Datorbox is a luxury wood-cased gaming PC

Yours for €2099, Love Hultén's limited-edition Datorbox comes in green or orange and looks like something from another age. Well-specced and tiny, you'll have the challenge of finding pretty peripherals to go with it.

Datorbox is an extremely compact gaming desktop system, enclosed by an elegant handcrafted wooden case. Despite it's small form factor- measuring only 31x24x7cm, this small minimalistic beast delivers monster performance. To fulfill the needs of gamers further, the Datorbox is fully VR-ready and supports 4K video. The wooden casing is designed for optimized airflow and Datorbox runs very quiet, even on full load.

The top of this eye-catching artifact displays a saturn fan grille, and the front panel is adorned by a composition of six big bulb-caps completing an ambient Larson scanner effect when in use.

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Line of Beauty: stunning biography of fantasy artist Wendy Pini

Wendy Pini is most famous for Elfquest (above), but her artistic career spans fifty years of pop culture history, from weird lowbrow surrealism to yaoi pastiche. Line of Beauty isn't just a stunning art book covering decades in and beyond epic fantasy, but a powerful yet curiously tentative biography, drawing together threads from a childhood in the Californian sticks to the poisoned promises of Hollywood.

That it's so mysterious and unjudgmental (of her, at least) is most remarkable for the fact it was written by her husband, Richard Pini. His book is a crafty invitation to the worlds implied by her work, a mythos that seems misty and intangible even as its details take shape.

Born 1951, Wendy was a talent from early childhood, and we learn of the tensions and inspirations that flowed through her to emerge as a personal Elfame: adoptive parents whose emotional abuses hover on the margins of trauma; childhood obsessions and contrasts; and encounters with what were then rare oddities in rural America—manga, weird cartoons, the deeper magics of European and Japanese folklore—which she consumed voraciously.

Richard's access to private artwork and private fact far exceeds what a researcher might get to, but flags his story right off as both authorized and intimate. But while uncritical, the narrative stops short of hagiography: there's much evidence of unexpected turns and some evidence of friction in its creation. The focus is on Wendy's deep fascination with Hogarthian serpentine structures and sequential art (hence the title), and her artistic motivation and development. Read the rest

Vulgar generates fantasy languages with a click

Vulgar constructs languages for fantasy fiction or whatever other purpose you can imagine, applying consistent rules to the custom phonemes you feed it. [via]

Vulgar's output models the regularities, irregularities and quirks of real world languages; phonology, grammar, and a 2000 unique word vocabulary. Trial the demo version online. Purchase the premium version to get access to the complete 2000 word output (with derivational words) and extra grammatical rules. ...

Vulgar generates ... based on a list of some of English's most common words. However, the program is more than just a one-to-one mapping of unique outputs to English words. In an effort to mimic real world languages, Vulgar also creates various homphones and overlapping senses inspired by examples from real world languages. For example:

Here's my language:

The Language of Puput /ˈpʰupʰutʰ/

...and he stood holding his hat and turned his wet face to the wind. ...u lu bunela une luch yafa u neba luch miku peb tul ye Pronunciation: /u lu bɯˈnela ˈune løtʃ ˈjafa u ˈneba løtʃ ˈmikʰø pʰeb t̪øl je/ Narrow pronunciation: [u lu bɯˈnela ˈune løtʃ ˈjafa u ˈneba løtʃ ˈmikʰø pʰe t̪øl je] Puput structure: and he stood holding his hat and turned his wet face the wind to

Seed for this language: 0.36384689368800394

The Puput word for "stuff" is "nut." I'll spare you details of the nominative and accusative case forms, but they're there. The full edition of the app is $20. Read the rest

Long-lost H.P. Lovecraft manuscript found

The Cancer of Superstition, a non-fiction treatise commissioned from author H.P. Lovecraft, was found in a memorabilia collection in a defunct magic shop.

Magician Harry Houdini asked Lovecraft to ghostwrite the text for a book project, but died shortly thereafter. Now it goes to auction.

The collection bounced around after Beatrice Houdini’s death in 1943 and was never truly catalogued or ‘mined’ in all that time. The papers were never researched or inventoried,” said Potter & Potter president Gabe Fajuri. “In all that time, no one seemed to realise the significance of the manuscript.”

Fajuri said the collection was recently bought privately, and when “the new owner began sorting through the mountain of paperwork, he began putting the pieces together, and in the process discovered the manuscript and its significance”

From the excerpts, it sounds exactly as you'd imagine a Lovecraft text about superstition to sound ('superstition is an “inborn inclination” that “persists only through mental indolence”' etc). There is some debate over the authorship, with S.T. Joshi identifying CM Eddy. If you want it, expect to pay $25,000-$40,000 for it. Read the rest

Is The Magician’s TV Quentin Too Handsome?

Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about the latest in science fiction and fantasy.

Crowdfunding to send girls from Brooklyn to SF/science camp

Ghost writes, "The Octavia Project, named for Octavia Butler, is a project 98% funded at Indigogo, with only a few days left. Helping them get over the top would be great, and the more they raise, the more girls they help. From their description:" Read the rest

Fan films and the future of fantasy

Small productions are becoming better—and more professional—than ever. But the falling price of good equipment is only part of the magic.

Fantasy comics, ranked

Fables, Elfquest, Marvel's Conan and Neil Gaiman's Sandman are the best fantasy comics of all time, according to Comic Book Resources, whose list is bullshit without Groo. Read the rest

The Desolation of Tolkien

Ethan Gilsdorf reviews The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, where we see more clearly Jackson's vision to give The Hobbit the look, feel and slow majesty of The Lord of the Rings.

15 SFF classics rejected by publishers

Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs offer an illustrious list that includes H.G. Wells, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. LeGuin. [i09] Read the rest

Game of Brogues

From Max Read's fantastic article nitpicking the inconsistencies in Game of Thrones' deployment of regional British accents:

"The show has dragons, who cares if the accents don't match?": Well, first of all, I care. Second of all, the cornerstone of science fiction and fantasy fandom is nitpicking. Third of all, the fact that Game of Thrones doesn't take place within our collectively agreed-upon reality doesn't release it from its responsibility to verisimilitude or the maintenance of internal consistency within its own systems.

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Creators remember Knightmare, the pioneering VR adventure show

Knightmare was a fantastic childrens' adventure show that ran on British TV in the 1980s. A youngster, wearing a vision-blinding helmet, would be guided around a giant virtual reality castle by a team of his or her peers, which issued instructions from dungeon master Treguard's chambers. Though defined by its technical limitations, Knightmare built a cult following thanks to its pioneering blue-screen setup—hence the blindfolding—and merciless treatment of contestants. The Guardian's Ben Child interviewed creator Tim Child and star Hugo Myatt and found that the production was itself something of a bad dream. Embedded above is the show's intro and a short documentary about it. Then you may enjoy a a selection of deaths. Read the rest