Hilarious old science fiction book cover shared by Saladin Ahmed on his Twitter feed today. This is from the Ace paperback edition of “Gateway to Elsewhere” by “Murray Leinster” which was a nom de plume for William Fitzgerald Jenkins.
This novel was first serialized in Startling magazine in 1952, and this paperback edition was published in 1954. The artist is Harry Barton.
The way the artist has captured the bewildered white boy and the giant, balatantly dark-skinned djinn both gazing fixedly at the Orientalist fantasy of female sexuality?
Yeah. That is pure comedy gold. And captures the spirit of the novel rather well, actually.
According to Saladin Ahmed, he’s teaching this novel in a class called “Arabs and Muslims in SF/F”, so if you’ve ever wondered why he sometimes seems angry or depressed…there might be a reason.
Every once in a while I find a treasure on the Internet at random, like finding a beautiful shell on the beach. Today it’s archival footage of blue giant John Lee Hooker, playing live in the year that I was born – 1970.
The team and I are hard at work on Kaiju-A-Gogo right now, but we still found time to create a new Playable Character DLC for our first full indie title, Sword of the Stars: The Pit.
The Necromancer expansion introduces Azraeus the Defiler, a Horde Zuul necromancer in service to the Immortal. Of all of the characters we’ve introduced so far, Azraeus has some of the most original gameplay mechanics. He’s an undead character, resurrected by his Master to plunder the Pit and steal the cure to the Xombie Virus, and his version of “eating” and “drinking” are very…unique.
I’ve posted a new fictional stinger for the DLC to my Patreon Page. It’s a collaborative effort between artist John Yakimow and I, and I hope you’ll enjoy it–the .pdf is free content.
John has always been a great collaborator on Zuul art and characters, and Azraeus the Defiler is one of his classic horror character concepts. Please check it out, and give us what support you can. The DLC should be out within a few days.
2014 ended very strangely for me. I lost a month of my life down a swirling hole of sudden disaster.
This happens to everyone once in a while. In this case, I was already handling one crisis: it was time to pack up and move out of the old Kerberos Productions offices on 8th Avenue. The tide of gentrification in the neighborhood caught us at last, and the owners of the building sold it to developers. We had to pack up and hit the road so that they could gut and renovate the building.
In the meantime, I had been happily subletting half of a large flat from a fellow artist in East Vancouver for almost two years, and I was very happy with the place. I’d planned to continue living there for several more months while I was working to wrap Kaiju-a-Gogo and finish up some personal writing projects.
Unfortunately, my flat-mate/landlord told me within a few days of the end of November that he needed me to vacate the flat, which came as a real shock. Since my fellow devs were already packing up the old Kerberos Productions offices and doing a lot of moving that weekend, I decided to simply pack up and move my apartment at the same time. I put most of my things in storage and went to stay with family for a while, so that I could work on a new place to stay in the new year.
The upside of this is that I’m perfectly safe and warm, have a roof over my head, and there is no threat to my immediate survival. The down side? I had to go over six weeks without a working computer.
I’ve solved that problem now, set up a new desk and I’m able to get back to work, so I’ll be posting more often as I have more work to share.
Some of you may have noticed that my website was down for a couple of months. I apologize for that, particularly if a link went dead for a while, but I ran into some financial problems and renewing the hosting plan for my site was not a critical expense.
I managed to get back on my feet with the help of a Patreon campaign, which has helped me to keep some food on the table and slowly turn the lights back on in my life, one bill at a time. I’m extremely grateful for my campaign supporters, and I’ve been posting fiction, poetry, e-books, music and game writing to thank them, but there is more to come. I’ve got a lot of writing that’s cooking right now and honestly I’m working hard enough that I’m getting very tired.
Times are changing for me, my team and my industry. I need to change with them, and start working and creating in new ways, if I want to be able to keep writing.
Finding the support I need to continue my work has been difficult the past few years, so I have decided to try something new: writing a lot more fiction! I will need a little help to get this stage of my career rolling, however.
I’ve launched a Patreon Page to support a major drive to produce more short stories and novels in the coming months. If you can give me your support, I would sincerely appreciate it. I’ve tried to offer a few backer rewards that I thought people would enjoy, but the main reward will definitely be the new work I’ll be able to do with your help.
I’m hoping that all of the people who have been telling me for years that “We would love to see more of your fiction” were serious! I really would love to stretch myself and do something new.
I often make-up new words as I write, a habit which I share with many other mad people. English lends itself to the practice, which is one of the fun things about the language.
This week’s new words are:
Polyvangelism: The zeal with which people who have converted to polyamory attempt to convert others to the lifestyle, or defend the virtues of polyamory over those of monogamy. Like all evangelists, polyvangelists can become quite irritating and offensive to those who do not wish to achieve salvation via their chosen path to grace.
Y-Washing: The process by which a female-fronted concept-in-development for a work of art (novel, game, movie, comic) is converted to a male-fronted concept, replacing its female protagonist with a male protagonist. The decision to Y-Wash a project is usually made by high-ranking producers, editors, or executives who decide that no one will support a franchise if its protagonist is female.