Flashing Swords!

Flashing Swords! is a series of fantasy anthologies published by Dell Books from 1973 to 1981 under the editorship of Lin Carter. It showcased the heroic fantasy work of the members of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a somewhat informal literary group active from the 1960s to the 1980s, of which Carter was the guiding force. Most of the important sword and sorcery writers at the time of the group’s founding were members; later, membership was extended to other fantasy authors.

The Flashing Swords! series provides a cross-section of the heroic fantasy of the period. Carter and SAGA also sponsored The Gandalf Award from 1974-1981. With the collapse of Carter’s health in the 1980s the anthology series, the Gandalf award, and likely SAGA itself all went into abeyance.

A precursor of the series was Swords Against Tomorrow, edited by Robert Hoskins (Signet Books, 1970), an anthology which included pieces by four of the eight SAGA members of that time.

Flashing Swords 1
Cover of Flashing Swords! #1, 1973

Contents

In all, twenty-three stories were published in the series, all of them for the first time. These included two "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser" stories by Fritz Leiber (in #1 and #3), two "Dying Earth" stories by Jack Vance (in #1 and #4), the first two parts of the novel The Merman's Children by Poul Anderson (also in #1 and #4), two "Amalric the Mangod" stories by Lin Carter (in #1 and #3), a "Pusad" tale and the first part of the novel The Incorporated Knight by L. Sprague de Camp (in #2 and #3, respectively), two "Elric of Melniboné" stories by Michael Moorcock (in #2 and #4), two "Witch World" stories by Andre Norton (in #2 and #3), two "Brak the Barbarian" stories by John Jakes (in #2 and #4), one story by Avram Davidson (in #3), a "Deryni" story by Katherine Kurtz (in #4), a "Dilvish" story by Roger Zelazny (in #5), a story by C. J. Cherryh (in #5), a story by Diane Duane (in #5), an "Ebenezum" story by Craig Shaw Gardner (in #5), and a story by Tanith Lee (in #5).

Books

  • Flashing Swords! #1 (1973)
  • Flashing Swords! #2 (1973)
  • Flashing Swords! #3: Warriors and Wizards (1976)
  • Flashing Swords! #4: Barbarians and Black Magicians (1977)
  • Flashing Swords! #5: Demons and Daggers (1981)
Craig Shaw Gardner

Craig Shaw Gardner (born July 2, 1949) is an American author, best known for producing fantasy parodies similar to those of Terry Pratchett.

He was also a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of Heroic Fantasy authors founded in the 1960s, some of whose works were anthologized in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords! anthologies.

Flashing Swords! 1

Flashing Swords! #1 is an anthology of fantasy stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in hardcover by Nelson Doubleday in April 1973 as a selection in its Science Fiction Book Club, and in paperback by Dell Books in July of the same year. The first British edition was issued by Mayflower in 1974.The book collects four heroic fantasy novelettes by members of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), an informal literary group of fantasy authors active from the 1960s to the 1980s, of which Carter was also a member and guiding force, together with a general introduction and introductions to the individual stories by the editor.

Flashing Swords! 2

Flashing Swords! #2 is an anthology of fantasy stories, edited by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in hardcover by Nelson Doubleday in 1973 as a selection in its Science Fiction Book Club and in paperback by Dell Books in February 1974. The first British edition was issued by Mayflower in February 1975.The book collects four heroic fantasy novelettes by members of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), an informal literary group of fantasy authors active from the 1960s to the 1980s, of which Carter was also a member and guiding force, together with a general introduction and introductions to the individual stories by the editor.

Grand Masters' Choice

Grand Masters' Choice is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Andre Norton and Ingrid Zierhut. It was first published as the convention book for Noreascon Three in a limited edition hardcover by NESFA Press in August 1989. The first paperback edition was published by Tor Books in October 1991. The paperback edition credited Norton alone as editor.The book collects eight novellas, novelettes and short stories by the eight science fiction authors then recognized as Grand Master of the field by the Science Fiction Writers of America. The works included were selected by their authors as the best short works written during their careers. The stories were previously published in the magazines The American Legion Magazine, Astounding, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Galaxy, Fantastic, Playboy, and Science Fiction Quarterly, and the anthology Flashing Swords! #2. The book includes an introduction by Robert Bloch.

Lin Carter

Linwood Vrooman Carter (June 9, 1930 – February 7, 1988) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor, poet and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H. P. Lowcraft (for an H. P. Lovecraft parody) and Grail Undwin. He is best known for his work in the 1970s as editor of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre.

Lore of the Witch World

Lore of the Witch World is a collection of science fantasy short stories by American writer Andre Norton, forming part of her Witch World series. It was first published in paperback by DAW Books in September 1980, and has been reprinted numerous times since. Early printings had cover art by Michael Whelan and a frontispiece by Jack Gaughan.

Sword and sorcery

Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a subgenre of fantasy characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent adventures. An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural. Unlike works of high fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters. Sword and sorcery commonly overlaps with heroic fantasy.

