Where to Start Your Summer Reading
Jul05

Where to Start Your Summer Reading

Some Great Ideas for Summer Reading From Our Where to Start Series Whether you’ve got vacation from work or school, prefer to shelter-in-place with some strong air-conditioning, or have just recently defeated an interdimensional incursion of home-besieging swine-things and find yourself with a block of free time—it’s a fine occasion for some summer reading! Tales From the Magician’s Skull’s ongoing Where to...

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Where to Start With Harold Lamb
Apr12

Where to Start With Harold Lamb

Where to Start With Harold Lamb by Howard Andrew Jones It wasn’t so long ago that the fiction of Harold Lamb was best known only as a footnote in the old Lancer Conan books, mentioned in passing as being important and influential but almost completely unavailable. All that could be found of his prose were some late novels and his biographies, and, fine as those biographies are, neither were foundational works of sword-and-sorcery....

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Where to Start With Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Mar15

Where to Start With Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Where to Start with Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Bill Ward Aside from Conan the Cimmerian, there can be no more iconic image in all of sword-and-sorcery fiction than the dynamic duo of “the Twain.” Fafhrd, towering Northern barbarian, and Mouser, weaselly little thief, form a wonderfully visually complementary whole, and that’s even before you get to their actual personalities. Bawdy and...

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Where to Start With Robert E. Howard
Jan14

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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Where to Start With Jack Vance
Jul02

Where to Start With Jack Vance

Where to Start With Jack Vance by Bill Ward John Holbrook “Jack” Vance (1916-2013) was an extraordinarily prolific and award-winning author across multiple genres, but it is for his work in the science fiction field that he is most celebrated. ‘Science Fiction’ as a genre and marketing category is an extremely big tent—including everything from nuts-and-bolts stories describing the physics of orbital bodies to...

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Where to Start With American Fantasy Series
May11

Where to Start With American Fantasy Series

Where to Start With American Fantasy Series by Bill Ward While J.R.R. Tolkien may be the most famous and ubiquitous of fantasy writers, introducing generations of readers the world over to fantasy fiction through The Hobbit and influencing the way such stories are forever told with his masterwork, The Lord of the Rings, American letters has perhaps contributed more profoundly to the development of the modern secondary world fantasy...

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