Sunday, November 28, 2021

Happy Holidays Card 2021

Wishing you Peace and Joy this Holiday Season!

 After a two-year hiatus, the Lindberg Holiday Card is back, thanks to the craftiness of Heidi.  Some of her animals are roaming on Instagram. The final card is a compilation of several others (puzzle hunters can look for the owl). Her weapons of choice are hand-drawn sketching, digital sketching on iPad/Procreate, and Adobe Illustrator. We're having some printed, but nowhere near the quantities that we used to have made.

Big Hare Creative

Previous cards are still featured on the Lindberg Crafts website. This one echoes themes from the 2010 and 2018 reindeer/peryton & the 2017 moon/forest silhouette.

Erin is wrapping up her Anthropology/Media-Communication studies at Miami University, and Connor just headed to the University of Cincinnati to study Environmental Engineering. With them growing up, our headquarters became an empty nest. Over 2020 and 2021 we lost two Holiday Card models to old age; Shorty the Pug & Sweetie the Cat are missed (the 2017 Holiday Card photoshoot was all about them, and the 2009 card had them highlighted).

We are going to try to stay petless for a time...then eventually double-down and get a grumble (that's the proper term for >3 pugs). Time will tell. Beyond work, Seth has gotten immersed in all sorts of writing hobbies, publishing short stories, interning for magazines, and joining the planning committee for a large Writer's Symposium; his antics are chronicled on

For now, the Lindbergs wish everyone a peaceful, joyful, Holiday Season. 

Goofy Lindbergs Spreading Hope

Saturday, November 27, 2021

TFMS Blog. Nov-2021 Roundup

 Several TFMS posts have rolled out over the last half of Nov., championed by Bill Ward.

Save Up To 40% With The HAUL-idays!
Goodman Games Haul-iday Sale! Virtually everything on the Goodman Games website is discounted now through Monday, November 29, 2021. By using the two coupon codes below, you can save anywhere from 20-40% on items ordered through our website. Most Goodman Games items are 40% off, and most third-party products are 20% off. Coupon codes are not valid on pre-order items, gift cards, or the First-Time Fan Kit. Free shipping on domestic orders over $100.00.
At checkout enter the following two coupon codes (they can be combined, but do not stack):
HAUL2021GOOD and HAUL20213PP.

A Look at James Enge’s Blood of Ambrose by Fletcher Vredenburgh
"I abandoned reading fantasy for six or seven years. I had become bored with epics and found myself uninterested in the new, supposedly transgressive, books. But around 2010 I decided to actively seek out and write about sword & sorcery on my blog Stuff I Like. At some point in my search I encountered James Enge’s old website, where he was offering a free download of the Morlock story “Traveller’s Rest.” Assuring readers I wouldn’t give any plot away I wrote, “And the escapade I’m not going to write about is exciting, creepy and covered with the right amount of nuttiness.” Soon after, I read “The Red Worm’s Way” in Rogue Blades’ monstrously good collection, Return of the Sword (a book any true S&S aficionado should own). My short review of that story reads: “Morlock Ambrosius and corpse-eating monsters. Enough said.” Those two stories led me right to Enge’s first full-length novel, Blood of Ambrose."

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 life."

Northwest of Earth: A Look at C.L. Moore’s Iconic Space Adventurer
Popular media is resplendent with celebrations of the romantic outlaw. From Robin of Locksley to the six gun strapping figures of the American Frontier, or the hardboiled gumshoes of detective fiction, the anonymous masked vigilantes of the pulps, even the globe-trotting adventurers of the Victorian era, and continuing right up to the spice-smuggling space jockeys of science fiction, those that dwell outside society’s rules and expectations make for vicariously interesting protagonists. One such character, C.L. Moore’s cool and ruthless Northwest Smith, falls squarely along the timeline that saw America’s heroes trade in their horses for rocketships and their revolvers for rayguns, all while retaining that tenaciously independent and hyper-competent attitude that is the hallmark of the Outsider Hero.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Annual Anthology Poll (for Jan-Feb 2022 Groupread)

Sword & Sorcery Group on Goodreads 

Like the past eight years, we'll dedicate 2months to reading/sharing/reviewing anthologies & magazines.

Join in and identify the ones you plan to give attention toward.  The poll is just being used to share selections (not enforce any one to read).

Jan-Feb 2022: Annual 2month groupread of Anthologies (and Magazines). All are fair game. Online. Print. Old. New. WRITE IN the one you plan to read/share/review, or select from the ones here.

More Tales from the Magician's Skull has funded!

More Tales From The Magician's Skull

The Kickstarter campaign ritual ended successfully, with 640 backers that unlocked an 8th story in the 2022 Special Issue! Expected years more of S&S printed on high-quality paper, fully illustrated, with statistics for RPG for each story, and engaging covers.... expect greatness!

