Spaceship departing Venus

This picture looks like a spaceship departing from a dieselretro Venus, for instance in Robert Heinlein’s shortstory “Logic of Empire”.*

Click on the picture for a larger version.


*In fact it is a NASA photo of the space shuttle Endeavour leaving Kennedy Space Center on a cloudy day.

Första recensionen av rollspelet “Sci-Fi!”

Summary in English: The first review of my new space opera RPG Sci-Fi!
Signaturen Pax har recenserat Tomas Arferts och mitt nya rollspel Sci-Fi! på sajten Jodå, som spelets kosmosbyggare gläds jag åt ett omdöme som det här:

Är det här bra? Svaret på frågan är Ja! Med utropstecken som sig bör. Sci-Fi är det spel som jag själv, och många andra, saknade under den svenska rollspelshimlen på 80-talet. Ett svenskt science fiction spel med rymdskepp och främmande raser. Det hade platsat galant i våra spelgrupper då. […] Samtidigt förmedlar det en hel ny spelvärld som känns nostalgiskt retro och den ger många uppslag på idéer inför ett kampanjspelande.

Läs hela recensionen här — länk >>>

Transition Time

My blogging keeps on being sporadic. Moving to a new home while working full-speed at my mundane jobb — there is little time for writing fiction or blog posts. But my mind is full of ideas that long to be transformed into stories and games.

Patchwork World

The Patchwork World collection of diesel-flavoured novellas and shortstories (formerly called Rimland Tales) is the top item under production.

Part IV: Dusk and Dawn has made a halt near its end.  I feel that the plot is losing pace and I need to add complications to the two protagonists’ lives.

I have also started sketching Part III: The Forest. The two protagonists stand ready: a middle-aged road marshal/peace-keeper and a twenty-something rogue.  A significant source of inspiration will be the Balkan Wars of the 1990s; I watched them from a distance as a member of the home-based logistical organization that supported our Blue Berets in the warzone.

The Roots of Our Favourite Genre

Words of wisdom by Leigh Brackett, maestra of space opera shortstories and western movie scripts:

Leigh Brackett as an adventurous teenager, circa 1930

The tale of adventure — of great courage and daring, of battle against the forces of darkness and the unknown — has been with the human race since it first learned to talk. It began as a part of the primitive survival technique, interwoven with magic and ritual, to explain and propitiate the vast forces of nature with which man could not cope in any other fashion. The tales grew into religions. They became myth and legend. They became the Mabinogion and the Ulster Cycle and the Voluspa. They became Arthur and Robin Hood, and Tarzan of the Apes. The so-called space opera is the folk-tale, the hero-tale, of our particular niche in history.

Blixt: The Next Generation

Yesterday I had a nice author interview. The Swedish teacher in my youngest daughter’s class had instructed the students to write an essay about an author. So my daughter decided to write about the one she knows best, i.e. science fiction & fantasy author Anders Blixt. She therefore interviewed me for half an hour about my books The Ice War and Spiran och Staven and what inspires me to write. I spoke a lot about my memories of the Balkan War in 1990s, Afghanistan in 2008, the Apollo project in my childhood and other sources of inspiration.

Leigh Brackett’s 100 years

Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton. Two successful pulp writers, married to one another, in a sci-fi cosmos a long time ago.

One of my favourite science fiction authors, pulp queen Leigh Brackett, was born one hundred years ago on December 7, 1915. She wrote interplanetary adventures in a dramatic solar system: canals and ancient horrors on Mars, jungles and dark science on Venus, and so on. Her stories frequently moved in the borderland between SF and fantasy, because the genre boundaries were less clearcut in those days.

The fantastic Mars she created has been close to my heart since my first visit to it in my late teens. Check my review of her Sea-kings of Mars novella here — link >>>

Leigh Brackett’s final feat was the manuscript to Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, which so far is my favorite in the Skywalker Saga. Unfortunately she died before the completion of the movie.

Here is an article commemorating her centenary — link >>>