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Coming (Wasteland & Sky): Space pirates and superspies, ghostly singers and half-orc bards, lost cities and deals with the devil . . . all this awaits and more in Pulp Rock: Twelve musically inspired tales of adventure, excitement, and horror by some of the most exciting voices in science-fiction and fantasy. Come explore the nexus […]

Best of collections are good introductions to a writer. In the case of The Best of Jerry Pournelle, it is a case of collecting various odds and ends, many I had not read before. This is a sort of memorial collection as it came out after his death in 2017. This is a big anthology […]

A Blade and a Ring (The Chain Breaker #7) – D. K. Holmberg Gavin must stop a man who shares his training and abilities. Gavin has left the only friends he’d ever made to study his El’aras magic. Though he may share their heritage, he quickly learns that he’s not El’aras. When an attack targets […]

The Minarian Legends represent the collected stories about the many great kingdoms and celebrated heroes of Minaria, a continent of epic adventure. In these pages are presented the histories of the many kingdoms, heroes, and tribes that comprise a fantasy world full of merciless war, powerful magic, and intrepid adventure, the world of the classic 1979 […]

Authors (Quillette): It might seem odd to recommend a thriller by a British author as a source of information about the ancient enmity between Russia and the Ukraine, but Frederick Forsyth is no ordinary novelist and his books are not ordinary novels. Forsyth is so knowledgeable about so many things that his name appears all […]

A few weeks back, I mentioned Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars at the end of my review of Stalin’s War. One of the local library branches has it and I have since read it. The Second World Wars is from 2017 and is 653 pages including the index. The subtitle is “How the […]

The Red Baron. A pilot of almost supernatural skill. Manfred Von Richthofen’s legend lives forever. But how did such an icon of war get his start? What made him different from his peers? And why was he so fond of the terribleness of war? Perhaps it all stems from a gift–the ability to read other […]

Dawn of Assassins – Jon Cronshaw Two friends. A master assassin. One deadly choice. Fedor and Lev are thieves…not killers. They lead a desperate life in the tunnels of Nordturm, conning and stealing to buy their next meal. But when an assassin recruits them against their will, they are forced into a life they do […]

Robert E. Howard (Sprague de Camp Fan): REH hit a certain stride (and formula) with this story. It is a great action yarn with an exotic locale, interesting characters, and strong vivid prose. Weird Tales made it the cover story. REH wrote some better Conan stories but “The Devil in Iron” is good Conan and […]

The sword-and-sorcery movie boom of the early 1980s did not last long. I was there and saw some of the movies when they came out. I knew when I saw Red Sonja in summer 1985 that it was over. Barbarians at the Gates of Hollywood by P. J. Thorndyke is an entertaining history and look […]

One of the quieter trends in independent fantasy has been the repurposing of young adult and light novel tropes to explore not the adventure, but what happens when the adventure is over. When the youthfulness of the hero’s journey fades into the responsibility, scars, losses, and weariness of the adult. Japanese light novels tend to […]

Marines, houndsmen, alchemists, and combat frames. All arrayed against the cunning threats found in this week’s new releases. Alchemist Mastery (The Alchemist #6) – D. K. Holmberg and Dan Michaelson The discovery of a strange new power leads Sam to buried truths. Now that Rasan Tel has escaped, Sam works with others within the Academy […]