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More Reviews for Appendix N

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 03:25

Just in the past couple of weeks there has been another spate of reviews for Appendix N pop up on Amazon:

“This is an utterly perfect nostalgic feast for Grognards. Or an archaeological wonderland for those too young to find all those books we saw in the appendix when we were kids.” — Nascendant

“A whirlwind tour through the authors and books of the famous Appendix N of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide. Not only does author Jeffro Johnson opine on the books he reads (selecting at least one book from authors who were listed in the appendix without any example books), he also talks about their impact on the Dungeons and Dragons game (the first one, released in 1975) and subsequent versions of the game — Advanced or ‘Basic.’ Even more than that, though, Johnson deftly delivers gaming tips to prospective Dungeon Masters who can use plot elements from the books to inform their own games. A terrific work and am positively thrilled that he wants to do what I want to do: preserve literature from the last century and not bury it. Too often people think of D&D as being totally informed by Tolkien and ‘Tolkienesque’ elements when there were several other authors whose works influenced original D&D co-creators Dave Arneson and E. Gary Gygax. This will get a second read, for sure.” — Michael Gross

“Not only was this book highly informative, it is often hilarious. Jeffro Johnson does an outstanding job of breaking down and analyzing the books of Appendix N. Further, I found myself applying some of his thoughts on the matter to many of my games in ways that I never originally did with the original list. Each piece is well-written and as entertaining as the books themselves. Like an excellent critic, he brings new ideas to light about the areas he is reviewing. And while reading, I was often cracking up. His wit is excellent. I can’t recommend this book enough…not just for DnD players or DM’s but regular readers as well.” — J. Gates

This is of course very gratifying and it means a great deal. I really am astonished by this level of praise.

This doesn’t happen very often, but I actually am speechless for once. I don’t know what else to say to this except, “thank you!”

So: thank you!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Only Rebel Can Save Comics

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 04:51

Not sure what it is about this character that gets so many people’s panties in a bunch, but it’s real. Me? I can’t get enough of her. She’s just so danged fun!

And yeah, you can go read the pulps for yourselves and see all the things that could be taken for granted as normal back then that are utterly beyond the capacity of creators today to make. Chief among my favorites would be John Carter of Mars, the Confederate cavalryman whose increased strength at ability to leap prodigiously would provide the template for the rationale of Superman’s abilities.

It does strike be as being more than a bit odd: the number of things that are unthinkable grows every day. Far from the spirit of the “dangerous visions” of seventies science fiction, everything from Gone With the Wind to the Dukes of Hazzard is suddenly supposed to be across the line. This is a world where Apple and Amazon will ban historical wargames that utilize the Confederate flag.

Utterly asinine.

This sort of weird cultural aggression is not just dangerous and creepy. The sort of limitations on expression it embodies is absolute death to creativity and imagination. Sure, people are going to line up to explain that you really shouldn’t go out of your way to violate the demands of today’s commissars of correctness or the “normies” that live in fear of accidentally offending them. I would argue that those days are gone. There simply isn’t a whole lot of space to fall back on at this point. They’ve already called us every bad name they can think of. And far from being the sort that can simply live and let live, they can’t even be appeased.

The fact that something that would have been completely unexceptional forty years ago causes them to literally start shaking isn’t really my problem. But if that’s the way they want it, that’s the way they’re going to get it.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Appendix N and the Good News of Gaming

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 03:25

You know, this whole journey into the literary antecedents of D&D was motivated more than anything else by a desire to get more enjoyment out of the game. So I can’t tell you how pleased I was to get this feedback the other day:

As someone who read LOTR before encountering DnD, I can’t say I found them to have anything much in common, with the exception of the word “elf” and the concept of “halflings”.

It was only later, approaching DnD as a very different thing and finally, reading Jeffro’s Appendix N, that DnD became something fun rather than frustrating, and then began to make actual sense.

The notion of Clerics or even paladins is completely foreign to Middle Earth, as is the spell caster per-se, and the range of DnD spells in particular. Summoning, planar cosmology, etc, are all at 180 degrees to Middle Earth.

That’s just plain awesome.

And I’m not joking when I say this, but I’ve heard accounts of what people’s D&D sessions were like before they read my book. It’s not pretty, y’all. But the thing is… there are things that people took for granted back in the seventies that are nearly unimaginable today. Fortunately, getting into the head-space of that first wave of designers Dungeon Masters, and referees is not just mind blowing. It’s a lot of fun– not just for you, but for your players, too!

