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Sensor Sweep: Spider Man, Punisher, Gardner F. Fox, Lin Carter –

Sensor Sweep: Spider Man, Punisher, Gardner F. Fox, Lin Carter

Monday , 12, June 2023 Leave a comment

Fiction (Goodman Games): Linwood Vrooman Carter was born on June 9th, 1930 in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the august company of his fellow Appendix N authors, Lin Carter is a figure both of high esteem and some controversy. As an editor and critic, he is indispensable, most notably for his role in editing the landmark Ballantine Adult Fantasy series (BAFS), which ran from 1969-1974 and re-introduced such luminaries as Lord Dunsany, William Hope Hodgson, and Clark Ashton Smith to the fantasy-reading public.

Firearms (Special Ops Magazine): The article explores the advantages of the US Army’s M17 Sig Sauer P320 pistol over the previous M9 Beretta, highlighting factors such as increased magazine capacity, reduced weight, enhanced modularity, and a consistent trigger pull, while also considering alternative options that could have been chosen.

Robert E. Howard (Sprague de Camp Fan): “Fragment” is an incomplete story featuring Bran Mak Morn. It was first published in Bran Mak Morn, Dell, 1969. It has been reprinted in every subsequent collection of the Bran Mak Morn stories. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on “Fragment” as it is very short, incomplete, and adds no new information about REH’s “Picts.

Pulp (Pulp Flakes): Last week, we took in an issue at the peak of Joe Shaw’s reign; it delivered hard-boiled at it’s peak but circulation didn’t improve. The publisher brought in a new editor, Fanny Ellsworth. She wasn’t afraid to tinker with Shaw’s formula and introduced darkness into Black Mask’s fiction. Did it work?

Weird (Grognardia): After last week’s review of The Fungi from Yuggoth, I found myself thinking about poor old August Derleth and the vitriol he’s received over the years from admirers of H.P. Lovecraft. On many levels, I completely understand the venom directed at him. His vision of what he termed “the Cthulhu Mythos” stands in stark contrast to HPL’s understanding of his own work.

Pulp (Black Gate): The Avon Fantasy Reader ran 18 issues, from February 1947 to March 1952. Originally intended as a quarterly, it usually managed three issues per year. Wollheim’s introduction to the first volume promises tales of fantasy and imagination about “those strange forces which exist just beyond the boundaries of knowledge.” He further touts a roster of authors that represented “a sure guarantee of the best stories of their kind available.”

History (The Past): As Hadrian’s Wall is a protected World Heritage Site, opportunities to excavate across the line of the Roman fortifications are rare. In the summer of 2021, however, planned development works in the Ouseburn area of Newcastle upon Tyne offered the possibility to do just that – and Pre-Construct Archaeology’s investigations revealed not only the first turret to be uncovered along the Wall in over 40 years, but the largest example identified to date, together with other defensive features. Project Officer Scott Vance discusses the background to the discovery and its implications for the study of Hadrian’s Wall within urban Tyneside.

Cinema (Front Porch): Fairfax, VA. Today, the 10th Spider-Man film since the turn of the century comes to theaters. Just like much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) now, it will be set in the “Multiverse.” It will likely be entertaining, but its premise and scale guarantee that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will also be meaningless.

D&D (Grognardia): The first AD&D book I ever owned was the Monster Manual. I bought it with money my grandmother had given me for Christmas 1979, ordering it through the Sears catalog. Once my copy arrived, sometime in early January 1980, I spent untold hours poring over its contents. Though I, of course, loved all the descriptive material contained in the book’s 112 pages, it was the illustrations that truly seized my imagination – so much so that, to this day, it’s difficult to conceive of many Dungeons & Dragons monsters in any way other than how Dave Sutherland, Dave Trampier, Tom Wham, and Jean Wells drew them.

Sword & Sorcery (Dark Worlds Quarterly): The Sword & Sorcery of Gardner F. Fox begins in the 1950s with the creation of the first true S&S hero, Crom the Barbarian. But Fox also wrote several fiction series later in his career that were part of the 1960s explosion, the 1970s paperback era and even into the 1980s AD&D period when heroic fantasy became a sub-genre for gamers. Fox was there throughout the decades and probably doesn’t get as much recognition as he should.

Fiction (Frontier Partisans): Here’s some pulpy goodness: A graphic novel rendering of the adventures of John Benteen’s gun-for-hire Neal Fargo. A crowd-funding campaign for an independent production will launch soon; I’ll keep you posted.

A 96-page prestige format, action packed, hardcover graphic novel starring soldier of fortune Neal Fargo, based on the legendary ‘Fargo’ paperback series by John Benteen!

Fantasy (Library Ladder): Paperback publisher Ballantine Books played a pivotal role in the development and popularization of the fantasy genre. Its Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series of 83 old and new fantasy titles published between 1965 and 1974 introduced many mainstream readers to the genre and set the stage for the genre’s rapid growth over the past 50 years.

Fantasy (Wormwoodiana): One of the more unusual volumes in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy paperback series in the 1960s and 70s was Orlando Furioso Volume 1, sub-titled The Ring of Angelica. This was published fifty years ago: the US edition was in January 1973, and the UK Pan Ballantine edition in September 1973. It was translated by Richard Hodgens, and introduced by the series’ Editorial Consultant, Lin Carter. The dramatic cover art was by David Johnston.

