Sword & Sorcery: "An earthier sort of fantasy" discussion

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message 1: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
All,

Will need to poll the group soon and need some help conjuring up Books/Series/Ideas to propose. Am looking for topics for the Sept-Oct period.

Ideas?


message 2: by Charles (new)

Charles (kainja) | 428 comments I'll start doing some thinking.


message 3: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments Maybe Ted Rypel's Gonji series. This is good S&S with an Eastern slant that really needs more exposure...


message 4: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Thanks S.wagenaar and Jack. This helps.

More ideas always welcome! Perhaps something on your own TBR pile requiring a "boost."


message 5: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1257 comments Mod
Has there ever been any Egyptian-themed S&S?


message 6: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Joseph I like that.... Name some possible books?


message 7: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1257 comments Mod
That's the problem -- I like the idea, but don't know if anything actually exists ... :) I'll have to investigate.


message 8: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (last edited Jul 23, 2016 08:03AM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "That's the problem -- I like the idea, but don't know if anything actually exists ... :) I'll have to investigate."



The Scroll of Thoth: Simon Magus and the Great Old Ones: Twelve Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos

I think Stygia would count too. Conan, Vol. 8: Black Colossus

As well as Warhammer's take on Egypt: Nagash the Sorcerer

The Scroll of Thoth Simon Magus and the Great Old Ones Twelve Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos by Richard L. Tierney Conan, Vol. 8 Black Colossus by Timothy Truman Nagash the Sorcerer by Mike Lee

Servant of the Jackal God: The Tales of Kamose, Archpriest of Anubis
Servant of the Jackal God The Tales of Kamose, Archpriest of Anubis by Keith Taylor

..perhaps other Sword and Sandal too....


message 9: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1257 comments Mod
OK, and a bit of poking around led me here:

https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...

Which mentions lots of movies and RPG supplements, of course, but also The Scroll of Thoth: Simon Magus and the Great Old Ones: Twelve Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos by Richard L. Tierney (which I think I kind of remembered, and which unfortunately looks like it's currently out of print and kind of expensive), Servant of the Jackal God: The Tales of Kamose, Archpriest of Anubis by Keith Taylor and The Egyptian by Mika Waltari (which is actually a historical novel).

And I'm also reminded of Cleopatra by H. Rider Haggard, and a number of Judith Tarr's historical novels and, of course, The Mask of the Sorcerer by Darrell Schweitzer.


message 10: by Joseph, Master Ultan (last edited Jul 23, 2016 08:06AM) (new)

Joseph | 1257 comments Mod
Ha! Great minds!

(Edited to add: Although it might be kind of academic -- I think I'm going to be visiting Westeros for quite a while to come.)


message 11: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "Ha! Great minds!"

Oh I forgot The Mask of the Sorcerer. That's a great one!

Nice simultaneous post, Joseph!


message 12: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1257 comments Mod
Yep! And I'd say that we found enough that it can at least be voted on as a potential topic ...


message 13: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "Yep! And I'd say that we found enough that it can at least be voted on as a potential topic ..."

I like that so much, I am thinking of have "Egypt themed" topics as one...then votes for the second.


message 14: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments I will second the Egypt theme, especially the work of Keith Taylor; excellent dark and creepy S&S. Also, his Bard series of historical fantasy adventures are top-notch S&S tales. The Bard stories are no longer in print, but not too hard to find used. The first one is actually several short stories woven together to form a novel, much like Charles Saunders' Imaro. Rumor has it that all of the books may be available in ebook format soon...


message 15: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Great... I am supposed to be making a poll....but I went ahead and just bought a book :)

Servant of the Jackal God: The Tales of Kamose, Archpriest of Anubis


.... ok back to making a poll....


message 16: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments You will not regret this purchase! Although I have not read the entire collection, everything I have read has been outstanding; Keith Taylor can write!


message 17: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Thanks S.wagenaar, your comments help me get hooked enough to purchase.

In any event.... I got the poll done too:
https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...


message 18: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Rypel (tedrypel) | 123 comments S.wagenaar wrote: "Maybe Ted Rypel's Gonji series. This is good S&S with an Eastern slant that really needs more exposure..."

Thanks, Stan, for nominating my GONJI series for group-reading consideration. The only remotely tangential connection it has with the Egyptian theme being considered is that the concluding act of FORTRESS OF LOST WORLDS (book 4) takes place in an African desert, involving an immense castle with interdimensional, non-Euclidean spaces.

But, again, I'm flattered to be considered. The series has been around since the early '80s (originally from Zebra Books, in mass-market paperback). They're heroic-fantasy, with an ongoing background arc (it has planned closure). Zebra promoted them as straight historical adventures, touting them as successors to things like Clavell's books. As a result, they sold well---but in the mainstream readership; thus, they're not widely remembered in the fantasy community that largely missed them. The new Wildside Press editions are handsome re-issues.

One caveat: RED BLADE FROM THE EAST (book 1) is the first act of a TRILOGY that must be finished in order to glean a complete series-opening narrative.