Now… one thing I didn’t see coming as I delved into all of this was that… not everyone would be open to the Good News of Great Gaming. I know, that sounds crazy, but it’s true! One crowd I’ve had a particularly hard time getting along with are the sort of people that are really heavy into old school “hard” style of science fiction. And this is freaky, but… the books on Appendix N represent an oeuvre that this tribe has been at war with for so long and at such a degree of efficiency that most people don’t even know that something happened to rewrite the history of fantasy and science fiction.

Usually I get a lot of guff from this crowd. But very recently, something different happened. Someone that had read not just mass quantities of science fiction by also scads of books from the Appendix N list got confronted by a thesis from my book. This was all recorded, so you can actually hear this guy as he starts to connect the dots on a very big story.

It’s epic. Check it out:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Appendix N: An Amazing and Rewarding Journey

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 04:56

Praise for Appendix N continues to roll in!

This article over at Shop on the Borderlands drops this particularly nice shout-out:

If you look around on the internet, you’ll find plenty of other articles about Appendix N, including plenty of reviews of the (sometimes obscure) works listed. I would particularly recommend Jeffro Johnson’s work, including his excellent book “Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons”. Johnson has a true appreciation for the style of writing typified by Appendix N, and for old school roleplaying.

Meanwhile, I’ve pulled down yet another five star review over at Goodreads with this entry from “DNF with Jack Mack”:

While reading The greatest Modules of All time, I discovered a lefthand D&D path I hadn’t pursued, having been lured away by the Advanced label. This path was mostly Arneson and largely Science-Fantasy. Disappointed by Fourth Ed., I switched to DCC. Goodman’s Game had been inspired by Appendix N, so I followed suit. It’s an amazing and rewarding journey that I am still on.

I had a blast reading Johnson’s book, and I was shocked to discover how much our views are in accord– considering how fussy I usually am. I’d recommend this to anyone with an interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I’d wager there are less than two thousand living people who have completed this quest, so it’s remarkable that Jeffro would write such a thing. Salud.

Join us: the few, the well read, the Appendix N’s!

Meanwhile gaming legend Ken St. Andre recently dropped this on Twitter:

“I got a copy of Appendix N from @CastaliaHouse in the mail yesterday. Well written and researched–almost too much knowledge there.”

(Okay, that last one especially blows me away. Wow!)

If you haven’t already picked up a copy… now’s the time! It’s not only a survey of a great many lost treasures of fantasy and science fiction, but also details their relationship to some of the most iconic works in tabletop gaming.

Check it out!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Fitness Answers

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 04:48

Okay, I’m thinking I’m starting to get this. But it’s not easy.

There’s basically no one whose job it is to help me figure this out. The chiropractor thinks the spine has all the answers. But not one of them ever thought to tell me that working out could help me hold an adjustment to the point where I don’t need their services so much. At the gym, the physical trainer is quick to say, “I’m not a doctor.” And the doctor…? I’m just glad she had the sense to throw me at a physical therapist. Because some of her direction was just plain wrong.

I write down everything I do. Every type of exercise. Everything that hurts. When it hurts. How it hurts. How long. I get out these papers and start talking and they tune out. Most of these people, they have a lot of patients to serve. The system is to get as many people in and out as quickly as possible. Thinking and listening isn’t so much on the agenda.

So the answers come from comparing notes from people that are genuinely into fitness. The medical type people… they can confirm this sort of common sense stuff… but they never really get the idea that it would be a good thing to convey it to anyone. (Your mileage may vary. And I hope it does.)

So here’s the problem. I go on a fitness kick… end up working my way up to doing five mile run. I do three in a week… but we’re going hiking. In my head, hiking doesn’t count as “real” exercise. So I go on this hike the same day as I do a five mile run. And I find out that rapid elevation changes can make even a four mile hike into a killer. I wipe myself out and end up hurting my knee.

Then after doing some physical therapy a while… I end up run/walking about three miles. (Longer than I expected.) I stretch. I ice it down. I don’t hurt it all… until the next day. Muscles in my leg start spazzing out…!

Then I switch to biking more. (It’s not as hard on my knee.) Again, a lot of what I do doesn’t register in my brain as being “real” exercise. I don’t count my commute as exercise. It’s just “activity” in my head. I bike to the gym, work out, and bike home. Then later that afternoon I do this 20 mile bike ride and my knee ends up complaining for the last six miles of it.

