Saturday, October 27, 2007

Got an interesting group of books in the mail today. Back in the mid 1970s, writer Andrew Offutt edited five volumes of a series called Swords Against Darkness. Rather like Lin Carter's Flashing Swords anthologies, these books were collections of new sword & sorcery stories. The odd thing is, as much S&S as I've collected, I'd never actually run across any of these collections in my hunts though the used bookstores. Part of that may be the nature of the shelving of collections. Some places shelve them alphabetically under the name of the editor. Other places tend to put collections at the end of a particular genre. It's easy to miss them.
I got four of the five volumes in this purchase, along with three Offutt penned Robert E. Howard pastiches featuring Howard's hero, Cormac Mac Art. I've read a couple of Ouffet's Conan pastiches and found them passable, but I was more interested in the anthologies than anything. The books are a nice mix with stories by Poul Anderson, Manly Wade Wellman, Andre Norton, Tanith Lee, Ramsey Campbell, David Drake, and many others. A veritable cornucopia of S&S short tales. Looks like some fun reading for me. Now I just need to track down the one volume that wasn't part of the set.

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