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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Charles R. Saunders’ Nyumbani Tales
Dec29

Charles R. Saunders’ Nyumbani Tales

Charles R. Saunders’ Nyumbani Tales by Bill Ward In Nyumbani Tales (MV Media 2017), sword-and-sorcery great Charles Saunders collects 13 short stories spanning his early career, work that had previously appeared in a variety of publications, from small press ‘zines like Weirdbook and Black Lite, to mass market anthologies such as Beyond the Fields We Know and Hecate’s Cauldron. Fans of Saunders’ Imaro series...

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Short Sorcery: Leigh Brackett’s “The Moon That Vanished”
Dec22

Short Sorcery: Leigh Brackett’s “The Moon That Vanished”

Short Sorcery: Leigh Brackett’s “The Moon That Vanished” by Bill Ward From the start, from the very title itself, the reader is presented with a mystery in Leigh Brackett’s “The Moon That Vanished.” For one thing the story’s setting of Venus – think the Venus of Edgar Rice Burroughs rather than that of NASA probes – has no moon. But there is much more going on than that. The protagonist, David Heath, is himself...

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Words Weird and Wonderful: Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne
Dec11

Words Weird and Wonderful: Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne

Words Weird and Wonderful: Clark Ashton Smith’s Averoigne by Bill Ward In a recent jaunt through Averoigne I was struck again by Clark Ashton Smith’s extraordinary vocabulary. He was clearly a collector of words and, reportedly, as a precocious young genius with an eidetic memory he read Webster’s 13th unabridged dictionary cover-to-cover – but more importantly he studied it. From the odd to the uncommon, from the...

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