AMAZING NEWS: 12/13/15 – ‘in this theater that I call my soul, I always play the starring role’*

Who hasn’t wanted to slap Kirk at some point in their life?


lb-small2A PROPER tribute to Leigh Brackett.  (I could comment endlessly on some of the latest, but I’ll not sully her 100th birthday memorial with any of that idiocy) (mucho props to Stephen Haffner and the work he’s done with the Leigh Brackett Centennial)

Tomorrow (12/14) the SyFy channel will air both the opening episode of their adaptation of Childhood’s End (Arthur C. Clarke’s tour de force) (8 pm) and the opening episode of The Expanse, (10 pm) a new series based on James S.A. Corey’s space opera series of the same name.

Today is Wold Newton Meteorite Day.  Hmm.  Geminids…Meteorite.  Could be we’re in for another dosing of superhero mutations!

*The Police: So Lonely

PRESS RELEASES & NEWSLETTERS (see full text below)

Harlan Ellison Books; RPG Net #33



leia figleafTell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off.

My god is more violent than your god

If guns make us safer, explain this

Climate change denial in all the wrong places

Saudi Women Vote

Maybe the Earth won’t turn into Venus afterall

Internal US fight over climate change confuses the rest of the world (well, duh! you’d be confused too if you assumed all US politicians were familiar with reality)

Stephen King thinks its OK that one of his white characters will be portrayed by a black actor

The misogyny beat goes onand moreprotective measures


Slap Kirk!  (What’s next?  Mind-meld Spock? Find a new Profession for Bones? Take the shirt off Sulu?  Give Chekhov a new accent?  Stop Scotty fixing the Warp drive in time? Give Nurse Chapel more lines? Change Yeoman Rand’s hairdo?)

Debunking the Pseudo-Profound (or the fine art of snake oil salesmanship)

gamoraWe want more Gamora.  So Does James Gunn

Book Concierge:  Best of 2015

US Deaths from Nuclear Weapons

Tribute to Apollo

China’s SF History (via SF Signal)

Darth Trump (not your usual The Donald Star Wars mashup)

Guy concerned about Skynet invests millions in AI research

Avatar was NOT a fluke!  It wasn’t!  So says James ‘had to give Ellison credit for Terminator’ Cameron

Alien prequel will really be an Alien prequel

ROM is back!

Sexy Beale Reading by Kowal (kleenex only needed to mop up the tears from laughter)


Bud Webster in Hospice Care

Paging Doctor Doolittle

To Trunk or not to trunk.  That is the author’s question

TAFF voting begins

SMOFcon 2016 headed for Chicago

Last Unicorn Lawsuit?

Report on the Tiptree Symposium

Scandinavian SF translations


Best Meteors of the Year 2015:  Geminids

Pluto:  Highest res to date

Does a Presidential Candidate Need to Understand Science?

The Etruscans are Coming (no, not a meteor shower)

Spacecraft tests advanced NASA thruster

WEBB gets its first mirror

Female Humpback Whale Song?

Comet flies by Moon and Venus

Penis Transplants for Troops (we won’t ask the obvious questions)

Plan to Recycle spacejunk to capture more spacejunk

Localized Panspermia

Ceres not following low-salt diet

Puppies we can like


Our thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s signed-book sale. Harlan has been signing since yesterday, and the books will go out as soon as he’s scrawled his name on them.

We’re back with another special offer this week. While supplies last, we’re offering the four titles listed below for 50% off our regular discounted price of $39.99.

That’s just $20 a book.

Just to be clear, THESE WILL NOT BE SIGNED.

US economy shipping will be $5 for the first book, plus $1 for each additional book. Or, US recipients can opt for Priority Mail for a flat $12.55. International shipping charges will be calculated based on your order.

We’re hoping to make this as simple as possible, so please reply to this e-mail with:
1) Your Name
2) Your Country, and ZIP/post code
3) The Title of the Book(s) You Want from the List of Available Titles Below
4) Whether You’d Prefer Economy Shipping ($5 for the first book, $1 for each additional book) or $12.55 Flat-Rate Priority Mail

NOTE: The economy shipping almost certainly WILL NOT ARRIVE BYCHRISTMAS. We will prioritize the shipping for Priority Mail customers, but we can’t 100% guarantee delivery before Christmas—we will do our best, but it may be close.

