AMAZING NEWS: 9/25/2016


RPGNet #70; Atlas Obscura; Omni;; Piranha Games


How Did Norman Rockwell Know What Being A Woman on the Internet Would Be Like?

Astrology is NOT Astronomy.  It’s not even scientific

Help Get School Kids Copies of Fahrenheit 451.

Erin Brokovitch Chemical in US Waters Everywhere

Killer Robots Attacking Wildlife

Don’t Trust Your Own Thoughts


Ash.  Evil Dead.  Trailer.

Phantasm.  Enhanced.

Eeenie, Meenie.  Minie.  Walking Dead

Mel Brooks Tries to Pants Obama

Real Life Transformer

Spock is Legal Tender

Ghost in the Shell Teasers

Terry Jones Diagnosed with Dementia

Your 1970s SF Reads

Lost in Space Reboot (“The horror.  The horror….)


&bt_ts=1474552163764">Space Art May Be Going Dinosaur

We don’t need no stinkin science

Series.  Or. Standalone?

New Release:  The Peregrine Omnibus

New Release:  Deception

Get Ready Kids!  It’s the Boooooooook Train!

New Release:  Tarzan on the Precipice


Black Holes Behaving Badly

I (Heart) Pluto

Superbug a BIG Problem


RPGnet Newsletter #70
September 20, 2016

New Columns

The last two weeks brought us – unsurprisingly – two new issues of Christopher Cecil’s Fuzzy Thinking: “Mr. Fuzzy Suitcase” and “Healer!”

Christopher Herde also continued Our Story – a column about using history in roleplaying – with “Revolting, Part One,” for those groups who want to add some verisimilitude to their overthrow of a fictional government.

New Reviews

We’ve got two busy weeks of reviews to cover in this issue, so let’s do a bit of a lighting round.

Threads You Might Have Missed

For a great question from the cavemen vs. astronaut school, check out “Which period is better for adventure: 1893 or 1936?”

If you’re looking for some reading material, do yourself a favor and stop by “Rec a novel that you love and that is underrated [+].”

For some discussion of an interesting media phenomenon, head over to “Shows where the finale “doesn’t count” [Spoilers I guess].”

And, last but not least, “Petty uses for time travel” is just good old-fashioned RPGnet fun.

Sign Off

Have a good week, everyone.

  • Iustum
    Newsletter Editor



&bt_ts=1474378852502" target="_blank">Two geographers calculated the flatness of every state in the union. Kansas came in seventh, after Delaware, North Dakota, and Florida. So how did it get its reputation?

&bt_ts=1474378852502" target="_blank">This folk art compound in Marion County, Georgia, wasbuilt by a fortune teller on the advice of three people from the future.



Image of the day






Herbert Simon on the
Mind in the Machine

Q&A by Douglas Stewart
Herbert Simon created the world’s first artificial intelligence program — way back in 1956. Throughout his long career, he maintained that a computer could, in principle, do anything that the human mind can do, up to and including the great feats of genius and creativity that many of us believe are the special province of humans alone.
“I always suspect these ‘soul’ theories,” he told our interviewer in this classic Q&A, “because nobody will tell me what the soul is. And if they do, we’ll program one.”



A Kiss, a Wink, a Grassy Knoll

A story of love and conspiracy theory 
E. O. Wilson

The renowned biologist on altruism
and genetic destiny  

Dr. Tilmann’s Consultant

A mysterious guest comes to a hospital
in the Bavarian Alps




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Art by Frida Lundqvist Hermione Granger: More Than a Sidekick

We all know that Harry Potter is the hero, right? He’s the Boy Who Lived. He has the scar and the prophecy. He has the sidekicks and the invisibility cloak. He has the mentor. He has the tragic backstory. He faces down the villain. But at the same time, Hermione Granger has her own story, if you know how to look for it . She has her own narrative that’s completely separate from Harry’s. Author Sarah Gailey explores Hermione’s complex role in the novels and what exactly defines a sidekick versus a heroine…

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 The Passing of an Icon: Gene Wilder andYoung Frankenstein

The Movie Rewatch of Great Nostalgia pays tribute to the wonderful Gene Wilder this week with a discussion of one of his greatest performances. Young Frankenstein, which Wilder co-wrote with Mel Brooks , boasts one of the most talented comedic casts of all time, from Madeline Khan, Marty Feldman, and Teri Garr to Cloris Leachman, Peter Boyle, and Kenneth Mars. But it’s Wilder’s manic performance, alternating between soft-spoken straight man and hilariously crazed madman, that elevates the movie beyond perfect parody to comedic brilliance.

