by Lillian Csernica on April 7, 2015
It seems that once again I have allowed myself to get carried away by my enthusiasm for the subject at hand. I was supposed to take Sunday off, but I got caught up in the excitement and pleasure of trading comments and visits with you folks and I forgot.
Let’s take a breather today and turn our attention from sword & sorcery movies to the genre itself. A lot has been written about the popularity of sword & sorcery as a subgenre. Fantasy comes in so many different flavors these days, so many niche markets clamoring to be filled. Heroic fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy…. I’d like to share with you some of the writings I have found to be thought-provoking to me as a reader and helpful to me as a writer.
“On Thud and Blunder” by Poul Anderson
“Defining Sword and Sorcery” by Howard Andrew Jones
“A Brief History of Sword & Sorcery” by G.W. Thomas
Literary Criticism about the works of Robert E. Howard (This is not stuffy MFA reading. It’s at http://www.BarbarianKeep.com.)
This article from Advanced Dungeons and Parenting.com. (Seriously. It’s a real site.)
In the course of my career I have had two stories appear in Weird Tales. One of those stories even got my name on the cover. The other story saw my name on the same Table of Contents with Tanith Lee and Don Webb, two of the finest writers I’ve ever read in a lifetime of bibliophilia. They share this same distinction: every story I have ever read by either of them I have thoroughly enjoyed. How often can you say that about any author?
While I’m at it, I might as well provide you with a list of my other favorite sword & sorcery authors:
Fritz Leiber, Ill-Met in Lankhmar
C.L. Moore, Jirel of Joiry
Robert E. Howard, Red Nails
Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melnibone
Glen Cook, The Garrett Files
The works of Lord Dunsany
….and so many, many more!