Welcome

Nice of you to come! Welcome to my permanent home on the web. Feel free to read my posts, and I’ve got a game here if you’re interested. I’ve also got a short story which has been accepted by the Sci Phi Journal; my story says that full automation will lead to legalized murder.

My social media followers are listed here, with their blogs. I also have a permanent open thread.

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Further Developments on the Crusade to Censor Conan

Conan being problematic with the damsel again.

Conan being problematic with the damsel again.

Yesterday night, I put up a post condemning two feminist crusaders’ attempts to censor the Conan board game. Near the end of that piece, I said it was possible that Monolith could remove the content that the feminists wanted removed, since that has been the pattern in many similar controversies.

However, there is some good news.

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A Clarion Call to Censor Conan

Feminists have declared this image of Conan problematic. They say that such things are not okay to depict in 2016.

Feminists have declared this image of Conan problematic. They say that such things are not okay to depict in 2016.

UPDATE (11/23/2016): Dragon Award-winning author Brian Niemeier brings the pain. Also, the Reddit board KotakuInAction has some very good comments from people familiar with the Conan mythos.

UPDATE 2 (11/23/2016): Further developments here. There is hope.

UPDATE 3 (11/23/2016): Here’s the controversy from a perspective I had not thought of. It’s a pretty interesting article.

I was scrolling through a Facebook feed when I came across some curious news. Apparently, a Conan board game is in the works, much to the joy of many a Conan fan. It had raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter, and the people in charge of the game put that windfall to work, making the best game they could. Judging from the art, it looks like it’ll be a fun game, worthy of the fans’ admiration and support.

But we live in 2016. And in 2016, that kind of thing just isn’t allowed.

A pair of articles have come out bashing the game as “sexist” for having damsels in distress, too few playable females, and females in scanty clothes instead of some perfect gender-balanced mix more palatable to them.

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At the Earth’s Core (Appendix N Review)

At the Earth's Core

At the Earth’s Core
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Originally published A. C. McClurg (1914)
Republished by Waking Lion Press (2006)
Free (Kindle)
$11.95 (Paperback)

David Innes and his good friend Perry are testing a drilling device intended to help prospectors find oil, for they know that such a device would fetch millions. However, as they drill, they get more than they bargained for: they go all the way to Pellucidar, a world located inside the Earth itself, where a race of lizards rule and humanity is little more than a bunch of cavemen living in tribal arrangements, running from gigantic carnivorous creatures when they’re not fighting each other. When David and Perry are captured by slavers, they seek a way out of their captivity — and out of that savage world.

This is At the Earth’s Core, the first book in the Pellucidar series.

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Silenced: Our War on Free Speech (review)

Silenced: Our War on Free Speech

Disclosure: I backed this film on Kickstarter.

Firings over Facebook posts.

Beatings over votes in national elections.

Facebook and Google taking it upon themselves to decide what news should be seen.

And then colleges and universities working overtime to silence conservatives.

This is the backdrop against which lawyer, author, and activist Mike Cernovich, in concert with filmmaker Loren Feldman, has made Silenced: Our War on Free Speech.

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The Multiverse Is Everything

A whole Multiverse of Earths.

A whole Multiverse of Earths.

One thing I noticed with the Doctor Strange movie (which I review here) is the constant talk of the Multiverse. It is described as an infinite number of universes connected together, and Strange and the other mages depicted in the movie draw their power from these distant realms. Of course, the Multiverse is familiar to any Marvel or DC fan since it is used to justify all sorts of crossovers, reboots, and alternate timelines. It gives both companies’ characters and stories an epic scope, so even the smallest, simplest tales exist within the context of a much larger whole.

But what if I told you that the Multiverse concept goes farther than that? What if I told you that the Multiverse not only encompasses Marvel and DC, but all fictional material outside their control as well?

It’s not as unbelievable as you think; in fact, it makes perfect, logical sense.

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Hard Work Update

Work never ends.

Work never ends.

Another week, still more work to do. On that front, I have some bad news and some good news.

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Doctor Strange (spoiler-free review)

Doctor Strange

Stephen Strange is a well-respected neurosurgeon, very gifted at his trade and quite well-paid. While speeding along a mountain road, his car is rammed and extensive nerve damage costs him the use of his hands. Since no medical procedure in existence could fix them, he seeks relief from the Ancient One, an powerful mage in Kathmandu. Here, he learns of powers that draw from the fabric of spacetime itself and allow him to warp and twist his landscape as much as he pleases — and he needs to, for a dark god and his heralds seek to overtake the Earth!

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Why Ninja Are Highly Visible

We are ninja!

We are ninja!

We all know about the ninja. All-black suits. Shuriken. Kunai. Smoke bombs. Magic ninja arts. We also know that all of this is historically inaccurate, since a spy who wears distinctive outfits and carries obvious weaponry is no spy at all, just a fool who becomes a corpse in record time. The Youtuber Gaijin Goombah explains in a video just how wrong popular culture, whether Western or Japanese, has it about the ninja (with further thoughts here.)

Yet in spite of what we know about real-life ninja, we still have black suit-wearing, shuriken-throwing, magic-wielding shadow warriors in our fiction. Why do we continue to portray ninja in this way when we know it is false?

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A Game that is Pro-Woman without being Anti-Man

LEFT: Feminist nightmare fuel RIGHT: Feminist happiness fuel

LEFT: Feminist nightmare fuel
RIGHT: Feminist happiness fuel

A lot has been made of female representation in video games as of late. There’s a series of videos intended to shame video game developers for transgressing against feminism. There’s a pronounced movement away from sexualized character design, especially among lead female characters. And the threat of feminist backlash has led to censorship of games such as Fatal Frame, Street Fighter V, and Star Ocean V, among others.

Much of this is intended to make gaming “safe” and “welcoming” for women, while “educating” and “confronting” men about their alleged misogyny and so-called privilege. Thus, game developers have opted for more covered-up and asexual depictions to keep in line with feminist demands, since it hammers home to a mostly male player base that something is wrong with them for being attracted to fictional females, and that Shapeless Sackcloth is what they “should” play.

Shapeless Sackcloth

Shapeless Sackcloth

However, there is a game series that actually manages to be pro-woman without any undercurrent of anti-male hatred: the Hyperdimension Neptunia series.

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Update on the Pulps, and a Call for Beta Readers

I'm always writing.

I’m always writing.

As you all know, I have been writing a novel. Writing it has been both an enjoyable and frustrating experience, but one I have grown and learned from. However, I also said that I had something in mind regarding the Pulp Revival.

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