Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber

(mild spoilers) One of the interesting parts about delving into fantasy’s backlist is getting to see authors’ inspirations at work. When I delved into Swords and Deviltry, a collection of short stories that serves as the novel debut for Fritz Leiber’s heroic duo of the Grey Mouser and Fahfrd, and their dangerous home of Lankhmar, […]

Winter Warriors by David Gemmell

(moderate spoilers) Strength. We think of it mostly as the power to do. To lift, to force through. But in a sense, it’s the power to endure; the power of being able to do over and over, longer than others, if you will. The sort of strength we talk about when we talk of the […]

Sourcery by Sir Terry Pratchett

(mild spoilers) One of the fascinating things about reading Pratchett’s career as a whole is that you get to see where he had an idea, maybe didn’t quite like what he did with it or saw other possibilities, and therefore did it again. Sourcery is a prime example, and an enjoyable read in its own […]

Night’s Master by Tanith Lee

(mild spoilers) Sometimes I think one isn’t reading to one’s full potential unless for every book you finish, another two suggest themselves from the reading. So it was with the Exalted rpg (which is exalted indeed to my mind) for I wished to know its influences, and that’s how I found the demon prince Azharn, […]

Sláine by Pat Mills and various artists

(moderate spoilers) One of my favourite mythic cycles is the Ulster Cycle, that often driven by Cú Chulainn. It’s entrancing in its wildness, its ferocity, its tragedy. One of the things that has drawn me to the comic Slaine over the years is the certainty Pat Mills must feel similarly about the Ulster Cycle. Slaine […]

Inside Sample Mountain – Late November Edition

Hello, and welcome to another edition of me trying to decide which of my kindle samples will be kept in mind for going forwards. This post was written quite a long time ago but left unpolished and unpublished; I’ve gone back over the samples a bit to refresh my memory but it’s an interesting test […]

Closer to the Chest by Mercedes Lackey

(total spoilers) Closer to the Chest, eh? Well, I’ve got some feelings to get off my chest. In fact, while still avowing myself to be a Mercedes Lackey fan, I must admit that the following words are less of a review and more of an exorcism. The reason for this is that a bit over […]

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

(Moderate Spoilers) Part of what draws me to going through fantasy’s archives are all these names who did great things but are now half-forgot. Take Tim Powers. He’s been an inspiration for games and TV shows (including Monkey Island and a Dr Who episode), had his work optioned by Disney, won numerous awards, and helped […]

Mort by Sir Terry Pratchett

(mild spoilers) Imagine, for one moment, that you are a gangly day-dreamer living in a very hard-headed and serious world. Imagine that you had one day to find a future when seemingly no one sees one for you. Imagine that at two minutes to midnight, you are given a job as apprentice to Death. You […]