Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

How a Handful of Game Bloggers Changed SFF

There’s a great P. Alexander Interview over at Nya Reads. This bit was of course of especial interest to me:

I do need to give a special shout-out to Jeffro Johnson, though. I’d been a fan of his gaming content for some time, and his delve into the books listed in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide’s Appendix N is what really sparked my curiosity to check out a lot of the authors with whom I’m enamored today. He’s offered a lot of independent support for this project, and I’m thrilled to have him as a regular featured columnist.

Naturally I am grateful for the mention. Cirsova is a very, very big deal. It’s going to be read by all kinds of people that have no idea that it had anything to do with either game blogging or the unearthing of the science fiction and fantasy canon.

For those interested in the gory details… what exactly is happening right now and why…?

  • I started talking about old books with an emphasis on what was so awesome about them– and without the usual snide remarks about how backward the authors and their times were.
  • This simple action inspired a modest number of people to go out and read these now obscure authors. Many of them were blown away by how good the stories were.
  • An ongoing conversation grew out of this through which a reconstruction of the “lost” science fiction and fantasy canon began to emerge. A lot of genre buffs admitted that their view of the field had been terribly incomplete up until then.
  • In the face of a nearly unanimous conviction that short fiction was a waste of time, P. Alexander went and put out a magazine, thereby becoming a modern day pulp editor.
  • People went nuts.
  • Daddy Warpig pointed out that there was a literary movement forming around this stuff.
  • The literary movement got a name: Pulp Revolution.
  • This was followed by a proliferation of blogs through which the conversation grew even more.

Okay, so what really happened…?

I took a distillation of the culture of the old school D&D blogging scene and drug it in front of non-gaming science fiction and fantasy readers. (A great many people took the time to explain to me that this was an utterly asinine idea.) A good year or so later, P. Alexander produced the counterpart to Fight On! Magazine in this context. A wider book blogging culture then emerged that mirrors that of the Old School Revival of the rpg blogging scene from several years back. And just like in that old scene, people are really on fire to create…!

Let me tell you, this is mind blowing. Seriously, go back and read the book blogs from before all this. It wasn’t like this. I’ve gone from being the voice of one crying in the wilderness to being unable to keep up with the discussion. That something like this could even happen is like being in an old story. I can’t wait to see what happens next…!

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3 responses to “How a Handful of Game Bloggers Changed SFF

  1. Cambias October 29, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I think you personally deserve a lot of credit for your style and approach. Your obvious enthusiasm, your willingness to engage with those who disagreed with you, and your good manners and endless patience were essential. A more brittle, confrontational person would have been easy to dismiss.

    • jeffro October 29, 2016 at 10:22 am

      The past couple years have certainly been a master class on “how to have a productive discussion with people that completely disagree with you and maybe even think you’re kind of dumb.”

  2. Pingback: No, this Project Really Wasn’t for the Benefit of Gamers | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

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