Monday, December 27, 2021

Tales From the Magician's Skull Blog - Dec14th-24th Roundup

 Tales from the Magician’s Skull Blog - Dec 14th - 24th Roundup

Bill Ward champions this at: https://goodman-games.com/tftms/



Dec 24 Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber By Michael Curtis
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
We’ve talked a lot about Fritz Leiber, whose birthday we’re celebrating today, over the last few years. Leiber, born December 24th, 1910, is most widely known among gamers as the man responsible for the fantastic Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories. In the years running up to DCC Lankhmar, a lot of ink has been spilled discussing Leiber’s most famous creation. Today, however, we’re going to examine some of Leiber’s other work and see how we can apply it to our games—especially DCC Lankhmar.

Dec 21 Classic Covers: Michael MoorcockBy Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
With more than a half-century of prolific, diverse, and wonderfully inventive writing in everything from classic sword-and-sorcery to surreal alternate history to sword-and-planet pastiche to counter culture lit fic, Michael Moorcock has seen more editions of his work than you can shake a demon-possessed sword at. And while Moorcock freely hops from genre to sub-genre to whatever-he-feels-like, he seems to have inspired a similar variety of artistic interpretations of his work, sometimes very at-odds with traditional branding, and at others pitch perfect examples of publishing trends. As wild and inventive as his fiction, the following mad collage of images just scratches the surface of the wide array of covers that have helped Moorcock’s books leap from the shelf and into the hands of eager readers since the 1960s.

Dec 20 Adventures in Fiction: Zenith the Albino By Terry Olson
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
Many of us come to Gygax’s Appendix N to explore the works that inspired both the D&D of our youth and our favorite fantasy RPGs of today. We read these literary progenitors for both insight and inspiration, and we begin to recognize their themes, plot-twists, villains, and heroes being adapted and personalized by today’s authors. But the writers whom Gary Gygax read were not writing in a vacuum. Surely they were adapting and personalizing the themes, plot-twists, villains, and heroes that they were reading. Who inspired them? Answering this question by reading further back in D&D’s ancestral chain, by going “back to the roots of the genre as deeply as possible” (as Moorcock puts it), is what we call “Appendix N Archaeology.”

Dec 19 Brian Murphy’s Flame and Crimson: A History of Sword-and-Sorcery By Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
In Flame and Crimson (2019) Brian Murphy has crafted no less than the first book length history of the sword-and-sorcery genre, from its origins and antecedents right down to its reflection in the popular culture of the present day. It is a work both indispensable and long overdue, one that fills a gap in our collective bookshelves while establishing an academic and historical baseline for discussion of sword-and-sorcery going forward. But Murphy also accomplishes the most difficult task of all, balancing the need for critical rigor with readability, and the result is a book that not only provides a compelling and comprehensive view of its subject, but is also as fun to read and impossible to put down as the classic stories referenced in its pages.

Dec 18 Adventures in Fiction: Michael Moorcock By Terry Olson
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
On the 18th of December, we celebrate the birthday of Michael Moorcock—a big writer with big ideas (regardless of what he thought a handful of decades ago). It’s difficult to rank Moorcock’s diverse achievements in terms of importance or influence. He’s impacted gaming through his Elric stories, he’s been a prolific writer of the Eternal Champion and Multiverse themes, he’s been an influential editor that helped change (dare I say, “improve”) the face of Science Fiction, he’s written comics, and he’s written lyrics for and performed with major rock bands! Perhaps most important of all, he’s inspired generations of great writers, such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Thomas Pynchon.

Dec 18 Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier By Jim Wampler
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
Yesterday was the 93rd anniversary of the birth of Sterling E. Lanier. He wasn’t just a favorite author of E. Gary Gygax, nor was he merely a cited influence on both the Dungeons & Dragons and Gamma World role playing games. For those things alone he would still be notable and of interest to role playing gamers everywhere. Sterling E. Lanier was the quintessential polymath. His personal interests ranged from skin-diving and boating to bird watching and conservation causes. He was also a naval and military history buff.

Dec 17 The Mad Dream Dies: Karl Edward Wagner’s Bloodstone By Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
Aliens, lost civilizations, superscience vs. sorcery, perilous expeditions, a warrior maid, sentient crystalline entities, virgin sacrificing witches, bandits, ambushes, teleportation, a magic ring, cosmic visions, possession, a conjured tsunami, desperate battles, a jungle-shrouded city, cross and double-cross, devolved frogmen, a field tracheotomy, wall-leveling green lightning bolts, a world-threatening power, amphibian-crewed hydrofoils, lost tomes brimming with secret knowledge, a reconfigured semi-solid army of the elder dead, and an immortal juggernaut of a man at the lonely center of it all – it’s Bloodstone!

