Sunday, 25 July 2021

Book Review: 'Swords & Sorceries Volume 2'

 


MORE WIZARDRY 

AND WILD ROMANCE 


Book Review of: 
‘SWORDS AND SORCERIES Vol.2: 
TALES OF HEROIC FANTASY’ 
presented by DAVID A RILEY & JIM PITTS 
(June 2021, Parallel Universe Publications 
ISBN 978-19161109-8-4, 266 pp) 
www.paralleluniversepublications.blogspot.com 

‘We call a story Swords & Sorcery when it is an action tale, 
 derived from the traditions of the pulp magazine adventure story, 
 set in a land, age or world of the author’s invention – a milieu 
 in which magic actually works and the gods are real – a story, 
 moreover, which pits a stalwart warrior in direct conflict with 
the forces of supernatural evil’ – Lin Carter (1973)



 
Two moons. A wild and desolate landscape. A swordsman with an over-fondness for wine. Mike Chinn opens this evocative collection with some traditional elements, a sinister female mystic with a feline familiar, and gaunt fortress with supernatural secrets. In his 1987 study of fantastic sagas – ‘Wizards And Wild Romance’, Michael Moorcock observes that ‘epic fantasy can offer a world of metaphor in which to explore the rich, hidden territories deep within us.’ Not sure if that applies to “The Essence Of Dust”, but Mike Chinn’s tale does open out into the potential multiverse realms of the Internection where time and space melts into contradiction. 

Fantasy has deep story-telling roots that go all the way back to earliest human legends, myth-making and folk-tales of voyages into demon-haunted strangeness. It assumed a separate ‘Swords and Sorcery’ identity, different and distinct, around the time doomed Texan Robert E Howard unleashed the mighty-thewed Conan the Cimmerian for 1930s Pulp ‘Weird Tales’ editions, leading into Fritz Leiber who not only coined the term as a variant on the cheaply-produced Gladiatorial Sword-&-Sandals epic historical movies, but also spun the intriguing Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser tales. Clark Ashton Smith contributes ornate and elaborate fantasia of ‘The Empire Of The Necromancers’ in far-future Zothique, and L Sprague de Camp began anthologizing what he calls ‘a class of stories laid, not in the world as it is or was or will be, but as it ought to have been to make a good story.’ Until Moorcock’s brooding albino Elric of Melniboné adds his existential strife through the pages of ‘Science Fantasy’ magazine, all the wild way through to Sláine of ‘2000AD’ adventuring through warp-spasmed versions of Celtic myth in vivid art panels. 



Although it has elements of Science Fiction, Swords & Sorcery is not bound by physical laws, and embraces all manner of outré magic alongside the generic brand of symbolic elusiveness that Moorcock’s essay identifies. Although beware magical elements, for they also have their own logics, and their trickster rules. As such, it’s a wide field for fictional invention. But, lest it descend into a leaden cliché of repetition, all genres and subgenres must evolve if that vitality is to remain. This new original anthology series from Parallel Universe Publications springs a host of new angles from a range of familiar and less-than familiar names, mixing in regulation heroic fantasy ingredients through the perception of a new generation of tale-spinners. Tais Teng – a Dutch SF writer and illustrator, uses an ‘inland sea’ that stretches from Jorsaleem to Baghdad as a location for twisting historical religions into new configurations, with skilled thief Esme Shadowkind, Shakan the Fleet and Hethor of Samarkand scheming to rewrite sacred text ‘Book Of Ormazd’ in a way that alters the world itself, using a bronze flying horse and a file of the prophet Zoroaster’s blood. Dev Agarwal’s “Stone Snake” uses a grimoire – not a ‘grey mare’, to liberate an entombed giantess in order to halt the evil resurgence of Dagon’s minions from an oceanic time before the human era. 



Also within pseudo-historical times there are ventures transgressing the secure boundaries of the Roman Empire into the barbarian horrors beyond in Martin Owton’s “Out In The Wildlands”, in a foray that such writers as Rosemary Sutcliff might initially have conjectured, albeit without the fiery demon confrontation. While Susan Murrie Macdonald – one of only three writers who also graces the first volume of this ongoing series, entrances with her Market storyteller regaling the beguilement of Azalea Swordmaid with her demon-born half-brother battling corpse-eating ghouls in the Cinader cemetery. 

Phil Emery’s “Seven Thrones” also succeeds because of the deceptive simplicity of its structure, a series of gladiatorial contests fought to the death by swordsman Zain and poet Kazen, for the decadent amusement of unseen watchers. ‘Magic, even dark magic, is somewhat akin to poetry.’ And it is, ‘the cadences of a blade, the flow of a quill.’ 