Swords Against Tomorrow

Swords Against Tomorrow is an anthology of fantasy stories, edited by Robert Hoskins. It was first published in paperback by Signet Books in August 1970.The book collects five sword and sorcery or sword and planet short stories and novelettes by various authors, together with an introduction and introductory notes to the individual stories by the editor.

All of the authors represented except Leigh Brackett were members of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a somewhat informal literary group of fantasy authors active from the 1960s to the 1980s, making the book a precursor of the five Flashing Swords! anthologies of SAGA-member works edited by Lin Carter from 1973 to 1981.

Swords and Ice Magic

Swords and Ice Magic is a fantasy short story collection, first published 1977, by American writer Fritz Leiber, featuring his sword and sorcery heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It is chronologically the sixth volume of the complete seven volume edition of the collected stories devoted to the characters. It was first published in paperback format during July 1977 by Ace Books company, which reprinted the title numerous times through 1990; a later paperback edition was issued by Dark Horse (2007). It has been published in the United Kingdom by Mayflower Books and Grafton (1986, 1987). The first hardcover edition was issued by Gregg Press during December 1977. The book has also been gathered together with others in the series into various omnibus editions; Swords' Masters (1990), Return to Lankhmar (1997), and The Second Book of Lankhmar (2001).

The book collects seven short stories and one novella, three of which were published originally in the anthologies Flashing Swords! #1 (1973) and Flashing Swords! #3: Warriors and Wizards (1976), the collections The Book of Fritz Leiber (1974) and The Second Book of Fritz Leiber (1975), and the magazines Fantastic for November 1973 and April 1975, Whispers for December 1973, and Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine for May and July 1977. "The Frost Monstreme" and "Rime Isle" have also been published separately as the novel Rime Isle (1977).

While the stories were ostensibly assembled in chronological order by the author, internal evidence indicates that the third, "Trapped in the Shadowland," which is a direct sequel to the preceding volume, The Swords of Lankhmar, should actually have been placed first.

Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America

The Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America or SAGA was an informal group of American fantasy authors active from the 1960s through the 1980s, noted for their contributions to the "Sword and Sorcery" kind of heroic fantasy, itself a subgenre of fantasy. When it developed a serious purpose that was to promote the popularity and respectability of Sword and Sorcery fiction.

The Fortunes of Brak

The Fortunes of Brak is a collection of fantasy short stories by John Jakes featuring his sword and sorcery hero Brak the Barbarian. It includes all Brak stories not previously gathered into the earlier books in the series.

The Incorporated Knight

The Incorporated Knight is a fix-up fantasy novel by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp, the first book in their sequence of two Neo-Napolitanian novels. Chapters 1-5 first appeared as L. Sprague de Camp's short stories "Two Yards of Dragon", "The Coronet", "Spider Love" and "Eudoric's Unicorn" in Flashing Swords!, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and The Year's Best Fantasy Stories in 1976-1977. The complete novel was first published in hardcover by Phantasia Press in August 1987, and in paperback by Baen Books in September 1988, with a trade paperback edition, also from Baen, following in 1991. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.

The Merman's Children

The Merman's Children is a 1979 fantasy novel by American writer Poul Anderson, inspired by legends of Mermen and Mermaids from Danish folklore. Portions of the work had previously been published as an identically titled novella and the novelette "The Tupilak" in the anthologies Flashing Swords! #1 (1973) and Flashing Swords! #4: Barbarians and Black Magicians (1977). The complete novel was first published by hardcover by Berkley/Putnam in September 1979, which also issued two later editions, a Science Fiction Book Club hardcover edition in February 1980 and a paperback edition in October 1980. The first British editions were issued in 1981 by Sphere Books (paperback) and Sidgwick & Jackson (hardcover). It was also included in the Sidgwick & Jackson omnibus Science Fiction Special 44 in 1983.

The Rug and the Bull

"The Rug and the Bull" is a fantasy short story by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, part of his Pusadian series. It was first published in the anthology Flashing Swords! #2, edited by Lin Carter (Doubleday, 1973). It has also been translated into Italian, German and Dutch.

The Spell of Seven

The Spell of Seven is an anthology of fantasy short stories in the sword and sorcery subgenre, edited by L. Sprague de Camp and illustrated by Virgil Finlay. It was first published in paperback by Pyramid Books in June 1965, and reprinted in December 1969. It was the second such anthology assembled by de Camp, following his Swords and Sorcery (1963).

The book collects seven sword and sorcery tales by various authors, with an overall introduction by de Camp.

Four of the seven authors represented were members of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a somewhat informal literary group of fantasy authors active from the 1960s to the 1980s, making the book a precursor of the five Flashing Swords! anthologies of SAGA-member works edited by Lin Carter from 1973 to 1981.

Wizards' Worlds

Wizards' Worlds is a collection of science fantasy short stories by American writer Andre Norton. It was first published in hardcover by Tor Books in September 1989, with a limited edition, also in hardcover, following in December of the same year from Easton Press as part of its "Signed First Editions of Science Fiction" series. The book was reprinted in paperback by Tor in July 1990.

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