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

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Group Reads > 2015 Jan-Feb (a) Anthologies

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message 1: by S.E., Gray Mouser (last edited Dec 17, 2017 10:58AM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
(1) Anthologies : Since Sword & Sorcery was largely born through the short-story format, collections are an appropriate way to learn the genre and discover authors. Don’t know where to start? Ask the group for a recommendation, or check out the sampling of Anthologies, old and new, as shown in this group’s bookshelf. You are challenged (invited?) to track any one down and share your journey with the group. Feel welcome to add to the bookshelf if you know how, or ask for help to expand the list.


message 2: by S.E., Gray Mouser (last edited Dec 26, 2014 01:32PM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
I have two anthologies ready to go on my Kindle that have been itching to escape my to-read pile: Azieran Adventures Presents Artifacts and Relics: Extreme Sorcery and Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology. I'll be starting soon, once I finish up Gonji: The Soul Within the Steel.

Azieran Adventures Presents Artifacts and Relics Extreme Sorcery by Smith, David C. Griots A Sword and Soul Anthology by Milton J. Davis


message 3: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) | 205 comments I need to grab a soul anthology. Gonna be a bit though. Worst case, I'll read through my Conan anthologies.


message 4: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Rypel (TedRypel) | 117 comments S.E. wrote: "I have two anthologies ready to go on my Kindle that have been itching to escape my to-read pile: Azieran Adventures Presents Artifacts and Relics: Extreme Sorcery and [book:Griots:..."

I'm honored that Act II of the GONJI Deathwind Trilogy is on your meter, Seth.


message 5: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments Might join this read with Storm Season by Robert Lynn Asprin, a book I'd started many years ago but didn't finish for some reason. It might be worth re-reading the first three volumes in the series beforehand but I think I'll go ahead with this one. I also have the fifth volume - The Face of Chaos (Thieves' World, #5) by Robert Lynn Asprin - but never read it! Must get around to reading it as well.


message 6: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 309 comments I have several anthologies on my bookshelf, and in most cases I have not read every story in every anthology. This is what I like about these collections; the ease of access to short, fun tales to kill a little time, then back on the shelf while you tackle something bigger. I think I have Barbarians I and II, a couple of the Flashing Swords series, and all five of the Swords Darkness series; lots to choose from.BarbariansSwords Against Darkness


message 7: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
S.wagenaar wrote: "I have several anthologies on my bookshelf, and in most cases I have not read every story in every anthology. This is what I like about these collections; the ease of access to short, fun tales to ..."

Great point, S.wagenaar. Anthologies are made for being experienced in small, nonlinear doses too. Reading 1-story from any anthology is good enough to chime in here.


message 8: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments Decisions, decisions -- I do have some unread ones (Barbarians by Robert Adams, for example), but it's also been a few years since I last reread Kingdoms of Sorcery and Realms Of Wizardry, possibly my favorite Lin Carter anthologies.


message 9: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 309 comments Well, I think I will start with Swohttps://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2133374-2015-jan-feb-a-anthologies#rds Against Darkness vol #1. The first tale is Nekht Semerkeht by Robert E Howard and Andrew J Offutt. The story is an incomplete Howard tale finished by Offutt following Howard's outline-a tale of a lost Spanish Conquistador in the wilds of 1500's American South West. Once part of Coronado's expedition, he now finds adventure, a lost race and creepy mystery in the desert. for some reason, I have never read this tale, despite having it in at least two different collections. I am on the night shift tonight, so I will give it a go and report back soon...


message 11: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments Sarah wrote: "I enjoyed Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery, edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan."

I read that a couple of years ago -- lots of good stuff, and introduced me to some great authors.


message 12: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 309 comments Well, I finished Nekht Semerkeht last night, and it was not bad. A little slow at first, with de Guzman spending a lot of time in deep thought as he trudged on foot through the wilderness, completely lost. Once he stumbles onto the lost Aztec city, things pick up. This story has a great Weird Tales vibe about it, and the title character is an ancient Egyptian who is suitably creepy and evil. Andrew Offutt did a pretty good job finishing this story, with no jarring differences in style. A minor story in the vast world of REH tales, but still fun; two and a half stars out of five.


message 13: by S.E., Gray Mouser (last edited Jan 03, 2015 09:57AM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
For what it is worth, there is "Best Heroic Anthologies" list being voted on right now. Lots of good ones on there, many including authors and editors from this group...and many old classic.

