Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Historicity: Welcome to Elfland 4/6

It's Wednesday again...

I think there'll be one more installment of this guide-to-Elfland, after this one, plus a bibliography of useful media. After that, I think I'll have covered all the bases of this subject.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Historicity: Welcome to Elfland 3/6

It's Wednesday again...

This "introduction to medievality" article turned out to be quite long, so currently it has been split up into a series of four articles.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Historicity: Welcome to Elfland 2/6

It's Wednesday again...

As promised, in this blog entry I'll try to give a brief introduction to some aspects of real medieval historicity, in this first and several more entries.

Do be warned, dear reader, that the past wasn't pretty. It wasn't Disney. When you go visit Elfland, make sure to bring a big sword - or better yet, bring several strong friends with big swords, in order to minimize the probability that some of the people you encounter will do nasty things to you.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Historicity and D&D-Land 1/6

It's Wednesday again...

... And it is the year 2012, Western Reckoning.

I am keenly aware of when I am, at all times. That's not to say you can accost me at random and demand that I tell you the time. I am probably less able to correctly estimate the time of day, without resorting to artificial aids, than the average person. No, I am talking about a more coarse-grained kind of time: The time period.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Are slans fans?

It's Wednesday again...

A couple of months ago, I re-read "Slan" by A.E. van Vogt.

It's an absolute classic of the golden age of John W. Campbell (the man who invented modern science fiction) and the Astounding magazine (where it was serialized, before it was published in book form).

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Robin of Sherwood

It's now Wednesday again!

A few moons ago, Richard "Kip" Carpenter, the creator of the amazing historical fantasy TV show, "Robin of sherwood", died, 82 years old.

Carpenter also created the "Dick Turpin" TV show, which I remember having watched some episodes of in the mid 1980s, and he has done some other things I might have seen, such as "Black Beauty" (not sure if I ever watched a television version of that, but possible) and maybe some version of "The Borrowers" (I recall having watched something that was like "The Borrowers"on Danish or Swedish television, but the chronology doesn't fit - I have a sense that what I recall was from when I was younger, so probably a show with a similar premise but not based on Mary Norton's novels. Tiny people is a good visual gimmick for a film or show). But it is for "Robin of Sherwood" that he will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

B&B does it the hard way

It's Wednesday again...

Last month, I re-read "Heart of the Comet", written by David Brin and Gregory Benford. Very often such collaborations are really the work of the junior writer, one less popular and perhaps less skilled, with the senior writer contributing nothing to the project except some celebrity veneer and geek cred, and perhaps a few basic ideas for the actual writer to chew on, such as frequently happened late in Arthur C. Clarke's career.

I don't think this is the case here, however. Brin is only 9 years younger than Benford, and had already clearly surpassed Benford with the brilliant space opera novel Startide Rising. Style-wise the novel reads like a Brin, with many brief scenes written from the point of view of different characters, but I have no reason to speculate about this not being a true collaboration between equals.