Treasures

All kinds of cool treasures are rolling in these days. It’s nice to have friends.

I’ll save more detailed descriptions for a day when I have a little more time (I’m determined to finish most of my new short story today).

First, though, the new Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is a thing of beauty, a work of art. I spent thirty minutes last night just flipping through and soaking up all the artwork. If it’s not THE go-to sword-and-sorcery rpg at this point, it’s tied for first place. It just oozes the right vibe. In the next little bit I’ll post some pics.

Second, DVG’s Sherman Leader, where you’re playing a solitaire game commanding American units in WWII, looks darned awesome. I look forward to trying it out soon. Today I simply cracked the shrink and looked over the components… then read the example of play. I’ll post pics when I really break it out.

Third, I’m about a hundred and thirty pages in to Ilana Myer’s Last Song Before Night. It’s full of bards and intrigue and mystery and cool characters, not to mention lovely prose. It’s longer than anything I’ve been reading for a while, but it sure doesn’t feel padded yet. And so far there haven’t been any spell or sword duels, but I’m completely caught up.

I’m glad I like it, because I liked Ilana when we met at GenCon last year. She’s a smart lady, and that intelligence shines through on every page.

Fourth, I went to the local used bookstore the other day and man, did I find some treasures, albeit beat-up treasure that a lot of bookstores might simply have thrown out. I’m glad the local one holds onto these, though, because I came away with an absurd supply of western paperbacks from back in the day for absurdly low prices. And I came one step closer to having a complete run of Louis L’Amour.

L’Amour’s not even my favorite western writer, but thanks to my wife’s aunt, and a local gentleman giving his collection away, I have only five more books to find. Now if L’Amour was a favorite, I’d go ahead and order those five via a used book search service. But he’s a little repetitive in theme, can sometimes be sloppy, I have dozens and dozens I haven’t read yet, and his books are EVERYWHERE because so many copies were printed, so I’m just waiting until they fall into my hands. That’s the way I used to have to do it when haunting used bookstores. I’m sure some of those other used books I took a chance on were dogs, but the prices were so cheap, I just snagged them anyway. For the curious, I’ll post some snapshots some time soon.

Another interesting thing about that used bookstore run is that the supply regenerated, although most of them looked as beat to hell as they did the last time. By that I mean that someone besides me must be reading these westerns, or at least selling off their old ones, because there were some there that weren’t around last time. I think I’m going to head back every couple of months and see what cycles through.

3 Comments on “Treasures

  1. My Granddad had a huge supply of L’Amour that I never read. I have a few now and sometime will get to them.

    • Matthew, he wrote some very good novels and stories. It’s just not ALL of those stories or novels. Contrary to what many will tell you, he’s not the end-all and be-all of western writers. On the other hand, he’s also capable of great, stirring work.

      The trick is finding some kind of useful opinion on which of his books are dependably good. So far I’ve explored a little at random and found some meh books, tried one of the famed Sackett novels and found it excellent, and tried a couple of his early work, when he was writing for Gold Medal (Gold Medal editors in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s tended to bring out the best in their writers). And those Gold Medal titles have been quite good.

      • I have two Sackett’s and are interested in that. I’m in the middle of one of your Harold Lamb collections now so I don’t know if I’ll get to them anytime soon. I also have Hondo which I know was made into a John Wayne movie.

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