J. R. R. Tolkein

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 […]

Interview: Trenna Keating (aka Doc Yewll) from Defiance

The SyFy Channel is putting a metric ton of financial resources behind their new SF drama Defiance, which airs on Mondays 9/8C. Released this spring, SyFy has also simultaneously launched an online video game for the show that gives viewers an additional portal into the world. It’s nice to see this kind of commitment being […]

American Tolkien

There is a kind of writer whose name evokes not just the titles of their best-known novels or the characters in them, but a certain way of experiencing the world. If one hears the name “Hemingway” it is hard not to think of cold Italian rains and the sound of mortar shells, or perhaps smoky […]

Moonlight and Manners: A Review of Goblin Moon by Teresa Edgerton

There was already awareness that a new strain of fantasy had developed when Donald G. Keller first labeled it “fantasy of manners” in his article “The Manner of Fantasy,” published in the April 1991 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction.  This subgenre–sometimes called “mannerpunk”–is noticeably less influenced by Big Name Fantasists like […]

Tom Merritt Sword and Laser Interview

An Interview With Sword and Laser’s Tom Merritt

Thanks to the exciting reach the internet brings us authors and fans of literature are connecting in ways never seen before. What once was relegated to a letter sent across the ocean in the vain hope that it would be read, let alone replied to, is now done in under 140 characters almost instantaneously. The […]

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 […]

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 year Sword & Sorcery was born. For S&S, like its greatest hero, Conan, was a child of the Great Depression. But the first tale was written before the darkness fell over […]

Smaug the Golden - Sunila Sen Gupta

Hobbit Art – Before the Movie (well, almost)

Kia ora and welcome to my new Visual Arts blog on Amazing Stories! First up, let’s have some Hobbit art. Let me state this outright: I am not going to try to determine who is the “greatest artist” in the fandom. I am not particularly interested in who is the most technically proficient, or the most outrageously inventive. Who gets the biggest fees, the most prestigious projects, has the greatest fan base, or who, by whose definition, is the “most famous”. I like to feature art I like.

There and Back Again, or, How I Got Scared Into Science Fiction

Science Fiction is one of the great loves of my life. I have spent some thirty odd years reading, critiquing, discussing, collecting, watching and dreaming it (I won’t talk about writing it, at least not yet). I cannot now clearly remember my life before SF and most certainly cannot imagine my life without it. If […]

The History of Fantasy, Part I: Books of Monsters

      Some people like to date Fantasy as starting with Tolkien, some like to reach back to the tales of the ancient world, but I like to split the difference and start with Beowulf. In terms of historical reach, the Anglo Saxon world is barely a stone’s throw from us today, and you can […]