Of the past few Sword & Laser picks, Brightness Falls from the Air, by James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon ended up being a bit more of a controversial pick – and I definitely get why, as it gets into some squicky subject matter, and not necessarily in an elegant way.
Continue reading “Book Review: Brightness Falls from the Air”
Previously I have read and reviewed Playing at the World, the book about how Dungeons & Dragons came to be. Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons, is one of two follow up-books by Jon Peterson essentially about how Roleplaying Games went out of the hands of Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson. In the case of Game Wizards, it’s about how Gary & Dave lost their control over the game, through hubris and arrogance.
Continue reading “Book Review: Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons”
I’m putting the next installment of the Nintendo Power Retrospectives back a week to review another of this year’s Hugo Nominees before this year’s Worldcon (though after the voting deadline).
Continue reading “Book Review: Project Hail Mary”
There is some discussion as to whether there needs to be a clear dividing line between the genres of Science Fiction & Fantasy, that a work needs to be one or the other. As someone who encountered Shadowrun during my formative years of Middle School (shortly after Dungeons & Dragons), I’ve ultimately become someone who has come to realize that fantasy and science fiction are like chocolate and peanut butter. So, when Light from Uncommon Stars came up as a book pick for the Swords & Laser book club, as I’ve attempted to get caught up on my book reading I decided to put it on my list – even more so when I saw that it was nominated for the 2022 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Continue reading “Light from Uncommon Stars: Book Review”
Bitmap Books is a company that’s been on my radar for a while, but whose books I’d never gotten around to picking up. They had built up a very solid reputation for generally very well-written books about video games, both on the computer and the PC with really solid production values, both in terms of the layout of the books, and the quality of the materials used. The book I’m reviewing today – The CRPG Book – is no such exception.
Continue reading “The CRPG Book: Book Review”
Matter is my first step into the world of The Culture. I’ve heard bits and pieces about it through a variety of other sources, from the absurd ship names, to the concept of Outside Context Problems, to the absurdly high tech level – but I’ve never actually read a novel in the universe. While Matter is not the first book in the series, it is a pretty good jumping on point to the series.
Continue reading “Matter: Book Review”
This week I’m covering a non-fiction book on the history of Dungeons & Dragons, and the various influences that fueled it.
Continue reading “Playing at the World: Book Review”
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.
Continue reading “Tales from the Loop & Things from the Flood: Book Review”
We finish up with Jabba with an anthology collection focused on the members of Jabba’s court.
Continue reading “Legends of the Force Part 37: Tales from Jabba’s Palace”
This time I’ve got the second of the Star Wars short story collections with Tales from Jabba’s Palace.
Continue reading “Tales from Jabba’s Palace: Book Review”
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!
Continue reading “Legends of the Force Part 34: X-Wing – Rogue Squadron”
I’ve previously discussed the first installment of Michael A. Stackpole’s Rogue Squadron Comics earlier. Well, he’s not just limited to the medium of comics, this week we get to the first of his Rogue Squadron novels, but with a different lineup of the squadron.
Continue reading “X-Wing: Rogue Squadron – Book Review”
After Callista was introduced in Children of the Jedi, unlike other characters who were love interests of Luke, she was not forgotten by other authors, with Kevin J. Anderson’s novel Darksaber.
Continue reading “Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson: Book Review”
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.
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.
Continue reading “RPG Book Review: Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide”
I’m continuing to make my way through 1995 in Star Wars with the first collection of Star Wars short fiction.
Continue reading “Book Review: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina”
This week I’ve got a review of a trio of mystery novels, from a former Doctor Who writer. Continue reading “Book Review: The Vinyl Detective Trilogy”
This week we have the latest installment of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, as Yang Wen-Li’s burgeoning rebellion tries to find its footing. Continue reading “Book Review: Legend of the Galactic Heroes – Book 7, Tempest”
With the past two installments of the Vinyl Detective series, we’ve had an exploration of vinyl collecting along with the Jazz music industry of the 1930s-50s, and a focus on collecting singles combined with an exploration of the psychedelic rock scene of the 1960s-70s in the UK. This basically leaves one last major type of record album to cover – 78 rpm shellac records, and wartime jazz music. Continue reading “Book Review: The Vinyl Detective – Victory Disc”
The Vinyl Detective was an interesting launch to a mystery series, with a mystery novel steeped heavily in 1940-50s jazz music, and in record collecting. The question to a book like that is how do you follow a work like that up and keep the framework fresh? Continue reading “Book Review: The Run-Out Groove”
This week, in honor of GenCon being this month, I’m starting off a short series video of reviews of books based on tabletop games. First off is an adaptation of the plot of one of the earliest sets of Magic: the Gathering. Continue reading “Book (Video) Review: The Brothers’ War”
I now come to the conclusion of the Corellian Trilogy as we get to the bottom of events in the villain’s plan. Continue reading “Book Review: The Corellian Trilogy – Part 3 – Showdown at Centerpoint”