Blog Archives


Leslie Turner White (1903-1967) started out writing for the pulp fiction magazines in 1930. He wrote mostly for the detective pulps in the 1930s, appeared in Argosy, Adventure, Short Stories, and Blue Book in the 1940s. He did manage to place a few stories in the slick magazines Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Liberty, and Country […]

The Matter of Britain is a genre that straddles fantasy and historical adventure. I generally don’t read the more fantastic Arthurian novels but cannot resist a story of post-Roman Britain conflict between Romano-Britons and Saxons. John Gloag’s Artorius Rex is the latest of the historical Arthurian novels I have read. Gloag (1896-1981) wrote on industrial […]

This week’s historical novel is unique. Ronald Bassett’s The Carthaginian (1963) was his first novel. I have the 1966 Pan paperback edition.             The Carthaginian takes place during the Third Punic War. It starts with Carthaginian hostage, Diaz sent as a rower on a slave galley. Action takes right off with that most glorious of […]

The Lost Eagles by Ralph Graves was a pleasant surprise for a novel by a writer I never heard of before. I have been on an historical novel binge the past month. My personal belief is a good historical is harder to write than a fantasy. There are constraints built in the historical that don’t […]

Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992) is best remembered as a young adult writer. Sutcliff, Henry Treece, Roger Lancelyn Green, and Geoffrey Trease were all part of the same era bringing past historical periods to life for young readers. Sutcliff is best remembered for The Eagle of the Ninth, The Lantern Bearers, and her historical Arthurian Sword at […]

E. C. Tubb’s “Dumarest of Terra” ran for thirty-three novels from 1967 through 1997. Ace Books published the first eight novels. Donald A. Wollheim took the series with him to DAW Books from 1973 through 1985. Wollheim’s daughter, Betsy, appeared to have purged a lot of her father’s favorites in the mid-1980s when she took […]

Gaming tie-in fiction is something I had actively avoided for years. I read the anthology Realms of Valor (1993) set in the Forgotten Realms universe which I thought was overall bad. I thought the R. A. Salvatore story much better than the other fiction. As a result, I just avoided gaming tie-in fiction. I never […]

Howard A. Jones’ For the Killing of Kings is a fairly recent fantasy novel. I have known Howard for around 23 years when he first contacted me. I was the Official Editor of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association at the time and he told me he wanted to be to Harold Lamb what […]

August Derleth is probably best known to the readers here for his Cthulhu Mythos stories, often billed as by H. P. Lovecraft. I am not a fan of his Mythos fiction. I do like his weird stories that appeared under the “Stephan Grendon” byline in Weird Tales. He also had some Gothic stories set in […]

Mixing up the reading with a return to hard-boiled crime fiction this week. Donald Westlake wrote a series of novels about Parker. Parker specializes in heists. From “When he sat down at his typewriter in 1962 and started writing The Hunter, using the name Richard Stark, Donald E. Westlake thought he was writing a […]

I wrote about Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell almost four years ago. There are now some reprints of horror paperbacks as a result of that book. Valancourt Books started a Paperbacks from Hell reprint series. I had heard about T. Chris Martindale’s Nightblood and had planned on ordering it. I stopped at the local Barnes […]

My favorite Jerry Pournelle series are the John Christian Falkenberg stories and the Janissaries books. I reread The Mercenary a few years back when I picked up a new copy at a library book sale. I had originally read it back in 1988. I knew The Mercenary was a fix up of a novella and […]