Tuesday, February 25, 2020

recent read; Sinbad, The New Voyages (Vol. 1)

I like what Ron Fortier and Rob Davis produce over at Airship 27. I've enjoyed what I've read (listened to) and they have many more titles intriguing me.

Inspired by the Ray Harryhausen SINBAD movies, they have arranged a new set of adventures for Sinbad and set him loose on the world, again. Sinbad sails the Seven Seas with a core international crew--first mate, Omar; a Gaul archer, Henri; a hulking Viking, Ralf; and even a woman samurai, Tishimi.

This volume contains three rousing novellas by Nancy Hansen, I. A. Watson, and Derrick Ferguson. Rest assured this is a cinematic, pulp Sinbad--though echoes of the original classic tales still remain.

I'd even argue these are sword-&-sorcery tales. Yes, they have a bit more levity which might impress a feeling of "(high) fantasy" but Sinbad is a rogue. While loyal to his crew and friends, he's often out for himself--seeking new lands to explore and searching for treasure.

I enjoyed these stories, and I'll be getting to the other volumes in the near future.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

recent read; FLAME AND CRIMSON by Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy has put together an invaluable study and reference guide to the rise, fall, and resurgence of the fantasy subgenre of sword-&-sorcery. From its proto roots, to its birth, its heyday, its decline, and its return as a staple, if not a headliner, Murphy's research has left no stone un-turned. The subgenre goes beyond muscled barbarians, diabolical wizards, and buxom babes--and Murphy shows the reader how & why.

If you are already a sword-&-sorcery fan, you'll want this book on your shelf. And if you're not, this book might illuminate to you why the genre speaks to its fans.