Dec 14 Heroic Fantasy Quarterly’s 50th Issue By Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
The Skull and his various minions, flunkies, lieutenants, and, yes, even interns would like to send a hearty congratulations to our sword-brothers over at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, on the occasion of their 50th issue! Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is an online magazine specializing in adventure fantasy of all kinds, from eponymous tales of heroism and epic fantasy, to sword-and-sorcery, dark fantasy, and skulldugging daring-do. If you love Tales From the Magician’s Skull, you’re sure to thrill to our mighty sister publication, who have been in the game for over a decade of consistently excellent fantasy publishing!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

HOCKING's CONAN PASTICHE: Emerald Lotus AND "Black Starlight"; Review by SE

Simulcast on Black Gate


Ken Kelly cover art for Conan and the Emerald Lotus

John C. Hocking's Conan PasticheConan and the Emerald Lotus by John C. Hocking emerged from Tor in 1995 (Ciruelo Cabral cover artist) and reprinted in 1999 (Ken Kelly cover); paperbacks are insanely expensive now (i.e. >$500 on Amazon). Fast forward to 2019, and Hocking released a 12-part serialized novella "Black Starlight" that spanned the recent Conan the Barbarian comic (Jason Aaron)--a direct sequel to "Emerald Lotus" that tracks Conan's adventures as he returns from Stygia.


An indirect sequel novel by Hocking called Conan and the Living Plague was pulled from a 2019 publication at the last minute. Its future is unknown (by certain graces, the author did provide me a copy of the manuscript...and we plan to discuss/share some in an interview planned for 2022).

Setting the Stage with the cover blurb:
(BTW, an astute Goodreads S&S Group member pointed out that there are actually 3 wizards, and this official blurb blends the identity of "Shakar the Keshanian" and "Ethram-Fal")
One wizard is bad. Two are a disaster...And a deadly disaster, too. For Conan, after refusing to help the evil wizard Ethram-Fal, has been cursed with a spell that is slowly, inexorably squeezing the life from his mighty frame. The only person who can banish the spell--besides Ethram-Fal, of course--is the sorceress Zelandra: a raven-haired beauty who practices only white magic...or so she says.

Zelandra has offered to lift the spell from the Cimmerian, if only he will do her one small service: steal the deadly Emerald Lotus from the clutches of Ethram-Fal in his impregnable desert fortress. No good can come of this, Conan thinks to himself. Once sorcery gets mixed up in it, the whole job goes to hell Unfortunately, he's right.

The Prologue: This catalyzes the adventure, defines the conflict, and sets the expectation for substantial horror elements (which the reader gets!). In fact, the titular lotus is both (a) a resource for casting sorcery and (b) a living inhuman-floral creature. Drugs and sorcery are equated, and they are also connected to a vegetable-entity-demon, so the conflict(s) feel very rich, fun, & unique. Sorcerers are addicts!

A moist crackling filled the still air. The corpse jerked and trembled as though endowed with tormented life. Ethram-Fal caught his breath as fist-sized swellings erupted all but instantaneously from the dead flesh of his ap-prentice. The body was grotesquely distorted in a score of places, with such swift violence that the limbs convulsed and the yellow robes ripped open.

Green blossoms the size of a man's open hand burst from the corpse, leaping forth in such profusion that the body was almost hidden from view. Iridescent and six-petaled, the blooms pushed free of enclosing flesh, bobbing and shaking as if in a strong wind. In a moment they were still, and a sharp, musky odor, redolent of both nectar and corruption, rose slowly to fill the chamber.

The Style/Scope: Hocking certainly captured the spirit of REH's fast-paced adventure, and presented the Hyperborean canon/landscape well. Conan's remarkable travel and experiences set him apart from other mercenaries. As he gets embroiled in an adventure, he'll travel across Shem, the river Styx, and into Stygia. There are some greater conflicts teased with Shamtare and King Sumuabi that are introduced but not fleshed out (more on that later).

