IMARO ANTHOLOGIZED

Next year will mark the 90th anniversary of the birth of  sword-and-sorcery, that sprawling, brawling subdivision of the literary  neighborhood known as fantasy fiction. The occasion of that birth was  the publication of a novella "The Shadow Kingdom" in the iconic pulp  magazine Weird Tales during the fall of 1929. The author's name  was Robert E. Howard, and the tale, which featured a barbarian king  named Kull who ruled and battled in an antediluvian milieu that combined  elements of fantasy, horror and action-adventure, brought something new  to the pages of popular fiction. 

In  subsequent years, this new genre underwent a succession of booms and  lulls. The first boom began with another of Howard's characters, Conan  of Cimmeria, whose name and image resonate to this day. The first lull  followed in the 1940s and 50s, when pulp magazines fell out of fashion,  and then out of existence.

Another boom began  in the 1960s, with a rediscovery of the Conan stories and a flood of new  authors who followed in the footsteps of Howard, who had died in 1936.  (Full disclosure: I am one of those authors.) Oversaturation probably  led to another lull, punctuated by the release of the occasional Conan  movie that doesn't get it right.

Now, the lull may be over. Esteemed author and editor Robert M. Price has released a sword-and-sorcery anthology called The Mighty Warriors.  All the stories in this anthology are new, although some of them  feature characters that were created decades ago. I am proud and honored  to have a story about my black warrior, Imaro, included in this  anthology.

Here's the lineup:

Know, O Prince (Introduction) by Robert M. Price

Spawn of the Sea God by Adrian Cole

The Corpse's Crusade by Adrian Goodfellow

Thongor n the Valley of Demons by Robert M. Price

The Shadow of Dia-Sust by David C. Smith

Amudu's Bargain by Charles R. Saunders

The Temple of Light by Milton J. Davis

Kiss of the Succubus by Charles R. Rutledge

The Living Wind by Ken Akamatsu

"The Last Temple of Balsoth by Cliff Biggers

Lono and the Pit of Dunhaki by Paul R. McNamee

Impressive company, indeed.

I  am especially glad to be sharing space with two close friends of mine:  David C. Smith, whom I have known since the 1970s, when we were both  young writers eager break into print, and Milton J. Davis, my  sword-and-soul brother, who has in little more than a decade become one  of the most premier and prolific writers and publishers of our time.

If  a new sword-and-sorcery boom is about to begin, Bob Price's anthology  is the spark that lit the fire. I'm thrilled to be part of it.

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