Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Praise of Planet Stories


When I was kid, a big part of my burgeoning interesting in gaming came from my voracious appetite for reading. I read every bit of genre fiction I could get my hands on, and at the time it was easy to get. Mind you, this was before the days of Eddings and Jordan and the various other 12 or 15 part "high fantasty" epics (not to knock that style, it just didn't resonate as strongly with me as, say, ERB). In the late 70's and early 80's there was still a strong presence of my favorite stuff - "pulp" sci-fi and fantasy. I could still go to the drug store or 7-11 and grab a big "Savage Sword of Conan", "Epic Illustrated", and Lankhmar and John Carter of Mars were still available in fresh new editions on the wire racks.


Time moves on though, and those Jordan and Brooks epics became predominant, and I was left combing the shelves of used book stores (and later Ebay) for my Elric, Hawkmoon, and World of Tiers. Once those books were consumed, I turned even farther back, to hunting down hard-to-get issues of the old pulp magazines, like Argosy and Weird Tales. But that kind of got to be a hassle, and I eventually became more involved with some great "newer" authors, like Glen Cook, Steven Brust, Steven Erikson, and R Scott Bakker. Naturally, what I read eventually ends up in my games, and these dark series suited my campaign style well. Nonetheless, I missed the swashbuckling sword and sorcery from the days when it was acceptable to mix some sci-fi into it all.


Its nice to see now that some of this rare pulp science-fantasy is available again, anew, in shiny fresh editions from Paizo in the form of the "Planet Stories." Only some six months into devouring these, its satisfying to see they quickly began to have a positive effect on my games. Defintely worth the subscription!

1 comment:

  1. Paizo is doing a great job bringing back otherwise out of print classics! I'd love to see them re-release "Flashing Swords" anthology series!

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