The Sword & Sorcery Anthology
Edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacob Weisman
Tachyon, Jun 1 2012, $15.95
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 retuning 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 sting compilation.