NOD Companion Update – I MESSED UP!

I’ve just been notified that there is a problem with the hard cover of The NOD Companion, and I’m proud to say it’s totally my fault. (CRUD!)

To punish myself, I have a Jerry Lewis movie on right now – but that isn’t going to cut muster!

So – I’m going to get the file fixed tomorrow. If you have already purchased the hard cover and sent me your receipt, I’m going to be sending you a new hard cover, and I’ll shoot you an email confirming that I’ve done it tomorrow. If you don’t get an email from me, let me know that I missed you somehow and I will correct the oversight ASAP!

If you’ve bought the hard cover and haven’t sent me an email with your receipt, please do so! For one thing, I’ll send you a link to download an electronic copy of the book, and for another, I’ll send you a new book that isn’t screwed up.

I apologize for the inconvenience folks – I hate screwing up, and by the bristling beard of Odin I swear I will fix it!

So – book screwed up – I’ll send you an un-screwed up copy – sorry for the inconvenience. I think that just about covers it.

The Man Who Was Thursday – Quick Review

Read it.

Longer review …

I’m three chapters into G. K. Chesterton’s novel The Man Who Was Thursday, and I’m loving it. I was wavering through the first chapter until the last few lines. Now I’m completely hooked. Imagine if you will the turn-of-the-century struggle between the Central Council of Anarchists and the poets-turned-police officers assembled to stop them from destroying the world. If you’re into the weird and absurd, you will probably dig The Man Who Was Thursday.

And since the inspiration has struck, I will be presenting, tomorrow, the anarchist class.

That’s all for today kiddies!

Meme’s Away! The Fantasy Masterworks List

Via The Silver Key

Bold means I’ve read it, italics means I own it but haven’t read it yet. And yes, I’m ashamed at how many I’ve yet to read.

1 – The Book of the New Sun, Volume 1: Shadow and Claw – Gene Wolfe
2 – Time and the Gods – Lord Dunsany
3 – The Worm Ouroboros – E.R. Eddison
4 – Tales of the Dying Earth – Jack Vance
5 – Little, Big – John Crowley
6 – The Chronicles of Amber – Roger Zelazny
7 – Viriconium – M. John Harrison
8 – The Conan Chronicles, Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle – Robert E. Howard
9 – The Land of Laughs – Jonathan Carroll
10 – The Compleat Enchanter: The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea – L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
11 – Lud-in-the-Mist – Hope Mirrlees
12 – The Book of the New Sun, Volume 2: Sword and Citadel – Gene Wolfe
13 – Fevre Dream – George R. R. Martin
14 – Beauty – Sheri S. Tepper
15 – The King of Elfland’s Daughter – Lord Dunsany
16 – The Conan Chronicles, Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon – Robert E. Howard
17 – Elric – Michael Moorcock
18 – The First Book of Lankhmar – Fritz Leiber
19 – Riddle-Master – Patricia A. McKillip
20 – Time and Again – Jack Finney
21 – Mistress of Mistresses – E.R. Eddison
22 – Gloriana or the Unfulfill’d Queen – Michael Moorcock
23 – The Well of the Unicorn – Fletcher Pratt
24 – The Second Book of Lankhmar – Fritz Leiber
25 – Voice of Our Shadow – Jonathan Carroll
26 – The Emperor of Dreams – Clark Ashton Smith
27 – Lyonesse I: Suldrun’s Garden – Jack Vance
28 – Peace – Gene Wolfe
29 – The Dragon Waiting – John M. Ford
30 – Corum: The Prince in the Scarlet Robe – Michael Moorcock
31 – Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams – C.L. Moore
32 – The Broken Sword – Poul Anderson
33 – The House on the Borderland and Other Novels – William Hope Hodgson
34 – The Drawing of the Dark – Tim Powers
35 – Lyonesse II and III: The Green Pearl and Madouc – Jack Vance
36 – The History of Runestaff – Michael Moorcock
37 – A Voyage to Arcturus – David Lindsay
38 – Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
39 – The Mabinogion – Evangeline Walton
40 – Three Hearts and Three Lions – Poul Anderson
41 – Grendel – John Gardner [I guess the original doesn’t count]
42 – The Iron Dragon’s Daughter – Michael Swanwick
43 – WAS – Geoff Ryman
44 – Song of Kali – Dan Simmons
45 – Replay – Ken Grimwood
46 – Sea Kings of Mars and Other Worldly Stories – Leigh Brackett
47 – The Anubis Gates – Tim Powers
48 – The Forgotten Beasts of Eld – Patricia A. McKillip
49 – Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
50 – The Mark of the Beast and Other Fantastical Tales – Rudyard Kipling

I guess I’ll have to get busy. Still – no HPL or CAS, and I have another couple Dunsanys that aren’t on the list.

Quick Review: Lin Carter’s The Barbarian of World’s End

Ganelon Silvermane, a name to conjure … well, to conjure the imagination of a thirteen year-old boy. Lin Carter’s Gondwane epic, of which The Barbarian of World’s End is fourth book (hey, I started the Lord of Rings with Two Towers, I guess it’s a habit), is a strange thing. Reading the book, I felt like I was reading a bizarre fairy tale meant for children (or children at heart). There is very little dialogue, and the dialogue there is is not the stuff of Shakespeare. The prose is written as though the story is being told to you by an uncle – and from the subject matter, probably a very strange uncle whose had a bit too much to drink. I know this sounds like I’m trashing the book, but actually I rather liked it. It is not great, or even mediocre literature. But it is as imaginative as hell. The characters, creatures and city-states of Gondwane would feel right at home in Encounter Critical and any campaign setting that you could imagine would feel at home in Encounter Critical. Mobile cities, flying castles, tiger men, noseless brigands – dozens of things to fire the imagination of any Referee trying to run a retro-stupid world and have a blast doing it. When I started the book, I was not that impressed. When I finished the book, I was determined to find the rest of the epic and see what other bizarre creations Lin Carter had up his sleeve.

Quick Review: Emphyrio by Jack Vance

While I was on my trip to Chicago, I managed to finish Emphyrio by Jack Vance, published in 1969. In enjoyed the book, but I always enjoy Jack Vance, so that might have had something to do with it. Like all of his works, it was full of lovely (or at least interesting) descriptions; full of wonder yet believable – the wondrous mundane, if you will.

The story concerns the life of one Ghyl Tarvoke, inhabitant of the planet Halma and member of a slightly repressive society. The story follows Ghyl’s life from boy to man, and is reminiscent of the journeys of Cugel (but with a more respectable protagonist). The story is science fiction, but really only in terms of the setting. Like all of Vance’s material, Emphyrio is about the characters and the interplay of the characters and the world they find themselves in. I was satisfied with the story’s conclusion, though the “twist” that leads to it was pretty obvious in retrospect, and I’m surprised I didn’t pick up on it until Ghyl did.

Vance is always a fun read for me. He does a good job of writing into his stories a pervasive danger derived from the way the stories within the story so rarely play out the way they “should”, and from Vance’s willingness to deny characters, important and unimportant, a pleasant ending.