Blog Archives


The small press has been the matrix that has produced many sword and sorcery writers. Andrew Offutt raided the small press magazines of the 1970s to fill out the Sword Against Darkness volumes. David C. Smith, Charles R. Saunders, and Charles de Lint all got their start in those literary labors of love. Carnelian Press’ […]

“I am robbed of a mighty death, manling.” – Gotrek Gurnisson In “Geheimnisnacht”, the first story in William King’s Trollslayer, two adventurers arrive in a small inn on the most unholy and Chaotic night of the year. The innkeepers mourn their son, who went missing among strange Chaos-tinged events. When rumors of dark Chaotic rituals […]

“Come then, try my steel and I will send you to hell where you belong. The gods of my people look down upon those that prey on the weak. There is no honor in it. There is no honor in you. I will enjoy killing you.”–Mortu In Mortu and Kyrus in the White City, Schuyler Hernstrom […]

My haul from the library book sale in June included a good amount of late Campbell era Analog magazine reprints with John Dalmas, Gordon R. Dickson, and Jerry Pournelle. I had read Jerry Pournelle’s The Mercenary in the late 1980s and remember liking it. I had read the first two books in the Janissaries series. […]

The weird western has been the red headed step-child of genre fiction. The idea pops up now and then but has never really taken off in popular culture in any big way. More than likely, the first weird westerns I read were by Robert E. Howard in the Zebra paperback, Pigeons From Hell. The first […]

Commissar Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium, returns in Choose Your Enemies, his eleventh adventure for Warhammer 40,000’s Black Library imprint. While on a posting to a remote mining planet, Ciaphas Cain and the 597th Valhallan Regiment unearth a hedonistic Chaos cult. But rooting out the corruption soon takes them to the heavily populated industrial […]

I first heard of “men’s adventure magazines” or “men’s sweat magazine” in an article by Will Murray for Cryptic Publications’ Shudder Stories No. 1 back in the mid-1980s.  Cryptic later did an one off imitation, Man’s Guts in 1989 (with a story by my friend Charles Hoffman).  I was familiar with the spicy pulps, the weird […]

I have been picking up books from John Locke’s Off Trail Publications for a while it seems. I first met John at Pulp-Con in 1993 and always impressed by his erudition. His most recent book is The Thing’s Incredible! The Secret Origins of Weird Tales. “The struggle to establish the first fantastic-fiction magazine and the […]

Sky Hernstrom returns with two short stories: The Law of the Wolves: A Short Fable and Mortu and Kyrus in the White City. I’m halfway through Mortu and Kyrus and as the book description promises, the two protagonists can be taken from Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber central casting. Set in the future with […]

The 1970s were the heyday for original sword and sorcery anthologies with original fiction. Lin Carter’s Flashing Swords series was the first. Andrew Offutt’s five volume Swords Against Darkness did a great job of bringing some small press writers to a wider audience. Heroic Fantasy edited by Gerald W. Page and Hank Reinhardt was the […]

On an Earth far enough in the future to be depopulated and recolonized by the survivors from other worlds, nine castles are the sum total of civilization. Through technological marvels and a hierarchy of subordinate slave species, humanity rules its home world as feudal lords. Occasionally, the younger men would break from the unceasing pageantry […]

Gordon R. Dickson (1923-2001) was a mainstay of mass market science fiction paperbacks in the 1970s and 80s. The “Dorsai” series was one of the first in the military science fiction series going back to 1959. Dickson and Poul Anderson could always be counted on supplying adventurous science fiction. Dickson was a pillar for Analog […]