Yet Steve Dilks’ sticks to what Jason Hardy terms ‘well-written Old School heroic fantasy in the Howard vein’ (on the ‘Echoes Of Valhalla’ website). His “The Amulet And The Shadow” displays all the genre’s timeless ingredients, the medieval assault-towers of the Lomantian Empire that batter the gates of Jadira could just as easily be the siege-engines of Troy or the Idylls of Arthurian legend, with outlaw slave Terach of Amrythia, who escapes through a visitation of eldritch sorcery and blasphemous enchantment in order to exact bloody revenge, only to discover an eternity of dark damnation in the denouement. Swords & Sorcery does not concern itself with social evolution. As an egalitarian in a democratic age, one wonders why the fictional need for a monarch? Must that always be a human cultural constant, if not King must it be Sovereign, Potentate, Tsar or Jeddak? Does its presence answer some Jungian archetype for natural hierarchy deep in the gut of the psych? If there is ever to be a New Wave of Swords & Sorcery it must surely deal with these regressive issues. 

Can a genre based in such antique precepts reinvent itself in new ways? There are powerful indications here that it can. Earlier formative collections such as L Sprague De Camp’s ‘Swords & Sorcery’ (Pyramid Books, 1963), and the entrancing Donald A Wolheim-edited ‘Swordsmen In The Sky’ (Ace Books, 1964) gathered exploits from the pages of antique magazines, while Lin Carter’s ‘Flashing Swords’ series (originally Granada Publishing, 1973) took things forward with new tales by established writers, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, John Jakes and Michael Moorcock. David A Riley’s intention seems to be to straddle the extremes, retaining the best of the old with new inputs and novel concepts. Such as the magical realism of Pedro Iniguez, the bagful of dreams that lap in around the images of his “A Thousand Words For Death”. 

Adrian Cole’s “The Eater Of Gods” strikes the right balance, his new ‘Voidal’ story touches all the essential genre bases, yet breathes new energies into the format with devious thieves Bluug and Hurranok employing all the humorous conman guile of Jack Vance’s Cugel as they bluster their way through the mountain city Yamazantra into the presence of the living god Cadavarion Celestes. 

To admit a vested interest, my own contribution to the anthology – “Antediluvia: Seasons Of The World”, draws on the wonderful Leigh Brackett, a troubadour Donovan Leitch poem, Atlantis and current evolutionary theory concerning an interglacial era in which at least three proto-human species interact as they share the world. 

Liberally illustrated by Jim Pitts distinctive illustrations, Conan might describe this anthology as ‘By Crom, it’s good!’



 

‘SWORDS AND SORCERIES: 
TALES OF HEROIC FANTASY Volume 1’ 
(ISBN 978-191611092-2) 
with ‘Introduction’ by David A. Riley 
‘The Mirror Of Torjan Sul’ by Steve Lines 
‘The Horror From The Stars’ by Steve Dilks 
‘Trolls Are Different’ by Susan Murrie Macdonald 
‘Chain Of Command’ by Geoff Hart 
‘Disruption Of Destiny’ by Gerri Leen 
‘The City Of Silence’ by Eric Ian Steele 
‘Red’ by Chadwick Ginther 
‘The Reconstructed God’ by Adrian Cole 
cover and all interior artwork by Jim Pitts. 

‘SWORDS AND SORCERIES: 
TALES OF HEROIC FANTASY Volume 2’ 
(ISBN 978-191611098-4) 
with ‘Introduction’ by David A. Riley 
‘The Essence Of Dust by Mike Chinn 
‘Highjacking The Lord Of Light’ by Tais Teng 
‘Out In The Wildlands’ by Martin Owton 
‘Zale And Zedril’ by Susan Murrie Macdonald 
‘The Amulet And The Shadow’ by Steve Dilks 
‘Antediluvia: Seasons Of The World’ by Andrew Darlington 
‘A Thousand Words For Death’ by Pedro Iniguez 
‘Stone Snake’ by Dev Agarwal 
‘Seven Thrones’ by Phil Emery 
‘The Eater Of Gods’ by Adrian Cole 
 cover and all interior artwork by Jim Pitts.



