Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

JimFear138 on Geek Gab!

Great episode.

Pay attention, because it lays out precisely what it is that attracts them to the Pulp Revolution scene and what keeps them energized. Spoiler: it’s pretty much the same thing that H. P. Lovecraft did for his fans and for new and aspiring authors.

JimFear138 on Pulp Revolution’s Irrepressible Conflict

dallasFirst up, just got a rave review from the uber-cool Jon Del Arroz:

Read this over time, slowly digesting each of the articles. It’s a great “in between other books” read on that level as the articles are fairly standalone. It goes over every work in Appendix N from the original Dungeons and Dragons game, giving expert analysis from both a fantasy literature and a gaming perspective. It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world and I can’t recommend it enough for SF/F enthusiasts, writers and gamers alike.

The timing on this is interesting, as there are fears brewing over the potential of the Pulp Revolution to descend into the same tedious cliqueishness that all the previous movements seem to have descended into.

Well let me allay your fears on that: it’s just not going to happen. People that show up on our doorstep have had their contracts canceled or been run out of the convention scene. Some of them have just been way too into it for even the Sad Puppies to be able to handle. If we start getting picky about who gets to sit at our lunch table, we would very rapidly cease to exist.

Which brings us to JimFear138’s latest podcast. Just go listen to the whole thing. I can wait.

Okay, you back…?

Let me just add a couple of things to that. There are private conversations, but they are rare. Every private meeting or email thread means we lose a half dozen blog posts. It eats our momentum and I can’t get excited about it. When we do end up kibitzing around on Skype or something, I always regret not recording and releasing the conversations. There’s so much awesome stuff we don’t have time to write up! It’s just a shame to keep it to ourselves.

Pulp Revolution is not a group you associate with. It’s something you do. It’s reading old books and discussing them. It’s blogging and podcasting. It’s continuing the conversations that spring up on social media. It’s writing new pulps and putting them up on Amazon.

It’s not anyone’s place to tell anyone else they’re pulp revolutioning wrong. There is no gatekeeper. This whole thing is happening because there are no gatekeepers! And unlike the Sad Puppies, there is no one that can imperiously tell anyone, “hey… we built that.” Nobody built it. It just happened. When people find out the truth about the pulps and start reading them for themselves, they are overcome with a desire to create. Games. Stories. Criticism. It’s awesome. Nobody orchestrates this.

You know what you do when you make someone a leader of this…? All it does is paint a big fat target on their back. Please don’t do that.

I called Jon Mollison last night and hashed some of this out. He told me I sound paranoid. Maybe I am. Do you have any idea what it would feel like to live in the world of 1984 and break a story that is diametrically opposed to everything you hear in the media and in academia? And more than that… to go hang around the meanest, roughest, most radical bunch evil-doers in the science fiction and fantasy scene… only to convince a good chunk them that they are just as blue pill as anyone…?

It’s nuts. It’s dangerous. It’s unprecedented. It shouldn’t be possible. It overturns everything in your head about how you’d think these things should play out.

And while it sure seems like the audience for this is growing like gangbusters, the social reaction to this in online spaces outside of the bubble make me feel like I’m the monster in the space movie that causes the lights to go out wherever he prowls. It’s freaky.

JimFear138 is right. There is liable to be a response to what we’re doing. And it may come sooner than you think. Get ready for it.

QuQu and JimFear138 on #GamerGate & Sad Puppies

Okay, this is goes a little bit longer than sixty seconds… but man, I gotta tell you, this covers all the gory details of what was happening behind the scenes when GamerGate was the talk of the town. The Sad Puppies bit starts at right at one hour and eighteen minutes in. Even later in, they get into Pulp Revolution, too.

Check it out!

Appendix N Nabs Another Rave Review!

You know, I honestly didn’t expect to get quite this intense of a reaction back when I was writing these, so really… just check it out:

Outstanding trip through the stories that were the impetus for Dungeons and Dragons, and likely other early role playing games from the 1970s. This book helps answer the questions behind the curious choices and rules of early D&D designers, namely why don’t the rules and milieu look more like Tolkien and his world? At the time, Gygax denied Tolkien was a primary influence to D&D, though many didn’t believe him. After reading Jeffro Johnson’s book, which describes what he found in researching Appendix N (in Advanced D&D’s Dungeon Master Guide), you’ll see that Gygax wasn’t kidding around! Appendix N, Jeffro says (and confirms through his research), shows the world of The Pulps drove D&D more than a single track within Fantasy (Tolkien) did. On top of that, Johnson opens the reader to explore some of these historical influences, both the good and the bad, as well as the stellar and the — well, not-so-stellar. Regardless, Jeffro’s book opens the Lost World of the Pulps for a new generation to view via his window of Appendix N! 5 stars! Highly recommended!

Man, do you have any idea how hard it is to disabuse of the idea that Tolkien has been the end all be all of fantasy for freaking forever…?! You can bring up fact after fact, evidence after evidence… and they still won’t see it.

It really is a relief to see someone getting it.

Meanwhile, I keep getting letters from people that drifted away from science fiction and that are back into it again. Reading the old stuff, it’s become clear: they didn’t leave science fiction. Science fiction left them! They have something just mind-numbingly awesome back in their life again and it’s crazy… but they really do blame me for it!

I don’t think I will ever stop being astonished by this kind of reaction. But man… it’s not just a meme:


Oh… and I should mention, I did another podcast last weekend. This one with the uber-cool JimFear138.

Warning: it’s long! It’s unedited. Unfiltered. Unplugged. If you want to hear all the stuff that I haven’t taken the time to convert into actual blog posts, it’s all there!

Appendix N is Causing a Commotion!

I was interviewed last week by Scott Cole over at the Castalia House blog.

Awesome reviews like this one keep rolling in:

I’ve been mulling it over for a week now on how to write a review for this. I’m still not sure I can do it justice but I’ll try.

This author has hit on the exact essence of what made early Dungeons and Dragons great. The things he highlights in each tale is the exact reason I love each story. Gygax and Company had access to a rich and wonderful set of books that we are not lucky enough to have today.

Publishers don’t take risks like they used to. Only now with the renaissance of self publishing are we seeing the odd and eldritch return to print. This tome is vital in understanding the story element design choices that made D&D great. The disregard for convention, the raw wildness of the ideas.

Jeffro has collected the proverbial cherry from the top of each of these sundays and then encourages you to dig your spoon in deep.

The response to the announcement that I’ll be on Geek Gab again along with Razorfist has caused a stir:

Meanwhile, Brian Niemeier reports a new fear percolating in the vast reaches of the internet:


Stick around. We’re just getting warmed up here!