Good news for all of those prognosticators who predicted a resurgence in short fiction. It’s not just you and your closest internet neighbors who believe it. Check out this message from the world of tabletop RPGs. Goodman Games, the cats behind the long running Dungeon Crawl Classics line of adventures and near-D&D titles, is throwing their own hat into the ring with Tales From the Magician’s Skull:
Hear this, mortal dogs. You hold in your hands a magazine the likes of which has not been seen for many suns. Once there were magicians whose weird tales could change the wormy earth. They infiltrated your waking world, bringing wonder and glory and imagination. Fantastic visions you dogs could barely grasp. But mortals they were, all of them. They’re dust now. With their passing a Thing was gone, a Secret passed. Well, no more. Magicians of the word, the weird tale-tellers: they may be gone, but their vision lives on. I am the skull and soul of one such word-wizard, and I’ll bring you Secrets that haven’t walked the earth in this century. Stories they’ll be, stories that make you bolt up and hunger for adventure. You’ll remember what glory could be, you’ll realize how you worms have lost sight of the sun. I am the Magician’s Skull. Which magician? Perhaps Howard or Lovecraft, Burroughs or Derleth, Dunsany or Leiber. Maybe Merritt or St. Clair or Vance or Brackett or Wellman or Weinbaum, or Clark Ashton Smith or even grand Gygax himself. All the word-wizards wove wonder, and it matters not whose bones I rot with today. All you need to know is: I bring tales of great fantasy and wondrous adventure. Get ready, mortal dogs. Enjoy this first issue. Enjoy the adventure!
There’s more than one way to skin an Appendix N rabbit, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Goodman Games guys go about recapturing the fun and excitement of those old pulps.