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Karl Edward Wagner
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Group Reads > Sept-Oct, B) Karl Wagner's Kane

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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Karl Edward Wagner's Kane Series:

It is always a goo time to read Kane, but now we can do so with this group, and a fine podcast already in progress:

This Summer/Fall 2019, Jordan Douglas Smith and F. N. York chat about a different story on the Dark Crusade Podcast. The Dark Crusade is a podcast dedicated to the fiction, life, and influences of writer, editor, and publisher Karl Edward Wagner.The goal is to read through the works of Wagner, learn more about him, and reignite interest in his work.

https://thedarkcrusade.wordpress.com/

They already started with:

Episode 2.4 ‘Bloodstone’ Part 2 – Chapter XV: Lord of Bloodstone thru Epilogue August 15, 2018
Episode 2.3 ‘Bloodstone’ Part 1 – Prologue thru Chapter XIV: Flight into Nightmare August 1, 2018
Episode 2.2 ‘Two Suns Setting’- Hear me, Sabertooth! July 17, 2018
Episode 2.1 ‘Undertow’-Never Bring your Demon to a Sword Fight July 6, 2018
Kane is coming! June 27, 2018



message 2: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jumping the gun a bit, but I just started my Centipede edition of Darkness Weaves


message 3: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
And, now that I'm about half way through the book, some impressions:

Centipede does really lovely work. (Although I did end up also buying the series on Kindle because I don't think I want to, e.g., take my Centipede hardcovers to the bar for my weekly night o' beer and reading.)

Wagner really was a great writer, although there are times when it's pretty obvious that this was his first novel. (And has there ever been any kind of real exploration of the changes between the various editions? I know that the first edition, Darkness Weaves with Many Shades, was pretty badly mangled by Powell when they published it in 1970; but the 1978 edition (the source for the text that I'm reading) also has things like a vision scene that explicitly references other Kane stories & novels, so I'm assuming Wagner did more than just fixing Powell's screw-ups.)

The one major complaint I have at this point is that for all his strengths as a writer, Wagner was pretty crap when it came to making up names. Thovnos, Lartroxia, Nostoblet -- I've certainly seen better in my day.


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Those names sound like prescription drugs :)


message 5: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
S.E. wrote: "Those names sound like prescription drugs :)"

Well, he was a doctor by trade, wasn't he?


message 6: by Melissa Bryan (new)

Melissa Bryan (53bryanm) | 8 comments Very cool...


message 7: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
My mistake -- I believe he was trained as a psychiatrist. But those names do continue to sound like prescription drugs.

Finished Darkness Weaves, which really was good, and decided to keep going with Bloodstone. (I'm going in publication order, because I'm not sure if we have a good internal chronology for the stories.)


message 8: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Anyone checking out Jordan’s podcast yet?

I’ve been enjoying it.

Spoilers arise, so listen after you read each episode’s feature story.


message 9: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
I just subscribed to the podcast, but won't be listening to it until I've finished rereading the books.


message 10: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments There is a very good chronology over at the Dark Storm files. Dale Rippke even includes some of the chronological debates. His timeline is what I've been using for the podcast. http://thedarkstormfiles.blogspot.com...


message 11: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments Joseph wrote: "And has there ever been any kind of real exploration of the changes between the various editions?

I'm hoping to do this analyses next year after I get another chance of going up to Brown and checking out his papers. I know the books were published out of the order he wrote them in so some of the Kane story/myth may have been in place already while he was writing Darkness Weaves. He wrote Bloodstone in 1970 and had begun work on the novel In the Wake of the Night that same year. In the Wake was a Kane novel he was working on at the time of his death.


message 12: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (last edited Sep 04, 2018 03:00PM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Jordan wrote: "Joseph wrote: "And has there ever been any kind of real exploration of the changes between the various editions? I'm hoping to do this analyses next year after I get another chance of going up to..."

Jordan, nice podcast! I've been slow to re-read Kane, but I've enjoyed listening to the podcast as a surrogate.

The timeline link is really precise (above... thedarkstormfiles.blogspot.com). Would be one step even cooler if the publication dates were thrown in. But it is pretty amazing as is.

I forgot Wagner had an in-progress Kane novel. I have Midnight Sun: The Complete Stories of Kane which has it in it. I read it a long time ago. Ah... if only there was more Kane...


message 13: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jordan wrote: "Joseph wrote: "And has there ever been any kind of real exploration of the changes between the various editions?

I'm hoping to do this analyses next year after I get another chance of going up to..."


Excellent! I'll be very interested in your findings.


message 14: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
And continuing onward, now starting Death Angel's Shadow. Looking forward to it -- in some ways, I think Kane works better in short stories than in novels.


message 15: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments -- in some ways, I think Kane works better in short stories than in novels."

I always loved the stories best where Kane is seen as a force in the background or an observer to the tale being told. That being said "Reflections" in Death Angel's Shadow is probably my favorite and I remember that being a pretty straightforward narrative.

On a recent re-read of 'Bloodstone' I found the ending a bit more abrupt than I originally remembered.


message 16: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 329 comments I thoroughly enjoy DEATH ANGEL'S SHADOW, and I agree that while I like the Kane novels, I find his shorts more powerful and poignant. Or would that be KEW's shorts versus his novels?


message 17: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jason M wrote: "I thoroughly enjoy DEATH ANGEL'S SHADOW, and I agree that while I like the Kane novels, I find his shorts more powerful and poignant. Or would that be KEW's shorts versus his novels?"

Did he write any non-Kane novels (aside from the two REH pastiches)?