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 A Beginner’s Guide to Malazan Characters: Gardens of the Moon

The sheer number of new characters in Steven Erikson’sGardens of the Moon can seem a bit overwhelming at first: gods, assassins, soldiers, mages, immortals-the novel is rife with all manner of colorful personalities. But fear not, new readers! Laura M. Hughes is here to save you from this fate. Just sit back, relax and enjoy this handy (non-spoiler) beginner’s guide to Erikson’s inimitable characters , and the tangled web of factions that connects them…

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 The Year’s Best Alternate Histories Take Us to Timelines Dark and Bright

2016 has delivered a mighty crop of alternate histories so far-it seems that a certain “what if…?” mentality has seeped into the literary zeitgeist, leading to some fascinating works of speculative fiction. In this list, Leah Schnelbach gathers some of this year’s most thought-provoking titles for your perusal-these books cover a diverse array of timelines and possible paths, from Nisi Shawl’s steampunk haven in the Congo to Lavie Tidhar’s noir-inspired fascist London, and more!

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Artwork by Anke Eissmann Lúthien: Tolkien’s Badass Elf Princess

Chapter 19 of The Silmarillion, “Of Beren and Lúthien,” has a lot to recommend it: Elves, Men, and romance aside, it’s also chock full of mighty spells, magic weapons, werewolves, vampires, magic dogs, sing-offs, dying words, and the infamous Morgoth himself. But perhaps Tolkien’s greatest accomplishment in this tale is introducing the world to Lúthien and turning conventional fairy tale princess conceits upside down. Jeff LaSala takes an in-depth look at the character of Lúthien and her adventures, making the case for this bold, brilliant, multifaceted heroine as one of Middle-earth’s most memorable and fascinating figures.

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 Five Sci-Fi Books That Make Use of Music

Music runs through our lives, a private delight often shared with others. We all hum, whistle, sing to ourselves. Many of us play instruments, many more sing for pleasure. However, the composer of music stands alone. Where does music come from? What is the nature of the creative urge or talent that responds to imagined chords and harmonies, then channels them to produce an arrangement of notes that no one has ever heard before? This mystery is the basis for Christopher Priest’s most recent novel, The Gradual, and also underlies these five remarkable works of science fiction in which music and time conjoin.

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 Chinese Literature and Apocalyptic SF: Some Notes on Death’s End

“Contemporary Chinese science fiction is following a path similar to that taken by American science fiction. Over time, literary sophistication has become favored over scientific imagination. Science fiction is becoming “softer,” and a new generation of writers have turned away from the Campbellian aesthetic ideal that we once pined for.” In light of this trend, “Three-Body” trilogy author Cixin Liu was surprised when Death’s End became a massive success; in this essay, Liu discusses the challenges of writing an apocalyptic novel through the lens of hard science fiction, and writing the future as a historical romance.

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 The Night Cyclist, by Stephen Graham Jones

“There must be no compulsion to hide the bodies. Otherwise I’d have never found them…” Stephen Graham Jones’ “The Night Cyclist” is a horror novelette about a middle-aged chef whose nightly bicycle ride home is interrupted by an unexpected encounter.

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Buy your Mech_Con 2016 tickets today!
Greetings MechWarrior,

Mech-Con 2016 is taking place in Vancouver on Saturday, December 3rd, at the Commodore Ballroom! Tickets for this event are now on sale.

We’ve got an epic day of MechWarrior and BattleTech fun organized for you, featuring the MechWarrior Online World Championships Grand Finals, special presentations from Piranha Games’ Russ Bullock, Harebrained Schemes’ Jordan Weisman, and Catalyst Game Labs’ Randall Bills, sneak peeks and announcements regarding upcoming MechWarrior features, demo stations featuring the latest BATTLETECH build from HBS, and lots more!

See you there, MechWarrior!

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