Last Monday, I packed up MBW and the HA for a road trip. I pointed the vehicle east and we headed for Yellowstone. We decided to take the journey in two stages. I’ve done eighteen and twenty hour stretches, and we could have made the trip in, perhaps, fourteen hours. But I doubted the HA would tolerate it well. So we stopped Monday night at a hotel on the Oregon/Idaho border. The HA played in the pool. Next day, bright and early, we trekked on, reaching West Yellowstone in the afternoon.
I have a number of well-worn anthologies on my shelves. It has been said that shorter fiction is the proper length for Swords-and-Sorcery. Maybe so. At least in an anthology the reader has access to multiple imagined worlds in a single volume instead of the single world of a novel. I thought I’d investigate this somewhat, revisiting these collections. And what better volume to start with than Flashing Swords #3?
I thought I’d offer a change of pace this week. Something different from my usual blathering. I’m offering a snippet from my novel Thick As Thieves. I hope you get a kick out of it.
If I were to distill the elements of Swords-and-Sorcery to their essence, what story would I find pooled at the bottom of the alembic?
To answer such a question, I’d first have to gather the elements. It requires a confident man or an arrogant fool to think he knows what those elements are. Let’s take a collective leap and pretend I’m not a fool. Moving forward, let’s see if we can glean the fundamental components of S&S.
What are the best taverns in fantasy? Where do you imagine yourself sipping a pint in rather unusual company? The genre is full of these joints, though most, sadly, go nameless. Of course, some of these you’d probably just as soon avoid, like a den of merriment in Arenjun’s Maul, in Zamora.
Who is the most American of fantasy heroes? I ignited enough fireworks yesterday in the course of Independence Day festivities to get me feeling good and patriotic. And as a patriotic writer of fabulism, it should come as little surprise that the opening question occurred to me.
I took MBW and the HA for an excursion yesterday. We needed to shake the rust off and see new horizons. So, skirting south of Mt. Hood, then along its eastern flanks for a while, until we cut due east through a national forest, winding along a narrow road, then north to the Columbia River at The Dalles.
It is Father’s Day. I’m busy enjoying it, so this will be short. Let me just say that I can think of worse ways to burn a couple of hours than heading to woods with a minor arsenal and a hundred bucks or so worth of ammunition.
I hope your day is equally on target.
And now, time to start cleaning.
I’d hoped to devote this web log post to an announcement. But circumstances under the control of third parties instead of mine must delay that announcement. Next week, knock on wood.
No use crying over spilled beer. No, not even spilled beer, though that is indeed tragic. So, instead, I’ll use this time to write about something else.