REH's Conan was essentially all short stories, but novels require longer relationships and here Conan finds himself allied with a team. Conan and the mute Khitan Heng Shih are the two men, and each is loosely paired with a strong-willed woman. The lady on the Ken Kelly cover seems a hybrid of Zelandra (the sorceress with raven hair) with her dagger-wielding attendant Neesa. Conan's warrior skills and knowledge of Stygia are needed to guide them to the ruins of Cetriss. Conan's scouting powers are great with preternatural, and predatorial, eyesight, sense of smell, and instincts:

S&S in Style:
….Where the stream of bubbles had emerged from the pool's floor, a thick shaft of shining green, like the trunk of a tree, now thrust itself into view. It shook, jerked, and stretched itself taller than a man, lashing the water to froth. A cluster of pale, bloated, petal-like growths covered the thing's crown. Its body was a densely wrinkled green cylinder, crisscrossed with pulsing veins. A pair of ridged tentacles burst from each side of its midsection, lashing the air. A thick mass of roiling roots formed its base, heaving at the pool's floor, lifting the grotesque thing up out of the water, moving it toward the shore and the stunned human intruders.

A whiplike tentacle whistled toward Conan, snapping itself around his right calf. It pulled forward with incredible strength, jerking his leg up, upending the barbarian's body, so that for a moment he was suspended head down. The Cimmerian's sword leapt into his hands, making a flashing arc that slashed through the hard, ridged arm and dropped him to the sand.

Heng Shih's hands caught Zelandra's waist and tossed her forcefully back. She stumbled out of range even as a tentacle curled around her bodyguard's torso. The emerald arm constricted, sinking sharply into Heng Shih's abdomen, drawing him in toward the hideous thing.

Conan sprang cat-like up off the ground, ducking beneath one flailing tentacle as another struck him across neck and chest like a slavemaster's whip. He twisted away, stumbling in the sand, a line of dripping crimson bright on his bronzed throat.

The unnatural plant proceeded to pull itself out of the pool on its tangled carpet of roots while bone-white thorns began sprouting from the net of wrinkles on its swaying trunk. Wicked, needle-sharp spikes pushed into view, jutting the length of a man's hand. The unladen tentacles lengthened, whipping wildly about- as the one gripping Heng Shih pulled steadily, tirelessly at him.

The Cimmerian lunged to his friend's aid. A questing tentacle writhed about the barbarian's left arm, biting into muscle and spoiling a stroke meant to free Heng Shih. The tentacle he had severed snaked clumsily between Conan's legs, seeking an ankle.

The Khitan's boots plowed twin furrows in the sandy soil as he was drawn irresistibly toward the thing….
Some of the initial setting begged to be addressed again (i.e., the fate of Conan's mercenary buddy Shamtare and King Sumuabi's need for raising armies), but these are minor threads and happen to be seeds developed in The Living Plague. Although the climax was consistent and action-packed, Conan could have played an even larger role in the resolution.

2019 Conan the Barbarian Comics



"Black Starlight" is the serialized extension of Emerald Lotus. The 12-part episodes published across the 2019 Conan the Barbarian comics picks up directly after the conflict; to clarify, the comics are separate, disconnected story penned by Jason Aaron. With precious little lotus surviving, Stygian liches are desperately trying to steal what little Zelandra has procured. As the party makes its way back to Shem, a fight over it leads the party to an abandoned manor, and a demonic battle. Expect more Hocking pastiche, which always involves a bit of weird-horror:
"No matter." Nubar shrugged the white robes off his shoulders. The barbarian almost lunged, but the hooked blade was back at Zelandra's throat in an instant, and the thing that wore the form of Lord Nubar favored him with a slow and mocking smile. He let the robe fall to his belted waist. His upper body was pale, and the hair on his breast was shot with gray, but he stood straight and there was strength in his shoulders.

With a faint sigh he lifted his arms for a moment, giving Conan a glimpse of long, crimson openings high along his ribs on either side, as open as wounds but not bleeding. Conan saw two horizontal slashes like wide, red-lipped mouths, and each was full of fitfully moving slugs, tiny facsimiles of the winged leeches he and his comrades had faced again and again this hellish night.
Living Plague: Expect coverage on this in an upcoming interview. In short, having read the manuscript, it was designed as an indirect sequel to Emerald. As per the title and blurb, there is a new creature/villain to battle, but Conan's compatriot Shamtare and the location of Akkharia are explored in very satisfying ways.
The long-awaited follow-up to 'Conan And The Emerald Lotus', Hocking once again proves to be amongst the best of the Conan pastiche writers.

