If you like your fantasy gritty, violent, personal, and character-driven, featuring flawed antiheroes, then you’ll want to listen to these two fascinating three-part series of podcast episodes on SF Signal.
Hosted and moderated by Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates, the panels include noted authors, editors, and artists, such as Lou Anders, Scott Lynch, James Enge, Saladin Ahmed, John Picacio, and many more.
The discussions are wide ranging: The panelists discuss what makes a story sword & sorcery (do you agree with Lou?), the proper length of a sword & sorcery story in prose form, and what the boundaries between sword & sorcery, sword & planet stories (Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter), epic fantasy, and urban fantasy are. They talk about the new sword & sorcery (by authors Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, James Enge, Michael Chabon, and others) in relation to its progenitors in the classic pulps (Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber) and the more mature work of Michael Moorcock, the proliferation of sword & sorcery into non-Western settings (e.g., sword & sandal stories by Saladin Ahmed and Howard Andrew Jones), and sword & sorcery in different mediums, such as film (Conan), table-top roleplaying games (D&D), contemporary video games (Skyrim), and art (Boris Vallejo).
- SF Signal Podcast Episode 96: Sword & Sorcery Panel, Part 1 (12/05/11)
- SF Signal Podcast Episode 98: Sword & Sorcery Panel, Part 2 (12/12/11)
- SF Signal Podcast Episode 100: Sword & Sorcery Panel, Part 3 (12/19/11)
- SF Signal Podcast Episode 108: Sword & Sorcery Mega Panel, Part 1 (02/27/12)
- SF Signal Podcast Episode 110: Sword & Sorcery Mega Panel, Part 2 (03/05/12)
- SF Signal Podcast Episode 112: Sword & Sorcery Mega Panel, Part 3 (03/12/12)
Bonus: I’m looking forward to reading Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery, edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan, and the forthcoming (in June) Sword & Sorcery Anthology, edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacob Weisman. Are you?