The Electric State is very much a different book from Tales from the Loop and Things from the Flood. Those books had a retrospective narrative – the point of view for those books was from the viewpoint of someone looking back on events with a sense of nostalgia. The Electric State, on the other hand, has a more conventional narrative, while still having significant themes of memory, but definitely without the warmth of nostalgia.(more…)
A while back, on the internet, I stumbled across the work of artist Simon Stålenhag, in what was part of the Tales From The Loop project – though I did not know what it was at that time. So, when the art was collected into a series of books with a narrative behind them – along with a tabletop RPG, I figure it was time to properly check it out.(more…)
This time I’ve got the second of the Star Wars short story collections with Tales from Jabba’s Palace.(more…)
This month we have the penultimate volume of Legend of the Galactic Heroes.(more…)
The last book in the Peter Grant series of Urban Fantasy police procedurals wrapped up the end of the “Faceless Man” Arc, with the recurring antagonist of that series being taken down, while one of the members of Peter’s supporting cast who had turned to the Dark Side was now on the lam. In the wake of this, author Ben Aaronovitch has decided to, basically, explore a different chunk of this world with the novella The October Man, which moves the plot from the UK to Germany.(more…)
This week I’m rounding out my book reviews with what might be the proto-Game-Isekai novel, written in the ’70s by Andre Norton.(more…)
I kick off my August GenCon licensed tabletop fiction reviews with a Dragonlance novel that fills a gap in the original Dragonlance Chronicles.(more…)
If I was going to describe the modern “Isekai” genre in brief, I’d describe it as “Game-based another world fantasy.” It’s not just fantasy where a protagonist is whisked to another fantastic world from ours like with the John Carter of Mars novels, or on the anime front with El-Hazard and Magic Knight Rayearth. This is fantasy where the characters are explicitly in a world that draws inspiration to games from gaming – sometimes by drawing the characters or their psyches into an actual game (ala Sword Art Online or Log Horizon), or a world which uses the language of RPGs like with Konosuba or Grimgar: Ash and Illusions. I would argue that if not the first of these, then one of the first of this particular genre – and was done in the ’70s by a woman.(more…)
I’m putting the next episode of the show on hold for a month, in the wake of the tragedy at Kyoto Animation and due to the presence of “The Ignition Factor” among the covered games. Instead, I’ll be discussing the second companion book to one of Nintendo’s miniature consoles – Playing With Super Power.(more…)
This month we start a sub-series of the Star Wars novels following one of the fixtures of the original trilogy of films – fighter dogfights!(more…)
Dragons of Autumn Twilight ended with the refugees from Pax Tharkas having found a refuge in a mountain pass in the hope of (possibly) making it through the winter. The second book in the Dragonlance Chronicles series begins with the Heroes of the Lance having already gone on another adventure, and having brought the refugees to the Dwarven city of Pax Tharkas. In the roleplaying game modules, your player characters would have gone through this story. However, while much of the Dragonlance modules were adapted to the original Chronicles series, not all of them were. In the late 2000s, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman returned to Dragonlance to adapt this missing chapter into novel form.(more…)
So, I’ve been behind on my reviews of the Peter Grant novels (having only done a review of the first book – released in the US as Midnight Riot and the second novel, Moon Over Soho), so I’m going to do something of a blanket review of the first 7 novels, which effectively make up one massive story arc, which I’m going to call “The Faceless Man Arc”.(more…)
This month I’m returning to Star Wars novels with the first appearance of Callista, with the novel “Children of the Jedi” by Barbara Hambly(more…)
There were a couple more Star Wars Novels in 1995, with the first two Callista novels, starting with Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly.Read more
In time for the conclusion of the new Boogiepop anime series, I have a review of the first omnibus volume of the Boogiepop novels from Seven Seas.(more…)
This week I’ve got a vlog on the 8th book in the Legend of the Galactic Heroes series of novels.(more…)
This week I have a review of an art book covering the history of Dungeons & Dragons from the start of the game to now.Watch the video…
This month I have an omnibus of the first 3 Young Jedi Knights novellas.
I’m almost done with the Star Wars novels in 1995 with the first three Young Jedi Knights novels, which were collected together as an omnibus under the title Jedi Shadow.
Oriental Adventures was a sourcebook for AD&D 1st edition that sort of re-imagined and re-interpreted the game to fit a setting inspired by various stripes of Asian cinema, with varying degrees of success. However, two things that book did moderately well was to present a setting in microcosm that used the mechanics and the book’s non-weapon proficiency system. What it didn’t do well was to create classes and races that were conducive for adventuring, and it didn’t create a setting that a standard adventuring party could be inserted into.
I’ve got a short story collection this month.