Tag: SF

Crown of Starlight (Chapter One) [Review]

Crown of Starlight (Chapter One) by Cait Corrain Everybody’s been talking lately about the publishing scandal involving debut author Cait Corrain and her fantasy novel Crown of Starlight, so I thought I’d put in my opinion. The whole story is here and tells it more eloquently and completely than I can, but the gist is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/25/23: States of Confusion (Southwestern States)

Most people think of the U.S. states of Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona as cowboy country, the Wild West. Originally, I wanted to do these three states as a post puncturing the cowboy myth, and how these rough-and-tumble men were nothing at all like those on TV and in the movies. But then I realized …

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Masks of the Snow Queen, Part 2

In the opening chapter, prologue really, of The Snow Queen the reader is treated to a humdinger of a setup for the rest of the book. During the planet Tiamat’s masked festival/ball, a couple sneak away to have sex in one of the side rooms, where they fall asleep from drugged wine. Arienrhod, the Winter …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/14/22: Deep Sky Objects

Like imaginary galaxies, imaginary nebulas are also simple to create. These three were done in Wombo, which is designed specifically to make trading card NFTs. But it’s also fine for other stuff. These randomgens were tweaked in Write With Transformer, so if some of them don’t make sense, that’s why. WWT is part of the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/7/22: Galaxies

Galaxies are one of those things that it’s easy to create a picture of. I remember in the 1970s all an artist needed was an airbrush, one or two pigments, and a fine paintbrush for depicting individual stars. When Photoshop and other painting programs came along, you could do the same thing with digital tools …

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Children of the Elder Things, or Echinoderm Horror

  As I talked about here, H. P. Lovecraft’s Elder Things were such a unique creation both of their time and for SF in general that their caliber was not duplicated  for many years. There were echoes of them in the BEMs (bug-eyed monsters) of the lurid SF pulp covers of the 1930s through the …

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The Art of the Elder Thing (Part III)

In this post I’ll examine  Elder Thing depictions done in different media and styles. This is an Elder Thing stripped down its basic elements: starfish head, wings, cucumber body, five tentacle legs. I’m guessing it’s a petroglyph painted on some exposed shale rock, which since has been desecrated by bird poop. The creator of the …

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The Art of the Elder Thing (Part II)

In Part II of this series I’ll be taking a look at the Elder Things interacting with their natural environment — either the snowbound Antarctica of At the Mountains of Madness, or their titanic cities of long ago. This illustration of the creatures shows them checking out a ship that has been stuck in the …

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Roadside Picnic
[Reading Challenge 2022]

Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Translation by Olena Bormashenko Chicago Review Press, 2012 (Originally published 1972 in the USSR) [ Challenge # 34: A book by more than one author. ] Roadside Picnic is an SF classic. Originally published in the USSR at the height of the Cold War — and Communist censorship …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/19/22: The Best of Twittersnips (Playing in Another’s Sandbox)

Very occasionally over the past years I’ve stepped out and created random characters for existing media —  books, movies, or even toy lines. Here’s a selection.   Franchise and fanfic characters Middle Earth (J. R. R. Tolkien) Smerri Peachlake, Nol Bluffbuggin, Gosti Threeclasp (Hobbits) Yevenglazar, a giant spider Prince Thrindhöil Gandian Graymurgh, a wizard Islands …

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