New Review, Hugo Packets, and Tarzan Stuff

Jon Mollison of Seagull Rising has a new review up of Cirsova #5. You can read it here.

I’ve made a lot of people writing reviews, in part because it’s one of the easiest ways to promote and support us, but that’s not the only reason. Reviews let us know what works and what doesn’t. One advantage of our double issue was it let us throw a lot against the wall to see what would stick and what didn’t. In some cases, it was seen as one of our weaker issues because it was much less focused that our others, but some folks seemed to enjoy it ‘with the exception of a few stinkers’.

While I enjoyed all of the stories (else I wouldn’t have bought them), that sort of feedback lets us know what you, the readers, are enjoying and what you’re not. So, to help us maintain and improve the quality of the magazine, be sure to leave your feedback!

Hugo Voting Packets are finally available. With only two months to go before voting is final, I don’t have a lot of expectation that readers will make it that far into their packets if they’ve waited this long to start, but it will be what it will be.

Also, I have not forgotten about my need to write a review of Frayed Knights! I really loved it, so I really ought to hunker down and get the write up on that done. I’ve just been so ADD and OCD these last two months, I’ve been a complete mess (can autism have flare-ups?)

I finished Tarzan at the Earth’s Core last night, and I’d stand by my previous question:

If Edgar Rice Burroughs can tell a bad story but still make it balls-out awesome, is it still a bad story?!

TatEC spends so much time on its journey towards the otherwise unimportant reason for throwing Tarzan into Pellucidar that when it finally gets there, there’s very little book left and the story kind of peters out. Except the reason that it peters out is perfectly believable and doesn’t detract much from the story: once Tarzan, Jason, and Tarzan’s rifle squadron of African tribesmen are finally reunited with the airship and its crew, there’s not a lot that primitive pirate port is going to do except answer the ultimatum that they’ll bomb the city into oblivion by turning Emperor David I over to his friends. Plus, Jana snaps out of her Tsundere fugue and declares her love for Jason, so we get the important ending we’re all waiting for.

With our G3 game taking a short hiatus, I may take an opportunity to flesh out my WW-2 rules-lite and run a Pellucidar mini campaign.

As I wrap, I’ll leave you with this one great exchange that perfectly illustrates the sort of tough pulp dames Burroughs wrote as well as his sense of humor:

“We will accompany you, then,” said Thoar [Jana’s brother], and then his brow clouded as some thought seemed suddenly to seize upon his mind. He looked for a moment at Jason, and then he turned to Jana. “I had almost forgotten,” he said. “Before we can go with these people as friends, I must know if this man offered you any injury or harm while you were with him. If he did, I must kill him.”

Jana did not look at Jason as she replied. “You need not kill him,” she said. “Had that been necessary The Red Flower of Zoram would have done it herself.”

“Very well,” said Thoar, “I am glad because he is my friend. Now we may all go together.”

2 responses to “New Review, Hugo Packets, and Tarzan Stuff

  1. I’ve read all of the Tarzan books multiple times, and Tarzan at the Earth’s Core is one of my favorites.
    Why? Well, because you get Tarzan at the Earth’s Core!

    As to your question: “If Edgar Rice Burroughs can tell a bad story but still make it balls-out awesome, is it still a bad story?!”

    I would say that no, it was not a bad story, because I was entertained.
    Burroughs is on record as saying that the main purpose of fiction is to entertain, and he meant it.

    When ERB wrote his fiction, he wasn’t writing for the critics or for his fellow authors (many of whom despised him).
    He was writing for us, the readers (and his children I think).

    That’s why he concentrated on the Awesome side of storytelling and left the rest to the critics.

    I recommend that you read all of the Tarzan books, just spread them out.
    Even the least of them will give you a pleasant afternoon.

    • Hey, sorry you got stuck in moderation (and on a long weekend when I was out of town!)

      Most of what I meant by “bad story” was that the pretense to get Tarzan into Pellucidar was pretty flimsy and hardly relevant to most of the story. Most of the trouble they face in the book is directly related to Tarzan being handed the idiot-ball as soon as they land, being overtaken by the urge to run around an unfamiliar jungle, leading to the expedition getting lost while searching for him.

      BUT, if you look past the fact that their reason for going to Pellucidar in the first place is barely relevant, and once they remember why they were there in the first place, the story quickly wraps up, the ride to get there was incredibly awesome, so it still makes for a wonderful read. In fact, as soon as the story got to “Tarzan is in a primeval jungle doing stuff”, it significantly ratcheted up; the two chapters spent establishing the whys and the logistics of the expedition to Pellucidar were really the only dull parts. Still, about the time the Snakemen showed up, I was like “Are they even gonna have time to rescue the guy they came to rescue? There’s hardly any book left!”

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