Within 24 hours of receiving your e-mail, we’ll issue a PayPal invoice (including a charge for shipping). Invoices must be paid within 72 hours, or the books will be offered to customers on the waiting list.


(all but ROUGH BEASTS are first printings, unavailable since 2013)

BRAIN MOVIES, Volume Three (Standard Edition, First Printing)
A collection of Harlan Ellison’s teleplays and dramatic treatments featuring:
CUTTER’S WORLD, Ellison’s two-hour 1987 pilot for a Western-tinged science fiction series
The unfinished novel that evolved into the award-winning teleplay for “Demon with a Glass Hand”
“Who Killed Alex Debbs?” the first of Ellison’s four teleplays for the 1960s crime series BURKE’S LAW
“The Ship That Kills,” a “lost episode” of the 1974 series THE MANHUNTER, starring Ken Howard

BRAIN MOVIES, Volume Four (Standard Edition, First Printing)

A collection of Harlan Ellison’s teleplays and dramatic treatments featuring:
BRILLO, the two-hour ABC-TV pilot based on Ellison and Ben Bova’s short story
“Funny Money,” a further adventure for BRILLO
“Who Killed Purity Mather?” the second of Ellison’s four scripts for BURKE’S LAW
“Jeffrey’s Being Quiet” Ellison’s unproduced contribution to the THE SIXTH SENSE

NONE OF THE ABOVE (First Printing)
Harlan Ellison’s never-before-published 238-page, unproduced screenplay adaptation of Norman Spinrad’s Hugo Award-nominated novel BUG JACK BARRON that was to have been directed by Costa-Gavras (Z) for Universal Pictures in the early 1980s

ROUGH BEASTS (Second Printing)
This anthology assembles seventeen never-before-collected pulp stories from the 1950s, including “Invulnerable,” which Stephen King described as “…one of my favorite stories…” in 1982. The Second Printing, the rarest state, features a unique spine.

Don’t forget our eBay auction for a never-before offered set of Ellison books—one of only three such sets in existence. Click on the link below to bid.


RPGnet Newsletter #33
December 8, 2015

We’ve got just a bit more than a week left on the 2015 RPGnet Membership Drive. Though we’re up to 63 backers, we’ve slowed down in the last week. Lend the site a hand so we can successfully close out 2015 by becoming a member.

As we’ve told you before, all members will be getting 8 free PDFs. This week we want to draw attention to Legend from our friends at Mongoose Publishing. Legend is essentially RuneQuest 5.1 (or if you prefer Mongoose RuneQuest II.1). Since RuneQuest has gotten very hot in recent weeks, this is a great chance to see what all the fuss is about!

New Columns

First, RPGnet’s own Shannon Appelcline continued his Advanced Designers & Dragons history column with “The RuneQuest Mafia: 1989-Present”, a look at his own longstanding gaming group.

Brent Dedeaux of Tales from the Rocket House takes the percentile resolution system that he developed in last month’s column and fills out some additional game mechanics in “Wrapping a Game Around that Percentile System”.

And, last but not least, Christopher Cecil completed another edition of Fuzzy Thinking: “Critical Miss!”.

New Reviews

RPGnet had another very busy week on the reviews front. All of these are worth a read:

Threads You Might Have Missed

The first thread up this week is a great example of the helpfulness of your fellow RPGnetters: “[Fallout 4] Things I wish I knew…” If you play the game, the usefulness of the thread is pretty obvious, but it’s worth a read even if you don’t: the stories of how folks came to know the things they wish they knew earlier are pretty entertaining.

“What ifs” have a long and storied history in comics. For all their faults, they can be a great way to get to know a character better. A thread going on in Other Media is a great example of this possibility: “What If: Superman Born In Poverty? The thread reaches even beyond the Big Blue Boyscout into examinations of how changing their socioeconomic state could affect other characters.

Speaking of interesting character examinations, “Bennie from Rent, Michael from Reality Bites, and other Yuppie “villains” who are totally in the right” is definitely worth your time to read through. There is interesting discussion of culture, perspective, and the nature of “villainy” in media sprinkled throughout this entertaining thread.

Sign Off

Happy holidays, everyone!

Newsletter Editor

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