Friday, July 24, 2020

Tales of Attluma - Review by SE and Oron Guide

Tales of Attluma by David C. Smith
S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars

David C. Smith crafts his own flavor of adventure-horror with his Tales of Attluma, heavily influenced by Robert E. Howard (REH, Conan creator) and his contemporary Pulp Fiction writer Clark Ashton Smith (CAS). Attluma is an island continent akin to the mysterious Atlantis, and these 16 tales cover its dark history and doomed end. These stories are fantastically dark and exciting, a true blend of REH’s action and CAS’s dreaded atmosphere. On Attluma, ancient gods live in mountain temples and underground; humans struggle to survive, and seem to be intruding on land made for, and by, demons.
“These tales and a dozen more by fantasy and adventure author David C. Smith appear in this unique collection. Out of print for more than 40 years, these stories were first published in the days of limited-circulation fanzines—the only avenue for new work created by the generation of writers who grew up in the shadow of the pulp magazines. The paperback reprints of those pulp stories in the late 1960s and early 1970s encouraged an entire generation of young writers to enlarge on that tradition of popular American storytelling. Now they are in print once more for a new generation of fantasy fiction enthusiasts.” -- Official book blurb

Interestingly, there are no Oron tales, Oron being the warrior protagonist that the original Zebra series was named after. Yet he is not needed here. Attluma is saturated with lore and conflict, armies of ghosts, lost loves seeking retribution, and hungry demons just looking for some attention. The last several stories ramp up the demonic uprising (or retaking) of the island/continent. “The End of Days” finale is epic in scope, a sprawling battle with loads of mayhem and militant sorcery. The collection fits the Sword & Sorcery label, with an emphasis on Sorcery (specifically necromancy and demon summoning). Excerpts are the best way to share the poetic, dark conflict readers should expect:

“Dressed in scarlet wounds and running with blood, here was my mother, her face beseeching mercy, gashes across her face and body. There came my father, hobbling on a split foot and one arm gone, strings of meat and tendon trembling from the open shoulder. Here was my brother, once a strong and handsome man, now in death a broken thing with no legs, pulling himself forward with his arms, his wife beside him, on her belly and kicking her feet as her head rolled beside her.”—from “The Last Words of Imatus Istum”

And there was Yadis, The All Mother, the hag with one eye and triple teats whose spittle had made the stars and whose defecation made the earth. Her mad singing had awakened humans to life; we crawled from the muck and ever since wondered about the dark heart of life.” —from "Dark Goddess”

“Silene observed the sorcerers as they met and fought in the field. She saw the air turn colors between these people and watched as they moved their arms in gesticulations, or with daggers drew designs in the air. One or the other of these mysterious people would die, pulled into the sky to be torn invisibly into pieces, raining blood, or drawn into the earth to suffocate, or simply fall, breathless and unmoving, wrapped beneath sheets of glowing color.” —from ”The End of Days”

Several of the attacking sorcerers made signs toward Edric’s fighters and dropped them. These men and women fell onto their backs and caught fire from their chests. They screamed as they died, but the unnatural fire consumed them swiftly, turning the men and women as black as charred wood. From the burnt corpses rose pieces of them, bits of black, which moved high into the air and, at the command of the attacking sorcerers, dropped like hurled missiles into the lines of Edric’s men, the bits of black pushing through faces and armor. …“Souls,” Hame told her. “They remove the charred souls from the burned bodies to use as weapons.” —from ”The End of Days”

GUIDE: Tales of Attluma is splendid by itself, but it serves as a foundation for the other works in the same world. Read this and you’ll want to jump into the novels and other short stories. A guide is needed since the publication history is complicated by title changes and, like most fantasy, publication order does not match the chronological order of the fictional world. Thanks to a group-read in the Goodreads Sword & Sorcery group we were able to communicate with the author and clarify the chronological & publication history of the Attluma Cycle (coined that with the tacit approval of the author). As of 2020, there are 25 stories and novelettes; 3 Oron novels; 1 Akram novel.