To be clear, this list is not a "sword and sorcery" group sponsored list, and I'm not sure who started it. But it is of interest. Votes as desired:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3...


message 14: by S.wagenaar (last edited Jan 04, 2015 12:09PM) (new)

S.wagenaar | 309 comments Started reading The Ring of Set, by Richard Tierney. This tale is set ancient Rome, featuring Tierney's Simon of Gitta and also linked to Robert E Howard's Hyborian age via a ring once belonging to the sorcerer Thoth-Amon; cool concept! This could be a good one.


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Avery (SarahAvery) | 17 comments That list shows the usual confusion about the difference between anthologies (must have works by multiple authors) and collections (all the works must be by the same author or team). Alas, there are more single-author collections there than actual anthologies. All the books look like good books, though.


message 16: by Greg (last edited Jan 06, 2015 06:23AM) (new)

Greg | 320 comments Started reading Storm Season yesterday. I don't know why I didn't finish this book when I started it years ago! The introduction (actually a short story in its own right) and the first formal story are both by Robert Lynn Asprin. The first focuses on the story-teller, Hakiem, while the second focuses on the former gladiator, Jubal, although Hakiem makes an appearance there too. Mysterious goings on, violence, magic and good quality writing - all good ingredients so far.


message 17: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments OK, it's been sitting on my shelf far too long, so I just picked up Swords and Sorcerers: Stories from the Worlds of Fantasy and Adventure, edited by Clint Willis. Although as I look at the table of contents, I'm not sure how many actual swords, nor how many actual sorcerers, it contains. Further details as events warrant ...


message 18: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Finished Azieran Adventures Presents Artifacts and Relics: Extreme Sorcery. This collection worked for me. It essentially extends the thematic Rogue Blade Entertainment anthology series.

Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I'm onto Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology next!


message 19: by Steve (new)

Steve Goble | 99 comments Thanks so much for the kind words, sir!


message 20: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) | 205 comments I said i was gonna read on some Conan but my books aare still in boxes in the garage after moving. Can't get to them right now and no money for new books.


message 21: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Ashe wrote: "I said i was gonna read on some Conan but my books aare still in boxes in the garage after moving. Can't get to them right now and no money for new books."

Ashe, I recommend checking out:
1)http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/
2)http://www.swordsandsorcerymagazine.com/
3)http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/

These on-line e-zines are effectively anthologies (collections of short stories), just online. Many stories, if not all, are free I believe.


message 22: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments If anyone's still looking for something (or many somethings) to add to their anthology shelf, it looks like back issues of most or all of Black Gate's 15 issue run are available:

http://www.blackgate.com/black-gate-s...

One issue (15) is currently available for Kindle; they also sell PDF versions of at least a few of their more recent issues, but the PDFs never quite worked for me -- the magazine was laid out in two-column format, which didn't convert into anything usable on a Kindle, at least not without an obscene amount of manual work on my part.

Lots of great stories, plus columns, reviews, etc.


message 23: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) | 205 comments Hey, free S&S stories. I really gotta snatch up a Sword & Soul antho when I have the cash too.


message 24: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments Also, Black Gate has a ton of free fiction on their website, some from the magazine and some original.


message 25: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments Ashe wrote: "I said i was gonna read on some Conan but my books aare still in boxes in the garage after moving. Can't get to them right now and no money for new books."

Aaargh! I know what that's like having moved 3-4 years ago.

S.E. wrote: "Ashe wrote: "I said i was gonna read on some Conan but my books aare still in boxes in the garage after moving. Can't get to them right now and no money for new books."

Ashe, I recommend checking..."


Haven't checked those out myself until now - thanks for the links Seth!

Joseph wrote: "Also, Black Gate has a ton of free fiction on their website, some from the magazine and some original."

And I should revisit there more often too!


message 26: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) | 205 comments The place still isn't put together enough to bother pulling out the books either. Oh well. Stories to read on the links, we're good.


message 27: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments Ashe wrote: "The place still isn't put together enough to bother pulling out the books either. Oh well. Stories to read on the links, we're good."

It's only when I bought 4 bookcases at a post-Christmas sale that I was able to start shelving most of my books again (although I'd also got three other bookcases cheaply in auctions).