Sent to recover treasure from a plague-wracked city, not only must Conan avoid its deranged survivors, but battle a deadly disease given humanoid shape. To save himself - and perhaps the world - he allies with a scheming sorcerer to traverse a demon-haunted abyss in a desperate bid to destroy the Living Plague.

More Hocking
 BTW, Hocking has been cranking out "King's Blade" stories featuring his hero Benhus; these appear in Tales from the Magician's Skull. Highly recommended.

He also had a series of short stories on Brand the Viking. The first “Vali’s Wound” in Daniel Blackston’s anthology Lords of Swords (Pitch-Black, 2004), the second “The Face in the Sea” appeared in Black Gate (2009), and the third “The Bonestealer’s Mirror” in Black Gate (2010).

He also has a few essays out, including "Conan: REH, Conan and Me" in Jason M. Waltz's (Rogue Blade Foundation champion) Robert E. Howard Changed My Life. Here's an excerpt of his 2019 essay that reflects on pastiche:

...I wrote Conan and the Emerald Lotus (1995) for a number of reasons, but foremost among them was a desire to produce my own tribute to Robert E. Howard, Conan, and the Cimmerian’s saga, canonical and otherwise. Na├»vely, it never occurred to me the book might be seen as anything but a tribute. It was an attempt, for better or worse, to reflect and celebrate the aspects of the original tales I had most enjoyed and, more often than not, found absent or muted in much modern fantasy adventure.

The book received a mixed response, of course. It appears impossible to find a Conan pastiche that is uniformly appreciated or uniformly scorned. Looking back on Conan and the Emerald Lotus now, 25 years after it was written, I can neither be satisfied with nor dismissive of the book. It is, naturally, down to the individual reader to determine any degree of success the book might have as a novel, a pastiche or just the provider of a few hours of entertainment. However, I do like to think its status as a tribute, as a sincere effort to frame and broadcast my admiration of Robert E. Howard and his immortal Cimmerian, would be apparent to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the prose originals. The book is so saturated with references, connections, tributes and call-outs to REH, the Conan pastiche I most admired, and Howard’s fellow Weird Tales authors that were they to be stripped out of the novel the book would be half its size and nearly incomprehensible. In this way the book is not simply a reaction to Howard and Conan but an expression, decades in the making, of the reaction I initially felt upon encountering “The People of the Black Circle” and the world of reading it threw open for my exploration...




Sunday, December 19, 2021

Annual Anthology Group Read - Jan Feb 2022

 

Join the Sword & Sorcery Group on Goodreads

Jan-Feb 2022 is our annual 2month groupread of Anthologies (and Magazines). All are fair game. Online. Print. Old. New.

Banner Cover Art Credits
Sanjulian - Tales from the Magician's Skull #5
Jim Pitts - Sword and Sorceries #3
Mark Wheatley - Blood on the Blade

Below is a sampling of anthologies being targeted. Feel welcome to add any anthology you plan to read to the "poll" which serves to advertise what is being read or discussed (rather than a "winner").
https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/2...


Whetstone Amateur Magazine of Sword and Sorcery Issue One by Jason Ray Carney Whetstone Amateur Magazine of Sword and Sorcery Issue Two by Jason Ray Carney Whetstone Amateur Magazine of Sword and Sorcery Issue Three by Jason Ray Carney
Whetstone (Free, online) magazine

Swords and Sorceries Tales of Heroic Fantasy Vol. 3 by David A. Riley Swords & Sorceries Tales of Heroic Fantasy by Editor David A. Riley Swords & Sorceries Tales of Heroic Fantasy Vol 2 by David A. Riley
Swords and Sorceries by Parallel Universe

Renegade Swords by D.M. Ritzlin Swords of Steel by D.M. Ritzlin Death Dealers & Diabolists by D.M. Ritzlin Blood on the Blade by Cliff Biggers
DMR books

Robert E. Howard Changed My Life Personal Essays about an Extraordinary Legacy by Robert E. Howard Return of the Sword An Anthology of Heroic Adventure by Jason M. Waltz Death's Sting--Where Art Thou? by Jason M. Waltz
Rogues Blades Entertainment/Foundation

The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Volume 3, 2013-2015 by Adrian Simmons The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Volume 1, 2009-2011 by Adrian Simmons The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Volume 2, 2011-2013 Best of HFQ Volume 2 (Best of heroicfantasyquartelry.com) by Adrian Simmons
HFQ online or collection

Sword and Planet by Christopher Ruocchio
Sword and Planet due out Dec 21


Sunday, December 12, 2021

TFMS Blog Roundup (mid-Nov thru mid-dec)


The Tales From the Magician's Skull Blog continues to crank out content.

