Showing posts from August, 2020

Cthulhu Rolls a 20

 Well, the dreaded deadline doom (aka work) has caught up to me, so just a short piece this week. I'm still unpacking from my move from a year ago, and I came across my ancient 1st edition Dungeons and Dragons books. Those books have a lot of history. I began playing D&D when I was in junior high, and it was a part of my life up to college. I never played any of the other editions until recently; right before Covid took over our lives, I found a local group and began playing fifth edition. Certainly the details had changed (how many races are there? how is a sorcerer different from a warlock or a wizard?), but the basic mechanics, and of course the role-playing, were pretty much the same. I was able to slip into it relatively easily. But then the pandemic changed things. We stopped playing for a couple of months. We tried online. And then the guys (it was all guys except for me) decided to play in person again. That's when I tossed in my sword, so to speak. I used to pore o

Rediscovering Roger Zelazny

  This post is not a review but just an appreciation of a writer that I fear is getting lost in the mists of time -Roger Zelazny. If you've not read any Zelazny, it's hard to find another writer to compare him to, because he had a unique style and voice. He wrote both science fiction and fantasy, but his work often blurred the two. He was one of the SF/F writers that emerged from the 60s who focused not on the hard SF of Asimov and his ilk, but more on the human psyche. His books featured protagonists that were often conflicted, perhaps leaning more towards anti-hero status, but always intriguing. He had an interest in legends and mythology which plays throughout his works. Zelazny had a way with language and words -although he often favored a sort of stripped down style of dialog, he could also weave dreamlike imagery. As a reader, I always felt transported by his writing, effortlessly, to new places, new ideas, new states of being. If you are wondering where to start, I would

A Look Back at The X-Men's Storm

It was a crisp Saturday evening in April 1975 when my older brother Steve and I stopped at The Book Nook store and I made my way to the comic book section, where I spotted one that immediately stood out. A group of super-heroes were bursting through the cover, tearing it open and charging straight at me. I was a sucker for group books and this one featured heroes I didn't recognize, although I recognized the team name: X-Men. It was Giant-Size X-Men #1, and it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I had been reading comics, and specifically Marvel comics, for about four years at that point, and I knew of the X-Men, although only from reprints and the occasional guest appearance. But other than Wolverine, who had recently appeared in The Hulk, and Cyclops, these characters were unknown to me. From the start, I found myself gravitating to them like no other super-hero comic. I always liked team books the best. I suppose it had to do with all the character interactio