Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
The Sword & Sorcery Anthology Paperback – June 1, 2012
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.”
Awesome collection, very highly recommended.”
Nerds in Babeland
Superbly presented...reignited this reader’s interest.”
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
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.
Top customer reviews
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.
Gimmile's Songs by Charles R. Saunders relates an encounter between a female black warrior with a supernatural being in Nyumbani, Saunders' alternate history version of Africa. I liked it well enough that I'm tempted to try his novel Imaro. Glen Cook's Soldier is the longest story in the book (68 pages). It's the first Cook story that I've read and I must say that I was impressed. It's very well-written and also has an unusual amount of character development and human drama for a S&S story. More novels to buy!
Black God's Kiss is a classic of the field. C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry broke the mold of the pulps by being a female warrior. Unfortunately it shows it's age. Purple prose may have been in vogue in the '30's but it just comes across as silly today. Most of the 30 pages is a description of a rather boring journey through the Underworld in search of revenge. I almost didn't finish it. Ramsay Campbell's Stages was published in a fanzine early in the author's career (1974) and it shows.
I bought this anthology because it has a novella about Daenerys Targaryen in it. I was hoping it was a side story in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series but, alas, it was only a section of one of the novels (the 3rd, I think) so Path of the Dragon was a disappointment.
What do I say about Joanna Russ's The Adventuress? I really enjoyed the writing but the plot was trivial. A princess runs away from home, sails across the sea, kills a few bad guys, and lands on an island filled with hunks. Really.
IMO the following stories are all worth reading:
R.E. Howard's Tower of the Elephant is the oldest story in the book (Weird Tales, March 1933). One of the better Conan stories. The Cimmerian sets out to steal some jewels and winds up saving an alien from beyond time and space from an evil sorcerer. Oh, and of course he fights a giant spider along the way. Corny, maybe, but fun.
In Poul Anderson's The Tale of Hauk a Viking village is ravaged by an undead warrior.
The Barrow Troll by David Drake is another Viking tale. Ulf enlists an unwilling priest to help get the troll's treasure. But do trolls really exist?
In Jane Yolen's Become a Warrior a princess seeks revenge on the murderers of her family.
In Six from Atlantis a survivor of the city's destruction encounters a bunch of babes and a giant ape-god who isn't pleased with our hero. Sounds like a B-movie, doesn't it, but with Gene Wolfe writing, it works.
The Sea Troll's Daughter is my 3rd favorite story. A hard-drinking swordswoman saves a village from the ravages of a sea troll, but the daughter may be even worse than the father. This is the first story I've read by Caitlin R. Kiernan, another name to watch out for.
And now for a couple of disappointments:
The Unholy Grail by Fritz Leiber is a Fafhrd and Gray Mouser story without Fafhrd. Could they have picked a more boring title from that series?
In Moorcock's The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams, Elric and Moonglum save Elric's paradise with the fair Zarozinia from an invasion of bad guys. I enjoyed the Elric series when I read it thirty years ago, but this one just didn't click with me.