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!
Our Patron Book Club joins us to discuss H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror and Others”, setting construction, Lovecraftian punchlines, Robert Bloch, character development, ancient castles, inescapable monsters, the Whateleys, sudden developments of secret knowledge, characters built on people we know, and much more!
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 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!