I’m back today, but mostly with links because there is much to be done.
First, I wanted to point everyone to a wonderful review of Stalking the Beast that popped up at Black Gate. I haven’t been much involved with the magazine site for quite a while, so I had no idea that this review was coming up, or that it had even been planned. Writer Nick Ozment seemed to love the book, which pleases me mightily.
Sometimes people don’t like things you write for understandable reasons, and sometimes they don’t like things you write because they apply their own assumptions to it (not being familiar with an unreliable narrator, say, or not knowing the difference between an info dump and an Arabian Nights story-within-a-story ).
But sometimes a reviewer finds exactly what you were hoping a reader would take away from your work and then explains it cogently, and that’s what Nick Ozment did.
My second link today comes from the talented Myke Cole. He wrote eloquently on the subject of killing, specifically how being a warrior who kills effects people and how rarely that realistically impacts those characters who kill in modern fantasy fiction. It is definitely worth a read, but then so is Myke’s work.
Third, a link to one of Amy Sundberg’s excellent essays. I make a regular habit of dropping by her site and reading what she’s thinking about/doing,
The only place to find “Zingazar.”
but I don’t know that I’ve ever directly pointed any of my regular visitors her way. Go poke around a bit. You’ll find lots of brilliant writing there.
Last, there’s a discussion of one of Lin Carter’s better books over at Black Gate today, courtesy of the insightful Fletcher Vredenburg. I always thought Kellory the Warlock was a decent read, a standout for Carter, although I happen to agree with sword-and-sorcery scholar Morgan Holmes that Lost World of Time is even better.
I also agree with Jessica Amanda Salmonson that Carter’s “Zingazar” is just a great little piece of work. She briefly mentions it in a remembrance at the bottom of this Haggard essay. “Zingazar” may be the one piece of Carter’s fiction that should be essential reading for the sword-and-sorcery fan. I know it’s basically a recasting of “The Sword of Welleran,” but I think — and I admit this is heresy — that this one time Carter outdid Lord Dunsany.
I still think a nice little omnibus of Carter’s best work would be a good thing for all sword-and-sorcery fans to have. I’d love to edit one with Morgan Holmes, who seems to hold most of my same opinions re: Carter’s fiction. Most of the short Thongor stories are head and shoulders above the other Clonans, and better than the Thongor books, and some of his faux Clark Ashton Smith pieces are kind of fun as well. Package those up with some of his imitation Dunsany, Lost Worlds of Time, and Kellory the Warlock, and you’d have a nice collection.