The Lost Virtue of Lean Prose

December 12, 2018 Bushi 21

As much as I talk about older scifi and fantasy, I like some contemporary fiction. I’m a fan of the Witcher stories. I like Harry Potter (is that contemporary anymore?). Hell, I was even on the Game of Thrones bandwagon back before HBO picked it up. But looking at a lot […]


ChristmaSFF: A Santa Story

December 7, 2018 Bushi 5

When I was a kid, I loved the old Rankin and Bass holiday specials (I mean I gobbled up all their stuff, but). They produced a number of Santa-related animations, many still beloved today. The misers were great, memorable characters, but for my money the one that stood out was The […]


The Cost of Magic

November 30, 2018 Bushi 21

I’ve been thinking lately about magic. In fiction, its treatment varies widely, but I feel like there are a few generalizations I can make. First, I don’t agree with Gita (or Orson Scott Card) that magic must have a price or else be rendered uninteresting. Of course magic should have limitations. […]


John Bellairs and the Face of Magic

November 28, 2018 Bushi 17

I’ve been thinking about magic lately, and I’ve got a post brewing…but it’s not quite ready yet. It did bring me back around to thinking about John Bellairs, however, and his The Face in the Frost. In case you’re unfamiliar with them, Bellairs was mainly a writer of young adult gothic […]


The Maid and Butler and Swordsman of Mars

November 21, 2018 Bushi 5

Sometimes characters explain things to one another that they should already know.  “My lord, your brilliant plan – to poison the ambassador’s wine and then blame it on the Lord-Baron Thumin, with the help of a few bribes and drunken guardsman, is proceeding without hitch.” This kind of dialogue-embedded info […]


Koshchei and the strange, black, turbaned lady

November 16, 2018 Bushi 0

I just finished reading James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice, and it’s absolutely overflowing with references to lore and myth and legend, and plenty of couched philosophical commentary. I’m not going to get too far into that right now, but something has got the squeaky gears in my brain […]


Not-Quite-Solomon Kane: The Movie

November 12, 2018 Bushi 18

I’ve written before about Solomon Kane, the original Caped Crusader. Though Conan the Barbarian, with his own merits, is Robert E. Howard’s most famous creation, Kane is my personal favorite. There’s just something about his fanatical thirst for justice and uncompromising faith that I find wonderfully compelling. I recently watched Solomon […]

Andre Norton’s Gray Scifi

November 9, 2018 Bushi 5

“All Cats Are Gray,” by “Andrew North,” is another story I was turned onto by Audio SFF’s Reading, Short and Deep podcast. I’ve written about Andre Norton before, and though I haven’t loved absolutely everything of hers that I’ve laid my eyes on, I do admire her range and skill. […]

Dark Pulp: The Words of Guru

November 7, 2018 Bushi 8

These days I don’t have as much time and energy for reading (or many other things) as I’d like. My cravings for SFF, then, have been in large part fed by listening to SFF Audio’s Reading, Short and Deep podcast series. Hosts Jesse and Eric discuss (and sometimes read) a variety […]

Hallowread: Carmilla Pt. 2

October 31, 2018 Bushi 1

Happy Halloween, everyone! In light of the holiday, this is the second part of my Hallowread of the Gothic vampire story Carmilla. You can read part one here.   Portrait of a Vampire Continuing on with our profile of Carmilla, particularly in the context of its influence upon Bram Stoker, […]