Maybe you already see the problem. Good!

So I ask a trainer how she trains for a marathon. She does 40 minutes on the treadmill on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturdays she runs only one mile. Sundays she does her “big” run… steadily increasing it up until the event.

Here’s another clue: if Vox Day has a big soccer game, he doesn’t do a huge workout the day before.

This sort of planning real athletes take for granted has not been on my agenda at all. And another thing. My approach to fitness is to pick one activity, and then do more and more until I injure myself. All of my assumptions about how to work out are setting me up to find these breaking points. Like… if I was training for a marathon, I’m the sort that would do two in one week. (I know, it doesn’t make any sense. But that’s the gist of my “method”.)

So I know what my limits are– five mile runs and twenty mile bike rides are right about where my reach is right now. The physical trainers have evened out the muscles in my legs. (I’m symmetrical now. Long story.) And I know it’s worth my time to go get some real running shoes from people that know what works.

But my plan now is something more like this:

  • Gym workouts Monday, Wednesday, Friday… but I don’t do leg stuff on Fridays.
  • Four mile bike rides to and from work on week days.
  • The big bike ride on Saturdays. Working up from 12 to 15 to 17 to 20 miles… hopefully with no knee weirdness.

If that goes well, I’ll cool it. Maybe switch to some jogging to make sure I can get back to those one and two mile runs I used to do all the time. Take a break… and then maybe plan out how to hit that 30 mile mark in a completely separate plan.

(The strength training at the gym is what makes going beyond the limits possible. Especially the running can take its toll. Cranking that up arbitrarily doesn’t do anything for my health. I really like running for some reason. But mainly… it’s most useful as a test to prove that I’ve gone beyond wherever I was physically three months ago.)

But yeah, I suppose picking reasonable goals, changing things up, and leveraging your rest periods is just common sense. I’m just glad it only took ten weeks for me to piece this together.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Two Months of Fitness

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 03:34

My favorite trainer was back today after being gone for a few weeks. He could tell right away that I had gone up on the size of dumbbells I using.

Back then I was working through my first case of tennis elbow and was terrified that I would hurt myself somehow. I quickly moved up from the five pound weights to eight pounds. And I would have hung around the tens for a while longer. But if there are a bunch of women in the class, then all the eights and tens get used up. So I moved up to the twelves and have gotten used to them.

I think back to month one and it seems like nothing. I was doing five mile runs then because I didn’t know what was wrong with my knee yet, but gosh it was a real struggle to get into the gym three days a week for forty-five minutes each. I never really got sore, but I was dog tired a lot of the time.

Lately, I’m doing closer to six days a week and between an hour and a half to two hours each time– plus biking to the gym and back on top of that. I suspect I’m at the point where improving my diet will give more results than spending more time at the gym. But I’m much less afraid of getting hurt at the gym now. In fact, due to a chronic knee problem I have always been terrified of the gym. Of course, weights turn out to be a huge part of the cure for that sort of thing, so my instincts were opposite from what I really needed to do for years.

I know exactly how far I can run or bike before hurting myself now. A month of time consuming physical therapy did not work a miracle, unfortunately. I don’t know what to think of that. Surprisingly, I don’t skip leg day anymore. In fact… lifting weights makes my ailing knee feel better.

Gaining a newfound familiarity with your limitations… it can be a real downer. I can’t tell you how bad I wish I could be training for a half marathon right now. But it’s off the table right now. And I can’t console myself with insanely long bike rides while I work through this, either. On the plus side I’ve got a pair of biceps that I just didn’t have four weeks ago. And there’s nothing stopping me from hitting the gym as much as I want. But I tell you… there’s nothing like not being able to do something that really makes you want to be able to do it.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Nerds at the Gym

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 06:00

I don’t wear headphones at the gym so it’s turned into a lot of time spent looking at myself in the mirror or else watching how people regular people behave. Seriously, this is the most time I’ve ever spent around people that didn’t involve a compiler or a Dungeon Masters Guide.

It’s surprising to me, though. Normal people are actually pretty nice. They find out I’m into biking and weightlifting and if they’re into it, too, they get so excited. They have to tell me about this thing that they did or some advice that they have. It’s like I’m instantly part of their tribe or something.

