Tag: Retro

  • Perry Rhodan

    Perry Rhodan

    I briefly came across the German science fiction series Perry Rhodan in the mid-seventies when Futura/Orbit published the first 38 novels in the series, and later on when I picked up half a dozen of the US Ace translations. Despite its many detractors, the vast sprawling saga consisting of almost 3000 episodes has endured in […]

  • Point and Click Horror – The Last Door

    Point and Click Horror – The Last Door

    Recently I’ve started playing a handful of point and click horror games, mainly because I do a lot of travelling and at the end of the day I often want to unwind with something simple I can put down and pick up whenever. Mainstream PC games can demand a lot of time and thought, and, […]

  • 1984 – John Hurt (1984)

    1984 – John Hurt (1984)

    My favourite John Hurt film has to be Michael Radford’s 1984, released in the same year, with Hurt as Winston Smith, Richard Burton as O’Brien and Suzanna Hamilton as Julia. Finally reaching the year inevitably prompted endless discussions about whether reality matched Orwell’s original vision. Not surprisingly the Labour party pointed out how Thatcher’s Britain […]

  • Space Games

    Space Games

    I guess, like many, I fell in love with the visual style of No Man’s Sky. The screenshots posted in the build up to its release looked like the covers of 1960s science fiction magazines – Galaxy, If and Worlds of Tomorrow. That, plus the promise of a vast galaxy of procedurally-generated unique planets, many […]

  • High Rise and Brexit

    High Rise and Brexit

    I’ve been scrabbling around for an appropriate metaphor for the colossally surreal act of self-harm the UK inflicted on itself 48 hours ago, and early this morning, on the borders between waking and sleeping, the sentence the final collapse will unfold itself amid the cold algebra of a parking lot popped into my head. I […]

  • The Art of Jack Gaughan

    The Art of Jack Gaughan

    Hot on the heels of Peter A. Jones, here’s my tribute to another great SF artist who, sadly, is no longer with us. The vast majority of science fiction art through the ages has been illustrative, which is not particularly surprising as book and magazine artists have usually either depicted scenes from whatever story they’ve […]

  • The Art of Peter A. Jones

    The Art of Peter A. Jones

    As part of my ad hoc trundle through the greats of 70s and 80s Science Fiction book covers I thought I’d turn my attention this time to the work of Peter A. Jones, or PAJ as he signed himself. Jones came slightly later to the scene than his contemporaries Chris Foss and Bruce Pennington, doing […]

  • Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    One of the strangest books to come out of the 1970s fantasy art imprint Paper Tiger had to be Bruce Pennington’s Eschatus (1976). I’ve already briefly spoken about Pennington as one of the iconic science fiction book artists of the era, working largely with New English Library. His work stood in stark contrast to the […]

  • Science Wonder Stories – June 1929

    Science Wonder Stories – June 1929

    The first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, is forever linked to Hugo Gernsback. In reality he was only in charge for three years. By April 1929 the Experimenter Publishing Company was bankrupt and Gernsback sold all his titles, including Amazing. Yet two months later he bounced back with three new magazines – Science Wonder Stories, […]

  • Zardoz (1974)

    Zardoz (1974)

    What better way to recover from New Year’s Eve than a leisurely afternoon watching John Boorman’s cult classic Zardoz. Putting aside the seriously disturbing sight of a post-Bond ever so slightly flabby Sean Connery dressed in Vampirella’s swimming costume and thigh length leather boots while sporting a porn moustache it’s difficult to know where to […]

  • Cosmic Fire Clowns – Bob Haberfield’s Moorcock covers.

    Cosmic Fire Clowns – Bob Haberfield’s Moorcock covers.

    On the one hand it’s great that SF and Fantasy are more or less mainstream these days, and so every Waterstones has a huge selection to browse. On the other I do sometimes find myself looking at the shelves and feeling a bit ‘meh’ at the overall sameness of the cover art on display. I […]

  • Cosmonauts at the British Science Museum

    Cosmonauts at the British Science Museum

    The only mildly interesting scene in that otherwise steaming heap of found-footage nonsense Apollo 18 is when the US astronauts stumble across the Soviet LK Lunar lander sitting in a crater. The real thing was flown unmanned in orbit but never made it to its final destination. Lack of co-ordination and investment in a launch […]

  • Sorcerer – The Game of Magical Conflict

    Sorcerer – The Game of Magical Conflict

    Having cut their teeth on the first ever grown-up science fiction game Starforce: Alpha Centauri in 1974, the US company Simulations Publications turned to fantasy a year later with Sorcerer: The Game of Magical Conflict and managed to produce a singularly odd game that, while fun to play up to a point, illustrated so many […]

  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, and Logicomix

    The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, and Logicomix

    Comics again, this time with a couple of wonderful graphic novels that tackle similar mathematical themes but in very different ways. Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou focuses on Bertrand Russell’s attempt to create a mathematical foundation for logical truth, while Sydney Padua’s The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace […]

  • Lovecraft by I. N. J. Culbard

    Lovecraft by I. N. J. Culbard

    A while back I wrote about the H. P Lovecraft Historical Society’s film of The Whisperer in Darkness. It’s a great movie and by and large it does a good job of rendering a classic Lovecraft tale in the style of ‘40s film noir. Yet at the same time it highlights a lot of the […]

  • Autun Purser – Fantastic Travel Destinations

    Autun Purser – Fantastic Travel Destinations

    I came across the wonderful Fantastic Travel Destination posters of Autun Purser at Dysprosium and immediately bought the complete set of cards and a print for one of my own personal favourite locations – the Lidenbrock Sea from Verne’s A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. He’s very kindly written a post about his […]

  • Life on Uranus – Frank R. Paul, Fantastic Adventures April 1940

    Life on Uranus – Frank R. Paul, Fantastic Adventures April 1940

    I came back from Eastercon 2015 with several pulp magazines, including a couple of copies of Fantastic Adventures carrying Frank R. Paul’s ‘Life on..’ series. This was a wildly optimistic attempt to extrapolate alien life on the planets of our solar system, based on the knowledge of the day. I thought I’d share my particular […]

  • Tully Zetford – Hook: Whirlpool of Stars

    Tully Zetford – Hook: Whirlpool of Stars

    As I’ve mentioned before, 1974 marked my Looking into Chapman’s Homer moment when on opening Science Fiction Monthly number 2 I had the same feelings as ‘stout Cortez when with eagle eyes, He star’d at the Pacific’. From then on I grabbed any and all SF that took my fancy, usually based on whether it […]

  • Some games I’ve played…

    Some games I’ve played…

      A Happy New Year! I thought I’d kick off 2015 with a blog post about some of the games I’ve played and enjoyed over the last twelve months. Games are often seen as one of the writer’s deadly enemies. They can be a massive time-soak – an easy distraction when writer’s block kicks in […]

  • Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

    Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

    Last night I went to a Sin City double feature where I watched the original followed by the sequel in 3D. Very entertaining and well made, the 3d enhances the unique visual style of the original and yet, and yet… My biggest feeling after seeing the movies, and 300 as well (I haven’t seen 300: […]