She remained just a little nervous for years and years, but eventually grew to be confident and, later in life, even assertive.
Harry Potter (DVS Press): Seems a little odd that brands (D&D and MTG) built on escapist fantasy would circle back around high school, doesn’t it? When I look up on Twitter the people who create such things, one of the thoughts that doesn’t pop into my mind is, “This looks like a person who was happy and socially successful in high school.” Besides the nerd brands, we have a vast swath of similar Harry Potter fans who are in their 30s, yet still write fan fiction about a wizard high school.
RPG (Grognardia): That’s why, when GDW released Twilight: 2000 in 1984, I didn’t need to be convinced to pick up a copy. I was already a fan of GDW, but this game seemed to play to the company’s strengths. Founded by wargamers, GDW seemed to me to evince the kind of hard-nosed, practical mindset I associated, rightly or wrongly, with military types. If I’d trust any gaming company to make a solid, grounded RPG about life after the Third World War, it was GDW.
Art (A E Index): Wally Wood is one of the most celebrated comic artists of all time. His legendary career runs from the glory days of EC Comics’ extraordinary line of science fiction titles to the brilliantly subversive Mad Comics (and, later, Magazine). He produced extraordinary illustrations for magazines like Galaxy after EC folded, and worked on some of the most fondly remembered stories published by Marvel Comics in the mid-1960s. He also co-created the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and was a pioneer in self-publishing.
Cinema (Talking Pulp): If I’m being completely honest, though, there probably wasn’t better casting at the time than David Hasselhoff to play the classic Nick Fury in a low budget, TV movie that was, more or less, a failed pilot for a series. Watching this now, I really like Hasselhoff and I think that he nails the look and chutzpah of the comic book Nick Fury pretty well. It just sucks that the rest of the production around him is really terrible and it actually brings down his performance.
Writing (Ken Lizzi): You can, of course, wing it when it comes to descriptive writing. In fantasy and science-fiction that purely imaginative approach is unavoidable. No one has actually seen a dragon, for example, or a slime monster from Alpha Ceti. But if you are attempting to achieve a certain realism, it helps to have some experience with the subject matter you are describing.
Review (Marzaat): After reading West’s “A Manuscript Found in Carcosa” and “The Haunter of the Wheel”, I wanted to read more of West’s fiction with Porter Rockwell. The latter story is part of West’s Cowboys & Cthulhu series, and this story seems the first in the series. Review: Let Sleeping Gods Lie, David J. West. 2019.
Robert E. Howard (Adventures Fantastic): There is a writer we all know and love who was born in the American West in the 19-aughts, and his father was a doctor. When he first started writing, he churned out dozens of stories and sent them off to publishers with little acceptance. He finally got his first break with the pulp magazines and later published in such magazines as Thrilling Adventure. Although he wrote what is often called westerns, most of his stories were really about life on the frontier. He was also both a fan of boxing and was a boxer himself, and he incorporated this interest into many of his short stories.
History (First Things): The art of telling stories will always be closely associated with the Anglo-Saxons. Beowulf, the era’s best-known epic poem, begins with a word that is difficult to translate, summoning an audience to attention: “Hwæt!” The same word opens another great poem of early medieval England, The Dream of the Rood, in which the wood of the Cross speaks and narrates a uniquely Anglo-Saxon Passion—a reminder that it was the Anglo-Saxons who built Christian England.
Cinema (New Iron Age): If you were counting down the worst adaptations of the Beowulf story (which I guess I kind of am), this one would be fighting it out for the bottom spot with the 2007 big-budget version. I only rate that one as a bigger failure because that movie was a $150 million major studio effort with a huge amount of talent to draw on, while this one is a bargain-bin straight-to-video disaster of the kind that were all over video stores in the 90s. With a bleached-blond Christopher Lambert in the title role and a then-unknown Rhona Mitra as his bland love interest, this one is a complete mess from minute one.
Pulp (Rough Edges): Eagle-eyed commenter b.t. spotted the similarities between this cover by Allen Anderson and yesterday’s Western pulp cover that doesn’t have any artist attribution. The pose and the gun make me believe that Anderson did indeed do at least half of yesterday’s cover. With split covers like this, it’s always hard for me to tell if the same artist did both parts. Anyway, this issue of TWO COMPLETE SCIENCE-ADVENTURE BOOKS features a reprint of a novella that was a classic already, despite being only ten years old: “Beyond This Horizon” by “Anson MacDonald” originally published in ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION in April 1942.
Games (Player None): The Technomancer (2016), Developed by Spiders SARL, published by Focus Home Interactive. The Technomancer is a kind of a sequel to a 2013 Mars: War Logs. It doesn’t feature the same main cast, but it is set in the same universe, where Mars has been inhabited for centuries and is now in the hands of competing corporations, which wage war against each other. The focus is on the most interesting aspect of the first game, the Technomancers, who can shoot electric sparks from fingers. You play the game as Zachariah Rogue Mancer, a young Technomancer, whose initiation to the corps is the first task at hand. During this initiation, he learns the biggest secret of the Technoancers, passed to every new member: they are mutants, originally created by the fabled Earthlings, who were the first settlers of Mars.
Cinema (Tellers of Weird Tales): Equinox became a cult classic. It played at the drive-in and in cheap theaters and was on late-night television. That’s where we saw it when we were kids, all as a family, including my dad, who didn’t like fantasy or science fiction movies at all. According to the Internet Movie Database, “The story combines numerous elements of various novellas by H.P. Lovecraft.” That may be true, but a thing isn’t true just because a source on the Internet says that it’s true. If you’re going to make an assertion, you have to back it up with evidence. Let’s have the evidence.
Poe (DMR Books): Edgar Allan Poe’s fantasque piece of fiction “The Island of the Fay” illustrates profoundly the importance, the puissance, and the enthralling effect of the Fantasy genre (that is to say at least, of an absolute and cunning usage of honest elements of Fantasy) in literature, which in this day and vile age is a genre that has been grossly misrepresented, mishandled, and victimized by the loathsome banality of modernism and corporate agents of priggish censorship; we should count ourselves amongst the fortunate to behold DMR Books producing deserving products that act against that mediocrity!
News (Trinkle Bonker): I have heard a lot of talk lately that the Vinyl album is getting bigger and bigger and that the CD format is effectively on the way out. Give it another five years and the Vinyl is likely to rule supreme. In cold numbers, projections for total sales now indicates (looking at the first half of 2021) that the Vinyl has surpassed the CD for the first time since 1991. And this can not be exclusively down to old collectors such as myself, although I am sure we are in there somewhere in the mix, it has to be younger record buyers as well or this would not happen. Like most of us, I sold off a good chunk of my old record collection in the early 1990s and I know that it was a common reaction to what was going on at the time.
Tolkien (Notion Club Papers): I am fascinated by the descriptions of Tolkien’s Numenoran Men; and how one of their gifts was to know when it was that they should die. This evoked one of the most beautiful passages Tolkien ever wrote: “Then going to the House of the Kings in the Silent Street, Aragorn laid him down on the long bed that had been prepared for him. There he said farewell to Eldarion, and gave into his hands the winged crown of Gondor and the sceptre of Arnor, and then all left him save Arwen, and she stood alone by his bed.”
Games (Talking Pulp): Conan: Exiles – Isle of Siptah is probably the DLC that I have anticipated more than any other in the history of my gaming life. That being said, this came with extreme disappointment as the game on PlayStation 4 appears to be broken. Sure, the game starts and you can run around doing your thing in this neat, deadly world. However, graphics keep switching back and forth from high res to low res and then NPCs and enemies either have a delay in loading or don’t load at all.