Now, I have never in my life given much thought to appearance. But there’s something about that moment when you catch your reflection somewhere and you fail to recognize yourself that can change that real fast. I know you’ve seen it happen with a girl you knew. Maybe you took her for granted because she just wasn’t that good looking. Then one day she shows up with her hair fixed up and a nice outfit and you can’t stop looking at her. You know the whole story… but your head just swivels around reflexively anyway.

My impression of nerds in general is that they don’t get that that sort of thing can really work in their favor, too. A lot of them got smacked down pretty hard in their school days and they’re stuck with this assumption that nothing they do can make a difference. Or maybe they just pretend like they’re not trying on purpose so they don’t have to feel bad about failing.

What’s been eyeopening for me is discovering that nerdy girls really do exist. No, not the cute girl that puts on geek glasses and then get into stereotypical male hobbies. I’m talking frumpy, pasty-white girls with absolutely no muscle tone. I’ll tell you, though… it’s not how they look that really makes them a nerd. It’s the way they act. They can’t just come into class and quietly do the exercises like everybody else. They’re always making noise: self-deprecating jokes, nervous laughter.

Seeing it from the other side is really instructive. But yeah, the biggest nerds of all are still dudes. It kills me watching some of this play out, too.

I walked into a section to do my routine one time and there was this really attractive girl there doing her thing. This trainer goes to give her some help she turned out not to need and then he just went off with this jokey faux-subservient routine. He was loud. He kept on. Some of his friends chuckled at his antics… but he was just plain dying. The awkwardness was painful.

My takeaway…? If you’ve put a lot of effort into improving your appearance and you don’t want it to go to waste, try this: SHUT UP. Goofy self-deprecating attempts at humor simply don’t have the effect you want it to. They really don’t.

Don’t be that guy.

In fact… flip the script altogether. Be the guy that patiently endures the nerdy girls embarrassing themselves in front of him.

It’s way more entertaining.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

You Don’t Have to Be a Nerd

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 04:56

I have been unfit for my entire life.

Changing that wasn’t easy. Every other year or so for a long time I’d attempt to do something about it. Usually within two weeks I’d injure myself somehow. I had no idea what sort of things would yield the best results. And I had no idea how to actually get on the right track.

My advice now for nerds that are sick and tired of being nerds would be this:

  • Don’t waste your time jogging, doing exercise DVDs, and doing the stuff you remember doing in your high school P. E. class. If you are ignorant of how fitness works, there is no way you are going to get this right.
  • Join a gym… preferably one that had physical trainers that can give you constant feedback on getting your form right from the start. LIFT WEIGHTS.
  • Don’t go overboard too quickly, but try to ramp up slowly. However… if you are chronically unfit, you may find out where your physical limits are and end up in a lot of pain. If that happens to you, go to your doctor and make it a priority to get it figured out.

Here is what things were like when I got to the three week mark:

So I’m in the gym doing my routine, two sets of twenty on all the upper body machines I can comprehend. I’ve been at this for three straight weeks now. I keep going over to the dispenser to get the paper towels to wipe down each machine and I look at that guy in the mirror and I think. Ah, I just stand up straighter lately, that’s all. I look again the next time and I think… maybe I just look different when I’m doing weights because I’m flexing. Third time I look again, and I can’t deny it. SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT. I get home and take pictures for the before and after thing… and good gosh. I’ve got pectoral muscles. I’ve got a freaking chest.

Three weeks. Three days a week. A forty minute routine. It made a difference. Yeah, I was jogging and biking, too. I traded out cereal and replaced it with steak and eggs. I dropped soda and candy bars entirely.

I can’t believe it. I… I didn’t know this was possible.

And here is what things were like at the six week mark:

Okay, so it’s been six weeks since hitting the gym. I started out focusing on chest, shoulders, and back. It’s not that much difference, maybe, but I feel like a football player.

So Friday I’m walking my bike home after something went sideways on it. I walk past this mom with her lanky teen-aged daughter The girl steals a glance at me, locks her eyes right on my pecs, then looks down and away. (Hey, “eyes up here” is your line.)

Okay, maybe that’s just in my head. No big deal. Next day I head to the gym and this blonde is coming out as I’m going in. She looks at me… then she looks me up and down. Obviously I’m imagining things. But while I’m working out, I turn around and I catch this other cute blonde checking me out. Same girl twice.

Okay, so maybe this is just a gym thing. It still hasn’t sunk in.