Link: https://goodman-games.com/tftms/
Here are the posts from late Nov thru mid-Dec, with blurbs:

Dec 10 Preserving the Flame: A Review of Phantasmagoria Special Edition Series #5: Karl Edward Wagner by Brian Murphy
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
What makes Karl Edward Wagner’s best writing so powerful? I believe he was chasing a dark muse, dangerous and unpredictable, vital and vivid. The one we see on the page of “Into the Pines,” a story which alone makes the new Phantasmagoria Special Edition Series#5: Karl Edward Wagner, worth its price tag: Out into the pines Renee led him. The pines whose incessant whisper told of black knowledge and secret loneliness.

Dec 07: Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett by Michael Curtis
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page.

Dec 07: Classic Covers: Leigh Brackett by Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
The sad truth is that Appendix N is overwhelmingly a boys’ club. Much of the blame can be assigned to the fact that science-fiction and fantasy writers prior to 1960s were by and large white men. It was a tough club for a woman to break into, resulting in many female authors with an interest in writing science-fiction and fantasy working under either pen names (such as Andre Norton) or their initials (like C.L. Moore). A few managed to find success and publication without obscuring their femininity, proving that gender is meaningless when it comes to writing rollicking good sci-fi and fantasy. Leigh Brackett was one of these women who earned her place in the club without needing to hide her identity.

Dec 03: A Chicago Archaeologist in King Thiudahad’s Court: A Look at L. Sprague de Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall by Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
In a flash, unassuming archaeologist Martin Padway finds himself displaced in time, slipping from the Rome of Mussolini’s Italy in 1938 into the Rome of the sixth century, AD 535 to be exact. With nothing but the contents of his pockets, a lifetime of learning, and off-the-charts levels of audacity, he sets about not only securing a life for himself, but staving off the collapse of the entire classical world. Fortunately for Western Civilization Martin Padway – who will no doubt be revered in some alternate historical timeline as Martinus Paduei – has an almost John Carter-like suite of superpowers at his disposal. Padway is no fighter, however, and his power has nothing to do with gravity (though he does happen to spill the beans on Einstein’s General Relativity a millennium and a half early…), but rather consists of an encyclopedic knowledge of Procopius’ Gothic Wars, enough Classical Latin and Modern Italian to pidgin his way through the language of the day, and a pretty sharp memory of High School chemistry. It’s a good thing, too, because all of Italy is about to be plunged into a destructive, decades-long war that will achieve nothing in the long-term beyond a further degradation of civilization itself, and Martin must scramble to prevent, even reverse, the coming fiasco . . . Lest Darkness Fall.

Nov-30 Short Sorcery: Poul Anderson’s “Witch of the Demon Seas” by Bill Ward
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
Corun of Conahur, once prince of a conquered people, now pirate and rebel, has been captured and brought to Tauros, the seat of imperial sea power for the Thalassocracy of Archaea. Imprisoned, facing certain doom, he is offered a chance to preserve his life in the service of new masters, the sinister sorcerer Shorzon and his beautiful and terrible daughter, the witch Cryseis. As one of the few adventurers ever to return alive from the forbidden realm of the Sea of Demons, one who actually conversed with the mysterious inhuman Xanthi and lived to tell the tale, Corun is uniquely valuable to the sorcerer’s unrevealed plans. Thus begins Poul Anderson’s novella “Witch of the Demon Seas,” a straight-ahead blood and thunder quest over phosphorescent seas in a barbarian-crewed galley into ruined alien lands with the fate of an entire planet at stake.

Nov 27: Adventures in Fiction: L. Sprague de Camp by Jeff Goad
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page......Did you know that L. Sprague de Camp coined the terms “extraterrestrial” and “E.T.”? It’s true! While the noun existed before de Camp, he was the first to use it to describe alien life in a 1939 article for Astounding Science Fiction. This is one of many examples of how De Camp’s impact on the genres of science fiction and fantasy far exceed his level of contemporary fame.

Nov 26: A Look at James Enge’s Blood of Ambrose by Fletcher Vredenburgh
https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...

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.

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 selindberg.com.

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!
Link: https://goodman-games.com/blog/2021/1...
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
Link: https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
"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
Link: https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
"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
Link: https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2021/...
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).


Poll
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.