Astra Titanus and the Terrible Thing from the Void

Title Astra Titanus and the Terrible Thing from the Void
Author Bruce Geryk
Posted in Features
When October 7, 2013

Sci-fi? Sure, I like it, but only the trashy stuff. Not so much trashy as phony. The kind I can dip into between shifts, read a few pages at a time, and then drop. Oh, I read good books, too, but only Earthside. Why that is, I don't really know..

Read the full article

Any game that invokes a comparison with Ogre is worth my attention. Speaking of which, are you thinking about writing anything around the special edition release of Ogre in the next month or so? I am eagerly awaiting my copy.

The "golden age of science fiction" is usually said to be twelve years old.

But I take your point, that there is a certain feel to literate grown-up SF that is less likely to be found in fantasy. Now, needless to say, there is plenty of grown-up fantasy too -- and I don't mean stuff "for mature audiences" but quality literature.

Even so, there is something about a certain type of science fiction that presents a sense of scope or scale that cannot be found in other genres. That feeling of the vastness of infinite or unbounded space is perhaps unique to SF, and is one of the most attractive features of a well-written tale set amongst the stars.

I would love to write something: I would have flown to Austin for the launch party if I had been able to take the time off. The only thing that would prevent me from writing about the new super-Ogre would be that same lack of time.

Astra Titanus sounds like the name of a porn star.

Tom Chick has a different name for the game.

There will be more exploration (ha!) of that vast, unbounded space this week and the possibilities therein. It's a recurring theme.

I definitely agree that the best memories I have of SF are from around the age of 12. But I find that I'm able to re-read SF from that era which I am unable to do with fantasy. There could be a lot of reasons for that, of course. But I do think that literate SF is more common than literate fantasy.

I have a copy of this game and one of my friends all but killed it for me by running around calling it Astra Tit Anus.

Still, I'm curious to find out whether Bruce Geryk can protect us from the not-a-Berserker. Truth be told, I have my doubts. I've played RTSs against Geryk.

Someone has to explain the appeal of Ogre to me at some point. I thought it was pretty cool when I was a kid, before I'd played it much. But these days, isn't it a simplistic trifle without meaningful strategy?

Ha, good point. Maybe looking like that Valkyrie girl from the Seven Samurai In Space, I mean Battle Beyond The Stars. The image search for "St. Exmin" is pretty funky.

The biggest error here that Da Bruce and some other seem to be making is the assumption that "fantasy" equals stuff like Tolkien and/or inspired by someone's D&D campaign. A huge number of classic works of American and World literature, by any meaningful, truthful definition, are fantasies. Fantasy is just one small step less vague a descriptor than calling something "fiction."

Not to mention the amount of science fiction that contains little or no science. Saying something works by magic, or saying it works by some made up technology without any substance behind amounts to the same thing.

"A huge number of classic works of American and World literature, by any meaningful, truthful definition, are fantasies."

Also, most autobiographies.

I certainly understand your point, but the distinction I was making was regarding established genres for which the definitions are generally understood. Gabriel Garcia Marquez does write what can be described as "fantasy", but it's a different kind than the one I'm discussing here, and I don't go looking for his books next to Michael Moorcock's when I go to the bookstore. That why I made the explicit reference to "the sci-fi/fantasy section of the bookstore."

You want me to give the whole point of the article away, don't you? You always want something for free. It's so typical.