Book Review: Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons

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.

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Light from Uncommon Stars: Book Review

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.

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The CRPG Book: 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.

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Matter: 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.

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Art excerpt from Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop & Things from the Flood: 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.

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RPG Book Review: Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide

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.

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Book Review: The Vinyl Detective – Victory Disc

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”