For newcomers, I recommend starting with Tales of Attluma since it fleshes out the world and prepares readers to jump into various arcs, such as the primary barbarian Oron set (many start with the 1978 book that introduced the character to the world named simply Oron), or the cursed sorcerer Akram novel The Sorcerer's Shadow). To learn more about David C. Smith, check out recent interviews by DMR and BlackGate.


Chronological Story-Order / Key Characters / Publication date

Tales of Attluma by David C. Smith Azieran Adventures Presents Artifacts and Relics Extreme Sorcery by Christopher Heath Warlords, Warlocks & Witches by D.M. Ritzlin Oron Mosutha's Magic by David C. Smith Oron No. 4 The Valley of Ogrum by David C. Smith Oron 5 The Ghost Army by David C. Smith Oron by David C. Smith The Mighty Warriors by Robert M. Price The Sorcerer's Shadow by David C. Smith Engor's Sword Arm by David C. Smith

0) Tales of Attluma: Collection (2 Akram tales, 1 Dathien, no Oron); 16 Short stories, 2020 by Pulp Hero Press: Listed mostly in chronological order, mostly pre-Oron, with the last several being the “End” of Attluma (see below)

1) “Shadow-born Shadow-taken” in Azieran Adventures Presents Artifacts and Relics: Extreme Sorcery Pre-Oron novelette (featuring Dathien from Tales of Attluma’s “Dark of Heart”), 2013

2) “Twin Scars” in Warlords, Warlocks & Witches Pre-Oron, “(standalone Kellen tale), 2019

3) Oron: Mosutha's Magic Oron Novel 1/3: Zebra #3 1982 (original title: Reign, Sorcery!)

4) Oron No. 4: The Valley of Ogrum Oron Novel 2/3: - Zebra’s #4 1982 (original title: Deathwolf)

5) Oron 5: The Ghost Army 5 short stories with Oron: - Zebra #5, 1983 (original title: Death in Asakad and Other Tales)

6) “The Shadow of Dia-Sust” Oron short story appears in The Mighty Warriors, 2018, … also available online at

7) Oron, the original Oron Novel 3/3: Zebra #1, 1978

8) Sometime Lofty Towers, Pulp Hero Press, 2021

9) The Sorcerer's Shadow an Akram Novel: Zebra #2, 1982 (original title: The Shadow of Sorcery)

10) Engor's Sword Arm novella, Forgotten Ages ~1991

11) Several stories from Tales of Attluma including two Akram tales (“Come Death” and “The Return to Hell”) and the grand finale “The End of Days”

CONTENTS of TALES of ATTLUMA (summary notes with spoilers)

1. “Descales’ Skull”: Three men collect as many parts of Descales’ skull and resurrect his soul….he grants them each a wish (Clamus:Gold, Sumi Dan power over slavery; Bordogas: partnering with a woman). All get their wish… with nasty, ironic deaths.

2. “The Generosity of the Gods”: Obroc of Kurstikan and his buddy Cedes are fishermen who decide to test the power of the two gods [they should remain nameless!]. The pair blaspheme to determine if the gods are real. The consequences of so terrifying, really really terrible, but at least the friends survive in some way, together. This is so dark, it is funny.

3. “Feasting Shadows”: Pel and Jenta are a young couple seeking ancient temples in the caves, and come across more than ruined ritual spaces. They experience the Song, Dance, and Culmination of the Feast.

4. “Dark of Heart”: Captain Dathien gets a second chance of freedom. Princess Amyra is missing in Midriga (his place of origin) and Prince Eam seeks to save her. What ensues is a mad mission into the mountainous region of Midriga, involving body horror, bleak fates for all.

5. “The Last Words of Imatus Istum”: The depressing story of Imatus Kad Istum, of the civilized city Mograd which was overrun by the barbaric Kunashtu. Loss of knowledge, slavery, eating of former citizens, raising the dead on a mass scale.

6. “Aliastra the Sorceress”: Count Holos, a homeless roaming royal who deals with failing his father; he had been taught that 'he owned his own future through the choices/actions he made'. This is mostly a story of the love between the sorceress Aliastra and her long-dead lover Ormenidu….which Holos gets embroiled in.

