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G.W. Thomas

Sword & Planet

Discussions of what is and what is not Sword & Sorcery can be a thorny proposition. On the one hand S&S is largely no...

POUL ANDERSON: THE INVISIBLE CLASSIC

Sometimes great books come and go, waiting for another chance to be discovered and given the place on our bookshelves they truly deserve. Sword...

L. SPRAGUE DE CAMP 2 HYBORIAN TIMES

As mentioned in an earlier post, L. Sprague de Camp attempted to turn Sword & Sorcery down a logical, Science Fictional route (ala John...

SWORD & SORCERY & J. R. R. TOLKIEN

In September 1937 an English Don named John Ronald Reuel Tolkien published a children's book called The Hobbit. Robert E. Howard, the creator of...

PUSADIAN REWRITE: L. SPRAGUE DE CAMP 1

Two things happened in 1950. One: L. Sprague de Camp read his first Conan story. And two: L. Sprague de Camp would try to...

CROM THE BARBARIAN: THE FIRST TRUE S&S COMIC

Comic strips were the only game in town in the 1930s but these strips were eventually collected into omnibuses that lead to the standard...

JACK VANCE: VISIONS OF A DYING EARTH

After the last few S&S works of the early 1940s, such as "Dragon Moon" by Henry Kuttner and the short-lived Unknown, Sword & Sorcery...

NORVELL W. PAGE: WAN TENGRI – PRESTER JOHN

While Fritz Leiber was creating a boisterous style of Sword & Sorcery based upon E. R. Eddison and James Branch Cabell, Norvell W. Page...

FRITZ LEIBER: SWORD & SORCERY GROWS UP

In 1939 Farnsworth Wright began a move away from Sword & Sorcery. With Robert E. Howard dead, he no longer championed the dark fantasy...

SWORD & SORCERY BECOMES A SUB-GENRE: HENRY KUTTNER’S ELAK AND PRINCE...

Henry Kuttner deserves our thanks. If things had been left to Clifford Ball, Sword & Sorcery would have fizzled out in the pages of...

BLUE PENCILS AND BLOODY SWORDS: EDITORS OF S&S

It's easy to discuss authors for their contributions are evident. You just have to read the stories. The great editors are harder to corral,...

NOT QUITE SWORD & SORCERY: EARLY FANTASY

Robert E. Howard may have invented Sword & Sorcery with the first King Kull tale, but he was not the only author working with...

The James Allison Stories: Dreaming of the Past

Robert E. Howard produced several series: Solomon Kane, Kull of Valusia, Bran Mak Morn, and finally Conan the Cimmerian, all existing more or less...

Jirel of Joiry: Sword & Sorcery’s First Lady

Circumstance plays a part in history. It was inevitable that a woman would eventually try her hand at Sword & Sorcery. It's our good...

Conan the Cimmerian: Sword & Sorcery Superstar

When many people hear the words "Sword & Sorcery", they immediately think of Conan. He might be Robert E. Howard's original, or the L....

Dark History: Bran Mak Morn

Robert E. Howard, more than anything, wanted to sell to Adventure Magazine. This publication of the Buttrick Co. was considered by many the best...

Of Shadows and Serpent – The First Sword & Sorcery Tale

When people think of 1929 they usually recall the Great Depression and "Black Tuesday" (October 29th). I prefer to think of it as the...

Sword & Sorcery – What’s In A Name?

Sword & Sorcery has become a term of derision since the 1980s. There are good reasons for this but much of that derision is...