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

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Greg wrote: "It's only when I bought 4 bookcases at a post-C..."

And how many bookcases does a bookworm need, if a bookworm could case books?


message 29: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments S.E. wrote: "Greg wrote: "It's only when I bought 4 bookcases at a post-C..."

And how many bookcases does a bookworm need, if a bookworm could case books?"


Interesting that you mention bookworms as I'd found that one of my paperbacks had been attacked by a bookworm (or more likely a woodworm) when I was packing them up to bring to my house. There were no bugs present, just some tunnels and a lot of fine dust in them.


message 30: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "That list shows the usual confusion about the difference between anthologies (must have works by multiple authors) and collections (all the works must be by the same author or team). Alas, there ar..."

Sarah, the bookshelf tags are not perfect, but there are tags/folders for both Collections and Anthologies. I think any member can Edit these and change the categories, so everyone should please feel welcome to tidy up any errors.

LINKS
Bookshelf-Anthologies

Bookshelf-Collections


message 31: by S.E., Gray Mouser (last edited Jan 22, 2015 03:09AM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "If anyone's still looking for something (or many somethings) to add to their anthology shelf, it looks like back issues of most or all of Black Gate's 15 issue run are available: http://www.blackg..."

To add on the fragmented conversation on free online "anthology-like" collections:
Paizo Online Web Fiction - Short Stories
http://paizo.com/pathfinder/tales/serial

Looks like Paizo has a decent library, which has contributions from group members Howard Andrew Jones , Richard Lee Byers, Bill Ward...and more (please chime in if I missed some).


message 32: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments S.E. wrote: "To add on the fragmented conversation on free online "anthology-like" collections:
Paizo Online Web Fiction - Short Stories
http://paizo.com/pathfinder/tales/serial"


Ahem! I've been a member of Paizo for a few years but due to not being very active there (beyond availing of last year's Great Golem Sale), I never knew these free short stories were available on the site! I'll be checking it out more often now, though.

Incidentally, anyone interested in writing (unpaid) scenarios might be interested in the Pathfinder Society Open Call (http://paizo.com/pathfinderSociety/ge...).


message 33: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments I finished Swords and Sorcerers: Stories from the Worlds of Fantasy and Adventure. It was kind of middling -- seemed specifically designed to be given to young people to get them reading. Had excerpts from, amongst other things, The Princess Bride, Three Musketeers, Musashi and Bernard Cornwall's Excalibur. No actual sword & sorcery, though -- well, it brushed the margins with Dunsany's Hoard of the Gibbelins, which was by far the best story in the book.

I'm not sorry I read it, but it probably doesn't warrant seeking out.


message 34: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Greg wrote: "S.E. wrote: "Ahem! I've been a..."

Greg, the other Paizo folks listed above had short stories listed on the Web Fiction, but I am glad you chimed in. I am not an active RPG player so I get things confused at time, but I recall from our conversations now that you wrote content (scenarios?) for Neverwinter Nights 2 and Heroquest. Are those Paizo based? In any event, I love the diversity of authors and readers here.

The Open Call for scenario writing looks interesting. It seems that should be shared outside the Anthology thread too. That may go well in our Networking section. I just made a new folder for writing opportunities, please repost there: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 35: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) | 205 comments What with it being Howard's 109th birthday, I may be forced to trudge through the garage in search of The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard.

And i really hope we get some writing ops rolling in for the new thread.


message 36: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments S.E. wrote: "Greg wrote: "S.E. wrote: "Ahem! I've been a..."

Greg, the other Paizo folks listed above had short stories listed on the Web Fiction, but I am glad you chimed in. I am not an active RPG player so ..."


Reposted it! :)

I did indeed write a scenario for Heroquest (the Milton Bradley/Games Workshop boardgame/role-playing game crossover) which was published in Adventures Unlimited in 1996. Because the game is no longer in print, all of the published material relating to it is now widely bootlegged online. Fans have even translated my scenario into French, German and Spanish! The Neverwinter Nights 2 connection is that a player who programmed a free, downloadable, mod for this online computer game had based it on my scenario.

