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Sensor Sweep: Warhammer, Lankhmar, Clerics, Karl Edward Wagner –

Sensor Sweep: Warhammer, Lankhmar, Clerics, Karl Edward Wagner

Monday , 26, December 2022 Leave a comment

D&D (Grognardia): An old mantra of this blog has long been that “roleplaying games were born in the megadungeon.” By this, I simply mean that most of the earliest examples of what we would today recognize as RPGs were played in the context of exploring an immense, subterranean locale filled with monsters, magic, and mysteries – Dungeons & Dragons, Tunnels & Trolls, and Empire of the Petal Throne, to cite just three examples,.

Conan (Sprague de Camp Fan): Anybody that knows me, knows that I am a big fan of the Lancer Conan series. A long time ago I acquired some copies of the “Royalty Report” forms that Lancer Books provided L. Sprague de Camp when the Lancer bankruptcy was going on. As most reading this probably know, Lancer Books declared bankruptcy on October 10, 1973. One of their hottest properties was the Conan series as edited by L. Sprague de Camp.

Boxing (Fight Film Collector): Max Baer KOs Primo Carnera in 11 rounds at Madison Square Garden Bowl, New York on June 14, 1934. The film of this fight has long been preserved and widely distributed over the years, though on the web it is mostly found in very poor quality. The stills here, and the video clip, are from from a rare 35mm nitrate print I acquired some years ago and was just recently scanned to HD.

Forthcoming (DMR Books): The forces of Chaos have thrown obstacles in the way of many a sword-and-sorcery hero, and now they’re doing the same for a sword-and-sorcery publisher as well. As you may know, Glenn Rahman’s collection A Feast of Ambrosia was scheduled to be released next month, but unfortunately it must be postponed. I tried working with a new artist who turned out to be incapable of producing quality cover art in a timely manner.

Authors (Goodman Games): As of this writing there are rumors—and more than rumor—of a Karl Edward Wagner revival, including his sword-and-sorcery/dark fantasy stories of Kane. I for welcome our immortal hero-villain overlord, and in the meantime encourage anyone who has not read the Kane stories to seek out the collection Night Winds. But first, evidence of a KEW comeback.

Military History (Isegoria): Jean le Maingre, called Boucicaut, (1366-1421) was a French knight known for his rigorous physical training: And now he began to test himself by jumping onto a courser in full armor. At other times he would run or hike for a long way on foot, to train himself not to get out of breath and to endure long efforts.

Authors (Goodman Games): We’ve talked a lot about Fritz Leiber, whose birthday we’re celebrating today, over the last few years. Leiber, born December 24th, 1910, is most widely known among gamers as the man responsible for the fantastic Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories. In the years running up to DCC Lankhmar, a lot of ink has been spilled discussing Leiber’s most famous creation. Today, however, we’re going to examine some of Leiber’s other work and see how we can apply it to our games—especially DCC Lankhmar.

Warhammer (Rough Edges): Some years ago, I read several novels and anthologies set in the Warhammer 40K universe and enjoyed them. But as often happens with me (because I have the attention span of a six-week-old puppy) I moved on to other things and didn’t read any more of those books.

Games (Game Spot): A new trailer for Nightingale, a survival-crafting game being developed by ex-BioWare devs at Inflexion, was shown during The Game Awards, giving players a new look into the game’s unique realm-traveling gameplay.

RPG (Goodman Games): Add some Lankhmarese spice to your 5E gaming with Monsters & Magic of Lankhmar, our upcoming book providing Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser-style terror and thaumaturgy for your 5E campaign! With a host of new monsters, spells, and items, Monsters & Magic of Lankhmar brings the unique sword & sorcery aesthetic of Nehwon to your gaming table.

Popular Culture (Arkhaven Comics): There are no Gen-Xers that don’t have fond memories of Rankin/Bass Christmas specials (at leastthe ones who aren’t sad and miserable).  They were part of the magic of Christmas for my generation.  Earlier generations had one-horse open sleigh rides, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and Bing crooning about he’d be home for Christmas.

