Leigh Brackett, The Planetary Romantic
Mar05

Leigh Brackett, The Planetary Romantic

Leigh Brackett, The Planetary Romantic by Ryan Harvey If you were a science-fiction reader in the 1940s, you knew there was one place to turn for a high quality, intelligent stories: Astounding Science Fiction. Under the editorship of John W. Campbell, Astounding was the spot for brainy speculative fiction. You didn’t look for that type of smarts over at Planet Stories, which was only interested in laser guns and trashy adventure...

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Sword and Planet as Blood and Thunder: Robert E. Howard’s Almuric
Feb19

Sword and Planet as Blood and Thunder: Robert E. Howard’s Almuric

Sword and Planet as Blood and Thunder: Robert E. Howard’s Almuric by Bill Ward “’Lead us to Yugga, Esau Ironhand!’ cried Than Swordswinger. ‘Lead us to Yagg, or lead us to Hell! We will stain the waters of Yogh with blood, and the Yagas will speak of us with shudders for ten thousand times a thousand years!’” —Almuric, Robert E. Howard Robert E. Howard is a member of that select group of authors...

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Hyborian Age World Building
Jan15

Hyborian Age World Building

Hyborian Age World Building by Bill Ward Robert E. Howard, pioneer of sword & sorcery fiction, creator of Conan and Solomon Kane, author of scores of stories across half a dozen genres or more, is rightly praised as a master of pacing, a crafter of visceral action, and a writer of vivid and poetic prose. What often goes unremarked, even among his ardent fans, is Howard’s impressive achievement as a world-builder, namely in the...

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Where to Start With Robert E. Howard
Jan01

Where to Start With Robert E. Howard

Where to Start With Robert E. Howard by Bill Ward Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) was a giant and a father to giants, his literary creations so potent that they have informed popular culture and permeated mass consciousness down to the present day. But their very ubiquity can obscure and deceive – if two people strike up a conversation about Conan, are they actually talking about the same Conan? What’s going on with all of these...

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Appendix N Archaeology: Clark Ashton Smith
Dec28

Appendix N Archaeology: Clark Ashton Smith

Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. Appendix N Archaeology: Clark Ashton Smith by Michael Curtis Gamers often point to Appendix N and decry the absence of a...

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Short Sorcery: Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Last Incantation”
Dec18

Short Sorcery: Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Last Incantation”

Short Sorcery: Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Last Incantation” by Bill Ward Clark Ashton Smith’s first great literary love, his calling even, was poetry. His artistic inclinations, the themes and images that fired his blood, were for the fantastical, the mythic, and the wildly imaginative.   But fever dreams of baroque lands and sinister sorcery were fast becoming passe among the literary mainstream of his time, and so...

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Where to Start with the Fantasy Fiction of Poul Anderson
Nov29

Where to Start with the Fantasy Fiction of Poul Anderson

Where to Start with the Fantasy Fiction of Poul Anderson by Bill Ward Poul Anderson (1926-2001) is one of those authors whose prolific output – over one hundred novels and at least as many short stories – is as impressive as it is potentially intimidating. A great many of our contemporary authors tend to stick with one kind of story or book for branding purposes, often adopting new pseudonyms if they dare deviate from the brand, but...

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Appendix N Archeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
Nov22

Appendix N Archeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. Appendix N Archeology: The Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series by Michael Curtis More than a decade before Gary Gygax assembled...

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Appendix N Archaeology: William Hope Hodgson
Nov15

Appendix N Archaeology: William Hope Hodgson

Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. We happily re-present this article to honor the anniversary of the birth of William Hope Hodgson. Appendix N Archeology: William Hope...

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Where to Start With Clark Ashton Smith
Nov03

Where to Start With Clark Ashton Smith

Where to Start With Clark Ashton Smith by Bill Ward ‘Barrier to entry’ can be a very real thing standing between newer audiences and writers of the past. Readers used to today’s marketing categories or publication norms can easily be overwhelmed when trying to get a handle on something like the prodigious short fiction of a pulp-era writer with a convoluted publication history. Likewise, they might find themselves...

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Appendix N Cinema Premieres Tonight!
Oct02

Appendix N Cinema Premieres Tonight!

Tonight is movie night. Not a new movie, mind you, but a film that finds itself rooted in the annals of Appendix N. Join us tonight for Appendix N Cinema! Hosts: Thorin ‘SonOvThrain’ Thompson and Clay Liford Appendix N Cinema premieres tonight at 8 pm EST. Join our co-hosts and fellow movie nerds Thorin ‘SonOvThrain’ Thompson and Clay Liford as they watch, discuss, and breakdown fantasy/SciFi films. Just like the original...

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Appendix N Archaeology: Harold Lamb
Sep03

Appendix N Archaeology: Harold Lamb

Our Adventures in Fiction series is meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. In the now-famed Appendix N, Gary Gygax lists roughly thirty authors whose works inspired the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. Many luminaries from the fields of both pulp...

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