Sensor Sweep: Schuyler Hernstrom, New West, Zothique, Starship Troopers, S’rulyan Vault

Monday , 22, October 2018 1 Comment

Fiction (Everyday Should be Tuesday): “You may talk of cities and justice all you wish.  Tonight, the pagan wins.  My anger will be sated and these 

wicked people brought to ruin.”

Mortu and Kyrus in the White City is a new novella out from Cirsova standout Schuyler Hernstrom, the first in a planned series equally sword and sorcery and far future post-apocalyptic.

Speaking of Cirsova, congrats to Donald Uitvlugt on winning the Cirsova no. 9 giveaway!  Check out Donald’s own work.






Publishing (Strategy Business): The media and entertainment industry has a long history of embracing disruptive innovations, from the printing press to the personal computer. But the rapid shift from physical to digital over the past decade or so has been truly revolutionary. In general, physical media has suffered a great deal. Printed newspapers and magazines have migrated to online versions, while DVDs and CDs have been supplanted by film- and music-streaming services.


Fiction (Jon Mollison): Newsletter readers and those who follow me on Twitter already know about my next release.  As a quick break from the Heroes Unleashed Universe, I knocked out a nice fantasy epic that features a gladiator clawing his way out of the arena, crossing half an empire and back, and confronting a derelict empire with sword in hand. Along the way he must face the difficult choice between two enchanting women, and he must learn how to become the leader he was always meant to be.


Fiction (Paul Bishop): Debuting as an imprint of Kensington Books in 1975, Pinnacle became a hugely successful publisher of paperback original action-adventure series typified by their vanguards, The Executioner series created by Don Pendleton, and The Destroyer series created by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. Pinnacle displayed long-term market savvy, either by setting genre trends, or quickly responding to popular output from other publishers by creating similar series of their own—which were usually a cut above the originals.


Fiction (Tellers of Weird Tales): I have read a paper by my friend Nathaniel Wallace, who presented at the Dr. Henry Armitage Memorial Scholarship Symposium in Providence, Rhode Island, in August of last year. Nate’s paper is about adaptations of Lovecraft’s work to musical forms. That got me thinking about other adaptations of Lovecraft’s stories and poems. Until someone tells me different, I’ll stick with Harold S. Farnese’s musical settings for two poems by Lovecraft as the first adaptations of his work to a form other than that of verse or prose. Here are the first adaptations into various forms, in chronological order beginning with Farnese’s compositions. The source is the website The H.P. Lovecraft Archivehere.


Fiction (Wasteland and Sky): I’m back with more horror for you today! After last week’s trio of stories, it was pretty clear Mr. Paget would really have to outdo himself here to keep up with the craziness. But these stories are not as insane as those were, though a few have some issues of their own. Let us continue the spooky fun with my ongoing look at The 27th Pan Book of Horror Stories. It promises to be an interesting ride.

Cinema (Swords & Sorcery): Jim Cornelius posted today that Mel Gibson is planning to remake Sam Peckinpah’s epochal The Wild Bunch. While I don’t doubt Gibson’s affinity for bloody action, I have, let’s say, serious doubts about this undertaking. You don’t remake perfect movies, only crappy ones that have some cool idea buried inside. Still, I’ll wait and see what happens.

It got me to thinking about my plan to review Westerns here a few years back, which in turn got me to thinking about which of them are my favorites.


Cinema (Sargon of Akkad): The politics of the movie Starship Troopers. Thanks to everyone who made this video possible. Below are some links if you’d like to want to read further about all this, support me.


History and Fiction (Karavansara): My friend Shanmei is writing another historical mystery (we talked about her first mystery story here).
The book is set on the route between Italy and China at the turn of the century, and is loosely based on her grand-grandfather’s diaries and letters.
Looks good.
A few days back, Shanmei asked her readers what level of historical accuracy they think is needed for an historical mystery like the one she’s writing.


Fiction (DMR Books): Clark Ashton Smith was a writer that made an indelible contribution to the genre of sword and sorcery fiction. However, his work is usually associated with the cosmic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, rather than the father of sword and sorcery, Robert E. Howard. In truth, Smith acts as a sort of connective tissue between the two. Many of his characters would not be out of place in say, a Conan story, while the various worlds he created were just as imaginative as any produced by the writer from Cross Plains. As for tone however, Smith drifts towards the Lovecraft side of the spectrum; his stories are fatalistic in tone and the vast majority of his characters die horribly.


Cinema (Walker’s Retreat): The Father of Battleboars saw the new Halloween, and he has one of hell of a discussion with co-host Dorrinal about it and its context in the wider world of horror films. Well worth the time listening to it, or watching us in the chat.


Gaming (Niche Gamer): We’ve learned Grinding Gear Games is possibly bringing their massive free-to-play action RPG Path of Exile to PlayStation 4.

The news comes via the Taiwan Digital Game Rating board, which published a rating (via Gematsu) for the game on PlayStation 4.

While a PS4 version isn’t confirmed, the game is currently available for Windows PC and Xbox One.

Here’s a rundown on the game.


RPG (RPG Pundit): This is a review of the RPG Supplement “The S’rulyan Vault“, written by Venger Satanis, published by Kort’thalis Publishing. This is a review of the print edition, which actually appears to be a combined book containing what was originally two different books (the S’rulyan Vault I & II).  It is a thin softcover book of about 30 pages.




Cinema (RPG Confessions): Sword and Sorcery became an exploitation genre, rife with quickie production schedules, recycled sets, props and costumes, and written-on-the-fly scripts that checked boxes for mandatory story elements. The only bronze-thewed barbarian that managed to escape such a fate was, inexplicably, Beastmaster, which made not one, but two sequels and then morphed into a syndicated television series that lasted more than one season. Unbelievable.



One Comment
  • deuce says:

    Now THAT is a feast of links! Props to Sargon for coming to the defense of Heinlein’s STARSHIP TROOPERS in defiance of those who call it a love-letter to fascism.

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