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The Sword & Sorcery Anthology Paperback – June 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications; First Edition edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616960698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616960698
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Heroes and their mighty deeds populate the pages of this delightfully kitschy yet absorbing anthology of sword and sorcery short stories from the 1930s onward. Hartwell and Weisman have selected some of the best short-form work in the genre, starting with the originator, Robert E. Howard, and his tales of Conan the Barbarian. The heroes are tough, savvy, and willing to knock a few heads in to get the job done. The soldier of Glen Cook’s Dread Empire and Fritz Leiber’s Grey Mouser make strong appearances, as does Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné and his dread sword, Stormbringer. Female heroes are as ruthless as their male counterparts: C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry walks through Hell and back to get her revenge, while George R. R. Martin’s Daenerys Stormborn becomes a true queen by outmaneuvering an entire city of slavers. This is an unbeatable selection from classic to modern, and each story brings its A game.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The 19 stories in this volume span a time period from 1933 to 2012 and provide a strong introduction to this fantasy subgenre.”
Library Journal

“Awesome collection, very highly recommended.”
Nerds in Babeland

“Superbly presented...reignited this reader’s interest.”
SF Site

“A big, meaty collection of genre highlights that runs the gamut from old-school classics to new interpretations, it serves as an excellent introduction and primer in one.”
Green Man Review

“Hard and fast-paced fantasy that’s strong from the first piece right through to the last.”
Shades of Sentience

“Hartwell and Weisman’s choices are top-notch and provide both an excellent introduction to the subgenre for new readers and exciting reading for long-time fans.”
Grasping for the Wind

“This engaging anthology is a terrific way to meet some of the best fantasists for those unfamiliar with their works and for returning vets a chance to enjoy fun short stories.”
—Midwest Book Review

About the Author

David G. Hartwell is a senior editor at Tor/Forge Books and the publisher of the New York Review of Science Fiction." He is the author of Age of Wonders, the editor of the anthologies The Dark Descent and The World Treasury of Science Fiction, and the coeditor of two anthologies of the best Canadian science fiction, Northern Stars and Northern Suns. He lives in Pleasantville, New York.

Jacob Weisman is the founder, editor, and publisher at Tachyon Publications. His writing has appeared in the Cooper Point Journal, the Nation, Realms of Fantasy, the Seattle Weekly, and in the college textbook, Sport in Contemporary Society. He is the series editor for anthologies including The Secret History of Fantasy, The Urban Fantasy Anthology, and Crucified Dreams: Tales of Urban Horror. He lives in San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Although the table of contents is shown in the "Look Inside" extract above, its reproduced here:

"Introduction: Storytellers: A Guided Ramble into Sword and Sorcery Fiction" by David Drake
"The Tower of the Elephant" by Robert E. Howard
"Black God's Kiss" by C. L. Moore
"The Unholy Grail" by Fritz Leiber
"The Tale of Hauk" by Poul Anderson
"The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams" by Michael Moorcock
"The Adventuress" by Joanna Russ
"Gimmile's Song" by Charles R. Saunders
"Undertow" by Karl Edward Wagner
"The Stages of the God" by Ramsey Campbell (writing as Montgomery Comfort)
"The Barrow Troll" by David Drake
"Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat" by Glen Cook
"Epistle from Lebanoi" by Michael Shea *
"Become a Warrior" by Jane Yolen
"The Red Guild" by Rachel Pollack
"Six from Atlantis" by Gene Wolfe
"The Sea Troll's Daughter" by Caitlín R. Kiernan
"The Coral Heart" by Jeffrey Ford
"Path of the Dragon" by George R. R. Martin
"The Year of the Three Monarchs" by Michael Swanwick *

The starred stories are new in this anthology: unlike 2010's Swords and Dark Magic, this is largely a reprint anthology, with much of it being (effectively) extracts from books (Howard, Leiber, Moorcock, C. L. Moore, GRRM) and some of it published elsewhere comparatively recently (the Glen Cook and Kiernan stuff). It turns out I had read a lot of this before, and some of it recently. On the other hand, I did enjoy re-reading Leiber and Moorcock, so I'm not complaining. Really, its an all-star cast of 75 years of sword and sorcery: I can honestly say I enjoyed every story.

I wont give a mini-review of 19 stories: it would be faster to just read the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This entertaining twenty story collection contains entries starting in the 1930s from every decade since except the 1950s; including two tales never published before ("The Year of Three Monarchs" by Michael Swanwick and "Epistle from Lebanoi" by Michael Shea). . The entries represent a who's who of fantasy though some of the contributions are at best loosely sword and sorcery (David Drake's 1970s "The Barrow Troll" feels more like horror fantasy, but still is a super pre military sci fi work by the author). This engaging anthology is a terrific way to meet some of the best fantasists for those unfamiliar with their works and for returning vets a chance to enjoy fun short stories. In the introduction David Drake makes the case that Robert E. Howard's Conan success created S&S as a genre and deserves the opening act with "Tower of the Elephant". The other 1930s contribution comes from the great C.L. Moore (see "Black God's Kiss). Other famous authors included are Glen Cook's 1980 Dread Empire tale (see "Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat"), Fritz Leiber's 1962 "The Unholy Grail" starring Fafhad and Grey Mouser, Michael Moorcock's Elric (and Stormbringer) in "The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams, and the current top gun George R.R. Martin with his 2000 "Path of the Dagon". Readers will appreciate this strong compilation.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zach on June 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not sure why so few reviews are here, so I'll add one for an solid anthology that includes a good sampling of authors over the past 100 years. As with all collections, not every story worked for me, but enough did for me to recommend it. A few highlights:

Starts off appropriately with a Robert E. Howard story, "The Tower of the Elephant".

"The Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Michael Moorcock was an excellent adventure.

My favorite story by far was Charles R. Saunders' "Gimmile's Song", probably because it is anti-cliche: a heroine instead of a hero; a faithful war-bull instead of a horse; and a African background instead of the traditional European perspective. This is my first exposure to this author despite that he has been around for quite awhile, and I was definitely impressed.

"Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat" by Glen Cook was a delightful read of almost novella length.

"Become a Warrior" by Jane Yolen is a disturbing tale of the cold calculations a women bent on revenge is capable of.

I found "The Sea Troll's Daughter" by Caitlin R. Kiernan to be more sexually restrained than some other stories I've read by this author, and I thought it made her story-telling better and more enjoyable.

Finally, "The Path of the Dragon" by George R.R. Martin was suprisingly good. I know he is all the rage now, but I tried to read one of his books years ago and was unimpressed. I assumed he had been included to help sell the book, but was delighted to find that I actually enjoyed his prose.
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