As for Paizo (which is not connected with Heroquest), I've been interested in getting back into gaming and thought I should read up on Pathfinder by purchasing a bunch of campaign books and modules relating to the game at greatly discounted prices. I only got the box of books yesterday at the post office - it was like Christmas all over again! When I mentioned this to a friend he wondered if it would be possible to play the game online - I guess via Skype. Not sure how well that would work but it's an interesting idea.


message 37: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (SELindberg) | 1599 comments Mod
Blackgate has a timely post on Karl Edward Wagner's EChoes of Valor series:
http://www.blackgate.com/2015/01/18/v...

The second two looked very interesting, and somehow I found myself ordering all 3 from Amazon. Anyone read these? If so, what is Nictzin Dyalhis's style like?

Echoes of Valor by Karl Edward Wagner Echoes of Valor II by Karl Edward Wagner Echoes of Valor III by Karl Edward Wagner


message 38: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 309 comments I have the first one, and it has 3 novellas in it, so I cannot comment on the next two books, which features several shorter stories. The first book is good, in my opinion.


message 39: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments All three of them are well worth your time. The only slight niggle is that in EOV2 the two versions of Frost Giant's Daughter are very similar, so you might want to space them out a bit.

I remember enjoying Nictzin Dyalhis' stories although I can't actually remember anything specific about them, other than that Nictzin Dyalhis is the greatest name ever for a fantasy author.

(Someday I want to write a sword & sorcery story about the adventures of those two loveable rogues, Nictzin Dyalhis and Vlada Chvatl (a Polish board game designer).)


message 40: by Steve (new)

Steve Goble | 99 comments DYalhis is pure fun, and that's all there is to it. Not serious stuff, just fun!


message 41: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments S.E. wrote: "Blackgate has a timely post on Karl Edward Wagner's EChoes of Valor series:
http://www.blackgate.com/2015/01/18/v...

T..."


Looks interesting, so I added it to my TBR shelf.

Joseph wrote: "All three of them are well worth your time. The only slight niggle is that in EOV2 the two versions of Frost Giant's Daughter are very similar, so you might want to space them out a bit.

I rememb..."


It's odd that two versions of the same story would be given back-to-back in the same anthology.


message 42: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments Greg wrote: "It's odd that two versions of the same story would be given back-to-back in the same anthology.

I think the goal was to be kind of academic. But in this case, the two version of the story were so similar that for a casual reader they needed some spacing.


message 43: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments Joseph wrote: "Greg wrote: "It's odd that two versions of the same story would be given back-to-back in the same anthology.

I think the goal was to be kind of academic. But in this case, the two version of the ..."


OK. So are these annotated books then?


message 44: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments Greg wrote: "OK. So are these annotated books then?"

Nothing that formal; but Wagner was writing some pretty lengthy, research-heavy introductions (at least in II and III) and was using the series to reprint stories that had been kind of languishing in obscurity since the pulp days.


message 45: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments Sounds like the introductions would make interesting reading in their own right!


message 46: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments Greg wrote: "Sounds like the introductions would make interesting reading in their own right!"

Oh, they do! Wagner really knew his stuff.


message 47: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments Just read about Wagner on Wikipedia and checked out his Web site. It's a pity he died so young from alcoholism. I'm intrigued about his stance on psychiatry (particularly as he qualified in that profession) as I'm inclined to think, as he did, that it can do as much harm as good to clients. He probably should have continued studying history as postgrad level! I'll be keeping an eye out for his stuff.


message 48: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 854 comments If you haven't read the Kane books yet, you're in for a treat -- and they all went up on Kindle recently, which is good since they're all currently out-of-print and not cheap. Centipede Press is going to be doing new hardcovers, but they also won't be cheap ...


message 49: by Greg (new)

Greg | 320 comments I haven't read any of his stuff yet, let alone the Kane books! I'd like to find some paperbacks of his - in a secondhand bookshop - so I'll have to revisit some to see if they have anything by Wagner. He was prolific enough that there should be something of his around!


message 50: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 309 comments The Warner Kane paperbacks are fairly common, and run about $10 a pop for decent copies-but mint condition books are much more. There are two hardcover collections from a few years ago that command stupid high prices, and the new Centipede Press hardcovers (5 books, I think) are gonna run $50+ each; too much for me. The paperbacks and ebooks are good enough to get your fix of Kane, and still have money to eat and pay bills...:)


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