Mighty Warriors

I wanted to point everyone to the new sword-and-sorcery anthology, The Mighty Warriors. My old friend Paul McNamee has a story within — along with David C. Smith and the mighty Charles Saunders and other talented folks– and it is graced with a Bruce Timm cover. Visit Paul’s web site for a lowdown on the table of contents and a good look at the artwork.

It’s gotten me thinking about sword-and-sorcery anthologies and mulling which old ones are my favorites. What about you?

As I’m away from home right now I can’t step over to look at my bookshelf to search through individual volumes. I know I was always a little disappointed in the Flashing Swords anthologies, and fond of the Swords Against Darkness collections. As to single volumes, though, it gets tougher. How to judge? Some are strong collections but hold stuff I have in other collections. Doesn’t mean that they’re not a strong sample of the good stuff…

7 Comments on “Mighty Warriors

  1. My favorite S&S anthology series has to be Offutt’s Swords Against Darkness; almost every tale a winner, and some great names gathered within. I only have the first book of Wagner’s Echoes of Valor, and it’s awesome, but I really need the rest of ‘em.

    • Yeah, there are some great ones in there, and a number I’ll probably re-read.

  2. I’ve read a couple of Sword & Sorcery anthologies from recent years and I hated them all. Mostly because the editors didn’t seem to care at all about Sword & Sorcery and simply made them generic fantasy short story collections. If it’s not about a high tension encounter with eldritch forces, why put in into such an collection?

    • I haven’t been keeping track of the modern anthologies as much as I was ten years ago, so maybe I missed some good ones. But that’s been my feeling about a number of them. Some editors seem to remain confused about the difference between fantasy and sword-and-sorcery.

  3. I offer the following 2-book s&s anthology “series” as one of the best. The titles are “The Mighty Barbarians” and “The Mighty Swordsmen” . They were both edited by Hans Stefan Santesson, published by Lancer, and came out 1 year apart (1969, 1970). These tales contain stories about some of the best s&s protagonists in the genre at the time and even now. And further tales of each protagonist are also collected in their own individual anthologies. Some also have their own novel series. So the reader of these “Mighty” books can continue reading additional stories about them.

    Further info about Santesson and each book can be found on Wikipedia. There are several copies of each book on Amazon for under $10.

    “Barbarians” has the following protagonists and their authors:
    (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser) (Fritz Leiber)
    (Suar Peial) (L. Sprague de Camp)
    (Elak) (Henry Kuttner)
    (Thongor) (Lin Carter)
    (Conan) (Robert E. Howard)

    “Swordsmen” has:
    (Thongor) (Lin Carter)
    (Dilvish) (Roger Zelazny)
    (Traveller in Black) (John Brunner)
    (Conan) (Björn Nyberg)
    (Elric) (Michael Moorcock)
    (Conan) (Robert E. Howard)

    Personally, I’d substitute de Camp’s tale in “Barbarians” with a Jirel of Joiry tale by C. L. Moore. And in ‘Swordsmen”, Brunner’s story with a Brak tale by John Jakes. I feel that these subs are closer to the true s&s-type of tales than the stories they would replace.

    • Hey Andy! Great to see you again. How are things?

      Two great anthologies you suggest here, and I’m proud to have them on my shelves. I think you’re right as to your selections. Although I did enjoy the Brunner story, and it got me interested in the other Traveler in Black tales, it doesn’t really fit.

      And I’m not sure we need to read the de Camp adventures. On the other hand, I have a soft spot for the Lin Carter Thongor short stories. Not so much the novels, but the short stories are among the best in the Clonan oevure.

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