Short Sorcery: Poul Anderson’s “Witch of the Demon Seas”
Nov30

Short Sorcery: Poul Anderson’s “Witch of the Demon Seas”

Short Sorcery: Poul Anderson’s “Witch of the Demon Seas” by Bill Ward “Let us not use words meant to impress the ignorant among ourselves,” said Chryseis scornfully. “Every sorcerer knows there is nothing of heaven or hell about magic. It is but the imposition of a pattern on other minds. It creates, by control of the senses, illusions of lycanthropy or whatever else is desired, or it binds the subject by the...

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Classic Covers: Poul Anderson
Nov23

Classic Covers: Poul Anderson

With scores of novels spanning the popular genres of science fiction and fantasy, with hundreds of magazine and anthology appearances, and with a career spanning the most creative era of visual marketing in publishing of the 20th century, Poul Anderson’s bibliography has the quintessential ‘Classic Covers’ ingredients. Here is but a small sample of the art that brought Anderson’s stories to...

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Some of My Favorite Sword-and-Sorcery Monsters
Oct12

Some of My Favorite Sword-and-Sorcery Monsters

Some of My Favorite Sword-and-Sorcery Monsters by Bill Ward Where would hulking barbarians and fantastic swordsmen be without monsters to pit their steel against? Sword-and-sorcery, that delicious combination of adventure fiction and supernatural horror, is as famed for its weird foes as it is for its self-reliant protagonists. And while it isn’t locked into strict adherence to formula, every writer of sword-and-sorcery since...

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Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season
Oct08

Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season

Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season by Brian Murphy On a blog such as this, I doubt I’m alone in my irrational love of Halloween, a holiday for me that, more than Thanksgiving or Christmas, evokes a Ray Bradbury-like level of nostalgia and anticipation. Here in New England, I find that as the leaves begin to turn and October shadows lengthen, so too do my thoughts drift from my natural sword-and-sorcery bent toward the...

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Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade
Mar26

Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade

Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade by Bill Ward “At the moment, all was triumph. Red-splashed, panting, in scorched and dinted armor, Sir Roger de Tourneville rode a weary horse back to the main fortress. After him came the lancers, archers, yeomen — ragged, battered, shoulders slumped with exhaustion. But the Te Deum was on their lips, rising beneath the strange constellations that twinkled forth, and their banners flew...

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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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