Sorry for the Slow Week

I was hoping that Ogresuit Gundam was going up today, but looks like it will be next week.  I’ve been busy hammering out stuff about Air Assault on Crete, and haven’t had time to come up with anything substantial to post today.

If I can finish my war gaming post sometime today, I should have another Short Review up tomorrow.

Jeffro has wrapped up his Appendix N series and is getting flak from people for pointing out that Earthsea is “surprisingly dull in comparison to the other Appendix N books.” From some  of the responses, you’d think he spent the entire thing crapping on Ursula K. LeGuin rather than just spending two paragraphs out of twenty reasoning why she was not included in Appendix N.   As someone who was a fan of LeGuin, I’ve got to say I think he’s pretty much right, her stories definitely don’t feel like the Appendix N books I’ve read.  The more I read, the more underwhelmed I am by her stories, enough to the point when I want to make “Vance Did It Better” bumper stickers or something.

But hey, for those who want to try to lay the single-biome planets of Star Wars, like Hoth, at George Lucas or Leigh Brackett’s feet, I’ve got one word for you: Gethen.

I’ve seen the progress on the cover art for issue one of Cirsova.  It’s definitely got a New Wavey otherworldly feel to it.  Seeing it makes me realize just how much work I still have to do to get issue 1 ready but also how close this is to becoming a real thing.

Later this month, I will probably put out a call for advertisements.  I will still be selling ad space through the Kickstarter, but I am wanting to get as much work done as I possibly can on this BEFORE I even launch the Kickstarter so there is as little lag-time as possible between the Kickstarter completing and the issues shipping out. Even with everything as ready to go as it is, I anticipate it taking a week or two to for people to send me ad files, a week or two to put it in the zine, a week or two for the proof copy to arrive and be approved.  Damn, that’s like a whole month!  It kills me that it will not ship the day after the Kickstarter completes, but that means not selling ads via Kickstarter.  But I don’t even know if anyone is going to BUY any adspace!  So, I’ll maybe put out some feelers.

In the meantime, I will continue to be happy with the fact that I am just popular enough here at Cirsova to have fans but not popular enough to have an army of trolls and haters gainsaying all of my posts.  That may change in the next year or so, so I’ll try to enjoy it while I can.

4 responses to “Sorry for the Slow Week

  1. If you read LeGuin expecting Howard style fantasy, or “D&D lit”, you’ll definitely be underwhelmed. I found the Earthsea trilogy pretty incredible, but not because of dazzling action or suspense or plotting. There is not really much action at all. It seemed much more like a coming-of-age story that happened to be set in a fantasy world. You could glean some gameable stuff from it but it’s not really something you could use for D&D. I guess I could understand some backlash if he was saying the books are no good, but I looked at his article and he seems to just be saying it is not the pulp style that characterizes most of appendix N, and the characters are not like PCs, and the adventure is not like something you’d want to do in D&D. How can you disagree with that?
    People kind of fetishize appendix N though and want to put every fantasy book they love in it, so maybe they are hearing “that’s not a good book” when really the proposition is “that’s not a D&D book”?

    • What’s interesting is that there’s the simultaneous fetishization of Appendix N that drives people to want to include new works on it and desire to delegitimize Appendix N as ‘just some shmuck’s list’ because it does not include this or that work. In the context of what Appendix N actually is, of course it makes sense that Gary may not have included it; he may not have enjoyed it or felt that it was particularly germane to D&D’s development.

      And yeah, I still love Earthsea, but it’s definitely closer to the newer High Fantasy than even its contemporaries. In some ways, it could be considered a trail-blazer in that corner of SFF. Even though Tombs of Atuan was one of my favorite LeGuin books, I can’t help but feel like LeGuin thought she failed at whatever experiment she was trying in it, because of how she mucked with things in the 4th and 5th books. She wanted to subvert the trope of the hero rescuing the evil priestess from her evil, but by making the priestess a little girl and the wizard celibate, while she may have removed creepy sexual tension she ended up with a female protagonist without much agency and a male protagonist with very little actual regard or investment in the female protagonist (I mean, he does abandon her on his home island for all of book 3). The relationship LeGuin tried to write for the two of them in Tehanu would’ve been much better to have been worked into the 3rd book, but she couldn’t because of the age difference she’d written, so she tried to resolve things in an “old people find love in an age of peace” story.

      I’ve started to see people trot out Rocannon’s World in LeGuin’s defense to justify her inclusion in their dream Appendix N, and while I’ll grant that the first few Hainish books were enjoyable, there was really nothing in them that Vance hadn’t already done, so they weren’t bringing anything new to the table.

      Also, I’d been meaning to say something this week, but I’ve been really busy and/or sick; welcome back to WordPress and blogging! Missed ya!

  2. Pingback: Does the Earthsea Trilogy Belong in Appendix N? | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

  3. Pingback: Appendix N and Picaresque | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

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