Abandoned Life Boat At World’s-End

May 16, 2011 by

Another short scene for GMs. Why was a life-boat and some equipment found abandoned on the most isolated island on Earth? Read the rest of this entry »


Analog 1970s Fiction Index

April 29, 2011 by
Integrating the New Wave with Analog rivets

Vincent diFate's cover art for Roger Zelazny's "Home Is The Hangman"

Analog maintained a regular monthy schedule throughout the 1970s (as indeed it had from 1935 and would continue to do so until 1996) so an index for this decade is extremely long. What follows is the fiction index and a list of cover art credits. Read the rest of this entry »

Missing List 1 – Isaac Asimov

April 16, 2011 by

In Volume Two of his “History of the Science Fiction Magazine”, Michael Ashley stated that the checklists of ten influential writers from the period (April 1936 – March 1946) had to be omitted for reasons of space. One such author would surely have had to be Isaac Asimov. In this period he not only published “Nightfall” but many of his Positronic Robot and Foundation stories first appeared. Anyway, here is the checklist: Read the rest of this entry »

The Cat Who Could Walk Through Time

February 15, 2011 by

This is one of a possible series of short articles about weird events I see reported in the press that likely have a simple, rational explanation but could be due to something more exotic that will fit into a gaming world. This one involves a possible time-travelling cat. Read the rest of this entry »

Cthulhu Mythos Beings In Other Campaign Worlds

November 19, 2010 by

Like, I suspect, more than one fantasy Games Master, it occurred to me to introduce Call of Cthulhu monsters into my campaign. Eventually I did so. This post gives some details about how I did so. It is a bit RQ3 specific because that is the system I used but I hope it will still be useful to GMs of other systems. Read the rest of this entry »

The Original BEM

November 6, 2010 by

SF and fantasy fans have often heard the phrase “bug-eyed monster” or its acronym “BEM”. I hereby present what I believe to be the very first example: it is the front cover of the August 1936 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. Read the rest of this entry »

Fantastic 1980s Index

August 18, 2010 by

The front cover of the final issue dated October 1980

This is a rather short index as the magazine folded in 1980, with the October 1980 issue being the final one. Circulation had declined to fewer than 15,000 per issue and the magazine was simply not economically viable. Read the rest of this entry »

IASFM Index (1970s)

April 4, 2010 by

The Big Name First Issue

Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine was one of a number of new science fiction magazines that appeared in the late 70s. It is the only one currently being published. There are a number of factors that likely contributed to this success. Read the rest of this entry »

The Death of Princes (Part I)

November 5, 2009 by

Some years ago I wrote a novel with the above title. It never found a publisher so I thought I’d post it in instalments here where it can be ignored some more. Or not. Well here’s the first bit. Read the rest of this entry »

District 9

September 20, 2009 by

The opening sequence of District 9 stays close to Neill Blomkamp’s original short – taking the form of a faux documentary outlining problems re the alien township of District 9 – a township slum close to Johannesburg inhabited by alien refugees. We appear to be in an alternative apartheid situation based on shape prejudice rather than colour prejudice. We are also an alternate timeline because while the film is set in 2010, there are frequent references to the fact that the aliens arrived twenty years previously. Read the rest of this entry »