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ROCKETEER FEATURE: It’s A Zwilnik World: How E. E. Doc Smith’s Lensmen Series Imagined a Neotopian Universe

By Sara Light-Waller Fans of classic science fiction are undoubtedly familiar with E. E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensmen series (published from approximately 1937-1954). The books are ultimate space operas where massive fleets harness the power of suns as directed energy weapons and full-size planets as projectiles. The heroes are hard-hitting space warriors, spies, and telepaths in the service of Civilization. That’s some heady stuff right there! But reviewing the Lensmen as works of literature or even as an adventure series is not my purpose today. Instead, I’m going to talk about…

ROCKETEER FEATURE: Fontastic Lettering Changes from 1920 to Today

by Sara Light-Waller A ROCKETEER reader suggested the topic for this month’s From the Drafting Table column — changes in book and magazine font styles during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Of course, this is a huge topic and I will cover only a small section of it, the common fonts used in the body text of books and magazines. You might wonder why anyone should care. Words are words, right? Unfortunately not. Our minds register something strange when an odd font is used. It may be that the…

ROCKETEER SUPPLEMENT: Virgil Finlay and Me

Pen and ink V Finlay copy SLW

by Sara Light-Waller Pulp novels are great and adding illustrations makes them even better. Copying masterful artists is an old tradition that helps support and develop an artist’s skills. I’ve been a pen and ink artist for more than thirty years. I also enjoy scratchboard, but use it more rarely. I’ve copied many artist’s works, including notable pen & ink artists — Henry Justice Ford (1860-1940), Howard Pyle (1853-1911), and William Heath Robinson (1872 – 1944). By copying ink drawings line by line, you can learn a great deal about…

ROCKETEER FEATURE: VENUS IN THE PULPS

STARTL SEP 1949

By Sara Light-Waller “Day again — one hundred and seventy dragging hours of throttling, humid heat. An interminable period of monotony lived in eternal mists, swirling with sluggish dankness, enervating, miasmatic, pulsant with the secret whisperings of mephitic life-forms. That accounted for the dull existence of a Venusian trader, safe in the protection of his stilt-legged trading post twenty feet above the spongy earth — but bored to the point of madness.”  — The Hothouse Planet by A.K. Barnes. Although scientists today take a very different view, in the pulp…

ROCKETEER FEATURE: A DISTINCTLY ALIEN SKY

Symbols of An Alien Sky: Polar Conjunction

by Sara Light-Waller Perhaps the strangest vision of the planet Venus comes from the Thunderbolts Project, a joint study of Comparative Mythology, Cosmology, and Plasma Physics by David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill. This revolutionary synthesis of ancient testimony, high-energy plasma experiments, and space age discoveries suggests that ancient myths and legends have their true origins in extremely violent electrical discharge formations in the heavens. According to the researchers, the skies above Earth were once immensely different from how they appear today. Planets Saturn, Venus, and Mars were much closer to…

A Smashingly Good Review for Landscape!

Star Scene_News Flash

Landscape has received another 5 Star review. The gentleman is himself an author of pulp space opera so the review is even more meaningful. He’s posted it on Amazon and on his blog, Pulp Den. Here’s an excerpt… “Right out of the pulp magazines of the 1930s & ‘40s, the author spins her tale of space opera as if she was writing for Amazing Stories in its heyday. …This was so much fun. I had to stop and check every so often to make sure I wasn’t reading a Captain…

Report from the Field — Nanocon Mk. V March 24, 2018

Nano Sara2

Lucina Press (that’s me!) attended their first science fiction convention today to great results. But before we get to that, let’s recap. Landscape of Darkness: A Novelette of the Space Patrol has been in print since January 15th, 2018. Since then it has been featured on the Rodney’s Saga Blog and had a wonderful “coming out party” book singing at the Rectangle Gallery in Centralia. It’s scheduled for a reading  as part of the New Fictioneers program at PulpFest 2018 in July. It has received several Five Star Reviews on…

Guest Post on Rodney’s Saga

Twitter Blank Space Giveaway

Author, Sara Light-Waller, visits the Rodney’s Saga blog today talking about her new book – Landscape of Darkness. The first five people to comment on the post will win a free copy of the book. Hurry, hurry! Here’s an excerpt: “We need to remember that humanity can do its own saving.” Landscape of Darkness: Creating Stability in a Time of Chaos I called my hero, Sam, because I was tired of science fiction names that sounded like the author was either stoned or had numb lips. The surname Mercury seemed…

Lucina Press

Saint Lucina

PURPOSE OF THE PRESS Lucina is named for the Roman goddess of childbirth, who brought forth children in a bust of light. Creation of any sort brings a burst of joy, of light (energetic), and of creativity. In today’s world the joy of creativity is shrouded. We hear and see a world that is rapidly falling into decline. Why do people feel that dystopia is a foregone conclusion? At Lucina Press we do not agree. Part of our mission is to explore themes of Neotopia, a new way of looking…