Some Really WEIRD Stuff!

Saturday , 4, March 2017 18 Comments

Castalia House blog has a new columnist on board: Forrest Bishop. And let me tell you, he’s about to serve up some really WEIRD stuff for ya. I mean really weird!!

In fact you can tell this is crazy weird just by the reactions to his first piece. People don’t quite know what to make of it! I think that’s a good sign, really. In fact, it reminds me of some of the comments I got back when I was first starting out here.

So check it out. And stay with it. Trust me, it gets weirder…!

Meanwhile February was our biggest month ever with a whopping 47% increase over the last record. Given that Nick Cole and John C. Wright aren’t just putting in cameo appearances here, I expect this to happen again soon!

Instalanches notwithstanding, we drive traffic and discussion wherever we turn up. The number one post for February over at File 770 is from the link round up that pointed fans to Rawle Nyanzi’s commentary on the burgeoning Pulp Revolution. Well played, sir!

People ask me how I deal with all this. And really… I don’t know. I’d kind of gotten used to covering a really niche topic for an elite cadre of awesome people. It was kind of satisfying to keep up with basically everything on the internet that touched on it… but you just can’t do that anymore! The conversation has gotten really, really BIG over the past six months or so here. It’s extraordinary. What to do?!

Times like this, it’s important to check in with people that have a proven record in letting you know if you’re on the right track or not. Let’s see what the RpgPundit has to say:

October, 2014: If the idea of the “read Appendix N” argument is to say “sci-fi/fantasy of the 40s-70s is much more profound than modern scifi/fantasy”, then you kind of miss the point that it’s still grade-school crap compared to things you could be reading.

June, 2016:  You know Appendix N? It’s mostly meaningless. It’s just @*!%ing filler for the book. It isn’t the@*!%ing DaVinci Code. It’s not The Key to the Mysteries of D&D that will uncover your precious UR-D&D that will make you more old-school than anyone else. It’s not even a particularly complete or coherent or consistently good list of books. And NO ONE gave a@*!% about it in the REAL old-school days. Most of us didn’t even read the list.

March, 2017: The point is, if no mythic hero other than a barbarian who burns cities to hear the cries of the womenfolk will ever be ‘tough’ enough for you, you just might not be the defender of civilization you think you are. And you’re all in danger of becoming parodies of yourselves.

Hold the phone.

Check out that last ditty there. It’s like this guy’s exposure to the work of Robert E. Howard does not even go beyond a meme taken from the bastardized film adaptation. Bro, do you even read?

But yeah, I’d say we’re pretty much on the right track here….

If you need another indicator in order to convince you, consider the number of comments on our posts here compared to those of our closest competitor:

Black Gate’s comments on the front page right now: 0, 0, 0, 8, 0, 2, 4, 16, 2, and 0 comments.

Castalia House blog’s comments on the front page right now: 0, 6, 3, 4, 15, 28, 34, 12, 57, 11, 60, and 41.

Face it. The Poindexters that show up with “helpful” advice on how to reach a broader audience…? They have no idea what they’re talking about. The thing that they ask us to dial back is the usually very thing that is fueling our explosive growth. Besides, we’re not looking to be taken seriously by anyone that happens to have a foothold in the establishment, be it literary, academic, “industry”, or anything else. We’re looking to change the rules of the game entirely.

That’s why we write. That’s why people show up. That’s why the excitement within the wider scene dwarfs everyone else’s. No matter how you slice it, this is just plain fun.

Why would we change anything in order to accommodate the sort of chuckleheads that haven’t read enough to even know what we’re talking about?

Talk about stupid!

But I really do appreciate the wise counsel I get from guys like Pundit. I have always taken it as an indicator that what I’m doing is working. It really does mean a lot to me…!

18 Comments
  • deuce says:

    Y’know, I heard there was a revolution goin’ on somewhere…

  • Rod Walker says:

    Rod Walker mostly reads blogs about Linux, server administration, indie publishing, and the blogs of individual writers he enjoys.

    This is the only dedicated SF/F blog he reads on a daily basis.

  • NARoberts says:

    They are very noble, trying to help us like this…

  • Cameron says:

    Lost in the shuffle here is that his remark “It isn’t the@*!%ing DaVinci Code. It’s not The Key to the Mysteries of D&D that will uncover your precious UR-D&D that will make you more old-school than anyone else.” is absolutely correct, and speaks directly to what he was reacting to in that 2016 rant.

