Derik Badman's Journal

2020-09-16 08:24

Stumbled upon The Sword & Sorcery Anthology edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacon Weisman (2012) while searching for something else in the library catalog (I think it was Joanna Russ who is in this anthology). It's a collection of the subgenre spanning Conan to Song of Fire and Ice with a lot in between. Early stories like "The Tower of the Elephant" and C.L. Moore's "The Black God's Kiss," which I must have started once and never completed, as I remembered the beginning but not the middle or end. There's a Grey Mouser story by Fritz Leiber (a chronologically early one as Fafhrd is only hinted at); I've been meaning to reread those. A bunch of authors or stories new to me, some interesting, some not so much. I've read about Karl Edward Wagner's Kane stories but the one here was my first. I enjoyed it enough I will look up some more and see how they are. The Joanna Russ story is her first Alyx one which I've read (and reread) recently. An Elric story that was... ok... I tried to reread some of those a little while back and did not get far. I just bought a Charles R. Saunders ebook the other day and there is a story of his here that I quite liked, an African inspired setting (I've gotta think Marlon James was inspired by Saunders for his Black Leopard, Red Wolf). I'm not sure I've actually read Poul Anderson before, his tale here was a viking story, good enough. A bunch of other stories that were fine, or that I couldn't even get a few pages into because of the language (looking at you Glen Cook). As the stories go on they get less conventional, going in different directions. Rachel Pollack's story felt a little more fairy tale-ish. A very short Gene Wolfe story was confusing to me at first, but on second read I realize it's a pastiche of the genre, probably a trifle to him, but well situated in the book to add to the sense of genre awareness that seems more prominent in the later work. I quite liked Caitlin R. Kiernan's "The Sea Troll's Daughter"; I'm not familiar with her, but will be looking her up (and in looking at her novels I can see it's not the type of fantasy I'm into). I've just got the last three stories to go, though I suspect I won't get through the George R.R. Martin story as in the past my attempts at reading him have failed (he seems a great lover of excessive description; I am not). All in all, worth some of my reading time, and pointing me in a few directions for future reading.