7. “Ithtidzik”: The titular student was arrogant enough to seek power from around his wise mentor; he seeks out an ancient tome from a demon and gains more insight than his single head can hold! Sharing knowledge with enthralled, sustained corpses helps for a time… doesn’t end well for the protagonist, of course.

8. “Rhasjud’s Destiny”: A mercenary warlord of the title returns to the site of where he murdered his brother, who haunts him; wolves and ghosts roam everywhere.

9. “Blood Ransom”: Androm the pretty boy, gets tied up with Tsathsimus and Ishrid in a plot to kidnap the princess Asri; beware bloody red gems that are actually alive. Asri and Lady Liprosa let Androm go since he redeems himself.

10. “Dark Goddess”: Jutom and the Nthgali warriors ransack the city of Coroth which includes the raping of a priestess of Yasid. The product of rape and torture will haunt Jutom.

11. “Come, Death”: Akram is introduced as a cursed immortal sorcerer strolling through plagued ruins. He pities a child amongst a plague and saves it.

12. “The Return to Hell” Akram appears again in a very trippy story. Akram amasses mercenaries to sacrifice them to the Witch/Sorcerer pair (Nidyis, Narathkor) that made him immortal. He wishes to die, but he has a young female fan Tharis who wants to be like him. He tries to spare her even as he leads hundreds to slaughter….

13. “The Passing of the Sorcerer”: A love story of the sorcerer Camses with royal princess Porissa of Karhum, with hints of reincarnation and celestial life. A demonic scourge plagues the town, and the King. Apparently, humans took too much from the demons without sacrifice or honor, or belief…

14. “Patience Serves”: A dose of vengeance for a “wronged love” between Lady Tristania and Lord Mors.

15. “The Sounding of the Gong”: Another bizarre love story. Seft and Oma (sorcerer aged, and younger sorceress) are the last few humans worth stealing from. A trap is set for these thieves to sacrifice. This continues the theme of weird-love and eternal life between pairs of sorcerers.

16. “The End of Days”: Meet the poet Nour, his pregnant wife Silene, and her brother Edric, as they race toward the Surkad Capital city. It is the last stand for humans on Attluma. The demon Serenthal seeks to reclaim all the territory and eliminate everything. It is over the top epic and dark…a great end to the book.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Lost Worlds - Clark Ashton Smith: Review by SE

Lost Worlds by Clark Ashton Smith
S.E. rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a huge fan of Clark Ashton Smith (as well as his ~1930’s Weird Tales compatriots Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft). CAS’s Zothique tales won me over as a fan and encourage me to interview authors on the topic of “Beauty in Weird Fiction”. His beautiful language and focus on grim tales (really grim) are powerful & unique. Check out the website dedicated to sharing his poetry, fiction, and letters at The Eldritch Dark website. Thanks to the Sword & Sorcery Goodreads group for hosting a “Lost Worlds” topic covering any author/work (by chance matching the title of this book). I decided to finally read this 400+page volume. The introduction by famed weird fiction writer Jeff VanDerMeer is short and trite; it covers the first two tales only and is hardly flattering. CAS does appear to be less well known that REH or HPL (currently), and that may be due to the consistent killing of his characters (i.e., no episodic Conan here); his elegant prose is admittedly dense, so it is rarely fluffy, easy reading.

Lost Worlds (reprinted from 1971) serves as a great introduction to CAS, with twenty-three tales covering his main mythoses/cycles: Hyperborea, Atlantis, Averoigne, Zothique, Xiccarph, and others. Below I capture highlights from all stories and summarize the milieus, but first let us explain what new readers should expect:

Grim Doom: Everything ends. Almost invariably, the main character and the world they inhabit dies; their loved ones fail and become irreversibly corrupted. Sometimes stories are is so over-the-top dark you may laugh aloud. CAS was self-aware enough to sprinkle in humor. Like the Coen brother’s movies like Fargo, or Burn After Reading? It’s like those.

Isolated, Passive Protagonists: These are all adventure stories, but the protagonists are not swordsmen or warriors. All are male, and are intellectuals: historians, antiquarians, scientists and sorcerers… perhaps long-lost kings who enjoy passively witnessing the end the world. Many seem to be loners who pine for a lost love, recumbent partner, or leave partners to dig up ancient mysteries instead of having a relationship. CAS seems to have a fetish with turning people into stone.

