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Robert Ervin Howard was an incredibly prolific writer, and produced a bibliography so full as to make those of us with limited reading time weep.[1] Some modern (and not so modern) critics have apparently dismissed Howard as a kind of idiot savant who was able to succeed despite his lack of education and training mainly […]

Pulp Nova represents James Desborough’s attempt to recapture the spirit of the Golden Age of Science-Fiction.  Written back in 2013, Desborough recognized even back then that the self-publishing made possible by changing technology was creating a publishing environment similar to that of the pulp era.  The easy cost of production gives free rein to writers […]

As noted in a recent article, Sax Rohmer managed to write one of the greatest pulp novels ever, The Insidious Dr.Fu-Manchu, as well as one of its worst, Brood of the Witch-Queen.  While I examined the former in-depth, I didn’t do so for the latter. Well, I believe any negative opinion of a book deserves a full […]

Another excellent conversation, this time with Jay Barnson. You can find Jay’s stories The Priests of Shalaz, in Cirsova #4 and The Queen of Shadows in #5, plus his other published work on his Amazon page.  Jay created RPG called Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon( FrayedKnights.com) and Void War. Other games can be found […]

Last year, I speculated if military fantasy had enough good writers to make it a viable sub-genre. Operation Arcana is another Baen Books anthology offering of military fantasy. Baen Books published the trade paperback in March 2015. The mass market paperback came out in September 2016 at $7.99. John Joseph Adams is the editor. The […]

At first glance, it seems strange that Arthur Henry Ward, writing under the pseudonym Sax Rohmer, doesn’t garner more attention on this blog.  After all, he wrote the enormously entertaining, successful, and influential The Insidious Dr.Fu-Manchu. But upon further reflection, it makes sense.  The book in question is not fantasy or science fiction.  And as we […]

War of the Ruby, a story by Brian K. Lowe in Cirsova Vol. 5 about a warrior and his thief lover who carry around a demon-summoning jewel stolen from a dangerous cult, proves to be a decent enough introduction to the world of Eldritch Earth as conceived by fellow author (and social media friend) Misha […]

Last month’s review of Ambassador of the Shadows introduced the BD comic of Valerian and Laureline, a legendary science fiction adventure with a forty-five year run. Influencing visual science fiction such as Star Wars, The Fifth Element, and various anime, in summer 2017, this classic tale will arrive on the silver screen in Valerian and the […]

David C. Smith presents the first non-fiction piece in Swords and Sorcery II, and it’s a beauty. There exists a massive amount of scholarship on Robert E. Howard, his life, his history, and his work, and with very few exceptions (see: Damon Knight’s spiteful and amateur analysis), the analysts agree that Howard’s work conveys a […]

Not too long ago, HP of Throwback Thursday fame and I decided to both read the same book and write up our reactions. This wouldn’t be the first time for us, though this time we agreed on a book mutually and well ahead of time. Because he is a gentleman, he also offered to let […]

The works of H. P. Lovecraft are often imitated, but never reproduced and certainly never surpassed. It’s a rare sort of genius that can launch an entirely new genre of literature, and rarer still is the genius whose imitators so consistently fail to improve upon his works.  In the decades since the great old one […]

YES! It’s blog post time, time for me to crank out 900 words of scintillating prose in the form of a scathing review, a brutal editorial, or a brilliant and inspiring speech calling for the brave Pulp Revolutionaries to storm the citadel of Tradpub and cast down their Golden Idols. Hey, I’m Daddy Warpig—it’s what […]