goblin king

Friggin Fairies

October 26, 2018 Bushi 2

Fairies used to be bad, you know. As I said, elves used to be part of this basket, too. All that fey nonsense. I guess it’s been happening for a while, though. Modernity seems to subjectivize and gray out everything. Most fairies today are meant for kids, and they’re cute […]

Excalibur

The Cool Cutter Caliburn

October 23, 2018 Bushi 0

As I progress through James Branch Cabell’sĀ Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice, I’m encounteringĀ  many interesting references to legend, myth, and antiquity. Many seem to be fancified, embellished, or otherwise altered to serve the story, which of course is just fine. One reference that I came across, not immediately knowing whether […]

Elf2

Infernal Elves

October 18, 2018 Bushi 5

There was a bit of a discussion yesterday on Twitter, about elves. Specifically, Alex of Cirsova was musing about the D&D alignment systems and how traditionally, under a three-point system (Good-Neutral-Evil), Evil and Chaotic would be pretty much the same thing. "Evil" acts would tend to be chaotic because they […]

Prometheus

The Original Greek Superhero: Prometheus

October 10, 2018 Bushi 5

It’s been observed that Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter was an early inspiration for the modern superhero. I believe he was actually a direct inspiration for the genesis of Superman. But what if we go further back? The Greek heroes like Hercules and Perseus and Achilles are no-brainers, but what […]

Hawkmen

The Hawkmen cometh

October 9, 2018 Bushi 3

Hawkman, the comic book superhero, was apparently created in 1940 by Gardner Fox of Appendix N fame. This post wasn’t originally intended to include him beyond a cursory note, but I found it quite interesting and coincidental that Fox should come up in this context, given my preoccupation in recent […]

Cactus

Trees get all the glory (lamentations for cacti)

October 5, 2018 Bushi 9

This is probably going to sound kind of unhinged, but has anyone else noticed that trees get all the vegetational glory in SFF tales? Mirkwood and Lothlorien and Fangorn Forest and the ents, wood nymphs, Hogwart’s Forbidden Forest, Sherwood, the Great Woods of Narnia, even the Hundred Acre Wood – […]

Excalibur

SFF Weapons: Some Interesting Implements

October 4, 2018 Bushi 4

Scifi and Fantasy are absolutely littered with famous weapons – from Excalibur to the lightsaber to Indiana Jones’ signature bullwhip. The further back you go, the more and more you find. Compiling a list of my favorites would be an undertaking, but reminiscing about Dilvish got me thinking a little […]

Thelinde

Dilvish, the Damned: Zelazny does #NotTolkien Fantasy

October 3, 2018 Bushi 7

You might argue that Roger Zelazny’s brand of fantasy is plenty infected by modernism, as some would put it. You might also argue that he was doing some hard drugs when he wrote it. But it’s not the apple that fell from the Tolkien tree of Fantasy. Earlier this year […]

Eldorado

The Fantasy of Edgar Allen Poe

September 26, 2018 Bushi 0

It seems to be a recurring theme with me – that for years I was unaware of such-and-such an author or was mistaken about the nature of his or her writings. Such was the case with Edgar Allen Poe. Last year, for the Halloween season, I did a little bit […]

Introduction to the Insane Scifi of Cordwainer Smith

September 25, 2018 Bushi 4

Last month I wrote about the largely forgotten grandmaster of weird SFF, Clark Ashton Smith. Recently I’ve revisited the “best of” collection of another undeservedly obscured scifi great (and another Smith) – Cordwainer Smith. I wrote a bit about Cordwainer Smith last year over at the Castalia House blog. If […]