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joneshowarda
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 05:03 am:   

I'm Howard Andrew Jones, and I'm the managing editor of swordandsorcery.org as well as FLASHING SWORDS E-Zine. I grew up reading and re-reading Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, Roger Zelazny, C.S. Forester, and Harold Lamb.

Swordsandsorcery.org is a recent launch, but it is growing weekly. I hope to make it a community for writers and readers of sword and sorcery, sword and planet, and its related genres. There are a number of interesting articles and interviews posted and even more are in the pipeline, so I hope you'll drop by to visit. There's a discussion board in case something on the site inspires comment.

The FLASHING SWORDS E-zine is a subdivision of swordandsorcery.org and as you might guess publishes sword and sorcery, sword and planet, and historical swashbucklers. If you're wondering about precise definitions of any of those genres, you can check the home page of sword and sorcery, where I do my best to describe them. (www.swordandsorcery.org)

The Spring issue of Flashing Swords features six knockout tales of adventure. John Hocking, author of CONAN AND THE EMERALD LOTUS is the lead-off author, writing in a whole new setting. You'll also find a reprint of a Harold Lamb Viking yarn and a rare Richard Lyons and Andrew Offut tale. The rest of the issue features stories by up-and-coming writers with a sincere love for sword and sorcery. They are distinguished by their talent: FLASHING SWORDS is not a typical semi-professional e-zine. We receive high quality fiction--more than we have room to print--and I can only assume that it is because there are a dearth of markets actually interested in printing work in the genre. I could go on about how many magazines CLAIM to be interested but aren't really, but then that's part of the reason I was tapped to start the e-zine, and I don't really want to rant in my first post here.

I hope you'll drop by, and I hope you'll keep returning. If there's anything you'd like to see more of (or less of) post a note in our discussion forum. Love an author's story and want to hear more? Please post a note. Have an idea for an article you'd like to see at swordandsorcery.org? An article you'd like to write? Post, or e-mail me at

Sandseditor@sigecom.net.

I know that many of you here won't be remotely interested in sword and sorcery, but I hope you'll still drop by. You may like the interviews or the articles. For those of you who find the genre attractive--at least in its better incarnations… We hope we can earn your support.

Certainly I hope that you'll consider looking at our anthology, LORDS OF SWORDS, which features adventure work from professionals like Tanith Lee, Vera Nazarian, E.E. Knight, Nancy Varian, and many talented lesser-known authors.

My best,
Howard Andrew Jones

www.swordandsorcery.org
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 07:11 pm:   

Welcome to the board, Howard! Very nice to see you here. :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 10:12 pm:   

Carter's original FLASHING SWORDS anthologies were something I greatly enjoyed.

I thought I was totally done with Swords & Sorcery by the time I was about 18, but about 20 years later I played a game called HEXEN and I realized there was still part of me that had never escaped.

The genre lives on in videogames these days, but not in its most imaginative forms, I'm afraid. It's mostly derivative of things that were done better (or to death) years ago in prose.

The THIEF series is a standout for originality. Nothing else quite like it in stories or games. I'll forward info about your site to some fantasy-oriented gamers I know. It's good to acquaint them with their roots!

I assume you've heard about the Conan Online game that is on the horizon....
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joneshowarda
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 05:03 am:   

Hello Vera, and thanks for the welcome. I have Dreams of the Compass Rose here on my desk. It was a Christmas gift. With the grad school courses coming to their end this semester I look forward to finally being able to read it. I've been wanting to interview you for the site for a while, but wanted to read one of your books first. I've been curious ever since I heard someone compare you to Dunsany!
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joneshowarda
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 05:11 am:   

Hello MarcL,

I work out of the house editing really dull technical books (well, most of them are dull) and don't trust myself NOT to play games if they're available. So I just don't play any. The ironic thing about that is that I started my editing career by editing for Macmillan's gaming imprint, and eventually ended up writing four or five game hint guides for that imprint and Prima Publishing. As a matter of fact, one of those game guides was for Thief II.

I'd completely forgotten that. I had to write the hint guide while the game was in beta--so big sections weren't really working yet. Talk about a challenge, what with the publisher demanding the book manuscript and me telling them, day after day, that these sections couldn't be written because the game didn't work... When it finally shipped I think they had one of the game designers slip a bunch of material into my text about the areas that hadn't worked when I was writing. It didn't get edited in very well, alas.

Anyway. Thanks for spreading the news to your gaming friends. I hadn't actually been aware that there was a new Conan game, but I'm not surprised. The Cimmerian is undergoing a big revival right now.

<<it's>>

Yes, there really hasn't been much new for a while. But then there really hasn't been any place for writers of the genre to publish, making it difficult for them to hone their skills. Neither short story markets nor novel publishers seem to welcome it anymore, although it's hard to sneeze in a science fiction section without spraying spittle on a Tolkien clone.

I believe the genre still has vitality. It just needs a chance.

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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 11:01 am:   

It's called Age of Conan:

http://www.ageofconan.com/conan/index.html

A lot of wonderful world-building and writing went into the Thief series. Some great poetry, too.
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 08:22 pm:   

Hope you do enjoy DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE when you get to it, and I will be happy to do an interview -- if you still want me to, after you read it *grin*.

Incidentally, I am woking on another book in the Compass Rose milieu, to be called GODS OF THE COMPASS ROSE, that explores... well, a whole bunch of deities....
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Bruce Durham
Posted on Monday, May 02, 2005 - 01:17 pm:   

Having a publication that deals with good old fashioned sword and sorcery is long overdue and a refreshing breath of fresh air.

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