Then I’m on the bus today minding my on business. This cute chick sits in the back sort of diagonal from me. Fifteen minutes later I glance up… and she’s freaking staring at me. I look at her with this sort of “what are you looking at” type look and just stare back… but she doesn’t look away. Her expression doesn’t change… except for just this hint of a smile.

No, this is not normal for me. This is new.

And I don’t know what I thought would happen, but this ain’t it.

What I think is weird is that it’s only the attractive ones that do this. The truly nerdy girls are… well they’re behaving like nerdy guys would. They hang back. They hide in plain sight.

This is nuts.

I see people that are like how I was. Slouching, skinny, pasty white. Creeps, basically. I look at these guys when I see them and I have to say… they don’t look particularly happy. I feel bad for them, because I know this isn’t working for them and nobody will tell them what they need to know to really get on top of things. Not their moms. Not their preacher. Not their guidance counselor. Not their therapist. And not the nerdy dudes they hang out with.

It bugs me that so many people are being propped up in an endeavor to make do with something that just can’t work well no matter how it’s spun. But that’s the shape of it. So let me tell you what nobody else will:

Get to the gym. Go three times a week. Eat right. Go outside. Be physically active.

The only reason you wouldn’t is because you’ve decided that you’re simply not worth that kind of investment. That vibe is all over you. And everyone around you picks up on it and takes it for granted that it’s true. Even your posture communicates it.

But you really don’t have to live like that anymore. You’ll be glad when you’ve changed. And you might be surprised at just how fast things can change.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

New Schuyler Hernstrom Vignette: “Varal”

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 03:15

This might have gotten past you, but last week Scott Cole dropped a little Schuyler Hernstrom into his Wargame Wednesday post. Check it out!

Upon of throne of broken tombstones he sat brooding. Arrayed before him were his courtiers. They perched atop moss covered markers, wings folded against bodies covered with a layer of silken fur. Their red eyes looked here and there, while their ears twitched in the cool air, always listening.

He on the throne unfolded his wings and sat back. He pondered there, pointed chin rested on clawed hand. His own name came slow to his mind, always difficult to remember after waking….


His fanged mouth spoke the name aloud, softly. He was Varal. He was a duke of the realm. He had once lorded over other lands. But now he ruled a place of graves and damp earth. The silks and brocade that once clothed him were now reduced to rotted rags. How had this happened? He could not recall. When the memory seemed close the owl would hoot, the rat would skitter, the toad would croak, and the images would slip from his mind.

There had been a woman. A dark haired beauty, forbidden to him for reasons he could not recall. The ache of her absence had driven him to dark deeds. Again the memories fled his clouded mind. Shadows of the past whispered meaningless words. The place where poetry had once lived in his noble mind was filled with an overpowering hunger. It was his curse.

Night was as day. Death was as life.

A flap of wing and rush of air and he sat atop a noble’s tomb green with mold.

His slanted nostrils supped the air and his eyes glowed with feral joy.

A living thing walked at the edge of his realm.

His courtiers took flight as Valar stood to his full height, feeling the moonlight against his body, a cruel parody of man and animal. Graceful and strong, yet woeful to the eye.

The Duke of the Cemetery took flight on leathery wings, following the scent of warm blood.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Dragon Awards are Teh Stupid

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 03:53

Well, that was fun while it lasted! Here is the latest scuttlebutt from the people behind the Dragon Awards:

Alison Littlewood, the author of The Hidden People, was nominated for a Dragon Award, which asks ordinary fans what they like to watch, read, and play. It’s a fan’s choice award, plain and simple. And it ought to be a good thing.

Though she clearly has a fan base of her own, Ms. Littlewood’s book was also included on a “slate” proposed by an individual/group she didn’t want to be associated with. She worried that she couldn’t trust the nomination was fairly won. And so, she asked if her book could be pulled from the ballot.

It put us in a jam. We have strong faith in the integrity of the Dragon Awards ballot because it was created by fans, the everyday people who actually read the books and nominate them. In seven categories for literature, there were 53 different novels that represented the broad spectrum of fandom and there was something for everybody. It made an excellent reading list for fans everywhere.

So we told her no.

And then, over the last couple of days, we got an earful from our fans and others. The issue also caused a second author to ask us to remove her book from the ballot as well. We’ve reconsidered and changed our mind. This is what’s happening next.

Anybody that has ever run a lot of old school D&D should immediately be able to see why this was a boneheaded move. Make a call like this in the heat of the game and all of a sudden you find out that the players have a reason why everything in the game could maybe be ruled differently. It’s way easier to just let the game be what it is and then leave it to the players to figure out how to deal with that.

