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Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  356 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Jirel of Joiry, the first of the great female warriors, the beautiful commander of the strongest fortress in the kingdom, would face any danger to defend her beloved country. She wielded her bright sword against mighty armies, the sinister magic of evil sorcerers and fearsome castles guarded by the dead, even daring to descend into Hell itself... Northwest Smith, the scarr ...more
Paperback, Fantasy Masterworks #31, 439 pages
Published July 11th 2002 by Gollancz
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Simon
Sep 26, 2011 Simon rated it really liked it
This collection focuses on the early work of C.L. Moore and, in particular, the stories about two of her major characters: Jirel of Joiry and Northwest Smith.

Jirel of Joiry, the bold, beautiful, vengeful and fearless queen who lets nothing steer her from here course or divert her aims. She overcomes her adversaries almost by sheer force of will and fury. Whether it's following her enemies into magical realms, demonic dimensions or haunted castles, she will not balk.

Northwest Smith on the other h
...more
Nomadman
This is a collection of Moore's standalone pieces from Weird Tales, more or less evenly split between her two most famous creations: Jirel of Joiry and Northwest Smith. The first half is Medieval S&S/dark fantasy. The second half I suppose could be termed early science fiction, though there's still a strong flavor of the fantastic.

Many of these stories are a little deceptive because they seem to offer, at first glance, the type of blood and guts thrills of a Conan\John Carter tale, but inevi
...more
Tulpa
Aug 20, 2012 Tulpa rated it really liked it
Northwest Smith stories were generally mediocre, 2-3 stars for each. Perhaps the most interesting thing about them, besides the swords-and-planets fantasy just being thinly-veiled portal fantasy most of the time, is how often the stories fall into the murky realm of the female gaze. NW Smith is often idealized from a hetero-female perspective rather than a male escapist perspective that one would expect from this genre at the time.

Black God's Kiss is a 5 star story, just excellent in every way s
...more
Andrew Ritchie
Dec 21, 2014 Andrew Ritchie rated it it was amazing
An utter gem of a fantasy collection that I chose on a whim but keep coming back to. It's easy to level the charge that Moore's short stories are extremely narrow in scope -- a cocky hero barely survives an encounter with an ancient evil, rinse and repeat -- but the poetry of her writing is worth revisiting on a regular basis.

Though these stories dovetail theme-wise with the SF and sword-and-sorcery pulps of the first half of the 20th century, her writing stands out from the usual fare, both fo
...more
David
Aug 09, 2008 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: sword-sorcery
Northwest Smith is Jirel of Joiry’s outer-space companion. Both were created by C.L. Moore in the ‘30s and made regularly appeared in Weird Tales alongside Conan the Cimmerian, Cthulhu, and many other notable creations of Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith. Moore definitely should be mentioned in that context because here work explores similar ground as the three greats, but with some rather different results.

http://fireandsword.blogspot.com/2007...
Conrad Kinch
Jan 25, 2017 Conrad Kinch rated it it was amazing
Shambleau and Song in a Minor Key are two stories that stick in my mind from this glorious collection of CL Moore's work. Slickly written and possessed of a dreamlike intensity, this is some of the best short form story telling in the genre. Her characterisation is more mature than the genre normally allows, but her plotting nevertheless remains zesty.

A delight. One to be savoured and returned to again and again.
Cynthia
Dec 23, 2016 Cynthia rated it it was ok
For current standards, I'd rate it one star. Taking into account the era of writing, I'll concede an extra star.
iStability Memph=isuy/
Jan 18, 2017 iStability Memph=isuy/ rated it did not like it
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Wolverina
Read through this incredibly slowly.

Moore's style of writing is beautiful without being waffly but it does feel sort of cloying. Not sure if this is an age thing (most stories were written in the 30's). That said, Moore writes very vivid settings with very archetypal characters and narratives which is a recipe for making a beautiful and impressive stories, more focused on bringing old romantic tale elements into SF than really saying anything original I think.

Jirel of Joiry is absolutely amazi
...more
Al
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it really liked it

Jirel of Joiry, the first of the great female warriors, the beautiful commander of the strongest fortress in the kingdom, would face any danger to defend her beloved country. She wielded her bright sword against mighty armies, the sinister magic of evil sorcerers and fearsome castles guarded by the dead, even daring to descend into Hell itself...Northwest Smith, the scarred and weathered outlaw, the legendary hero of the spaceways, forced to confront the terrible mysteries, the terrifying, myth

...more
Rachel MacNaught
Nov 23, 2014 Rachel MacNaught rated it liked it
It wasn't brilliant but it was exactly what I wanted right now. Early sci-fi is so rich. The cadence, the imagination that only a blank canvas can provide (our modern knowledge of technology makes modern tales a bit too expected to me) - these stories were original and beautiful and bizarre and rich and eloquent... And offset charmingly by the frequent mention of Spaceboots.
Gavin
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Excerpted from Wikipedia:
Catherine Lucille Moore was an American science fiction and fantasy writer, as C. L. Moore. She was one of the first women to write in the genre, and paved the way for many other female writers in speculative fiction.

Moore met Henry Kuttner, also a science fiction writer, in 1936 when he wrote her a fan letter (mistakenly thinking that "C. L. Moore" was a man), and they ma
...more
More about C.L. Moore...

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