Blog Archives


        L. Sprague de Camp was part of the small second wave of sword and sorcery fiction from the early 1950s that included Poul Anderson and Jack Vance. He used to include himself as a pioneer of the genre in the introductions to the Lancer Books Conan paperbacks citing his Harold Shea […]

             The concept of imaging past lives, reincarnation, wandering egos has been an idea going back over a century in fiction.                 H. Rider Haggard had the idea of past loves in She (1886). He returned with variations of the idea in The […]

Story     Discussion

Last fall, I had mentioned a story set in Ireland where a rascal of a man has the table turned on him. I had thought it was E. F. Benson, but the story premise just did not feel like a Benson story. It is unusual for me to forget the author and or title of […]

Tomorrow, Duel Visions, a  weird fiction / horror collaboration by two veterans of those genres, Louise Sorrensen and Misha Burnett will be released. For the title think dueling banjos. The authors went into this collaboration thinking it would be one of contrasting styles but found the end effect was one of synchronicity . Reading Misha’s […]

It turns out there was a second E. E. Smith working in the field of speculative science-fiction back in the day. In addition to Doc EE Smith, one of the original Big Three of science fiction, a woman by the name of Evelyn E. Smith made frequent contributions to Galaxy Magazine.  A crossword puzzle compiler […]

Three years ago, I wrote about the magazine Weird Tales having no issues the previous year and a half. It appears that Weird Tales is dead. After I posted that blog post, I had heard that editor Marvin Kaye was trying to get money together for a new issue. I have not heard a word […]

I first read of Nictzin Dyalhis in L. Sprague de Camp’s Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers in the chapter “Conan’s Compeers.” I already knew of Clifford Ball having read “The Thief of Forthe” in very first (coverless) issue of Weird Tales I ever bought. From de Camp, I learned of Nictzin Dyalhis and Norvell Page. By […]

Sometimes you get that one person who nurtures interest in a writer in danger of being forgotten. Glenn Lord did it with Robert E. Howard, Howard A. Jones with Harold Lamb, and now Kurt Brugel with Garnder F. Fox. I have affection for Gardner Fox. He wrote for the pulps, comics, and paperbacks. He wrote […]

Wordsworth’s Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural series has been an excellent series of bargain trade paperbacks of classic horror fiction.  A friend of mine sent me about five or six years ago E. F. Benson’s Night Terrors and Edith Nesbit’s The Power of Darkness. I was never much of a reader of the English […]

Beating up on Dungeons And Dragons Official ™ licensed works rightfully has a reputation for playing the literary criticism game with the difficulty set to “I’m Too Young To Die”. The lifestyle brand sells the books, and the community, not the actual prose, and Wizards of the Coast has only rarely made an effort to […]

The days are getting shorter, cooler, and the leaves are changing colors. I generally turn to macabre fiction during October through Halloween (my favorite “holiday”). One collection that I reread portions and finished what I originally did not read is Darker Tides by Eric Frank Russell. I had bought this book as part of four […]