The Skull Expresses His Gratitude (which doesn't happen often)

More Tales From The Magician's Skull -- Kicktraq Mini

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Immortal Muse - Review, Stephen Leigh Interview, and Prelude to a Deleted Chapter Reveal


Left, Paperback cover (artist unknown); Right cover art by Tim O'Brien.

Stephen Leigh is a Cincinnati-based, award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy, with thirty novels and nearly sixty short stories published. He has also published fantasy under the pseudonym S.L. Farrell. He has been a frequent contributor to the Hugo-nominated shared-world series Wild Cards, edited by George R.R. Martin. Stephen taught creative writing for twenty years at Northern Kentucky University, and has recently retired (but not from writing). His most recent novels have been Amid The Crowd Of Stars, the SunPath duology of A Fading Sun and A Rising MoonThe Crow of Connemara, and Immortal Muse. His latest novel, Bound To A Single Sun, will be published by DAW Books next year. Stephen is married to Denise Parsley Leigh; they are the parents of a daughter and a son; he is a musician and vocalist too, active in several Cincinnati bands.

In 2014, Stephen Leigh published his Immortal Muse novel (check out the 2014 Black Gate release), an alternative-history, fantasy fictionalizing alchemy's role in artistic muses. Wow! Of course, Leigh had to be interviewed as part of the "Beauty in Weird Fiction" interview series. Indeed he was interviewed in 2016 before the interview series merged into Black Gate. If you are interested in the aesthetics of horror and weird fantasy, check out the thoughts of our recent guests like Darrell SchweitzerSebastian JonesCharles GramlichAnna Smith Spark, Carol Berg, & Jason Ray Carney (full list of interviews at the end of this post).

This post wraps up (1) a review of Immortal Muse, (2) the interview with the author on Leigh's muses, and (3) teases readers within an announcement. Okay, we'll cover that last one first. There is a missing/deleted chapter from Immortal Muse that Stephen Leigh will be posting on Black Gate soon, over 11K words with annotations on (a) why it was left out of the final book and (b) how facts were woven into this fantastical alternative-history. It serves as both a stand-alone short story and an engaging behind-the-scenes look at writing. The article with the missing chapter is posted here.

Let this review and interview stoke your creative fires (link)

BTW, interviewing is rewarding in itself, but receiving kind feedback from the interviewees and readers really hits home. 
“Seth, I honestly think that's one of the best interviews anyone's ever done with me: great questions that forced me to answer in depth. If anyone wants a glimpse into "how I write", your interview would be an excellent choice! Thanks for reminding me of it, and for giving everyone the link!” - Stephen Leigh

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Spine of Night - Movie Review

The Spine of the Night

5.0 out of 5 stars - A magical blend of nostalgic S&S and Heavy Metal with fresh takes on adventure.
"Do not mistake ritual for truth.
Do not mistake the desire for power with the desire for knowledge"
--so says Tzod (voiced by Lucy Lawless)

Many of us old folk will adore the formatting and production: rotoscoped classics like Bakshi's Lord of the RIngs and Bakshi/Frazetta's Fire and Ice movie paved the way for this. Classic barbarism vs civilization themes are explored but expanded from historical Sword & Sorcery limits. Violence and nudity are shown in gritty detail. Lucy Lawless voices Tzod, who leads the presentation as a sorceress heroine. Unlike Tegra from Fire and Ice, her body is less young/model-like more mature/motherly; her courage and strength rival that of Conan. So we get treated to S&S but with a strong, older woman with sorcery skills as our protagonist. The story and setting are epic and span centuries. This is well done, intellectually warfare and art. Try it out, the Bloom is contagious. Here are some thoughts on it:

  • The Bloom is knowledge and power.
  • Should the Bloom empower nature, or mankind?
  • Who owns it, really?
  • Should anyone guard it against humanity? Disperse it, via scholar or the ruling hierarchy of sorcerers?
  • What would you do with the Bloom?

Watch it now online, from many venues .... including Amazon Prime (own the HD version for $10)

Oh, get the Spine of Night merchandise too. I am thinking each family member will get an eye-shirt for the Holidays!

"Spine of Night" with Creators Morgan King and Phil Gelatt, Rogues in the House (link) 

First off, it is amazing that the roto-scoped masterpiece Spine of Night was made, and then cooler yet that a bunch of rogues cornered the creators to discuss all sorts of story & movie elements (from barbarism to the role of fertility gods and the bodily shapes of heroines). Check out the link above, or find the 11-12-2021 Rogues in the House Podcast episode on your favorite podcasting venue.

2021 Dec Update!  Family Xmas T-shirts!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

More Tales from the Magician's Skull - Kickstarter is live!

It's live! Pledge to the Skull! The Kickstarter is live! Extend your subscription or get just a few issues...up to 9 more! The Special issue depends on our involvement. Every 200 backers yields another story in that. 

Link to Kickstarter: "More Tales From The Magician's Skull"

Link to 40min Overview on Twitch

A magazine of all-new swords & sorcery fiction in the classic pulp style! Now pursuing issue #7 and beyond!