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Blog Archives


Science Fiction (Type Bar Magazine): A recent Washington Post articleindicated that only 12% of the reading public were interested in reading science fiction.  A perusal of bestseller lists for science fiction shows an even more alarming truth: the science fiction books that do sell are a shrinkingly small number of reprints, classics and novels that […]

Sword & Sorcery (Echoes of Crom Records): I list my top ten classic sword-and-sorcery collections by author. Knives (Blade HQ): Put simply, gas station knives cheap out on materials. Where there should be metal, there is often plastic. Where there should a blade steel with a real name and a known composition, there is mystery-meat […]

Paleontology ( Dire wolves, which died out with mammoths and saber-toothed cats at the end of the last ice age, were long thought to be close cousins of gray wolves. Now, the first analysis of dire wolf DNA finds they instead traveled a lonely evolutionary path: They are so different from other wolves, coyotes, and […]

D&D (DM David): While the Dungeons & Dragons team developed the game‘s fourth edition for a 2008 release, they faced problems from several directions. Corporate owners Hasbro brought a big corporate cost structure and return on investment expectations set by Magic the Gathering and Pokémon. Conan (Sprague de Camp Fan): This “Homage to Robert E. […]

Sword & Sorcery (Pulp Super Fan): Robert E. Howard expert Morgan Holmes discusses sword and sorcery stories appearing in Weird Tales. 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the fantasy and horror-fiction magazine.  RPG (Modiphius): Welcome to another chilling edition of Halloween Horrors – are you ready to be terrorised as Achtung! Cthulhu presents its now […]

Conan (Sprague de Camp Fan): This one starts with Conan raiding a caravan. A bloody business for sure and Dixon doesn’t shy away from describing the slaughter. Everyone, except for a young male soldier, is unmercifully slaughtered. After the killing is done one of Conan’s men, Zekir al Khoraj, is upset that their raid did […]

RPG (Arbiter of Worlds): This week marks the 24th episode of my series of instructional videos about how to be a better gamemaster. In this week’s video, I discuss how to mash up your favorite RPG system with another system to make a unique hybrid game. Car Wars + Traveller yields Driver. Cyberpunk + Runequest […]

Art (Paperback Palette): Paul Alexander (1937-2021) was one of the premier ‘gadget’ illustrators in science fiction. This cover for Signet’s 1985 paperback edition of Isidore Haiblum’s The Hand of Ganz shows just how outstanding he was at creating believable mechanical hardware. From his eye-catching start in 1976, till his retirement in 1998, Alexander produced more […]

Book Stores (Porpor Books): Earlier this week I made a road trip down south to the Knoxville area. I had a number of goals in mind, including a visit to the newly opened Bucc-ees in Sevierville. But I also took time to visit the McKay Books franchise in Knoxville. D&D (En World): Today (Thursday 27th […]

Conan (Sprague de Camp Fan): Two Conan pastiches in the same year? And a third on the way? Are we in a Conan renaissance? I honestly don’t think so. Titan Books is taking a chance on Conan most likely in hopes of the long-promised Conan Netflix series. If that happens a renaissance could occur but […]

Robert E. Howard (Adventures Fantastic): Most readers of weird fiction probably know about the story “The House in the Oaks” by August Derleth, which first appeared in the anthology Dark Things in 1971, the year Derleth died. It was one of the many “posthumous collaborations” of tales left unfinished on the death of Robert E. Howard on […]

Popular Culture (Contemplations the Tree of Woe): Moreover, the change in our social mores is unpredictable in its pace and direction. Could Woodrow Wilson have predicted that his views would one day cause progressives to remove his mention from the school named for him? No, in his day he was the exemplar of progressivism. Could […]