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

Karl Edward Wagner
This topic is about Karl Edward Wagner
31 views
Group Reads > B) Sept-Oct 2020 - KEW's Kane

Comments Showing 1-50 of 56 (56 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
Focus on KEW's Kane, but other Wagner works are fair game.


message 2: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
We could always use "discussion leaders" which can be (a) reader's experiencing Kane for the first time, (b) old-timers re-reading, or (c) fans who like to stimulate discussion.


message 3: by David (new)

David Malaski | 70 comments One of my favorite Wagner novels was "Bloodstone", It showed sword and sorcery could have not just an antihero but a true badass.


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
A while back there was an awesome Podcast read along at:
https://thedarkcrusade.wordpress.com/

I'm hoping to lure Jordan Douglas Smith here.


message 5: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 317 comments beauty of a banner, Seth! I'm not very good at keeping in time with these reads but I'll be eagerly watching and planning on partaking in this Kane read.


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
Jason! I'm glad the banner called to you. Charge!


message 7: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 389 comments I have read all the Kane short stories and novels at least once, but it’s been a while. I wouldn’t mind re-reading Road of Kings in the Conan series again; I last read that one about 30 years ago!


message 8: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments S.E. wrote: "A while back there was an awesome Podcast read along at:
https://thedarkcrusade.wordpress.com/

I'm hoping to lure Jordan Douglas Smith here."


I'm officially lured in! Just finished reading "Reflections for the Winter of my Soul" from Death Angel's Shadow. Doing some background research now and I hope to help stimulate conversations in September!


message 9: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
sweet!


message 10: by S.E., Gray Mouser (last edited Aug 24, 2020 09:21AM) (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
Unsolved Mysteries: All, recall the recent KEW discussion started by Clint that inspired this groupread: KEW discussion link
--> We discussed the availability of KEW's works... and Unsolved Mysteries regarding KEW's estate and who can approve republication. We can continue that discussion here.

Banners: Also, I found a few banners of KEW groupreads since 2013. The Goodreads search option is not playing nice, otherwise I'd post links to the old discussions. Maybe later.

description
description
description


message 11: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 317 comments Jordan wrote: "I'm hoping to lure Jordan Douglas Smith here."

I'm officially lured in! Just finished ..."


Cool! Welcome, looking forward to some more Kane talk.


message 12: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 317 comments S.E. wrote: "Unsolved Mysteries: All, recall the recent KEW discussion started by Clint that inspired this groupread: KEW discussion link
--> We discussed the availability of KEW's works... and Unsolved Mysteri..."


beautiful collection of your fine work, Seth! RBF would be beyond thrilled to be able to republish new paperbacks of Kane!


message 13: by Christian (last edited Aug 31, 2020 04:37PM) (new)

Christian (wildcolonialboy) | 51 comments Around 10 or 12 year ago I got lucky and scored a 5 book set of the Coronet paperbacks of the Kane series off ebay. Very good condition as well, so I was quite happy with that. Ended up only reading Night Winds though so I'm looking forward to the next two months. I'll be rereading that one again first as I don't remember much, except werewolves!


message 14: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
Christian, nice. Fill us in as you go.


message 15: by Christian (new)

Christian (wildcolonialboy) | 51 comments Will do.

Around the same time (it would have been after the GFC of 2008 as that was the only time I can remember the Aussie dollar being stronger than the US dollar, great for overseas book buying, which I did a lot of) I also picked up KEW's 2 volume horror short story collection from Centipede Press, Where the Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume One and Walk on the Wild Side: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume Two, which I've also never read.

I'm wondering, since I first discovered KEW through his reputation as a outstanding horror author, who else came to him through the horror field or was it his S&S work?


message 16: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments I discovered KEW through S&S, but of the bit I have read, the short horror story “Sticks” is what (sorry) sticks with me


message 17: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments I encountered his S&S first, I had read "The Gothic Touch" in a Moorcock tribute anthology and then "Misericorde" in a S&S anthology. However it wasn't until I borrowed Volume 1 of the Centipede horror collection that I got hooked. I tore through all his horror and have gone back and read the S&S.

