Vicki Lalonde joins us to discuss Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Back to the Stone Age”, damsels in distress, messages of empathy, shedding the bonds of the civilized world, the power of friendship, Barsoom, slavery as a plot device, large megafauna, fighters with six-shooters, foreshadowing villains, and much more!
Chris Wolf joins us to discuss A. Merritt’s “The Ship of Ishtar”, slaves in pulp fiction, magic hair-growing shrubs, film noir femme fatales, early wargaming, magic compasses, epic death as a story ender, the Mega Dumb Cast, playing on the Spaceship of Ishtar, and much more!
Members of our Patron Book Club (Jeremy Harper, Christopher Murrie, and Adam Styers) join us to discuss Robert E. Howard’s “Conan the Warrior”, the Conan paperback publication history, Conan’s rapey inner-dialogue, the “barbarism is the natural state of mankind” quote, the roles of priests in sword and sorcery, Red Sonya and Dark Agnes, the strengths and weaknesses of Valeria, the fragile state of Whiteness, Lovecraftian racism, the immensity of the Hyborian world, giving L. Sprague de Camp the credit he’s due, Conan casting spells, and more!
Sharang Biswas joins us to discuss L. Sprague de Camp’s “The Clocks of Iraz”, Indian classics, wights, internal logic, stories within stories, female characters who entirely exist as sex objects, queer bashing, unified tonal through lines, pre-skill system play styles, diversity in medieval simulationism, magic as a source of law or chaos, how to support sex-positive charities, and much more!
Jerry D. Grayson joins us to discuss Michael Moorcock’s “The Vanishing Tower”, discovering gaming as a kid, fantasy reading as a kid, comics, looking for representation, Elric as pulp, the grab-bag style of old-school gaming, morose scenery-chewing, the other Eternal Champions, Elric’s childhood education, DMG relics, how you too can make hundreds of dollars in the roleplaying industry, and much more!
Becky Annison joins us to discuss Roger Zelazny’s “Sign of the Unicorn”, female authors, murder-mysteries, audio books, characters with godlike powers, world-building, rooting games in a setting, one-on-one gaming, making allies out of enemies, using player imagination, gaming in the era of Critical Role, and much more!
Brian Murphy joins us to discuss Andrew J. Offutt’s “Swords Against Darkness”, reading fantasy fiction as a kid, writing about swords and sorcery, second generation sword and sorcery authors, the understated prose of Poul Anderson, O. Henry’s sword and sorcery, multiclass characters, the collected Ryre stories, elves and dwarves in swords and sorcery, sword and planet, and much more!
Jamila R. Nedjadi joins us to discuss Philip José Farmer’s “Behind the Walls of Terra”, World of Darkness games, the false divide between the OSR and indie games, simulacrums, motorcycle gangs, one’s own mother as a romantic love interest, hippie culture, fiction written by random tables, GMs building on what players give them, PBtA moves, describing modern items as marvelous artifacts, the perfect way to end a session, and much more!
Hoi and Jeff interview Tim Kask, the co-compiler of the Appendix N list, who gives us some interesting insight into its history!