Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

The Jeffro Johnson 2016 Fan Writer Packet

Well it’s that time of year again– time to put together the latest selection of Jeffro Johnson book blogging posts for the reading pleasure of Worldcon’s throng of Hugo Award voters.

I only have one problem doing this. Last year is just a great big blur to me at this point…! Fortunately somebody remembers what all we got into: Spencer Hart graciously selected these as being of interest to the more bookish of book-inclined book blog readers out there:

Now I dunno if I’ll have to trim this down or not. Or maybe somebody will turn up with a totally awesome Jeffro Johnson blog post that I completely forgot I wrote. But if you’re looking to go ahead and get rolling hashing out who is the preeminent fan writer of this year’s incredibly competitive field, this ought to get you going.

Oh, and incidentally… the blog where all of these were posted is Castalia House blog, which is up for Best Fanzine this year. Check it out!

If You Have Questions, We Have Answers (Interview Roundup)

I actually missed a couple of these when they came out. If you want to understand what is going on in science fiction and fantasy RIGHT NOW, this is the guy to talk to.


If you’ve just found out about Cirsova from our Hugo Nomination, hi! If you’d like to know more about us, who we are, and what we do, a great place to start would be these interviews we’ve done over the last few months.

Red Sun Magazine – Interview with Cirsova Magazine


Castalia House (Scott Cole) – A Conversation With P. Alexander: Cirsova Magazine

Chris Lansdown – Cirsova Magazine

Jon Del Arroz – Interview with Cirsova Magazine Editor P. Alexander


Sexy Space Princesses and Super Starship Battles! (Geek Gab, Episode 66!) (Audio)

Or, you can always ask questions here! We’re always happy to field questions!

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Cirsova Receives Hugo Nomination for Best Semi-Pro Zine!

Congrats to Alex for this milestone. Cirsova is a huge deal!


It is incredibly difficult to convey just how hard it’s been to keep this under my hat for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been so excited that I just wanted to scream.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and made this possible! If I name names, I know I’ll forget folks, so I’ll try to cover everyone as best I can. Thank you to my fellow bloggers at Castalia House, thank you to the Alt-Furry crew for putting us on Sad Pookas, thank you to the folks on Pulp Twitter, thanks to everyone who follows and reads the blog, thanks to the friends and family who’ve supported us, and especially thanks to all of our readers and contributors – without you, we’d be just another WordPress site!

I probably won’t be able to make it up to Finland this year, but if any local Helsinki black metal…

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A Critical Look at Contemporary Short SFF

This took a crazy amount of effort, but here are five short reviews from a pulp-friendly critical frame. The stories here are ranked in order of how awesome they are:

  1. War of the Ruby by Brian K. Lowe (review here)
  2. The Thorne Legacy by J. D. Brink (review here)
  3. The Dragon’s Teeth by David Hallquist (review here)
  4. The Dreaming Wounds by Anya Ow (review here)
  5. Empty Vessels by David O’Donoghue (review here)

If you have any suggestions for more stories I should take a look at, please let me know.

More Feedback on Appendix N

First up, we have Ken Hite… easily among the biggest names in rpg design:

“Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons (Nonfiction, Jeffro Johnson, 2017) Compilation of game-advice, critical, and ludohistorical blog entries inspired by or reacting to titles and authors in Gary Gygax’ ‘Appendix N’ to the AD&D DMG. I’m broadly sympathetic to Johnson’s grumpy conservatism, and likely guilty of the same structural sins in my own lit-crit-book-from-blog, so I won’t address those. It does need a stronger edit for misprints and malapropisms, but its real value depends on where you are in your own reading. If, like they were for Johnson, Fritz Leiber and Tarzan are unexplored country for you, this is Recommended; for me, it was Okay. –KH”

You know, that comes off a bit on the “meh” side, but as Alex points out…  recommended [for people unfamiliar with the works described] is still Recommended.

Meanwhile, we have truest of the true-fans Cora Buhlert weighing in with this:

“Johnson is one of the better puppy fan writers and his Appendix N project was actually sort of interesting…”

Given the amount of bad blood in the fandom scene, this is actually pretty high praise all things considered.

Not to give the wrong impression, there are hard core Appendix N fans out there. Why them and why me…? Well… for people that are sick to the back teeth over derivative, “pink slime” fantasy from the past thirty years or so, Appendix N is sort of a de facto textbook on how to create something new. Which is ironic because it’s entirely focused on something old.

If that doesn’t make any sense, well… read the book! And then go read Cirsova! It’ll all make sense, trust me!