Has anyone started reading Death Angel's Shadow for this read yet?


message 18: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
My first encounter with Wagner (although I didn't realize it at the time) was his short story "Where the Summer Ends" in Kirby McCauley's anthology Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror.

I knew of the existence of Kane from Wagner's entry in Baird Searles' A Reader's Guide to Fantasy, which I checked out from the library repeatedly when I was in high school.

I didn't actually read a Kane story, though, until I ordered The Book of Kane direct from Donald M. Grant (as well as Robert E. Howard's Kull with the excellent Ned Dameron illustrations) while I was in college.

Then, a few years later, I was lucky enough to score all of the Warner paperbacks (plus the horror collections) at Uncle Hugo's. Great stuff!


message 19: by S.wagenaar (new)

S.wagenaar | 389 comments My first encounter with Wagner was Road of Kings, the Berkley Conan novel. Eventually I stumble across a copy of Bloodstone, and actively sought out his work ever since.


message 20: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments https://youtu.be/XVAK9l1I2Ws
If it’s ever finished, I look forward to this documentary about KEW


message 21: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments Elaborating last post: the producers have a Facebook page. I wrote them a couple of months back. They are still working on it, but COVID-19 set them back.


message 22: by Brian (new)

Brian K  | 39 comments I'm past half-way through B L O O D S T O N E and very much enjoying it! My first read of KEW. I find it to be real 'page turner' and have been reading more than usual since I started it!

The one small hitch that gave me pause was the same issue that reviewer Devyn Kennedy gave a 2 star review over about the dialog giving way too much info and spelling out the whole scheme as a way for the reader to grasp whats going on. At first, I thought to myself 'i doubt anybody would go on like this in the heat of battle or the anxiety of escape etc..' but my brain quickly became 'okay' with it when I said to myself "hey, this is fantasy and maybe they simply talk this way 'in these lands' ." Personally, I think I'm slightly more -intrigued- than I am put off with the info so it really doesn't ruin anything for me. Kane is hundreds of years old here and maybe that's just the way he is or has become. And yeah, I could use a dictionary too sometimes but that only reminds me of how many new words and things Dungeons & Dragons taught me when I was 13 (like inverted ziggurats and glaive guisarmes for example and i even spelled those correctly the first time!)

Overall, I'm easily at 4.5-5.00 so far and very much interested in reading my Kane collection. I'll probably move on to some short stories after this. And I might add that I very much like Centipede Press' typesetting and sizing making for an easy read.


message 23: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments I too am reading Bloodstone. It’s my first read of. I’m about 3/4 through and my thoughts are much the same.


message 24: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments I finished Bloodstone. I read in someone’s review it’s like Jack Vance writing acid gothic fantasy. That’s about accurate. KEW doesn’t have the humor of JV, but he does have the vocabulary.

From reviews I’ve read, most think Bloodstone is the best Kane novel. I’ve only read it and Dark Crusade, I preferred Bloodstone over DC.

Some of KEW’s descriptions were evocative. I highlighted those I enjoyed.

I read somewhere that the Gateway ebooks were poorly formatted. I did not find this the case, and will buy more of them. I will say, the cover is garbage. Goodreads shows a plain yellow cover with red lettering. That’s not the cover of my ebook. It’s a generic photo of a warrior wearing a helmet. It does not stand up to the Frazetta greatness that exists I hard to find paperbacks.



If


message 25: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments If I were to read more Kane for this group read, I think I would go with short stories. I’ve read a few collected here and there, but not many. This October, for Halloween, I plan on reading (again — I love it) “Sticks” by KEW. Great read


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
I'll reread Sticks with you


message 27: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments Great Seth!


message 28: by Jason M (last edited Sep 20, 2020 08:33AM) (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 317 comments Read Conan: The Road of Kings first for this KEW read. This has been on my shelves for years, sort of in a 'holding off pastiche/holy grail' type pattern. My review thoughts reveal that while it ended strongly and I gave it 4 stars, it isn't the book I'd long anticipated. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

On to re-reading Death Angel's Shadow - finally cracking open my Centipede Press edition :)


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

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
ooh. I am curious how many did grab the Centipede editions. I see Jason has one. Others?


message 30: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
Me! They're lovely, lovely things.


