Music – Call Any Vegetable, The Mothers of Invention


Kickstarter Money has Cleared!

That means that we’ll be able to start shipping Issue 7 soon. I need to make a tweak to the PDF version, but once I do, I’ll be making it available to backers.

If you missed the kickstarter, you can still pre-order on Amazon.

New D&D game!

I may start running a B/X game on alternating fridays starting next week. I’ve already planned out something of a mini-mega-dungeon with some neat horror themes. It’s mostly just a hack & slash crawl as written, but there are a few spots with built in development, in the form of a few excavatable secondary entrances and places where factions can move in from the outsider.

The base idea was “prelude to the Deathcrypt of the Ultralich”, but the “TruCrypt” may not be reachable or reached within the framework of the game we’re playing.

Right now, I’ve got a ruined temple, built on top of a ruined monastery, built on top of old crypts, on top of a cavern with an underground river, presumably on top of the tru-crypt of the Ultralich.

Also, there’s an owlbear’s lair somewhere on the hillside because you can’t have a b/x dungeon without an owlbear.

I’m going to use strict b/x magic rules, something I’ve not done before, so I’m going to be sure to pepper the dungeon liberally with magic scrolls. MUs who don’t pick “Read Magic” will kick themselves >:D

I want to avoid going Monty Hall, but I also don’t want my dungeon to be so bare that feels impossible to level up. I’ve been playing with the treasure generator, and it turns up NIL treasure hoards far more often that it turns up big stashes. I don’t know. We’ll have to see. I may make adjustments based on how the party is doing.

The top level is fairly empty, devoid of monsters and treasures, because I want to give it a true abandoned ruin feel to it. Hopefully, that will make the encounters they DO have there have more impact. Plus, it will give a place for outsiders to try to set-up shop once the dungeon has been “discovered”.

Tom King Did It (Spoilers)

Remember how I said that if Tom King started Batman 40 with a pull-back from the kiss, with Bruce saying “No” and Diana saying “Good” it would be brilliant and cathartic and illustrate that he understood both of the characters and all of that stuff?

Well, Tom pulled it off, doing it almost exactly like I said he should.


(Black and Purple are Catwoman and the Gentle Man; the former is pissed because the Gentle Man never told Bats & Wondy how the passage of time worked there)


Wondy tells him to “be good”.


No, I’m not saying that Tom did what I suggested, merely that it was the obvious choice and the right choice and the choice that would relieve three weeks of nail-biting tension.

Tom King’s Batman is someone who could spend 40 years alone fighting demons with one of the most beautiful women on earth but stay true to the woman he made his promise to. It’s a good Batman.


Happy Frogs, Our Recs, and Outsiders

Jon del Arroz posted the Happy Frog’s Hugo Slate yesterday; Cirsova was his pick for best Semi-Pro Zine. It’s cool to be recognized (thanks, Jon!), and while I’d be honored if the magazine received the nomination in 2018, I’d much rather see some of our stories up for awards. I’m not saying don’t vote to nominate us, but I’d like to point out that people talk about stories that are nominated for awards, not publications.

The three magazine categories, editor, podcast, and (to a lesser extent) artist categories were footnotes to the discussion last year. Stories in all categories, movies, tv, and (to a lesser extent) related work are where all the buzz is.

There are several noms for Cirsova stories for this year’s Planetary Awards, which is cool, cuz folks are talking about our stories.

Anyway, no reason why I shouldn’t put forward some picks of my own, since I still have nominating privileges:

Best Novel: Aye, Robot, by Rob Kroese — This has been one of my favorites from last year.

Best Novella: The First American, by Schuyler Hernstrom — This one is fantastic, has met with some rave reviews, and looks like it could be a favorite for this year’s Planetary Awards. The Adventure of the Incognita Countess, by Cynthia Ward was also a lot of fun; I mean, if you’re going to play the game and don’t want your vote divided, I’d say vote for the story we published, but still go ahead and check this one out.

Best Novelette: We published two novelettes last year — The Magelords of Ruach by Abraham Strongjohn and The Last Job on Harz by Tyler Young, both in our fall issue.

Best Short Story: We published a lot of short stories last year; why not pick one of those?

Best Related Work: The Ideological Conquest of Science Fiction Literature, by QuQu Media

Best Graphic Story: Gotham Resistance — I’ve been loving DC’s metal event, but this 4-part crossover between Teen Titans, Green Arrow, Suicide Squad and Nightwing was really the peak; it had a huge ensemble but didn’t suffer at all from your typical ensemble comic problems.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) — Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) — I’m torn on this one. Either Buddy Thunderstruck’s Haters of the Lost Arcade or the episode of Sab Jholmaal Hai where they throw trash on a wizard and he turns one of the cats into a giant chicken.

Lastly, pretty soon I hope to be able to do a thorough piece on Outsiders Vol. 1. I’m a few issues from the end, but just found out that one of the last arcs feeds into and gets resolved by the Millennium crossover event. Once I finish that, I’ll have to decide whether I should try to fill out my collection with Volume 2 or go straight up to Batman and the Outsiders Volume 2. I’m leaning a bit towards the latter, since it’s a Chuck Dixon book and it ties into the Grant Morrison “Bat Epic” run I recently sort of finished (still haven’t read the Crises or Batman Inc. Vol 2.) and starts with a “Getting the Band Back Together” mini-arc that I have three issues of.

JimFear138 Running Temple of Elemental Evil

I’m normally not into listening to other groups playing D&D, but I love listening to JimFear and have been getting a kick out these. Listening to him get through the dreaded “boxed text” of this classic module is a riot (and also an excellent illustration of why most folks in the OSR have taken an anti-boxed-text stance.

Also, interesting to see how they’re dealing with running an AD&D module as a B/X adventure.