Games (Bounding Into Comics): Roughly two minutes later, the official Call of Duty Twitter account would respond to @charlieINTEL and confirm, “Due to recent events, we have removed the “NICKMERCS Operator” bundle from the Modern Warfare II and Warzone store.”

Games (Wertzone): In the last few days British video game developers Creative Assembly have announced their latest Total War video game, Total War: Pharaoh. The Total War series is now one of the biggest-selling strategy video game series of all time, shifting more than 40 million copies of sixteen games and numerous expansions since the turn of the century. Only Sid Meier’s Civilization titles have been more successful among turn-based strategy games, and its lead is now very narrow.

Comic Books (Bounding Into Comics): Marvel Comics and writer Jason Aaron wrapped up their most recent 12-issue Punisher series by killing off Frank Castle, but vigilante justice is not leaving the comic book medium any time soon as long-time Punisher writer Chuck Dixon announced his new series Black Warrant.

RPG/Comic Books (Sorcerers Skull):  After the first playtest session of Swords Against Sorcery, the Bronze Age of comics Sword & Sorcery rpg I have been working on, I went through 1975’s Claw the Unconquered #2, by Michelinie and Chan, and broke it down in game terms just to see if I thought the rules as I’m currently envisioning them could handle it.  Here’s one fight scene from that issue.

Tolkien (The One Ring): Tolkien Collector’s Guide has spotted something very interesting — a new and revised edition of Humphry Carpenter’s The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien is coming out this November (Nov 9 to be precise). This revised edition is already available for pre-order on Amazon (30 quid for a hardcover book; 20 quid for a kindle version). Looks like it’s going to be a beast of a book, too: 700 pages versus the 463 of the 1981 edition.

Authors (DMR Books): I’m an author of weird horror, sword & sorcery, and science fiction and at the expense of possibly sounding trite, I’ve been writing since shortly after I was yanked kicking and screaming into this world. When I first learned to read and write, I would draw these superhero-horror “comics.” I for some reason wrote around the edge of the page in a square, instead of straight across, narrating my drawing in the middle.

T.V. (Wert Zone): The Babylon 5 animated film announced last week now has a name, synopsis and cast list. The animated film will be called Babylon 5: The Road Home and its synopsis is as follows:

“Travel across the galaxy with John Sheridan as he unexpectedly finds himself transported through multiple timelines and alternate realities in a quest to find his way back home.

Science Fiction (Future War Stories):  The Strangest Starship Designs. I have been wanting to do this list for some time now because the vast array of starship design is so very interesting and compelling to me given the rocket and UFO roots of science fiction spacecraft. For this snack-sized article, I am listing ten space vehicle that made me think how odd their designs are. These are not joke entries, these were designed starships and so, you will not see an entry from Spaceballs or some sort of space-themed Hentai or entries from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Pulp (The Obelisk): There’s something strange afoot in the industrial city of Cologne, Ohio. A large, bearded, and drooling hulk of a man attacks the mansion belonging to Berthold Healy, owner of a major steel conglomerate. The crazed man’s motivations are unknown, but, when a glass of water is produced, the cause of his affliction is revealed — hydrophobia!

H. P. Lovecraft (Tentaclii): I’m pleased to have bagged a bargain copy of the Talman letters, the full title of which is Letters to Wilfred B. Talman and Helen V. and Genevieve Sully. It’s a hefty 580-page slab, and I’ve made a start on it. Below you’ll find my first set of notes.

Cinema (Wyrd Britain): Written by legendary Hammer Films screenwriter Jimmy Sangster and released in 1958 ‘The Trollenberg Terror’ (or ‘The Crawling Eye’ in the US) is the story of an investigation into the deaths linked to an inexplicable, unmoving, radioactive mist on the side of Mount Trollenberg (not actually) in Switzerland.

Science Fiction (SFF Remembrances): I don’t know much about David Drake, although if you browse enough of Baen Books you’ll find him a familiar name before long. Drake was one of the original Baen regulars, appearing in the ’70s when Jim Baen was editor of Galaxy Science Fiction, then later became a regular author and editor at Baen Books. As you can guess, Drake is a Vietnam war veteran (he was in the army, specifically) and this experience, like with certain other SF authors of his generation (looking at you, Joe Haldeman), very much informed his writing. Historically Drake is of fine importance as he was one of the pioneers of military SF as we now recognize it. “Time Safari,” while not military SF exactly, does evoke imagery from a certain war.

Writers (The Obelisk): Much of the power of The Twilight Zone came from its bevy of exceptional writers, including two who earned their spurs during the waning years of the pulps. The two writers in question, Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont, not only wrote some of the most memorable Twilight Zone episodes, but they also penned incredible screenplays, short stories, and novels. They were masters of the craft, and their works have been enjoyed by millions for decades.

Cinema (Nerdrotic): GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!…

T.V. (Frontier Partisans): BBC has dropped a new limited series set in the Wild North of 18th Century Britain. The Gallows Pole. Virtually everybody is raving about it. Must be the folk horror stag skulls. Or the bosoms. Or all of that…

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