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!
Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney joins us to discuss Robert E. Howard & L. Sprague de Camp’s “Conan the Usurper”, body horror, de Camp’s heavy-handed editing, offensive physical descriptions of black characters, Lovecraft’s contemporaries, the experience of talking about problematic elements in the fandom, Howard’s creative process, audience analysis in pulps, the cliche of the dumb barbarian, unknown characters seeking revenge on PCs, and much more!
Kira Magrann joins us to discuss Lin Carter’s “The Immortal of World’s End”, LARPing as an awkward teenager, goth teenage years, blending sci-fi and fantasy, tonal shifts, strange metaphors, the cognitive dissonance of glorifying violence after seeing war firsthand, evolving cultural norms, positive inclusions of beasts and animals, sexualizing all or none of the characters instead of just the female-presenting characters, random charts, Trancore as a music genre, and much more!
Jason Vey joins us to discuss Fred Saberhagen’s “The Black Mountains”, owlbears, waiting for the fun evil parts, the Swords trilogy, cold war themes in a post-apocalyptic world, wizards with swords, the root of the lich, making magic unique, designing for 5e vs DCC RPG, mutations tables, and much more!
Clio Yun-su Davis joins us to discuss Gardner F. Fox’s “Kothar and the Conjurer’s Curse”, sexual violence, sword and sorcery LARP ideas, non-stop magical hijinx, video game boob physics, the journey in gaming, using the “rule of cool” with cultural sensitivity in mind, monsters that represent human populations, coincidences as plot devices, creative death curses, power levels for heoric gaming, and much more!
Misha B joins us to discuss Jack Williamson’s “The Humanoids”, relatable yet opposing idealogies, babies kept in cribs too long, the value of degenerates, the character arch of authors within their careers, morally ambiguous antagonists, superpowered humans overtaking the galaxy, setting ground rules at the table, characters with godlike abilities, moving force down the chain of challenges, and much more!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss Manly Wade Wellman’s “Sherlock Holmes’s War of the Worlds”, classic Sherlock, the Professor Challenger stories, sycophantic women, the differing moral compasses of the characters, the lens of the Vietnam War, tearing down H.G. Wells, undefeatable villains, adding mechanical wings to random encounters, proto-Lovecrafian beasties, high versus low-level gaming, and much more!