Art/Magazines (Comics Book Stories):

Christmas (Dark Worlds Quarterly): Two years ago I suggested some different ghost story collections for your Christmas reading pleasure. I won’t go into how Christmas used to be the seasons of ghosts (which Halloween now dominates). We’ve all sat through how many versions of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?

Review (New Pulp Review): A recent New Pulp work I picked up is RazörFist‘s first novel, the first of his Nightvale series: The Long Moonlight. I have no idea what RazörFist’s real name is, but if you’re not aware of him, he has several webseries/YouTube videos that are review/commentary, including readings of the early Shadow novels.

Authors (DMR Books): Hello! My name is John Rak, and I am the author of a short story titled “The Hole in the Tree” that appears in the Samhain Sorceries compilation from DMR Books.

I don’t really have a background as a writer; “The Hole in the Tree” is the first thing I’ve ever published! I am, however, very involved in the independent speculative fiction publishing scene in other capacities. I am the lead science fiction and fantasy editor for a boutique publisher known as the Montag Press Collective.

Tolkien (Tolkien and Fantasy): In the 16 January 1938 issue of the London newspaper The Observer, there was a query, signed “Habit”, from Queensway, asking whether J.R.R. Tolkien might be persuaded to discuss more about his book The Hobbit, published four months earlier. Habit also noted:

Lovecraft (The Obelisk): I, a humble scribbler, want to challenge you. You can accept or decline this offer, but the eldritch Old Ones will definitely judge you harshly if you should fail to be all that you can be by taking the Lovecraft Diet Challenge.

Fiction (Fantasy Literature): Gathering together 10 remarkably grisly tales from the pages of three of the most lurid of the pulp magazines, Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories is the first collection of Ralston Shields’ work ever assembled. Released in 2014 by the Dancing Tuatara Press imprint of Ramble House, the book shines a long-overdue spotlight on an author whom John Pelan, in his introduction, calls the greatest writer of “weird-menace” fiction on a story-by-story basis.

D&D (Pits Perilous): Early D&D, inspired as it was (hell, outright birthed) by historical wargames, channelled medieval Europe heavily. Gary’s obsession with polearms is legendary; but it was more than that, and what else would we expect from a fantastic medieval wargame? Of course, the fantastic precedes a European mileu by millenia and extends beyond its borders to storied parts beyond. But Europe, with its armored knights and dragons, really stuck…

Cinema (Bookgasm): A couple of years ago, the three-part documentary Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All Time hit digital and underwhelmedme by covering all the usual suspects in such short bursts, it offered little new information or insight. When Turner Classic Movies announced a companion book to TCM Underground, its long-running Friday-night showcase of the similar, I was leery it would be another round of the same well-worn territory. Now that it’s here —TCM Underground: 50 Must-See Films from the World of Classic Cult and Late-Night Cinema— I can happily report I needn’t have worried.

Games (Jon Mollison): It’s been a while since I’ve thrown a game of rank-and-flank fantasy down on the table.  Dragon Rampant is more of a large warband skirmish game, and it lacks the nuance and subtlety of proper blocks of troops maneuvering about the green fields of battle.  Demonstrating the charms of Chainmail to a new generation of wargamers has been a lot of fun, but it is time to turn our attention to more modern refinements of the genre.

Weird West (Marzaat): You could call this, the fourth book in West’s Dark Trails Saga, the Porter Rockwell bestiary. West even provides an illustration, usually a petroglyph, for each story. And some of those beasts (jackelopes! Tumbleweeds!) are pretty audacious choices by West. “Cold Slither” is a long and very Robert E. Howard-type story.

Pulp (Rough Edges): I’ve mentioned before that W.C. Tuttle’s stories and novels featuring range detectives Hashknife Hartley and Sleepy Stevens are some of my favorite Western yarns. I recently read “The Devil’s Dooryard”, a Hashknife and Sleepy novelette from the May 3, 1921 issue of ADVENTURE.

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