Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Fantastic Swordsmen - L. Sprague De Camp

The third in a series of sword and sorcery anthologies, and certainly nowhere near as strong as the second in the series. Resorting to completed pastiche, etc. While including Conan is a good plan, an original would be better. Strong work from Kuttner and Moorcock anyway, even if the rest is pretty average.

The last story is certainly a reach, if you are going to bother translating stuff, why not something good?

Fantastic Swordsmen : 1 Black Lotus - Robert Bloch
Fantastic Swordsmen : 2 The Fortress Unvanquishable Save for Sacnoth - Lord Dunsany
Fantastic Swordsmen : 3 Drums of Tombalku - Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp
Fantastic Swordsmen : 4 The Girl in the Gem - John W. Jakes
Fantastic Swordsmen : 5 Dragon Moon - Henry Kuttner
Fantastic Swordsmen : 6 The Other Gods - H. P. Lovecraft
Fantastic Swordsmen : 7 The Singing Citadel [short story] - Michael Moorcock
Fantastic Swordsmen : 8 The Tower - Luigi de Pascalis

Drugs, sex, alcohol and tomes of black magic do not a good ruler make.

3 out of 5

To kill an immortal ruler is easy, not.. First you need to kill the invulnerable dragon to get the invincible sword to get through the impenetrable fortress. The there is the whole won't die thing to get around.

3 out of 5

Conan has been captured after the destruction of a mercenary band he was fighting in, but a friend escapes. The friend rescues a girl, and takes her back to her home city, but leaves when the horror in the Red Tower awakes, and he has to combat it.

Riding into the desert he meets Conan, who has apparently impressed his captors enough, the riders of Tombalku, that he now rides with them.

They all go to Tombalku, and Conan and Amalric briefly instruct the military there, before they fall foul of racism and a wizard, and decide to leave, post haste.

3 out of 5

A plague of dwarves and tentacles for Brak, here.

3 out of 5

Some pleading is required before Elak will return to Atlantis. He is a bit keener when he finds out the Pallid One has taken over a king, and his home and the throne are in a fair bit of trouble.

4 out of 5

Belay well if climbing before checking these guys out.

3.5 out of 5

Elric meets Theleb K'aarna, and summons Arioch to rid him of a minor Lord.

4.5 out of 5

Looping conflict manipulation.

3 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

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