Weird Tales

Monsters

Monsters have been with us in our imaginations from the dawn of time, but why is it that the most vulnerable of us love monsters the most?

Conan, by Crom!

Depictions of Conan have evolved over the years, from Emshwiller to Brundage to Arnold and now, to Jackson.

21st Century Pulp Artist

Normally in this space I rattle on about pulp magazines. Today we’ll look at a different type of periodical: comic books. Or, if you will, graphic narratives. More specifically, we’ll examine the work of one particular comic book artist: Tony Harris. Pulp magazine characters haven’t always translated well to the comic medium. The characters aren’t […]

A conversation with the Hall of Fame illustrator Murray Tinkelman

This past February I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr. Murray Tinkelman, the famous and award winning illustrator. This came about by my wanting to do something different for once in the blog. Mr. Tinkelman has been one of my favourite cover artists since the middle 1970s when he illustrated the front and […]

Art Theft

I’ve been thinking this week about art theft. I don’t mean art theft as in black stocking cap clad thieves pulling off a museum heist. What I’m talking about is art swipes, instances where artists have outright copied another artist’s work. Now, here I have to be careful because a charge of plagiarism is a […]

Review: Nine Horrors and a Dream by Joseph Payne Brennan

Nine Horrors and a Dream By Joseph Payne Brennan Ballantine Books. 1962. $0.35 Contents: 1 • Slime • (1953) • novelette by Joseph Payne Brennan 33 • Levitation • (1958) • short story by Joseph Payne Brennan 39 • The Calamander Chest • (1954) • short story by Joseph Payne Brennan 51 • Death in […]

Who Knows What “Tomorrow” Brings?

Every family, every tribe, every cultural group has its own myths. We use stories, legends, folk tales, and even parables as means of understanding why things are the way they are, and of teaching why we do things the way we do. Whether fiction-based or fact-based, these mythologies do not define us, but rather they […]

A Pair of Witchy Weird Tales

Witchery: A Duo of Weird Tales Keith Chapman Black Horse Books Kindle ebook $0.99 I’ve been on something of a pulp bent lately, especially Weird Tales type pulp. So I’m glad to mention there are a couple of stories that have just been released in ebook form that carry on that traditional, only with less […]

Demons of the Night: Early Stories by Seabury Quinn

Demons of the Night Seabury Quinn Gene Christie, ed. Black Dog Books Tpb $19.95 182 p. Ebook During the heyday of Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, there were four authors whose work was probably the most popular among readers: H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and Seabury Quinn. Of these, […]

A Commissioning Editor Speaks: David Moore of Abaddon Books

Britain’s Abaddon Books is a seething brew of villainous steampunk, sleek spaceships, cruel sorcery, and blood-soaked horror. I tracked their commissioning editor David Moore down to his lair, where I forced him to unravel a cracked and crumbling papyrus to reveal an ancient secret: what does a commissioning editor do all day? Thanks for speaking to Amazing […]

NORVELL W. PAGE: WAN TENGRI – PRESTER JOHN

While Fritz Leiber was creating a boisterous style of Sword & Sorcery based upon E. R. Eddison and James Branch Cabell, Norvell W. Page wrote two novels that seem on the surface to be closer to Robert E. Howard and his Conan series. But only to those who do not look closely. Norvell W. Page […]

The Amazing Virgil Finlay

Whenever I think about black-and-white illustrations from the old science fiction magazines, it is always the work of Virgil Finlay that I picture in my head. And why not? The man was a genius with a pen and ink… and he laid it down one dot at a time. Virgil Finlay was born July 23, […]

We Can Hear You Scream: An Overview of SF/Horror Literature

The fear of the dark, the unknown, the monster standing right behind you ready to tear you limb from limb…is part of the human condition. Since the dawn of civilization we have been terrified by creatures we can neither comprehend or defend against. Even as the mysteries of the universe unfold before us thanks to […]

NOT QUITE SWORD & SORCERY: EARLY FANTASY

Robert E. Howard may have invented Sword & Sorcery with the first King Kull tale, but he was not the only author working with the raw materials of heroic fantasy. We have already mentioned C. L. Moore and her Jirel of Joiry stories, which were published at the same time as Conan. There were other […]

Claire Winger Harris: Breaking Amazing’s ‘Cosmic Ceiling’

Brian Aldiss identified Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the first science fiction novel in his seminal history The Billion Year Spree. Although the genre often looks back on this work as its starting point, it was published more than a century before Hugo Gernsback named the field.  When thinking of early twentieth century science fiction, men […]

Jirel of Joiry: Sword & Sorcery’s First Lady

Circumstance plays a part in history. It was inevitable that a woman would eventually try her hand at Sword & Sorcery. It’s our good fortune that C. L. Moore was writing for Weird Tales in the 1930s. Leigh Brackett would have been the next logical choice, but she didn’t rise to prominence until the 1950s, […]

Of Shadows and Serpent – The First Sword & Sorcery Tale

When people think of 1929 they usually recall the Great Depression and “Black Tuesday” (October 29th). I prefer to think of it as the year Sword & Sorcery was born. For S&S, like its greatest hero, Conan, was a child of the Great Depression. But the first tale was written before the darkness fell over […]