Gamebook store

Thursday, 29 January 2015


The very essence of science fantasy is that it's set on worlds where technology has become indistinguishable from magic. No doubt Professor M A R Barker, creator of Tekumel, was raised on Planet Stories and he too may have been a fan of L Sprague de Camp's Krishna books. Little did I know as I teased out this wee yarn in primary school English lessons that ten years later I would have my heart and at least half my psyche in Jakalla.

*  *  *

“The World of Krishna” part 6: “Escape”

Acer slugged the turnkey and opened the cell doors. The prisoners flocked out. Acer led his fellow Krishnans to the Dasht’s room. They gasped when they saw inside the chamber. On the floor of the room was a glowing disk. A group of the Dasht’s soldiers stepped onto the disk and vanished. A few feet away, a soldier was materializing on a similar disk.

“So that’s how they got us here,” thought Acer. “Witchcraft.”

It wasn’t really magic but Krishnans are very superstitious.

To be continued.


  1. Dare I ask why the "Black Amazon" is depicted as a pale skinned redhead?

    1. As a matter of fact, I do know the answer to that...

      * * *

      "Ho, there! Ciaran!"

      The black mask turned toward him, and the remembered voice spoke from behind the barred slot, joyously.

      "The wanderer. The wild man!"

      Their two mounts shocked together. The axe came down in a whistling curve, and a red sword-blade flashed to meet it. Swift, swift, a ringing clash of steel, and the blade was shattered and the axe fallen to the ground.

      Stark pressed in.

      Ciaran reached for his sword, but his hand was numbed by the force of that blow and he was slow, a split second. The hilt of Stark's weapon, still clutched in his own numbed grip, fetched him a stunning blow on the helm, so that the metal rang like a flawed bell.

      The Lord Ciaran reeled back, only for a moment, but long enough. Stark grasped the war-mask and ripped it off, and got his hands around the naked throat.

      He did not break that neck, as he had planned. And the Clansmen who had started in to save their leader stopped and did not move.

      Stark knew now why the Lord Ciaran had never shown his face.

      The throat he held was white and strong, and his hands around it were buried in a mane of red-gold hair that fell down over the shirt of mail. A red mouth passionate with fury, wonderful curving bone under sculptured flesh, eyes fierce and proud and tameless as the eyes of a young eagle, fire-blue, defying him, hating him....

      "By the gods," said Stark, very softly. "By the eternal gods!"

      * * *

      And if that's not enough for you, the full novella (by the co-writer of Empire Strikes Back, incidentally) is available on Project Gutenberg:

  2. Leigh Brackett... :)
    The wife of my favourite SF author ever Edmond Hamilton :)

    1. I've never read any of Hamilton's work myself, but five'll get you ten he's on Gutenberg too.

  3. Well I do the cover artist an injustice. My apologies, wherever they are!

    1. According to Wikipedia, the artist was Allen G Anderson, a man famous for his depictions of luscious interplanetary babes: