Conan

Noticias Literatura 23-8

Two new speculative fiction books have been released in Spanish: La canción de Bêlit, an exploration of a lost period in the history of Robert E, Howard’s Conan the Barbarian; and Transcrepuscular, which considers a possible evolutionary symbiosis between humanity and nature, exposing our ethnocenrtic view of the world.

Noticias literatura 24-8

The first issue of a new Spanish language fantasy magazine, Iron and Bones, has been released, and Cixin Liu, author of the 2015 Hugo Award winning novel The Three Body Problem, will appear in Barcelona.

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 Conan, had been dead for fifteen months. In 1950 Gnome Press published the first Conan stories in hard cover. July 1954, Tolkien begins publishing a second version of his mythology, but […]

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 direct Sword & Sorcery down another track altogether. Those two don’t really make much sense. Didn’t L. Sprague de Camp become the editor/posthumous collaborator of Robert E. Howard? It went something like […]

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 wrote two novels that seem on the surface to be closer to Robert E. Howard and his Conan series. But only to those who do not look closely. 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 tale, publishing Henry Kuttner’s Elak as the last. This meant that Fritz Leiber, who had written horror stories for Weird Tales, was not welcome with his new series, this featuring two […]

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, for the editor’s job is one of selection, guidance, subjective acts that may be hard to understand in hindsight. (For instance, all those men and women who rejected Dune by Frank […]

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 in the same world at different times. In “Kings of the Night” (Weird Tales, Novembr 1930) he tied Kull with Bran Mak Morn through magic, as he did Turloguh o’Brien and […]

The Top Ten Roleplaying Games of All Time

Pull the blinds and turn off the phone; it’s time to head to the Game Room and lock in on some hardcore meta-gaming action.  In the Game Room we will explore the world of gaming in all its many incarnations, while lingering over that corner of the meta-verse where games and literature converge.  Bust out […]

The History of Fantasy, Part II: Barbarians and Elves and Jesus Figures and D20s

         The nineteenth century closes with two books that will be imitated constantly for the next hundred years or so: Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. To a very real extent you have the spectrum of Fantasy right there: children’s stuff with its own unique self-contained logic and […]

Judging A Book By Its Cover (Art)

The old axiom about not judging a book by its cover notwithstanding, I am going to judge the merits of various book covers that wrapped editions of heroic fiction. This is not a scholarly article, nor do I pretend that it is complete, lest someone accuse me of being reductionist. I just want to take […]

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 out of ignorance. The barbarian baby has been thrown out with the Hyborian bath water. This blog will outline the history of S&S, its major players, its ups and downs, and […]