But you do see the kicker there, don’t you? If you give this request your blessing, then you have basically agreed that Allison Littlewood was put on the ballot unfairly.

Gosh, if that’s the case… then maybe there are other people on the ballot that ought not to be there. Hell, you maybe even gave out awards last year to people that didn’t come by them honestly!

Seriously, did anyone running this thing give any thought to the implications of what they were doing here?

This is asinine.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Random Thoughts: Stingy With the Linkage, Pulp’s Non-Disappearance, and Google’s Monetization of Sex Differences

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 01:59

This came up again today, so let me point out what is happening with the difference between game blogging culture and “real writer” culture. Game bloggers are all amateurs that publish things on the side for fun. If they see something awesome, they throw a blog post up about it, talk about why it’s awesome, what their experience is, and then maybe add something to it… and that will often have a direct application to an rpg session. I call that “continuing the conversation.” Meanwhile in the “real writer” set, getting people to do that is like pulling teeth. They can certainly see the value of a Larry Correia book bomb action. I’d like to say that they don’t do anything unless it has a direct, noticeable impact on sales… but they are generally crap at marketing themselves, so it’s not just that. Now, there are exceptions to that… but the ones that come to mind have surprisingly popular blogs or podcasts. I’ve seen people blame this on age, but that’s not the only driving factor here.

Would you like to increase the quality and volume of discussion on a particular topic on the internet?

Well hey, I’ll tell you what to do. Find the people that are active in it, comment on their posts, follow them on social media, signal boost their stuff frequently, buy their stuff, and then leave reviews on their Amazon product pages. One person doing that can create a scene. Ten people doing that can create a movement.

Everything you read today is saturated with nihilism and hopelessness. There’s a reason for that. Garbage storytelling is engineered specifically de-moralize us, to make you feel like nothing you do matters. But I’ll tell you a secret: None of it is true. In fact the opposite is true. Everything you do matters. And a large number of small acts whose only purpose is to energize and raise the morale of people that you admire and that you want to see succeed?

That is a very potent force that should not be underestimated.

I recently pointed out that if you didn’t get to the point where you wanted to walk out of SF&F in the past 40 years… then you’re not normal. Because most people walked when it stopped serving its intended purpose.

Legendary game designer Lewis Pulsipher responded with this:

“Intended purpose”? Whose intention was that? The “good ol stuff” didn’t disappear, it was just much less noticeable even as some people kept writing it.

I have to beg to differ there.

Writers were driven out of the marketplace for ideological reasons. Walk into a Barnes & Noble and it just feels stale. It’s very easy to go in and out without seeing anything of interest. That’s a policy. A brief survey of contemporary film will yield a checklist of things that are simply not done anymore. That checklist “don’ts” is basically a list of requirements when you look at what was typical in the pre-1940s pulps. And the items on the list are what the audience of that incredibly competitive and wide-open marketplace showed up for. Shut them down and they walk. Fiction became post-Christian in the 40s. Publishing became saturated with women and leftists in the 80s. And in this century, it became just another component of the narrative machine.

People are sick to the back teeth with this stuff. It’s past time for a revolution.

A Julia Galef has written a short piece in response to the now-infamous Google Memo. She states that the claim that there are differences between the sexes “seems plausibly true. ” But “not obviously true.”

Now I see that she is going out of her way to be evenhanded and rational here. And yes, it’s quite a contrast to the hysterics of the blue haired androgynous types on Twitter. But think about what kind of deliberate brain damage it would take to to make someone pretend that we just might get half a shred of a hint of a notion of what the truth on this is if only we could maybe get some really smart people to look into this and maybe publish a few studies on the topic.

Yes, there a genuine reason why men typically have more of an interest in computer programming than women. The same is true of auto mechanics, historical miniatures wargaming, and football. This is not rocket science. In fact, you have to deny the sum total of biology and observed reality in order to pretend like this is at all hard to articulate, comprehend, and/or demonstrate. The idea that the sexes are functionally interchangeable is ludicrous. It’s a point of dogma, not a scientifically provable claim. Yes, talking about this openly is against peoples’ religion, but that is not normal. Not in any culture that intends to perpetuate itself.

You know this is the case. Everyone behaves as if there are significant, demonstrable differences between the overall interests of the sexes every single day. Here’s just one example of a company who’s business depends on hard, repeatable facts on this area:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs