Cora Buhlert joins us to discuss Clark Ashton Smith’s “Xiccarph”, German science fiction, pulp magazines, morbid beauty, vampire flower women, Jirel of Joiry, the Dark Eye, foreshadowing, Gary Gygax’s exclusion of Clark Ashton Smith from the Appendix N, Alphonse Mucha, doomed protagonists, the 2022 World Science Fiction Convention, and much more!
Oliver Brackenbury joins us to discuss August Derleth’s “The Mask of Cthulhu”, the Lin Carter Conan stories, competing Appendix N Book Club listener complaints, writing in another author’s IP, dem hillbillies who ain’t talk too good, being a broke millennial while reading about haunted inheritances, the authorial voice, psychic residue, letting players continue to run their characters during PC possession, the trappings of the Cthulhu mythos, Lovecraft Country, and much more!
Angeline B. Adams joins us to discuss Fredric Brown’s “What Mad Universe”, psychogeography, toxic fandom, fictionalizing the writer’s process, near-future sci-fi, the Troubles conflict in Northern Ireland, the relationship between the text and the art, loose worldbuilding, environmental and knowledge hazards, having protagonists deal with a big scary world, organic plot development, what this book looks like in other mad universes, and much more!
Newton Nitro joins us to discuss Stanley G. Weinbaum’s “The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum”, Brazilian speculative fiction, Malazan Book of the Fallen, celebrations of the heterosexual white male, coming to acceptance with death, different cultural moral frameworks, the Virgin-Whore Complex, Brazilian miscegenation, dark humor, reskinning the Keep on the Borderlands, using RPGs to subvert facism, and much more!
Peter Bebergal joins us to discuss Michael Moorcock’s “Elric of Melniboné”, gaming stores, Gygax’s love of pulp, meta-levels inside of dungeons, grimoires IRL, Elric’s rotating sidekicks, the limits of idealism, the tragedy of addiction, Elric in art, the Eternal Champions, Elric as anime, and much more!
Shauntelle Benjamin joins us to discuss Roger Zelazny’s “The Hand of Oberon”, TTRPG Twitch streaming, the protagonist’s internal experience, similiar sounding names, casual incest, combat mechanics in literature, cybernetic limbs, life-draining highways, getting stabbed by uncles you’ve just met, interior monologues in gaming, and much more!
Kienna Shaw joins us to discuss Philip José Farmer’s “The Lavalite World”, using present-day religious texts as mythology, literary info dumps, the petty egos of immortals, making moral choices when you your life is at stake, close third-person narration, the dangers of presenting racist characters without critique, Bluebeard’s Bride, being a collaborative player instead of a lone wolf, constantly shifting landscapes, and much more!
Ginny Loveday joins us to discuss Fletcher Pratt’s “Invaders from Rigel”, small books with even smaller fonts, colonialism, space travellers who don’t understand combustibles, goofily over-capable heroes, interesting adversaries, home play vs organized play, overly replying on combat to handle challenges, separating the art from the artist, and much more!
Paige Leitman joins us to discuss Jack Vance’s “The Killing Machine”, Alexandre Dumas, sexism, interplanetary skin tones, examples of successful worldbuilding, D&D as a western, roleplaying vs rollplaying, planet-hopping revenge games, Star Wars, the OSR community, and much more!
Jason Ray Carney joins us to discuss Fritz Leiber’s “The Big Time”, urban modernism, Lovecraft’s fear of the other, period slang, the time travel genre, deeply traumatized protagonists, Leiber’s understanding of language, being the Black Svengali to one’s Trilby, unity of time and space, Conan vs Fafhrd, chronopolitanism, and much more!