A Wolfe Among Sheep

A Wolfe Among Sheep

Science Fiction author Gene Wolfe has left this mortal realm.Ages ago I had a coffee-table book titled something like "Worlds of Fantasy" that, while it also unfortunately introduced me to Earthsea and Gormenghast, also introduced me to Covenant, Elric, and best of all, Conan, Jack Vance's "Dying Earth," and Severian.An unassuming boy, a member of a torturer's guild on an Earth so far in the future that, like Vance's, our sun was on the verge of bloated red death, where technology that may as well have been magic was discovered and lost, and aliens still dropped by at…

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Grab Bag Posting

The inevitable yet "surprising" end of Panera's socialist restaurant experiment. Who'd have thought that asking freeloader types who want other people's money to pay their fair share out of the good ness of their heart to get a meal would leave you going broke? I know, sarcasm. While on the topic of inevitable yet surprising, who'd have thought that inviting in the third world would bring about third world conditions? Wesson's motion includes a call for an audit of all the live plants in every city-owned and city-operated building, including the varieties that "are most attractive to…

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Modern "Entertainment" Grab Bag

Modern "Entertainment" Grab Bag

While I haven't spent as much time as a good chunk of the pulp rev crowd discussing the crap that often composes modern storytelling and entertainment, I've certainly psted a couple, such as my recent run-in with the Bandersnatch. I certainly haven't done the heavy lifting that, for example, Jeffro has with his Appendix N series.Many of the modern issues go deeper than just an SJW desire to inject politics - or as Xavier more properly notes, the virtue signals of having particular political positions - into everything a la the politics is personal. One issue is an addiction…

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Beware the Bandersnatch

Beware the Bandersnatch

For those who haven't unplugged from TV entirely or are considering it, whether it's because of ready access to older titles (though Netflix has fewer and fewer such options...) or other reasons, it's clear that nihilism has taken ground everywhere and tries to extend its reach along with the tendency of netflix shows to increasingly get woke. Yeah, I know, the 70's is calling. You'd be right. That said, there was a resurgence of heroism/etc. in the 80's that has only slowly been killed off since, or replaced by "heroism" of he Mary Sue. Incidentally, one reason…

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How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes

How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes

Several recent posts deal with the effort to tear down the family, the borders between adults and children (part of a hatred of boundaries I'd already noted..), and the story of Moira Greyland. First - I came across from this piece by Paul Lucas, “Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law”. It's actually the second part of a series. It opens with a lengthly discussion of writing for the audience vs writing for other authors (aka, why, despite my liking for Rush and other odds and ends of prog rock, I find a lot of it…

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"Weird" and Woo-Woo Beliefs

"Weird" and Woo-Woo Beliefs

OK. I mentioned the other day that I understand rabbit holes that smart people go down. Looking back, I wasn't sufficiently clear, because I strongly implied that I was above it, not in the sense that I didn't go down them, but that I had completely come back out of all of them, and now agreed with what all the "smart" people say is true. I haven't. "Woo-woo beliefs" Moon First of all, while I'm certain for a number of reasons that we did put men on the moon, that doesn't mean that NASA hasn't pulled…

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Squadron Strike: Traveller

Squadron Strike: Traveller

There are a number of different space warfare games. Some are purely strategic, like the Traveller-based Fifth Frontier War, or a mix, like the Starfire system used to inspire several of David Weber's non-Honor Harrington books. Others are very tactical. Take Star Fleet Battles, or Talon. Not many were realistic. Sure, SFB could get as insanely detailed as a game of Harpoon, but it was still warp drives and swooping spaceships. Very little captured the freedom of motion of fighters in Babylon 5, though several games like Mayday, (also Traveller-based) and Triplanetary (I reviewed it and covered navigation) tried to…

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The Mercenary

The Mercenary

Recently they mentioned Pournelle's The Mercenary over at the Castalia House blog. In the summer between middle and high schools, shortly after moving to a new school system yet again due to the usual military brat lifestyle, I hit up the new library and found a beat up book in the spinner of those they were trying to sell off to make room with a muscular semi-futuristic soldier holding a rifle against an orange background. I was already familiar with Boris Vallejo though it wasn't his best, but the author caught my eye. Pournelle. I had yet to read more…

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