Yeah, Bloodstone did wrap up pretty abruptly. I also wonder how much influence Kane had on the current crop of grimdark authors?


message 18: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Onward! Dark Crusade is next, and then Night Winds. And then it'll probably be Black Company time.


message 19: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
And into the home stretch with Night Winds.


message 20: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
And as I get closer to the end of my Kane reread, a bit about my acquaintance with Kane and with KEW:

I knew about Kane as a character sometime in the 1980s -- I had read about him in Baird Searles' A Reader's Guide to Fantasy -- but his books weren't available at the public library (and I'm not sure if they were even in print at that point), so although I was interested, I wasn't able to actually read anything.

(I had read at least one or two stories by Wagner -- "Where the Summer Ends" in Kirby McCauley's excellent anthology Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror is the one I'm certain of -- but they were his horror stories, and I don't know if I made the connection between the stories I read and the fantasy series I'd only read about.

For my first real encounter with Kane, things are a bit fuzzy -- it was either the Karl Edward Wagner issue of Weird Tales (the Terminus revival from the late 80s/early 90s -- I had started subscribing sometime around then) or it was getting a Donald M. Grant catalog and ordering his edition of The Book of Kane (which remains one of my favorite Wagner collections, partly because of the art and partly because it had some great Kane stories in it, most of which were not included in Death Angel's Shadow or in Night Winds.

A year or two later, I was fortunate enough to lay hands on all five Warner paperbacks (plus Wagner's horror collections, In a Lonely Place and Why Not You and I?) at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore (or maybe it was Dreamhaven?), and was happy to find that yes, they were as good as I had been hoping they'd prove to be.

(And then later came the Night Shade and Centipede editions, of course.)


message 21: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (last edited Sep 13, 2018 04:34PM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "And as I get closer to the end of my Kane reread, a bit about my acquaintance with Kane and with KEW: I knew about Kane as a character sometime in the 1980s -- I had read about him ..."

Sweet post Joseph. Got me thinking about when I stumbled into Kane. It was close to 2000 with Night Shade books: Gods in Darkness: The Complete Novels of Kane and Midnight Sun: The Complete Stories of Kane.

I was in a big REH kick, reading and loving Bran Mak Morn, needed more.... found Wagner's pastiche Bran Mak Morn: Legion From The Shadows... loved that... then discovered Kane. Cripes, I over 30yrs old I think.

Gods in Darkness The Complete Novels of Kane by Karl Edward Wagner Midnight Sun The Complete Stories of Kane by Karl Edward Wagner

Any other confessions out there of when "you" discovered Kane?


message 22: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Oh, and now that I've finished rereading the books, I started listening to the podcast and am quite enjoying it.


message 23: by Jordan (last edited Sep 19, 2018 01:42PM) (new)

Jordan | 24 comments Joseph wrote: "Oh, and now that I've finished rereading the books, I started listening to the podcast and am quite enjoying it."

Thanks for giving the podcast a listen!

I think my first interaction with Kane was 'The Gothic Touch' in high school. I was a huge Elric fan and got the Elric: Tales of the White Wolf as one of the selections for the month for the Science Fiction Book Club.

I next encountered 'Undertow' in The Sword & Sorcery Anthology. I didn't put two and two together until I read 'Bloodstone' in a 70s sword and sorcery club I was in. After that, I was hooked.

Loved reading your posts. After working through the series any stand out as a favorite?


message 24: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments Joseph wrote: "Did he write any non-Kane novels (aside from the two REH pastiches)?"

He co-wrote Killer with David Drake. There is some debate about who wrote what though.

He also wrote erotica and had one published novel The Other Women under the name Kent Allard (from Sticks!). That novel is super rare, I've never seen anyone willing to sell it.


message 25: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jordan wrote: "He co-wrote Killer with David Drake. There is some debate about who wrote what though.

He also wrote erotica and had one published novel The Other Women under the name Kent Allard (from Sticks!). That novel is super rare, I've never seen anyone willing to sell it. "


That's right -- I have a copy of Killer somewhere but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The Kent Allard thing is news to me, though. (And Allard also gets mentioned in the modern-day Kane story "At First Just Ghostly", although I don't remember if he actually appeared onstage.)


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Oooh it looks like KEW used “Kent Allard” several times. Interesting


message 27: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Jordan wrote: "Loved reading your posts. After working through the series any stand out as a favorite?"

For short stories, I've always had a soft spot for "Misericorde", although my list would also include "Reflections for the Winter of My Soul" and pretty much everything in Night Winds.

For the novels, if I had to pick one, I'd probably say Bloodstone even though it was his first, and I think his technique had improved for Darkness Weaves and Dark Crusade.

Hmmm … might be a shorter list if I mentioned the ones that weren't favorites …

(On a mostly unrelated note, after listening to the "Undertow" episode of the podcast, one of my favorite "resurrection gone wrong" stories is "Where There's a Will" by Richard Matheson and Richard Christian Matheson, which I first encountered in Kirby McCauley's Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror, the same place I read my first KEW story.)


message 28: by S.E., Gray Mouser (Emeritus) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
Check out the Misericorde read along episode!


https://thedarkcrusade.wordpress.com/...


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2342 comments Mod
The Dark Crusade podcast wraps up soon:

“We’ll be back at the end of October with the last episode of the season, we’ll be covering both ‘The Treasure of Lynortis’ and ‘Lynortis Reprise’. Check back throughout the month as I’ll be posting about The Year’s Best Horror Stories Series IX.”


message 30: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1268 comments Mod
Yep, I'm all caught up now. The "Misericorde" episode was interesting -- I didn't realize it had actually been published in a tabletop RPG magazine initially.


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