Organic Antagonists: hostile worlds and creatures often have floral components, even the robots; sometimes the vegetation, as intelligent and meaty as it may be, features metallic petals. CAS had some strange fetish with vegetation.

Language: CAS had an insane grasp of vocabulary and science; his style is unique. Excerpts below.

An overview of sections/cycles:

Hyperborea: These resonate with HPL’s Cthulhu mythos, exhibiting many tie-ins. Many eldritch gods are linked to the land or temples made in their honor. These may be the funniest of the group.

Atlantis: These do not reflect my impressions of a prediluvian, even postdiluvian, Atlantis as portrayed in most fiction. Frankly, these are nice tales but do not present much in a unified milieu; these could easily have been tucked into the other sections [to me “The Last Incantation” and “The Death of Malygris” feel like Zothique stories (i.e, necromancy!), and “A Voyage to Sfanomoë” a Xiccarph tale (i.e., planetary, evil flora!)].

Averoigne: These are deeply ironic tales of a medieval, Christina-Europe infused with sorcery. Inquisition-like Christians and Catholic tendencies inform the atmosphere.

Zothique: My favorite section features an apocalyptic future on a doomed continent where necromancy reigns!

Xiccarph: Planetary adventure with evil flora!

Uncategorized: Most of these are anchored to the real world in present-day (1930’s), with time & space travel aplenty.

Story notes below (may contain spoilers).

(1) "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" 1931: Composed by the one-handed thief Satamphra Zeiros; he and his buddy go looting abandoned temples and stumble upon the elder-god Zhothaqquah. Dark, full of terror, and actually dry humor…and CAS’s dry humor shines through: “I felt that it would be highly injudicious to disturb the entity in the bowl while it was digesting Tirouv Ompallios; but there seemed to be no other way if I was ever to leave that abominable fane.”

(2) "The Door to Saturn" 1931: Morghi (goddess Yhoundeh follower) hunts the sorcerer Eibon (worshipper of Zhothaqquah); he left the area of From Mhu Thulan on an otherworldly adventure, fins Eibon and partners with him; they are forcibly encouraged to mate with a headless queen, (very dry/funny) and they learn they have been misinterpreting the will of the gods.

(3) "The Seven Geases" 1934: For sport, the chauvinistic, royal Ralibar Vooz hunts the barbarous, mountainous Voormis people. He stumbles into Sorcerer Ezdagor who curses him with “geases” to have him sacrificed. Ironically, Tsathoggua and six other Old One/Elders under the mountain do not accept Vooz as a sacrifice (deeming him inedible or "no use in our economy.”).

(4) "The Coming of the White Worm" 1941: Eibon makes a surprise cameo, but the story is all about Yikilth approaching Mhu Thulan; it is an iceberg/ship of frozen stars. Evagh is a male sorcerer abducted, and he conflicts with the worm-god Rlim Shaikorth.


(5) "The Last Incantation" 1930: Malygris is a sorcerer who misses his love Nylissa--deceased long ago. His buddy is a snake. He summons Nylissa’s apparition back who has not aged, but he can’t change his corrupted, older self.

(6) "A Voyage to Sfanomoë" 1931: The last two survivors of Atlantis, brothers Hotar and Evidon, fly away from the earth as it collapses under cataclysm; they head to Venus (Sfanomoë) and fall prey to a beautiful flora.

(7) "The Death of Malygris" 1934: The titular necromancer is ambiguously dead (and his viper too); his hold over humans and the King Gadeiron continues (and his sorcerer Maranapion, who wants to rule without Malygris’s presence).


(8) "The Holiness of Azédarac" 1933: St Azedarac is an accused demon lover, and brother Ambrose investigates. Demons are real and the whole church is corrupted by them. Book of Eibon (Hyperborean cycle) is evidence of Azedarac’s evil sorcery. Moriamis, a woman from the past desires the chivalrous Ambrose, and potion-enabled time-traveling take center stage.

