First, having just re-read “Queen of the Black Coast,” I recently revisited observations Bill Ward and I had about an earlier re-read. Bill knocked this one out of the park.
Second, Bill and I looked at a great Brackett story, “The Moon That Vanished.” We’d meant to analyze more, but we’ve both gotten pretty busy.
Lastly, here’s a post I penned back in 2013 discussing and contrasting the way Jack Vance and Robert E. Howard depicted women in their fiction. I don’t want to spoil the post, but I have to say that after binge reading a huge amount of Vancian fiction I hold even more strongly to my conclusions, and came away with some rather icky observations about some plot preferences Vance liked to return to again and again. And I don’t think they were employed, like some Robert E. Howard features, because he knew it would get him a cover. (If you’re not in the know, REH figured out that if he wanted a cover illustration for Weird Tales, the editor would be highly inclined to give him one if he put a whipping scene in the story. I can’t say for sure whether that actually meant more sales, or if it’s something that editor really enjoyed.) For all that I love Vance’s amazing world and culture building, he repeatedly has young women, just barely mature, being raped. Sometimes it’s depicted as “lighthearted” and one time it preceded the woman’s death.
But my copy of Corsair Leader, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign I joined, is finally here. It’s been a blast looking through all the pieces and starting my rules skim. While cleaning various parts of the house I’ve listened to some reviews and half-watched some playthroughs. I hope to be able to try it out soon.
I also stumbled onto some really nice video overviews of solitaire wargames courtesy of The Player’s Aid. Here’s a link to their discussion of simpler solitaire wargames, and here’s a link to more complex ones. They discuss a lot of games I like, own, or have owned, or am interested in owning.
They don’t discuss my three favorites, Ambush!, B-17 Leader, and Lock ‘n Load Tactical. But there are SO many solitaire games available these days that they couldn’t possibly cover them all (and Ambush! is long out of print anyway). We’re really in a boardgame renaissance right now, and that includes solitaire games.
At long last the official web page of the new book imprint I work for has launched, although it’s more of a starter page. There are ambitious plans afoot for what the web site will contain. You can see the beginnings of it here, and if you click around you’ll find a brilliant essay by the brilliant Bill Ward. He’s written a number of essays for the site, and so has the equally brilliant Ryan Harvey, but in its primal form the web site is only showing a few pieces. Nor does it permit comments on the article page, but it will eventually.
You can also see an excerpt from John Chris Hocking’s second Conan novel, Conan and the Living Plague.
While many with the imprint are in Frankfurt this week, I’m editing some more Conan work. And I’m also revisiting some Conan pastiche. I’d never read Conan and the Grim Grey God by Sean Moore all the way through, and you know what, it’s pretty good. I don’t think he quite got some of the feel right, but he comes really, really close. This one of his is definitely going on my best of pastiche list. If the poor fellow hadn’t died so young I’d definitely be pushing to reach out to him for more work.
I’m pretty much busy night and day these days. I’m not complaining, because I’m having an absolute blast with all this writing and editing. But I haven’t quite figured out how to fit in time to update the blog regularly. My new theory is that I’ll try to prep stuff on the weekends, so we’ll see how that works. I still have a couple of more interviews with writers from Tales From the Magician’s Skull to take live.
Speaking of the skull, issue 2 hasn’t gotten many reviews. I’m not sure what’s up with that. But here’s a glowing one that just went live over at Black Gate, courtesy of Fletcher Vredenburgh.
Here’s the kickstarter for a new game by the talented (and award-winning) Sarah Newton, kind of a Dying Earth sort of thing that looks waaaay cool. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of Sarah’s work, which is always loaded with clever plot hooks and fascinating backgrounds.
And my old friend, that brilliant essayist and award-winning short story writer Ryan Harvey, has a kindle short story just right for a cool October evening.
Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, especially the Skull, who doesn’t want to spread the news yet, but I’m working away on issue 3 of Tales From the Magician’s Skull.
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