Terrifying barbarians, cunning mages, and daring heroes run rampant through these exceptional examples of the exciting sword and sorcery genre. In "Tower of the Elephant," Conan takes up jewel thievery but proves to be far better with his sword. "The Flamer Bringers" finds antihero Elric infiltrating a band of bloodthirsty mercenaries and outwitting a powerful sorcerer. "Become a Warrior" is the unexpected tale of a child who loses all she holds dear, only to gain unforeseen power and unlikely revenge. Further entries come from early legends such as Jack Vance and Catherine Louise Moore, the next wave of talents including Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock, and modern trendsetters like George R.R. Martin, Karl Edward Wagner, and David Drake. This essential, fast-paced anthology is a chronological gathering of influential, inventive, and entertaining fantasysure to appeal to action-oriented fans.
David G. Hartwell is a senior editor at Tor/Forge Books and the publisher of the New York Review of Science Fiction. He is the author of Age of Wonders, the editor of the anthologies The Dark Descent and The World Treasury of Science Fiction, and the coeditor of two anthologies of the best Canadian science fiction, Northern Stars and Northern Suns. He lives in Pleasantville, New York. Jacob Weisman is the founder, editor, and publisher at Tachyon Publications. His writing has appeared in the Cooper Point Journal, the Nation, Realms of Fantasy, the Seattle Weekly, and in the college textbook, Sport in Contemporary Society. He is the series editor for anthologies including The Secret History of Fantasy, The Urban Fantasy Anthology, and Crucified Dreams: Tales of Urban Horror. He lives in San Francisco.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Storytellers: A Guided Ramble into Sword and Sorcery Fiction” by David Drake
The Tower of the Elephant” by Robert E. Howard Black God’s Kiss” by C. L. Moore The Unholy Grail” by Fritz Leiber The Tale of Hauk” by Poul Anderson The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams” by Michael Moorcock The Adventuress” by Joanna Russ Gimmile’s Song” by Charles R. Saunders Undertow” by Karl Edward Wagner The Stages of the God” by Ramsey Campbell (writing as Montgomery Comfort) The Barrow Troll” by David Drake Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted With Defeat” by Glen Cook Epistle From Lebanoi” by Michael Shea Become a Warrior” by Jane Yolen The Red Guild” by Rachel Pollack Six From Atlantis” by Gene Wolfe The Sea Troll’s Daughter” by Caitlín R. Kiernan The Coral Heart” by Jeffrey Ford Path of the Dragon” by George R. R. Martin The Year of the Three Monarchs” by Michael Swanwick