Readers of Gor: Tarnsman of Gor

GOR - Boris Vallejo

In which Silvia Moreno-Garcia of Ka-Na-Da and Molly Tanzer of Ko-Lo-Ra-Do discuss Silvia's re-read and Molly's first read of John Norman's famous (notorious?) Tarnsman of Gor. 

Tarnsman_of_gor_vallejo_coverSilvia: Tal, Molly Tanzer of Ko-lo-ra-doh. I guess before we get into this review of both the first Gor book and the first Gor movie, I’d like to ask how you discovered these things even existed.

Molly: Tal, Silvia Moreno-Garcia of Ka-Na-Da. May your tarn never get lice.

I actually heard about Gor from John C. Wright, that now-notorious Puppy-supporter and extreme moral panic-monger of the SFF community. In a rant about the SyFy channel’s pledge to be more inclusive by having more GLBT characters on their shows, Wright mentioned Gor derisively:

“I am hoping, of course, that future shows will also portray sadomasochism and bondage in a positive light---we are all looking forward to FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO GOR, I hope.”

Well, given Wright’s own (possibly former? Who can say) interest in S&M, or at least spanking teenage girls, I had to google Gor - if it was so extreme as to offend him, what could it be? I remember thinking it actually seemed strange I’d never heard of the series if it was so saucy. But the back cover copy of the first one didn’t seem particularly salacious (or LGBT-friendly?), so I sort of forgot about it, because it wasn’t a rabbit hole I felt like going down that day. Years later I learned they were famous for being about sexy slave girls or something, and became intrigued.

Continue reading "Readers of Gor: Tarnsman of Gor" »


Who wanted to #SaveAgentCarter and #SaveNashville?

AgentCarter-101-02

Last month, several popular TV shows got the axe - including Nashville, Agent Carter and Castle. Fans were outraged, and when outrage and fans come together, you get hashtags.

But which of these cancellations triggered the most outrage? And where? And with whom?

I was curious, I used social media monitoring tool Audiense to answer these burning questions. 

Continue reading "Who wanted to #SaveAgentCarter and #SaveNashville?" »


Radio Drama: "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" (1945)

Ambrose Bierce

 

"The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" first aired May 21, 1945, on The Weird Circle.

Thoughts Before Listening

Ok seriously though, how can this not be good, it’s called "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" for heck’s sake, at the very least this should be about a disembodied ghost toe that comes back to haunt people and that is just rad as fuck. I am scared though.

Continue reading "Radio Drama: "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot" (1945) " »


Nerd is the New Black: D20 Fashion

Dice-d20-Opaque2Do you think I'm sexy?We live in marvellous times.

Where once we nerds, geeks and fanfolk needed to haunt thrift stores and charity shops, comic book stores (which could be very unfriendly places for young women), bead shops and the local counter-cultural neighbourhoods of our nearest cities to find clothes and jewellery that proclaimed our love for Star Trek/TaleSpin/Squirrel Girl, we now have Etsy, Society 6, Redbubble, Amazon, Bay and ten thousand million specialist websites.

And, where we once worried about getting weird looks or teasing comments on our fashion choices, we now have Forever 21 selling Wonder Woman t-shirts. 

Basically, it's a great time to be a nerd, a geek, or a fan. 

So let's celebrate by highlighting some awesome nerdy clothes and accessories! 

We're going to kick things off with that staple of modern geekiness: the d20. 

Continue reading "Nerd is the New Black: D20 Fashion" »


Stark Reviews: Ride in the Whirlwind (1965)

Ride in the Whirlwind

Stark says: “Obliged.”

Monte Hellman’s Westerns are a strange breed. For one thing, it’s hard to talk about one without talking about the other. The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind were shot back to back, after the film’s financier reckoned that, if you’re making one film, why the hell not make two? And while both are considered to be prime examples of revisionist, acid Westerns, they’re also very different films. As a Western, The Shooting, written by Carole Eastman, is female-led, abstract, uncompromising and hallucinogenic. Ride in the Whirlwind, on the other hand, is defiantly realistic; more conventional and plot-driven. It was also written, produced and acted in by Jack Nicholson.

Continue reading "Stark Reviews: Ride in the Whirlwind (1965)" »


One Comic on X-Men: Alpha - Age of Apocalypse

X-Men Alpha

X-Men: Apocalypse opens in cinemas here in the UK and its reviews are, let’s be generous and say ‘not great’. Will an Apocalypse-related comic - arguably the Apocalypse-related comic - be any better?

This episode, we check out X-Men: Alpha - Age of Apocalypse; the comic that started the original Age of Apocalypse story. This issue kicks off of the saga that replaced the entire X-Men comic book line for four months.

X-Men: Alpha plunged all our intrepid mutant teams into a world where Professor X died years earlier and Apocalypse arose unchallenged. Magneto and his X-Men are at the vanguard of the resistance. It’s a famous epic; the source of many stories since. But is it any good?

And have we ever before spent as much time discussing the rendering of various characters’ junk?

And alternate universes being all the rage, it’s also time to dip into some others for this show’s 3&1, courtesy of Jon.


Alex Marshall on "Like a Bosch"

A Blade for Black Steel00lastjuThis past spring a humble museum in a small Dutch city mounted the largest Hieronymus Bosch exhibition in history. Along with nearly half a million other acolytes, I made the pilgrimage to ‘s-Hertogenbosch, birthplace of the father of monsters. My way was snared with perils (I neglected to book tickets far enough in advance) but Providence cleared my path (the museum extended their hours, so I flew back to the Netherlands), and in the end I was given the keys to a garden of earthly delights (just not a key to the original Garden of Earthly Delights; the Prado won’t loan out Bosch’s most famous triptych, not even for an event of this magnitude). It was quite literally the event of a lifetime.

Continue reading "Alex Marshall on "Like a Bosch"" »


SPFBO2: The First 24 Reviews!

Spfbo2 banner3

I've finished my first pass for the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off!

I've read 3 chapters and/or 20% (whichever comes last) of 30 self-published books. I've picked six of those books for further reading and proper reviews. One of those will then go on to the FINAL ROUND in the BLOGGERDOME. It'll be awesome.

Below, you'll find a quick introduction, a not-so-quick spiel about reviewing self-published books and 24 short reviews.

Caution - this post is loooong.

Continue reading "SPFBO2: The First 24 Reviews!" »


Breaking the Glass Slipper on "Writing Characters of the Opposite Gender"

Assassin's QuestAs humans living in the twenty-first century, I’d like to think we’ve come a long way towards achieving equality between the sexes and rejecting established notions of gender. But is it far enough? After all, we’re still having these debates, highlighting prejudice, challenging ourselves to ‘think outside the box’. If gender equality truly existed, there’d be no need to stage this conversation.

In fiction, men write women and women write men on a regular basis, some more or less successfully. Both genders ought to be able to relate to each other at the very least on an intuitive level without resorting to dangerous and unhealthy stereotypes. But, as Emma Newman recently discussed, there are still male readers who are hesitant to pick up a book authored by a woman, or featuring a female protagonist.

Why is that? Personally, I’ve never had a problem reading a book written from a male perspective; in fact the majority of epic fantasy I read growing up featured male protagonists. Why then are some readers unable or unwilling to relate to women?

Continue reading "Breaking the Glass Slipper on "Writing Characters of the Opposite Gender"" »