Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Swords against Tomorrow; edited by Robert Hoskins

This book is very fun and isn't that largely the point of fiction, to enjoy reading, to enjoy the tale. These tales, while enjoyable, light reading, are told by a Who's Who of Sword and Sorcery Fiction. I don't need to introduce these authors to anyone reading this post but only to mention their names; Poul Anderson, a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner, Fritz Leiber, famous for his Lankhmar series, John Jakes who is a bestselling author of Historical Fiction and Leigh Brackett who you all know.

I love these short story collection because they are very quick reads. Swords against Tomorrow is much like the old Flashing Swords series and Year's Best Fantasy series and has much the same cast of authors. I noticed that in the two final stories, by Jakes and Brackett, the heroes become altruist in the end. Jakes hero was Brak the Barbarian, of course, who surrenders the treasure of his adventure to restore the a town which had previously sold him into slavery. Brackett's hero, who could be Hans Solo with lines like; "Sister, will you for Pete's sake get that light out of my eyes," allows his own capture to insure the escape of the remnants of an alien race. Both these authors use a heroic quality rare in the Swords & Sorcery genre while Leiber's tale, Bazaar of the Bizarre, could be considered altruistic too since in involves Fafhrd rescuing Grey Mouser from his own foolishness.

Don't be fooled by my brief artistic evaluation of these tales, there is plenty of inspirational sorcery and bloodshed in these pages and I've posted the book at Paperback Swap for any who would like to read it.

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