If the series is passed over for group-reading until a later date, bear in mind that the coming original Gonji title from Wildside---DARK VENTURES (first new Gonji book in decades)---is an excellent entry point into Gonji's universe. It contains two novellas (including the first-ever "young Gonji" tale); "The GONJI Odyssey" essay (creative and publishing history of the series); and a generous 6500-word sample of the following Gonji title from Wildside---the origin novel BORN OF FLAME AND STEEL, set in Gonji's samurai/Viking parents' apocalyptic Japan of interdimensional cataclysm, amidst a rather different view of the 16th-century Japanese civil wars...with rampaging kaiju.

Thank you again, along with Seth and anyone else giving my old (and new) fantasy adventures reading consideration.

For a heads-up on what you're getting into, should you choose to plunge into "The Deathwind Trilogy," here's a pretty cogent review by Fletcher Vredenburgh at Black Gate Magazine...

https://www.blackgate.com/2014/01/21/...

I also a invite anyone interested to check for more info at the "Gonji Fictional Character" FB page, as well as my own page, as "Ted Rypel."

Sayonara...


message 19: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments Cool! Thanks for taking the time to visit Ted! Now, you can't ask for a better recommendation than from the author himself. Gonji is part of an elite group of late 70's early 80's S&S heroes like David C Smith's Oron, Charles Saunders' Imaro and the late Karl Edward Wagner's Kane. Some of these awesome writers are still with us, and we should spread the word about the awesomeness of their works.


message 20: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Rypel (tedrypel) | 123 comments S.wagenaar wrote: "Cool! Thanks for taking the time to visit Ted! Now, you can't ask for a better recommendation than from the author himself. Gonji is part of an elite group of late 70's early 80's S&S heroes like D..."

You do me great honor, Stan. Although more than one person might alternatively find a recommendation "from the author himself" ethically suspect, not to mention awkwardly biased!

That's one dense paragraph you've composed there; I could riff on aspects of it into boredom-land. I'll spare you. Suffice it to say that Smith and Saunders were (and remain, though on a more loosely connected basis) friendly colleagues through all that frantic effort of writing fantasy when the pulp revival was hot. We earnestly tried to respect and uphold the best elements of what Howard and others had wrought, during the Golden Age, while bringing fresh personal slants and concerns to it.

And Wagner, whom I never got to meet, was a profound influence on my decision to even begin the big undertaking of Gonji. His DEATH ANGEL'S SHADOW was the eureka! moment that catalyzed my sucking in a breath of hubris and plunging into my first novel effort.

If Gonji becomes a group-read topic at some point, I'll be happy to weigh in with Q&A responses, etc.

But if you're seriously jazzed about digging into this curious character and multi-dimensional world I've concocted (which grew and absorbed other worlds I'd been tinkering with, over time), then DARK VENTURES will be a watershed experience for you. Shortest book...cleanest point of entry...


message 21: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments Must check out Dark Ventures...


message 22: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Rypel (tedrypel) | 123 comments S.wagenaar wrote: "Must check out Dark Ventures..."

Waiting and waiting for Wildside to publish it. I'll get proofs to read, so it'll be a while yet. I turned the book in probably in April. They're a smallish operation, specializing in re-issues of o.p. titles whose rights have reverted to their authors. They suspended that compact for the two new Gonji books because they re-issued the five extant books and the series has a following.


message 23: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Rypel (tedrypel) | 123 comments T.C. wrote: "S.wagenaar wrote: "Must check out Dark Ventures..."

Waiting and waiting for Wildside to publish it. I'll get proofs to read, so it'll be a while yet. I turned the book in probably in April. They'r..."


You can see the cover art on the Gonji Fictional Character FB page, or find it on my personal page, in the Photos. It's by artist/author/filmmaker Larry Blamire, of the LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA films.


message 24: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
Am curious... Lots and of folks voted for "Conan__Vol__8_Black_Colossus or any REH Stygia"

Were folks interested in the actual comic?

What does "any Stygia" mean to those here?


message 25: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments Not sure. I don't read comics anymore. Black Colossus is a story by Howard that mostly takes place in Shem, but involves a Stygian prince. I don't believe there are any Howard tales that take place exclusively in Stygia. Correct me if I am wrong...


message 26: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
S.wagenaar wrote: "Not sure. I don't read comics anymore. Black Colossus is a story by Howard that mostly takes place in Shem, but involves a Stygian prince. I don't believe there are any Howard tales that take place..."
My main motivation is to try and find a few themes for a groupread by reading the tea-leaves/response in the poll....and make a banner from appropriate material.

From the discussions and Poll, it seems an "Egypt" theme and "Gonji" theme will be winners. Shem would arguably count as half of "Egypt" inspired S&S, just as much as Stygia is.

I wasn't sure if the 15 folks voting for the Stygia-theme really wanted to read Black Colossus specifically. Would help me construct a banner if anyone had expectations.


message 27: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments I know for sure that Conan the Rebel by Poul Anderson is set in Shem and Stygia. And it's a good read, to boot.


message 28: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 396 comments Actually, pastiche books based on Robert E Howard characters would be a cool idea for a group read. There are actually quite a few out there...


message 29: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2327 comments Mod
S.wagenaar wrote: "Actually, pastiche books based on Robert E Howard characters would be a cool idea for a group read. There are actually quite a few out there..."

Agreed. Pastiche Howard will be a future topic.

It would be a nice evolution of the Clonan topic.


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