The Mesoamerican ballgame, Tlachtli as it was known to Nahuatl speaking tribes of the Valley of Mexico (those peoples commonly remembered as Aztecs), derives from an enduring tradition rooted way... More > back in times before records began. Commonly it was played between either individuals or two teams and a large and heavy rubber ball symbolising the sun (at least in some cases). The object of the game varied from one region to the next, although play was often centred upon players passing the ball through stone hoops set at either side of the ball court, no mean achievement where contact favoured knees, thighs, hips, and elbows, but prohibited use of hands or feet. Some schools of thought attribute a strong ritual element to the Mesoamerican ballgame, suggesting dynastic or even theological alliances would be decided upon the outcome of a match. However, other schools of thought tend towards the idea that it was a bit like Roy of the Rovers but with Mexicans...< Less
It's all very well having this vaguely square blue-coloured thing by which one may travel anywhere and anywhen in the entirety of time and space, but when the entirety of time and space turns out to... More > be a few hundred miles across and a matter of years... well, let's just hope you're keen on hot, spicy food and know better than to go getting all huffy at the first hint of human sacrifice.< Less
Lawrence Burton has spent the last five years catching up on all the crappy science-fiction he should have got around to reading as an Earthlet; wrestling with the mind altering grammar of A.E. van... More > Vogt; fighting down the urge to go out and punch a child in cathartic response to gormless Brian Aldiss spawned shite about space Vikings and special types of atom; wincing at Susan Calvin; shaking a fist at the heavens to curse whatever insane forces have seen fit to ensure that Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman should be viewed with something other than the contempt they deserve; snuggling up in bed with a mug of Horlicks and the mighty works of Simak; going bananas over Philip K. Dick...
For the last half decade, he has been writing up this shite on a variety of bulletin boards, blogs and the like. Now he has gathered this material together in book form, for some reason.< Less
There's a planet on the outer edge of our galaxy where the indigenous populace not only worship something that bears comparison to an elephant, but are able to tell you about it in clearly spoken... More > English. Strange, although perhaps not so strange as Lerren Hansler's daily struggle on Llammas IV, the moonlet he shares with Siberian Mushroom Santa, Inspector Monkey and others.< Less