Some things are true serendipity, others are more deliberately linked. I’m going with the latter in the case at hand. You see, I’m nearing completion of the sequel to Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger, and the climax occurs at The Alamo. At about the time I commenced writing that chapter I needed to download a new audio book. Searching for this and that I came across a book I’d heard of before, but hadn’t read, by one of my favorite writers: The Alamo, by John Myers Myers.
“By Mitra, this bird is as plump as a Zingaran concubine,” quoth Conan.
Conan slid his broadsword free of its shagreen wrapped hilt and skewered the turkey. He raised his sword one-handed, hoisting the bird from its silver platter without a tremor of strain displayed on the corded forearm projecting from the sleeve of his royal robe, despite the additional twenty pounds weighing down the three foot length of steel.
“Now, who shall carve this beast?” the king asked. “Certainly not thou, Valeria,” he said, addressing the she-pirate seated to his left. “Carving is man’s work.”
Perhaps you are new to this planet, or have been living in a bomb shelter all your life with limited reading material. Maybe you recently stumbled upon a trove of Molly Hatchet album covers at a garage sale, with those paintings by Frank Frazetta and you start wondering what is all this about. Well, given those farfetched hypotheticals, or something similar, I’m here to offer the five writers you should familiarize yourself with to become conversant with the Swords and Sorcery genre.
Swords & Sorcery is one of those terms that defies precise definition. So, it is, I suppose, another one of those other concepts that can be encapsulated in the phrase “I know it when I see it.” And there is, I think, a certain prurience involved, without which S&S would fail to distinguish itself as a distinctive branch of Fantasy.
Monday is Veterans Day. My own time in uniform is far behind me. When compared to the real sacrifice and achievement of so many, I tend to think it of small consequence. So I likely undervalue the day itself, seeing it more in terms of a free appetizer or meal discount, of hearing “Thank you for your service” more times than I’m comfortable with (that number starts at about one.)
I am about two-thirds of the way through re-reading Glen Cook’s Black Company novels. This time through (the second for the later novels, the third for the earlier) I think I’m better able to appreciate more of the subtleties. Some of that may be due to reading them straight through, without the long gaps that accompany awaiting publication.
Just when you think you have Karl Thorson cornered, he’ll come at you from an unexpected angle. I mean, I didn’t think Karl Thorson and the Jade Dagger would see publication until November 15. And yet, here it is late October and the book is already out. That’s our Carlos for you; if you don’t keep your head on a swivel, he’ll ambush you.
The countdown to a book release is for me what the countdown to Christmas is for a kid. I want the day to hurry up and get here. My present is offering something I created to you. I’m so damn noble, ain’t I?
I suspect it is an industry standard: the 250, 150, and 50 word synopsis. It may be that some authors, occupying celestial strata I can only dream of, have a publisher’s marketing department write these. I don’t know, I have to do it myself.
MBW is away on business. Thus, as you may have guessed by now, this web log post will consist of movie reviews.