message 31: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments I only have two of them, Dark Crusade and luckily picked up Darkness Weaves at a library sale.


message 32: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 317 comments I instantly nabbed the full box set, one of the few authors/characters I'd do that for.


message 33: by Jason M (new)

Jason M Waltz (worddancer) | 317 comments edit: one of the few authors/characters I'd convince my wife to let me do that for :)


message 34: by Brian (last edited Sep 21, 2020 07:57AM) (new)

Brian K  | 39 comments I have the full set of Centipede unsigned Kane.


message 35: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
Anyone buy the Centipede editions without spousal/parental consent and want to confess or seek approval from a bunch of book hauling addicts?


message 36: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
Me!


The Joy of Erudition | 135 comments Alas, not I. My last book haul was at a book festival almost a year ago, and I don't see any more book festivals on the horizon for a while.

The haul didn't include any Wagner, and unless he contributed stories to fantasy magazines, I don't think I have any of his work in my library.


message 38: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
@Clint, I just cracked open my Stephen Jones Zombies collection that contains KEW's "Sticks." Been a while. I love the first paragraph....and the afterward that explains that the protagonist was based off of illustrator Lee Brown Coye. Have you done your reread?


message 39: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments @Seth, no. I’m away from home until the end of next week. I was thinking of re-reading Sticks and A Blackwood’s “The Willows” for my spooky month reads. Two of my favorite creepy tales.


message 40: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
I reread the Kane books a couple of years ago, so this time around I'm going to be reading Wagner's Howard pastiches -- just started Conan: The Road of Kings, and am planning to follow it with Bran Mak Morn: Legion From The Shadows.


message 41: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 24 comments Continuing my read of Death Angel’s Shadow. It reminds me how much I love how Wagner mixes genre with his Kane stories. “Reflections” had a great gothic, who-done-it feel and “Cold Light” has a very western feel. It’s reminding me of Wagner’s love of Sam Peckinpah. Does anyone else dig his mashups? Are there other authors folks recommend who do the mashup well?


message 42: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments @Jordan, I cannot answer your question well, but I do love mashups. I will seek the stories out you mentioned


message 43: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments Further thought to Jordan’s question: S&S works for me as a genre I believe because it is a mashup. Howard built it on the bones of historical fiction. I often find parallels between S&S and westerns or S&S and hard-boiled, etc..


message 44: by T.C. (new)

T.C. Rypel (tedrypel) | 123 comments I've said this before, here and in various fantasy forums and interviews. That particular Wagner volume of Kane stories, DEATH ANGEL'S SHADOW, was the final eureka!-epiphany-spearpoint prod that drove me to create my own Gonji series of heroic-fantasy adventures.

There were many influences, of course, in a lifetime's reading regimen. But DAS sparked an internal-combustion explosion, triggered a synthesis of formerly abstract thoughts---how to approach exotic character and conflict in a universal, timeless fashion; how best to handle language and tone; how to blend pace, plot, reader expectation, auctorial passion, and some sense of lyricism.

Wagner was a master of these techniques.


message 45: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
I haven't read them myself (yet), but I understand Joe Abercrombie does that kind of thing from time to time -- Red Country is essentially a western, e.g.


message 46: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
And finished Conan: The Road of Kings (it was fairly short -- I'd estimate not a whole lot longer than Hour of the Dragon) and moving on to Bran Mak Morn: Legion From The Shadows.


message 47: by Joseph, Master Ultan (new)

Joseph | 1248 comments Mod
And finished Bran Mak Morn: Legion From The Shadows and it's a shame it's out of print because that might be the best Howard pastiche I've ever read.


message 48: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments @Joseph, based upon your review, I ordered a copy of Legion from Abe Books

@Seth, I will read Sticks this week


message 49: by S.E., Gray Mouser (new)

S.E. Lindberg (selindberg) | 2289 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "And finished Bran Mak Morn: Legion From The Shadows and it's a shame it's out of print because that might be the best Howard pastiche I've ever read."

I recall loving Legion from the Shadows....I should reread that,

@Clint...Go Sticks!


message 50: by Clint (new)

Clint | 285 comments As promised Seth, I re-read Sticks. Not as great as memory served.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


« previous 1
back to top