L. Sprague de Camp

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN’S JUVENILES: Are they still good? (Part One)

I seem to be unable to do single columns about stuff I’m passionate about. Heinlein is no exception. Robert A. Heinlein, who was characterized as the “Dean of Science Fiction,” though he was not necessarily the oldest or the best writer of SF during his lifetime, began his writing career before he went back into […]

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 W. Campbell’s Unknown) with his Pusadian stories, but in this he failed largely because of his other activities in Fantasy: the Gnome Press release of Conan in hard cover. Gnome Press […]

How American Airlines Helped Me Gafiate

Gafiate, for those whose Fannish Lexicon isn’t handy, is Fan Speak for the act of ‘Getting Away From It All’.  Leaving Fandom.  Putting conventions and fanzines and crazy projects and far-flung friends behind you.  It can be a liberating thing but it is always a sad thing. Thirty five years ago I didn’t yet know […]

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 lost steam. With Robert E. Howard dead for five or more years, Heroic Fantasy became a thing of the past with only the occasional Edmond Hamilton Weird Tales fantasy or anomalies […]

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 […]