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G.W. Thomas

Sword & Planet

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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