    Too bad he doubles down on the notion that Gygax’s list is full of crap that only benighted (possibly, gasp, even patriarchal) troglodytes could possibly love. At that point, I part ways with the ol’ Pundit. He can take my trashy pulp-era paperbacks over my dead body.

    Anyway, as far as I’m concerned his point stands that what the OSR bloggers were using the list for was – and is – silly.

  • icewater says:

    Heh, I admit to being baffled by that Forrest Bishop article, purely because it came out of nowhere. Like other commenter there, I thought that it was some sort of a tease or a puzzle.

    I look forward to more. I actually have a casual interest in subjects like that, even if my reading in Forteana is pretty limited. I went trough more well known stuff like Vallee’s “Dimensions”, but that was mostly prompted by my interest in fairies and fairy folklore.

  • baduin says:

    ” you kind of miss the point that it’s still grade-school crap compared to things you could be reading.”

    Yes, for example one could read Tamburlaine:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1589/1589-h/1589-h.htm

    “TAMBURLAINE. Bridle them, and let me to my coach.

    [ATTENDANTS bridle ORCANES king of Natolia, and the KING OF JERUSALEM, and harness them to the chariot.—
    The GOVERNOR OF BABYLON appears hanging in chains on the walls.—Re-enter THERIDAMAS.]

    AMYRAS. See, now, my lord, how brave the captain hangs!

    TAMBURLAINE. ‘Tis brave indeed, my boy:—well done!—
    Shoot first, my lord, and then the rest shall follow.

    THERIDAMAS. Then have at him, to begin withal.
    [THERIDAMAS shoots at the GOVERNOR.]

    GOVERNOR. Yet save my life, and let this wound appease
    The mortal fury of great Tamburlaine!

    TAMBURLAINE. No, though Asphaltis’ lake were liquid gold,
    And offer’d me as ransom for thy life,
    Yet shouldst thou die.—Shoot at him all at once.
    [They shoot.]
    So, now he hangs like Bagdet’s 278 governor,
    Having as many bullets in his flesh
    As there be breaches in her batter’d wall.
    Go now, and bind the burghers hand and foot,
    And cast them headlong in the city’s lake.
    Tartars and Persians shall inhabit there;
    And, to command the city, I will build
    A citadel, 279 that all Africa,
    Which hath been subject to the Persian king,
    Shall pay me tribute for in Babylon.

    TECHELLES.
    What shall be done with their wives and children, my lord?

    TAMBURLAINE. Techelles, drown them all, man, woman, and child;
    Leave not a Babylonian in the town.”

  • john silence says:

    Castalia’s growth is impressive, and telling, in itself.

    Rarely, if ever, does a publisher go from “yet another” genre fiction small press to chaining one Amazon bestseller after another, in a matter of years at that.
    In fact, genre fiction small presses tend to stay genre fiction small presses.

    • NARoberts says:

      I do not believe that Castalia House will stay small. When they say “we will replace Tor” I believe it.

      It might not be for another decade, but it will happen.

  • castaliahouse says:

    In addition to the blog traffic, Castalia continues to average above 100-percent year-on-year growth.

  • Looks like I’ve got a lot of catching up to do around here.

    • Jon Mollison says:

      From what I’ve seen, you’re going to fit right in. Fair warning: This lot tends to push people to produce better quality stuff than they thought possible.

      Just bought “The Mad Song”, by the way. Looking forward to digesting it.

      • B&N says:

        “If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — “My Heart Laid Bare.” But — this little book must be true to its title.”
        -Edgar Allen Poe

        http:// www. eapoe. org/works/misc/mar0148. htm

  • This page has been my go to page for fantasy and sci-fi stuff daily for awhile now. I pretty much stopped visiting reddit Fantasy, not that it was ever good.

  • B&N says:

    “The Poindexters that show up with “helpful” advice on how to reach a broader audience…? They have no idea what they’re talking about.”

    Considering they were the ones in college shouting down invited speakers like Milo and Murray, I don’t think they’re concerned about helping people reach a wider audience.
    If you want to know how to advertise your product, you go to the Marketing majors, not the English Lit majors who throw bricks through Starbucks windows.

  • SteelPalm says:

    While it’s a bastardized version of the Robert E Howard stories (which I enjoyed, too), Milius’ “Conan the Barbarian” is an outstanding masterpiece of a film.

    That idiot sneering down his nose about the movie reflects almost as poorly upon him as his dismissal of 40s-70s science fiction as “grade-school crap”.

    Fantastic work on the blog, Jeffro, and I hope it continues to grow.

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