Sword & Mythos

Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press (innsmouthfreepress.com), $15 trade paper (316p) ISBN 978-1-927990-00-1
Robert E. Howard and C.L. Moore's sword and sorcery meet H.P. Lovecraft's mythos in this entertaining anthology. Despite the best efforts of editors Moreno-Garcia and Stiles, the mash-up doesn't always succeed. "The Serpents of Albion," Adrian Chamberlain's Lovecraftian take on Le Morte d'Arthur, is wonderfully written but suffers from the common Arthurian problem of gleefully demonizing the female characters. The rest of the collection largely makes up for it. Graham J. Darling's "Jon Carver of Barzoon, You Misunderstood" is short but outstanding, an eerie single-page rebuttal of heroic tropes fused with tantalizing hints at a complex fantasy world. Diana L. Paxson's "Light," in which an archeology student finds herself in an ancient battle, is so good it begs to be developed into a novel. Also included are a number of essays examining the two genres; of these, only G.W. Thomas's "Conan and the Cthulu Mythos" is worth mentioning. This is an enjoyable read with some excellent moments, but not as genre-expanding as one might hope. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/27/2015
Release date: 05/01/2014
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