286. Zombies of Mora Tau (1957) — A Torture Cinema Late Halloween “Adventure”

10 Nov Zombies of Mora Tau

Zombie mausoleums, DGNF grandmas, and cursed jewels, oh my!  Skiffy and Fanty officially becomes meta in this special (late) Halloween “Middleman Special” edition of Torture Cinema about Zombies of Mora Tau!  Prepare yourselves for a zombitacular festival of torture! Art crawl!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 286 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes: Continue reading

Book Review: The Middle Ages Unlocked: A Guide to Life in Medieval England, 1050-1300, by Gillian Polack and Katrin Kania

29 Oct Middle Ages Unlocked front cover

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there” — L.P. Hartley

The conceptions and misconceptions of what medieval life was really like influence our perceptions of who we are as people, and the fiction and worlds that we create. There is a real struggle within certain sectors of the SFF genresphere about the fiction based on the world within what I call the “Great Wall of Europe”, fantasy with the viewpoint and a setting firmly grounded in conceptions of what Medieval Europe was like. Be it George R.R. Martin’s Westeros, or Kate Elliott’s Wendar and Varre, or a hundred others, Medieval Europe is, for a lot of writers and readers, THE setting to base their fantasy upon. However, many other writers get basic facts about Medieval Europe unintentionally wrong, further accentuating and perpetuating stereotypes and misconceptions about the Medieval world and mindset when they plug those misconceptions into their fiction, and those misconception are reinforced as misinformation about the real Medieval Europe. Continue reading

285. The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) — A Torture Cinema “Adventure”

27 Oct The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Giant bacon, gorillas, and evil corporations, oh my!  In our last Childhood Destruction edition of Torture Cinema, we tackled Julia’s childhood love, The Incredible Shrinking Woman.  Some of us, it turns out, were a bit bitter about having to watch this one.  You’ll have to listen to find out who!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 285 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes: Continue reading

 On Fury and Fairies and the Remnants of Gods by Gillian Polack

22 Oct Middle Ages Unlocked front cover

The other day, someone said to me that Tolkien’s elves were the real thing, because he was a Medievalist and so he knew. I’m a Medievalist and I know, too, and what the real thing is depends so very much on where one is and what one is writing. I’m not at all certain that Tolkien would have liked to be told that the closest thing to his elves in Old French tales are the blonde fairies (with hair that is red-gold, like fine wire, and the palest of skins and the prettiest of rose colouring on their cheeks) in the Arthurian romances. They are not the stuff of folkdom. They’re not even terribly legendary. They’re the object of quests by knights who don’t quite fit at court. They have the best tents and the most beautiful horses and an unlimited number of handmaidens more beautiful than anyone else in sight apart from the fairy herself. They’re not that real. When I stop and think about Tolkien’s elves, they’re not quite as perfect, but they come close at times. They’re not perfect because they’re annoyingly “I know so much and don’t see why I should tell you.” Neither of them have wings.

These fairies are not the hidden folk of any of the various regions in Western Europe. They’re a literary construct. In fact they appear in the Marvel and DC of their time. I shall refer to the lead fairy (the one who the knight wins) as the Nick Fury of the magic realms from now on when I need to, on panels. Continue reading

Video Game Review: Pillars of Eternity

15 Oct 10994

An unwanted power and curse on your protagonist. A realm suffering from a loss of souls, with you the key to solving the mystery. A mysterious antagonist from across time and space, struggling toward mastery. A return to old school isometric Baldur’s Gate style gameplay.

Obsidian Entertainment ran a successful kickstarter in 2012 for Pillars of Eternity, a computer roleplaying game (CRPG). Obsidian billed and packaged the game  as a return to old school style RPGs in the tradition of the legendary Baldur’s Gate franchise, in tone, and appearance, although set in a new and unique world. The kickstarter now over, the game is widely available to everyone. Angry Robot author Carrie Patel was a narrative designer on Pillars of Eternity, responsible for some of the character dialogue, story and interaction. Continue reading


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