(9) "The Beast of Averoigne" 1933: Luc le Chaudronnier (secular astrologer and sorcerer) aids religious institutions struggling with horrors unleashed by a comet (at immune to their prayers). The sorcerer saves the abbey and covers up for the Church’s corruption.


(10) "The Empire of the Necromancers" 1932: This one opens with humor, and sets the stage for two necromancers raising a whole abandoned city:
Mmatmuor and Sodosma were necromancers who came from the dark isle of Naat, to practice their baleful arts in Tinarath, beyond the shrunken seas. But they did not prosper in Tinarath: for death was deemed a holy thing by the people of that gray country; and the nothingness of the tomb was not lightly to be desecrated; and the raising up of the dead by necromancy was held in abomination.

So, after a short interval, Mmatmuor and Sodosma were driven forth by the anger of the inhabitants, and were compelled to flee toward Cincor, a desert of the south, which was peopled only by the bones and mummies of a race that the pestilence had slain in former ti

(11) "The Isle of the Torturers" 1933: A plague of icey/silvery death wipes out civilization and Fulbra, the king of Yoros, is doomed to witness it all. He is protected by a ring given to him by his Vemdeez sorcerer/vizier….who also said that Fulbrsa should seek counsel from an isle called Cyntrom. Finding several slaves in the subterranean depths, and a ship, he embarks there but is waylaid on the Isle of Uccastrog. Here King Ildrac would care for him. Fulbra is tortured immensely in great detail, but manages vengeance when the Silver Death is released upon the ring being removed.

(12) ‘"Necromancy in Naat" 1936: Yadar after his lost love, Dalili, finds her dead/possessed. Necromancer sons usurp their father. Splendid near comical gory fight of undying sorcerers (foretelling Monty Python’s “I’m not dead yet” played out by necromancers).

(13) "Xeethra" 1934: A child shepherd is possessed by a doomed king Amero, and he relives the demise of the kingdom Calyz. Devouring sacred fruit from a tree is a reoccurring theme:
To the boy from the parched hill-country, this realm was an Eden of untasted delights. But, for a little while, he was stayed by the strangeness of it all, and by the sense of weird and preternatural vitality which informed the whole landscape. Flakes of fire appeared to descend and melt in the rippling air; the grasses coiled with verminous writhings; the flowery eyes returned his regard intently; the trees palpitated as if a sanguine ichor flowed within them in lieu of sap; and the undernote of adder-like hissings amid the foliage grew louder and sharper.

Xeethra, however, was deterred only by the thought that a region so fair and fertile must belong to some jealous owner who would resent his intrusion. He scanned the unpeopled plain with much circumspection. Then, deeming himself secure from observation, he yielded to the craving that had been roused within him by the red, luxuriant fruit.

The turf was elastic beneath him, like a living substance, as he ran forward to the nearest trees. Bowed with their shining globes, the branches drooped around him. He plucked several of the largest fruits and stored them thriftily in the bosom of his threadbare tunic. Then, unable to resist his appetence any longer, he began to devour one of the fruits.


(14) "The Maze of Maal Dweb" 1938: The barbarian Tiglari searches for his stolen bride Athlé taken by the sorcerer who turns women into statues and men into apes. Flowery demons with metallic fronds and metal automatons (robots?) abound. This is either a very weird fantasy or sci-fi.

(15) "The Flower-Women" 1935: Maal Dweb is less of a meany here in this pseudo-sequel to The Maze. Maal Dweb goes adventuring and murders reptilian humanoid sorcerers who were, in turn, murdering the vampiric, female flower women (specifically, chopping them up into alchemical slurries). The beauty of paralyzed Athlé, echoes the turning-to-stone fate of the “Gorgon” stories.

(16) "The Demon of the Flower" 1933: On the planet Lophai, floral gods and lord flower Voorqual (the titular demon) demand sacrifice of humanoids, that is until Lunithi (protagonist) rebels. His betrothed priestess Nala is selected and he poisons the Voorqual, yet Nala is doomed [very Xiccarph-esque].

