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Swords & Dark Magic (Eos/Harper Collins, 2010). Edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders. This was a book that I read over eight years ago and came across this review while looking for an old file. This was a sword-and-sorcery fiction anthology of original fiction from a mainstream publisher. I really enjoyed Andrew Offutt’s Swords […]

There has been round of blog posts in the wake of an interview I had at Jared Trueheart’s Legends of Men blog. That interview spurred a response by Jason Ray Carney who disputes that sword and sorcery is man’s fiction. Daniel Davis joined in at his Brain Leakage blog. Jason Ray responded to that. Go […]

Friend of the blog, Karl K. Gallagher, best known for his Torchship trilogy of hard sci-fi novels (previously reviewed here), took a swing at the fantasy genre fastball this spring with the release of his Lost War duopoly.  The result is a solid, stand-up triple with much to recommend it.  It’s a wild blend of […]

Brand new from DMR Books is Byron A. Roberts’ The Chronicles of Caylen-Tor. I have mentioned Roberts’ fiction in the past in Swords of Steel and Swords of Steel III. The Chronicles of Caylen-Tor is a collection of three novellas along with some appendices. The setting is antediluvian, just before the “Second Cataclysm.” “The Siege […]

Someone happened to post the cover to the Ace edition of David C. Smith & Richard L. Tierney’s For the Witch of the Mists (1981). I have seen the book before but never thought about the cover artist. I did not recognize him and did a little searching. The cover artist is Ezra Tucker (b. […]

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’ […]

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 […]

Howie K. Bentley is one of the rising stars in the sword and sorcery genre. He started out as a guitar player with his band Cauldron Born. Life has included playing in heavy metal bands, teaching guitar, and also writing fiction. He writes dark, violent stories the way sword and sorcery should be written. His […]

A. Merritt (1884-1943) occupied the position that J. R. R. Tolkien now has. From around 1925 through 1955-60, if you asked who was the most popular fantasy writer, A. Merritt would probably be the response. Dwellers in the Mirage was originally serialized in six parts in the pages of Argosy magazine January 23, 1932 to […]

In January 1939, had you perused the magazines stands, you would have seen a new pulp magazine, Strange Stories. The magazine was published by Better Publications, the company that put out the pulp magazines with “Thrilling “ in the title. Strange Stories was a bimonthly magazine that lasted for 13 issues February 1939 to February […]

In the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales, Clifford Ball of Astoria, New York, had this to say in the letters section (“The Eyrie”): “I have been a constant reader of your magazine since 1925, when some author’s conception of weirdness was a gigantic ape dragging a half-naked female about a jungle, and I have […]

This past week, a friend who had called me up told me about this Gardner Dozois quote: “While we’re talking about fantasy, I’ve been reading a lot of what’s being called “the New Sword & Sorcery” lately, stuff by people like Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, K.J. Parker, Daniel Abraham, and it struck me what the […]