Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

This Week at Castalia House: E. Hoffmann Price, Torchship, Total War, and Battlefield in Black

Here’s the latest from over at Castalia House:

The post on New Universe drew a lot of good comments, but Alex’s piece on “Battlefield in Black” got people talking about the “hard” science fiction in Planet Stories and the “space opera” that turned up in Astounding. I think a lot of our notions about schisms in sff are just plain wrong, some I’m glad to see the Narrative start to unravel in this area.

You know, I thought some gun people would show up for the P7M8 piece, but I actually got a nastygram from someone pointing out that the Lord of Hate does not think highly of Heckler & Koch. Hey, live and learn!

I spent a lot of time this week talking to people about taking weekly slots over at the Castalia House blog. I’ll say what I’ve been telling everyone here so I don’t have to keep repeating it:

  • If you are a gaming or sff oriented blogger, we’re interested. We mainly like people that put out so many posts that it’s no big deal for them to run something with us. (Ie, you’re gonna write this stuff anyway; posting with us mainly means taking the time to queue it up!) Our standard deal is that it’s okay if you can repost your material back at your own blog… all we ask is that you let us have it “exclusive” for one week.
  • We want this relationship to work both ways, so go ahead and plug your regular blog in sort of an author’s note type thing at the end of your post. If you have a special project you want to do entire post(s) on, that’s cool, too. I don’t know what the exact ratio of “real content” to “gratuitous plugs” should be exactly, but… be reasonable. 
  • Note that we don’t want “shop talk” type posts. If you want to do that, go join Mad Genius Club. I’ve got no interest in competing with them in that niche. We write for readers, not writers. And though I see some juicy scuttlebutt about the publishing scene from time to time, that’s not really our bag, either.
  • I also do not want anything that is heavy into the ubiquitous fandom wars. Again, if you want to do that sort of thing, keep it on your personal blog or else comment at Evil Legion of Evil and/or Trufen sites. The Castalia House blog is a place to get away from the usual flame wars in order to discuss the things that made us all fans in the first place.
  • So what do we want? Reviews and general sff commentary are great! We have sort of a retro leaning right now, but if you can talk intelligently about new stuff, by all means, knock yourself out. (We want to diversify, so don’t feel like you have to follow our lead with the “get off our lawn” thing.) We do more print sff than anything else, but tabletop games are welcome. We tend to do a lot less with movies, TV, and video games, but if there is a print sff connection and intelligent analysis you can probably get away with going outside of our usual scope.
  • I am not going to pepper your posts with “Editor’s Note:” type quips. The main things I’ve had to clean up with people are (a) lack of an image and (b) lack of a “read more” break. Get that right and be on topic, and you’re good to go.
  • I’ve been handing out slots to folks, but some people aren’t familiar with how to schedule posts in advance with WordPress and probably think I’m crazy when I tell them to run their story in the middle of the night. If you see the “Publish immediately Edit” above the big blue publish button, click the “edit” link and you can set the date and the time. After that, the publish button will change to “schedule”. Hit that, and you’re good to go! If you can get a couple posts scheduled in advance, you will scramble less often and also be less likely to experience burnout. Also, when you have stuff queued up, you will often see things to make your post more awesome in the week before it goes live.
  • Finally, I’ve done some “smoke filled room” type meetings via email, but if you want to know where the real planning and discussion takes place, it’s google+. There’s a bias towards game blogging there, but there are more author types hanging around there all the time. If you want to socialize with the usual suspects, it’s really the place to be.

That’s it in a nutshell.

See you around!

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