(17) "The Plutonian Drug" 1934: I had to research the history here to learn when elements were actually discovered (named). Plutonium was named after the planet, as was Neptunium and Uranium was discovered in 1789 named after the planet Uranus, which had been discovered eight years prior. Anyway, here Dr Manners offers time-trip inducing drug to Rupert Balcoth who experiences a truncated mind trip. Balcoth reports his experience and learn his future is short due to his imminent death.

(18) "The Planet of the Dead" 1932: Francis Melchior is a recluse antiquarian with a love for past things and an immedicable distaste for all that is present. He falls through his telescope onto another planet, assumes the role of Antarion. Here he finds love, retreats to Phanion as that world comes to an end.

(19) "The Gorgon" 1932: Twentieth-century London; here the narrator is a connoisseur of horrors. He barely survives a chance meeting with a mysterious man claiming to have Medusa's head. BTW, the Gorgon theme also echoes in Hunter from Beyond AND Treader of Dust.

(20) "The Letter from Mohaun Los" 1932: Domitian Malgraff and his Chinese servant Li Wong go missing, but somehow a letter makes it back to Domitan's betrothed: Syvlia Talbot. Domitian had preferred to meddle with time-travel than be with her. This is a planetary adventure, sans swashbuckling…with grand battles of machinery.

(21) "The Light from Beyond" 1933: Dorian Wiermoth, a painter, seeks seclusion in the mountains. He contacts strange celestial lights and vegetation from Beyond. Eating fruit from sacred trees occurs again (Xeethra-like), and our artist loses his creativity.

(22) "The Hunters from Beyond" 1932: This rivals/complements HPL’s "Pickman’s Model": Ghouls from other world are portrayed in sculpture by Cyprian Sincaulher and his lover Marta is affected; the narrator Philip Hastane, Cyprian's cousin, is book lover, weird fiction writer, who also experiences the ghouls first hand. With Jason Ray Carney's Weird Tales of Modernity: The Ephemerality of the Ordinary in the Stories of Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft n my mind, I was floored to see Charles BAUDELAIRE (1821 - 1867) called out by name in this story (Baudelaire is a weird poet who coined the term: Modernity).

(23) "The Treader of the Dust" 1935: Again the petrification of Gorgon theme occurs, this time via the stars of Quachil Uttaus. Be forewarned, John Sebastian's house of relics and books was cursed when he opened a magical tome:
…The olden wizards knew him, and named him Quachil Uttaus. Seldom is he revealed: for he dwelleth beyond the outermost circle, in the dark limbo of unsphered time and space.-Dreadful is the word that calleth him, though the word be unspoken save in thought: For Quachil Uttaus is the ultimate corruption; and the instant of his coming is like the passage of many ages; and neither flesh nor stone may abide his treading, but all things crumble beneath-it atom from atom. And for this, some have called him The Treader of the Dust.
—The Testaments of Carnamagos.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 22, 2020

July Aug Groupreads - Sword & Planet AND Oron / Attluma

The July-Aug groupread folders are set up and ready for you!
Everyone is welcome to listen in, discuss, and read!

(A) Sword & Planet Folder Link

(B) David C. Smith's Oron and Attluma- Folder Link

Cover Art credits for groupread banner:

Edgar Rice Burroughs books:
Barsoom #11John Carter of Mars - artist Michael Whelan
Barsoom #3 The Warlord of Mars -artist Michael Whelan

David C. Smith books:
Tales of Attluma artist Tom Barber
Oron- arist Clyde Caldwell

John Carter of Mars (Barsoom #11) by Edgar Rice Burroughs The Warlord of Mars (Barsoom, #3) by Edgar Rice Burroughs Tales of Attluma by David C. Smith Oron by David C. Smith

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Sharing: Sword & Sorcery Panel - June 12th

June 12 Tales From the Magician's Skull Kickstarter Update ... sharing since non backers may not see it, but would be interested... copy/pasted here:

Friday panel: "Swords & Sorcery of Appendix N"

Goodman GamesCreator

Greetings, O minions of the Skull!

