Monday, March 21, 2022

Tekumel, Barker, and Empire of the Petal Throne


For those saddened by the news that author of Tekumel / Empire of the Petal Throne was an anti-Semite on par with the likes of progressives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib, you have my sympathies.  I'm sorry for your loss.  

Everyone deserves to be treated as equals, endowed with inalienable rights by our creator.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, Erik Tenkar explains in this video.  

TL;DR: M.A.R. Barker wrote a pro-Nazi, anti-Semetic novel under a pseudonym back in 1991.  Folks are just finding out about this now, and are understandably devastated.

Having said that, Cha'alt welcomes your fandom, patronage, and creative participation. If any wish to delve into the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalyptic campaign world, we'd be glad to have you!

In fact, order both glorious hardcovers Cha'alt and Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise for only $90 (within the USA; outside add $40), and I'll sign them "Venger Satanis 4 Realz".  This week only!

Inflation and shipping rates have gone way up and next week the price will go up.

Have a great week,


p.s. VENGER CON needs more attendees!  This July in Madison WI I'm organizing the first convention of its kind - devoted exclusively to old-school, OSR, and traditional roleplaying games.  Grab your ticket, and join us...


  1. What's really sad is that I have a short story called "Serpent's Walk" in my latest SF fiction collection.

    And I'm a Jew. Go figure.

    1. Mel Brooks should make a movie about your current struggle! Haha

  2. I feel bad for the legacy players. One old torch holder in particular... I was wondering why he and his channel simply disappeared. ☹️

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  4. "Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker was an American linguist who was professor of Urdu and South Asian Studies and created one of the first roleplaying games, Empire of the Petal Throne." wikipedia

    He was born in Spokane (across the border from neo-NAZI epicenter in Idaho) and died in Minneapolis (a known hotbed of Jihad sympathizers). If this was fiction I'd say that was too on the nose, to obvious.

  5. For crying out loud, is anyone on here talking about boycotting IBM, Volkswagen l, Beyer pharmaceuticals, Fanta soda, etc? Corporations that sprang from Germany during the second world war or actually played a role in concentration camps are a part of peoples everyday life and suggests they should one is looked at like they're a nut. How about NASA?

  6. Who cares?
    1) It was over 30 years ago.
    2) It's a novel. I've read novels about aliens who ate humans. I've read novels that started out after aliens had destroyed 90% of humanity. Is that somehow less bad?
    3) Should we retroactively unperson Philip K. Dick for having written "The Man in the High Castle" over 60 years ago? How about Ridley Scott for turning it into a hit TV show?

    "First they came for the Nazis, even though Nazis weren't real, and I stood by, because I didn't want to get called a Nazi, too."

  7. A novel with Nazi heroes doing Nazi things, published by a Nazi publisher is not the same as a dystopian science fiction novel.

  8. Reminder: Empire of the Petal Throne is still awesome.

  9. Something feels odd about this scandal the more I read about it. Could this disclosure (convenient that the guy's dead and can't defend himself) have been done to discredit OSR in general and to promote the more SJW-friendly (Orc lives matter!) D&D 5e?