30 comments:

Field engineer said...

hi,
best job search engines
A freelance recruitment portal for field engineers and IT technicians especially, this is a prime example of doing a niche job board right. Upload your resume and the site starts showing listings suited specifically to your skills, making your search even easier. Job alerts keep you updated on bids so you can negotiate during the application process, too. The site also serves as a communication and payment center between employers, making it a versatile tool for professional freelancers

lucifer1413 said...

www.amazon.com/mytv You might need to verify your submitted qualifications. This could be to verify your current email address, contact number, or any other information that the site may require. These codes can be sent to you via email or text. You can get the confirmation codes by text or voice phone through www.amazon.com/mytv

Almost every person in the world must hear the name of Amazon, as it is renowned for its exceptional e-commerce services. As more and more people are using Amazon more frequently this period, amazon also comes up with remarkable offers and coupons codes for its prime customers so that they can get the maximum benefits while shopping from the Amazon website.
amazon.com/code
amazon.com/code

Unknown said...

If you like watching movies, shows, videos, etc., Netflix is the best option for you because from here you can watch movies or shows that you have missed any time while playing online, as many times as you want. No restriction can be placed on them. Now more than 69 million users are using the Free Netflix Account Generator In 2021.

Netflix login |
showtimeanytime/activate |
youtube.com/activate |
paypal login |
AnimeFlix

office.com/setup said...

Amazing website, Love it. Great work done. Nice website. Love it. This is really nice.
office.com/setup
Microsoft365.com/setup
office.com/myaccount
ij.start.cannon
office.com/setup
Microsoft 365, What you need to know

lucifer1413 said...

Amazon Prime Video is really a paid subscription-based platform so people with out a subscription aren't practiced to see such a thing in family savings for the stage. Even the www.amazon.com/code application isn't difficult to do some thing to for every income of those eligible platforms so you won't track down any hardship even though triggering your apparatus. This informative article you are going to find out just how to log in
amazon.com/code |
www.amazon.com/mytv |
amazon.com/code |
www/amazon.com/mytv |
amazon.com/code |
Paypal login

Jessica Jones said...

I just couldn't leave your website blogs before telling you that I truly enjoyed and so happy the top quality info you present to your readers? I Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts and Please friends, shared some more others different niche blogs. I need it. Australia Assignment Help - Assignment Help Adelaide - Assignment Help - Assignment Help Brisbane

Abbie Wright said...

This is the right article information for anybody who wishes to find out about this niche content. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you and, You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been discussed for years. Great stuff, just wonderful! Thank you so much sharing your ideas here. keep sharing. microprocessor assignment help - assignment help chicago - uml assignment help - agriculture assignment help

Max Turner said...


The Webroot program is highly rated software to protect your devices & data available for download at
ij.start.canon| ij.start.cannon/ts3322 | Microsoft365.com/setup
| microsoft365.com/setup

Max Turner said...

Enter Trend micro activation code on www.trendmciro.com/activate | www.trendmicro/activate to download and activate Trend Micro. To activate Trend micro, make sure you already have an activation code that you’ll probably enter on the trendmicro.com/activate site.

Unknown said...

https://wearethefrontier.com/artists/Rahulsharma1/
https://cart-help.com/user/7474-rahulsharma/
https://www.surfski.info/forum/profile/10922-rahulsharma.html
https://devpost.com/sunilsharmaigp?ref_content=user-portfolio&ref_feature=portfolio&ref_medium=global-nav
https://www.exibart.com/community/rahulsharma/profile/
https://www.gta5-mods.com/users/sunilsharma

jack leo said...

Very efficiently written information. It will be valuable to everyone who utilizes it, please Keep doing what you are doing and keep sharing amazing information like this, it means so much if you can checkout some of mine.
Key 2 benefits Login |
Elan Group Projects |
Elan Empire Gurgaon |
Elan Group Projects |
Elan Group |
Elan empire

yadongbiz said...

I blog often and I truly appreciate your content.
야설
Feel free to visit my blog :
야설

yahanvideonet said...


This great article has truly peaked my interest.
일본야동
Feel free to visit my blog : 일본야동

koreayadongcom said...

I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week.
국산야동
Feel free to visit my blog : 국산야동

chinayadongnet said...

I subscribed to your Feed too.
일본야동
Feel free to visit my blog : 일본야동

japanyadongcom said...

Hi there! This article could not be written much better!
야설
Feel free to visit my blog : 야설

ross pearl said...


Your blog gave us significant data to work with. Each and each tip of your post are amazing. You're the best for sharing. Continue to blog

ij.start.cannon

www.office.com/setup

www.norton.com/setup

oncasinosite said...

Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human. Feel free to visit my website; 카지노사이트

casinositelink said...

I should say only that its awesome! The blog is informational and always produce amazing things. Feel free to visit my website; 카지노사이트

oncasinositenet said...

Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and individually recommend to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this website. Feel free to visit my website; 카지노사이트

bacarasite said...

