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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 […]

I wrote a review of The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly two years ago. For various reasons, I did not read the online stories as they appeared since then. I waited for the next volume (#2) that covers 2011-2013. The book has a nice cover by Robert Zoltan that is better than most of the […]

A few weeks back, I wrote a review of the anthology Legends. I enjoyed the book quite a bit and wasted little time to tackle Legends II. Newcon Press, August 2015, 215 pages not including some ads at the back of the book. Ian Whates once again edited the anthology. Twelve stories, most of which […]

A year and a half ago, I wrote a post about David Gemmell and how in my opinion he saved sword and sorcery fiction in the 1990s.  I think it was after that that I found out the Legends anthologies. The books are subtitled “Stories in Honour of David Gemmell.” I was not familiar with […]

I had heard about the anthology The Book of Swords sometime last year before its publication. The cover looked good but I was not filled with any great enthusiasm. I have read anthologies edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin starting with Warriors (Tor Books, 2010). I wrote a review of the anthology […]

Jeff Jones (1944-2011) was one of the most important illustrators of sword and sorcery fiction. He started out with Canaveral Press’ I am a Barbarian by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1967. Donald Wollheim (again) jumped on the new talent for paperback covers. Jones provided art for two of Jack Vance’s “Planet of Adventure” series and […]