Featured

My book is available: “Dangerous Gamers.”

My DRM-free ebook, “Dangerous Gamers: The Commentariat and its war against video games, imagination, and fun,” is available on Amazon. Currently, it’s only in ebook format, but I intend to upload a paperback version as soon as possible (Amazon is giving me problems with the formatting of the Table of Contents and a few footnotes, and I need a new and better cover.)

Edit: The book has been updated (grammar, typos, etc.,) be sure that your version (in the “copyright” page) is at least version 1.1. If it isn’t, turn the autoupdates on.

Continue reading “My book is available: “Dangerous Gamers.””

Far Cry 5’s covfefe is a much-needed reality check for journalists.

This post is a parolation (parody + interpolation) of this article from The Guardian, “Far Cry 5’s violent civil unrest is a much-needed reality check for games.” Unfortunately, this FC5 nonsense came too late for my book, because it’s like the perfect manifestation of the phenomena I describe there.

I recommend reading both articles (The Guardian’s and mine) at the same time, side by side:

Continue reading “Far Cry 5’s covfefe is a much-needed reality check for journalists.”

Roundup, announcement, and other stuff.

May seems to have been my Jack Vance’s month.

Besides my previous D&D article, here are a few posts I wrote about him at the Puppy of the Month Book Club (May was “The Dragon Master & other stories” month.)

Vance and the writers he inspired

The original art of the beasts from The Dragon Masters (that one is cool and you don’t have to read much)

“The Miracle-Workers” and the supernatural in Vance

Continue reading “Roundup, announcement, and other stuff.”

A Vancian-inspired (re)interpretation of magic-users and heathen idol-worshippers (i.e. clerics)

You are playing some old skool D&D with your friends and decide that you want to play a magic-user. The DM tells you that level 1 magic-users can only cast one spell per day and, to add injury to the insult, “your starting spells are chosen at random.

You start sweating profusely, but being a hardcore masochist, you accept the ruling and allow Eris, Princess of Chaos and Dice-Rolling, to decide that your magic-user knows three spells (plus Read Magic) of astounding power: Detect Magic, Light, and Magic Missile. Unfortunately, your DM is an ass and does not even know that Light can be used to blind enemies, and, to make things worse, he also uses some weird rule for Magic Missile (1d6+1 of damage, but an attack roll is needed.) In practical terms, that means the destructive power of your character is similar to being able to shoot a single arrow each day. 10 years at the Magic University for this?!

Continue reading “A Vancian-inspired (re)interpretation of magic-users and heathen idol-worshippers (i.e. clerics)”

Asimov’s Adventure editorials IV: Hollywood, movies, and pew-pew sci-fi.

This is the editorial of the last issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Adventure Magazine, a short-lived magazine from late 1978 to late 1979. I guess he had no idea the magazine was going to be canceled since the subject of this editorial —even if interesting— is probably not about what one would write for a final issue.

Anyway, I liked his comment on how destroying a spaceship in words is as easy as doing anything else in words. That’s something many people who write as if they were filming a movie (or a video game) usually forget.

You can read the other editorials here: first, second, and third.

Continue reading “Asimov’s Adventure editorials IV: Hollywood, movies, and pew-pew sci-fi.”

Asimov’s Adventure editorials III: on mythology, sword & sorcery, and economists.

This is the third editorial [first and second] of Asimov’s Science Fiction Adventure Magazine, a short-lived magazine with only four issues (from late 1978 to late 1979,) where the famous writer explained his understanding of adventure, science fiction, fantasy, and their place in the current scientific era.

His thesis is that there is an important abyss between the pre and post scientific understanding of the world, especially concerning the problem of how to manipulate the universe or to make it work for us. He isn’t wrong, though, but I’d really like to know what was his opinion about writers like Jack Vance, who were aware of that pre and post scientific chasm but consciously played around it to undermine it and mix the different worldviews. Unfortunately, I have never come across any suggestion that Asimov knew or cared about Vance.

Continue reading “Asimov’s Adventure editorials III: on mythology, sword & sorcery, and economists.”

Reading Nebulas (2017) Things with Beards, by Sam J. Miller

By focusing on the Hugo Awards I may have given the impression that the problems with fashionable science fiction and fantasy are a “Hugo” problem. The Hugos have become a bit of a battlefield and an arena for various trollish antics (the only interesting thing about the Hugo Awards, if you ask me,) so that’s a reasonable misunderstanding. But it’s not a Hugo-only problem because the same symptoms can be seen in the other two big SFF Awards: Nebula and World Fantasy Award. And when I say the same I mean it because this year’s Nebula and Hugo short story nominees are almost the same:

Hugo Nebula WFA comparison

Continue reading “Reading Nebulas (2017) Things with Beards, by Sam J. Miller”