Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Swift Improvement to Vance's Lyonesse Map

The map is hard to take in at a glance in the original black and white so the photo demonstrates how it can look with 60 seconds touching up. Im going to properly scan the coloured map and paste it to the inside of the boards of the three volumes.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Aione Blog Up


My Aione blog link is below. I won't be making any jokes there but some of you still might want to follow along as I make stuff up about the Aione caverns.

==>>    a gods glass eye


The Worst Blog Ever

I think my blog is the worst blog I have come across in the OSR and related genres in the last six years. There may be a couple of mad objections, slithering friends.

In the end these two are my personal favourite posts in the last six years:


Friday, June 12, 2015

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) had published his novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1886. He is a curious example of a writer whose literary credibility waned during the twentieth century only to be restored in the last decade or so. On any page the deliberateness of his thought is evident, he is concise and poetic when the moment carries him as when he describes the wet and foggy empty city at night. For the Strange Case he concocted a precarious or let's say an intricate structure which engulfs the reader in mystery before leading him through a lumpen narrative exposing the truth in stages. For two thirds of the tale Jekyll is a character only glimpsed, literally once through a window. He is not present. The final third comprises two written statements ascending to a spiritual revelation scented with hocus pocus in a scientific habit.

My guess is that most people are familiar with the story from the rather brilliant 1931 film Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde directed by Mamoulian starring Fredric March. While this film is technically daring and innovative as a motion picture the narrative unfolds straightforwardly and the focus is entirely on J&H. For this reason it would be prudent for those new to this canonical work to read it first.

Stevenson is diligent in exploring his conceit which is not as simple as a careless reading would leave one with. Jekyll admits to being uncommonly sensitive to opposing moral impulses before conducting his experiments, in fact this insight persuades him to experimentation. Stevenson continues by hinting that further research by Jekyll's successors might uncover different or a proliferation of personas. The psychic division is not black and white. Hyde is purely evil and free but Jekyll is a composite of good and evil, unhappy with this tension in his nature. Mamoulian's film suggests Jekyll's motivation is scientific understanding or ambition which is a typical interpretation but as I see it his motive was personal and selfish; he wanted to experience guiltless licentiousness. Anyway it's a great work, read it.


If anyone wants me to present a canonical work in these seven days let me know by naming a work you pretend to be interested in..


And don't forget to hit the like button if you want me to fuck your wife or girlfriend.


[This Limited Editions Club edition from 1952 is 12" tall]


Monday, June 8, 2015

Author Timeline PDF

Here is the full PDF of this timeline I made for writers of the fantastical I care about.

The background image is one I made for Empty Planet.


Meanwhile I am thinking about Aione and thanks to Scott-of-the-many-settings may make a separate setting-blog purely for Aione if I feel I can sustain an interest in D&D sufficient to oppose my contempt for D&Ders.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Be Brave -- Pretend You Read !!

25 Shakespeare
22 Homer
21 Dante
19 Cervantes Montaigne
18 Joyce  Wordsworth  Chaucer  Dostoevsky  Nietzsche  Herodotus Thucydides
17 Yeats Ovid
16 ER Eddison Kafka Beckett
15 Austen Tolstoy
14 WH Hodgson   JR Tolkien   Conrad   Orwell   Nabokov   Hughes
13 W Morris Dickens E Dickinson
12 JK Jerome
11 G Wolfe   J Vance   C Maturin   J Hogg   R Stone   J Jones
10 CA Smith PG Wodehouse
  9 F Leiber Dunsany R Chandler
  8 RE Howard    HP Lovecraft    HG Wells
  7 AC Doyle
  2 J Grisham G Martin
  1 All women writers* Writers of self help or business leadership books
  0 All RPG writers, bloggers and forum bores**

*except Austen & Dickinson
**with no exceptions


There is much to discuss here, for example Harold Lamb is fascinating and hoists RE Howard up by association. Make the argument! Fritz Leiber's extraordinary 'Adept's Gambit' is worthy of a 13-14 rank surely?