This missive is to inform you of a particular gathering that may interest you. On Friday, June 12, at 8:00 PM Eastern timethe Goodman Games Twitch channel will host a seminar entitled, "Swords & Sorcery of Appendix N." The discussion will focus on swords and sorcery fiction, and features panelists no doubt familiar to many of you:

·         Howard Andrew Jones

·         John Hocking

·         James Enge

·         Michael Curtis

·         Joseph Goodman

The panel is part of the overall Twitch coverage for our current online gaming convention, DCC Days Online. Our test runs have almost been like a contest to see who can cram the most packed bookshelf into their backdrop. If you ever wanted to see 5 people gathered together who really love talking about books, this is the time! 

How to watch: Go to Twitch.TV and find the channel GoodmanGamesOfficial. (This link will take you there.) Simply tune in at 8:00 PM on Friday June 12 and you'll see the seminar start!

Other Seminars of Interest: Our Twitch channel will host quite a few streams over this coming weekend. There are several others that might be of particular interest to fans of swords & sorcery fiction:

·         The Appendix N Book Club podcast will make its vidcast debut at 1:30PM Eastern time on Sunday June 14. Wouldn't we all want to be a part of that book club?

·         Sanctum Secorum takes Appendix N fiction and applies it specifically to DCC games. This podcast will also make its vidcast debut at 10:00 AM Eastern on Saturday June 13.

There is also lots of live gaming and more. You can see the full schedule here.

Hope to see you online!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

3D Printing Peru Monkey Discs

The resident mythologist of my household, daughter Erin Lindberg, was part of a student team scanning artifacts for the anthropology department at the University of Miami-Oxford, OH.

One of her scans and her description is online: Sketchfab - Miami University Anthropology (3D scan and STL file) As I try out our new 3D Printer (Ender 3 Pro), we downloaded and printed the Peru Monkey Disc that she is emotionally attached too.

Official Blurb:
"This copper-alloy disc bears a strong similarity to artifacts from the Chimú culture of northern Peru, 900-1470 CE, such as this example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Northern Peruvian artisans typically worked with copper-arsenic alloys. These alloys are stronger, and easier to cast than copper alone. The process for making copper-arsenic alloy begins with burning charcoal in the bottom of a furnace bowl. Ores were crushed and mixed to make a smelting charge. By blowing through tubes into the furnace, artisans increased the heat in the furnace. However, it was not enough to liquify the charge, and produced prills, or droplets of pure metal, that were collected, and most likely remelted and made into small ingots (Shimada and Merkel 82-83).
Shimada, Izumi, and John F. Merkel. “Copper-Alloy Metallurgy in Ancient Peru.” Scientific American, vol. 265, no. 1, 1991, pp. 80–87. JSTOR, Accessed 15 Apr. 2020."

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Heroika II: Skirmishers

Originally posted on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020:

Heroika II: Skirmishers – Heroism on the History: Fantasy Battlefront

The Heroika anthology series is created by author and editor Janet Morris (known for her Heroes in HellSacred Band of Stepsons, and Kerrion Empire (Silistra) series). The first volume Heroika I: Dragon Eaters featured seventeen stories from across the globe, from ancient to modern times arranged chronologically. Black Gate reviewer Fletcher Vredenburgh reported: “Too many anthologies pick a tone and then it doesn’t vary from story to story. Heroika avoids that. Connected by the themes of heroism and dragon-fighting, it allows room for varying styles of mythic tales and heroic fantasy as well as all-out pulp craziness.” Heroika II: Skirmishers follows suit, this time with twelve heroic tales spanning ancient history to modern times, arranged chronologically again. Most authors have a historical fiction bent, so Skirmishers really is 50% historical fiction and 50% fantasy. Brief forwards provide context to each story. This post offers a brochure-like tour guide of these battlegrounds.

41vWAgGs40LThe Official Blurb

HEROIKA: SKIRMISHERS (available now in Kindle and Paperback) Conflict is a constant. When force on force is inevitable only the intrepid need come forth. Summon the Skirmishers to their eternal purpose, to face a foe who must be opposed at all cost. Gird yourself and join the brotherhood of 'do or die.' Created by Janet Morris and edited by Alexandra Butcher, HEROIKA: SKIRMISHERS is an anthology of desperate struggles in far flung time-scapes, the age old smell of battle and death. SKIRMISHERS --Tales for the bold among you!