I was able to think a lot while looking at this post. I will pass this blog to many people. Definitely a good blog is very good. Thank you for sharing. Feel free to visit my website; 카지노사이트

LINDA PATRICIA said...


I AM MRS. LINDA AND I WANT To TESTIFY ABOUT HOW DR AKHERE HELPED ME IN GETTING BACK MY EX HUSBAND WHO LEFT ME AND MY KIDS FOR ANOTHER WOMAN AND TODAY I AM VERY FULFILLED BECAUSE MY HUSBAND Is BACK To ME AFTER I CONTACTED DR AKHERE TO HELP ME , I'm very happy now with my family it worked for me and I believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you Dr AKHERE once again, if you want to reach him via email: AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com or call / whatsapp: +2349057261346



































I AM MRS. LINDA AND I WANT To TESTIFY ABOUT HOW DR AKHERE HELPED ME IN GETTING BACK MY EX HUSBAND WHO LEFT ME AND MY KIDS FOR ANOTHER WOMAN AND TODAY I AM VERY FULFILLED BECAUSE MY HUSBAND Is BACK To ME AFTER I CONTACTED DR AKHERE TO HELP ME , I'm very happy now with my family it worked for me and I believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you Dr AKHERE once again, if you want to reach him via email: AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com or call / whatsapp: +2349057261346





















































































I AM MRS. LINDA AND I WANT To TESTIFY ABOUT HOW DR AKHERE HELPED ME IN GETTING BACK MY EX HUSBAND WHO LEFT ME AND MY KIDS FOR ANOTHER WOMAN AND TODAY I AM VERY FULFILLED BECAUSE MY HUSBAND Is BACK To ME AFTER I CONTACTED DR AKHERE TO HELP ME , I'm very happy now with my family it worked for me and I believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you Dr AKHERE once again, if you want to reach him via email: AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com or call / whatsapp: +2349057261346



































I AM MRS. LINDA AND I WANT To TESTIFY ABOUT HOW DR AKHERE HELPED ME IN GETTING BACK MY EX HUSBAND WHO LEFT ME AND MY KIDS FOR ANOTHER WOMAN AND TODAY I AM VERY FULFILLED BECAUSE MY HUSBAND Is BACK To ME AFTER I CONTACTED DR AKHERE TO HELP ME , I'm very happy now with my family it worked for me and I believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you Dr AKHERE once again, if you want to reach him via email: AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com or call / whatsapp: +2349057261346

e visa Turkey said...

Thank you The international visitors should apply for e visa Turkey online. Online visa offers the fast secure visa services the most convenient and quickest way,

lucifer1413 said...

coinbase pro login - Coinbase Pro is serving its crypto trading services with complete customer liability. This platform is used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies BNB, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ether, Dogecoin, BUSD, etc. The people who are looking to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies using the Coinbase Pro exchange are asked to sign up for a Coinbase Pro account on its website or App. By providing the details like email, name, and password anyone can sign up on this exchange. Let’s start discussing the Coinbase Pro login method and other related topics.

coinbase pro login
coinbase pro login
amazon.com/mytv
coinbase pro login
coinbase pro login
coinbase pro login

bilyhank said...

I am doing online search to add influential output in Assignment Help Service. By doing so, I come up with your post and find it most reliable to enhance my knowledge stream.

Joseanthony said...

Thanks to the trust of thousands of students around the world, Crowd Content is able to stand out among the competition as the online assignment help service writers for all academic essays. With us, students are guaranteed to score high on all of their academic essays.

bilyhank said...

I am really impressed with your posted content. In fact, it is really helpful to know what is going in outside the world. Reading this post series, I feel better in my thinking ability. I have the broad area development concept to do something better in the explanation attribute. I like to connect to you with Online Assignment Help provision for better remarks. Keep it an appreciable post.

Masonethan said...


Nice! We provide you the best thesis writing service you can get online. We have many years of experience in thesis writing. We have successfully handled many thesis projects in our life and are still working on some. We are well-versed in thesis assistants and can offer you high quality thesis writing service at a cheap price. If you are facing any issue with your Thesis Assistant feel free to contact me, I will help you.

Jone Marsh said...

Don't know how to do the business law homework? We are here to provide you the Business Law Assignment Help. Here you get the subject experts and universities degree holder professionals who help in doing your business assignment help easily. Moreover, before submitting the assignment, we do quick revisions to ensure that you get high-quality work free from plagiarism.

zarkazijar said...

wu post utme past questions pdf free downloadThe blog is well organized with content as per readers interest, very clear description of terms and valuable source of data, looking forward for more of your useful updates, thanks for sharing.