There must be fluidity in the rankings. One of my favourite attempts to rank rock music is George Starostin's. Bands are ranked from 1-5 and albums from 1-10 and he makes a sum of these.

My understanding is that OSR gamers are poorly read when compared with the average population, even in the field of fantasy, this I have learned from reading blogs and the OSR forums. Prove me wrong, show some kind of knowledge! I expect you haven't read anyone above rank 14 cover to cover, and probably only Tolkien above rank 9. That should give you pause to be silent, to stop posting your thoughts until you have read more widely, no?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Jaquay's Night of the Walking Wet - My Reformatting

I reformatted Paul Jaquay's 'Night of the Walking Wet' some while ago now for both AD&D-A4 and OD&D-A5 sizes, as the original Judges Guild presentation was almost unreadable. Some of you have it already; I'm making it more widely available.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Glimpse of the Caverns within Brazztforqnas

Players' Map - Dr. Jekyll's Letter
DM Map
Players' Map - section
DM Map - section
click to ENLARGE
The last map should be very large.


You can find Brazztforqnas on the large resolution Witchland Map I presented here.

The broad idea is that the Moria Balrog, fleeing from prehistoric menace in the abyss of Moria having grappled with Gandalf, and becoming lost among the myriad natural tunnels in the dark earth, stumbles upon the Temple of the Prime Five. Exploring within he comes unto Aione proper, and Aione will deliver a Balrog into Brazztforqnas if it so wishes.

The Moria Balrog over several centuries has made these tunnels in a methodical search for the Temple of the Prime Five, which forgot him, for while he has no present urge to return to Middle-earth he is inflamed by the notion he may be forgotten on a strange and unimportant world.

Pazuzu, a higher order of being, is concerned having interposed his craft as a node in the Eon Cluster of lunules above Affryqq, taking the place of fallen Brazztforqnas, I say again he is concerned that the river which flows from the remnant of Brazztforqnas in the sky down to the larger part which crashed to Witchland, appears on investigation to be restoring the matter of the crashed moon up into the sky. This particulate transference with the passage of time would invalidate Pazuzu and his craft as a sort of temporary remedy, and his works imposture.


Remember this old stuff! It's all related:


Friday, May 30, 2014

One Way to Read Hamlet

I have found that the most comfortable approach to reading Shakespeare requires two editions, a handsome well-made edition with clean text, possibly illustrated, and a commentary and note laden edition. The pleasing appearance and feel of the former makes it more likely a play will be read to completion, while the bulging apparatus of the latter ensures that clouds of uncertainty won't gather to form an impenetrable fog.

The illustrated edition shown below is a Calla (Dover) reprint of a 1922 edition published by Selwyn & Blount, which can be picked up cheaply on Amazon. The artwork is by John Austen and as you can see in its manner it resembles the grotesque curlicues of Aubrey Beardsley and Harry Clarke. The paper is cream coloured and of high quality; the printing is good but perhaps would have benefited from being a little sharper and darker. It is one of my favourite books.

For notes to the text I chose the Arden over the rival Oxford and Cambridge editions. Harold Jenkins is the editor and the edition comes from 1982, although what you see in the photos is an Arden Playgoer's edition, hardback 1997. Unusually, there are 150 pages of 'Longer Notes' in addition to the conventional same-page notes, so I have included an example from these as a photo. When it comes to criticism I tend to avoid anything published since the 1980s as I think it likely that academics who persist in faculties which promote such things as 'Women Studies' are mentally ill. Three fantastic little Oxford volumes cover criticism from Shakespeare's time to the late 19th century - D. Nichol Smith (ed.), and the periods 1919-1935 & 1935-1960 - Anne Ridler (ed.).

I have changed my mind about Laurence Olivier's 1948 film version of Hamlet having watched it closely recently on Blu-ray I was fairly captivated. There are no other worthwhile versions in my view. The Naxos audio play with Anton Lesser is the best Ive heard on CD.

[click - the images are large]



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