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.[1]

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! #1
Flashing Swords 1 hc
Cover art from the first edition.
EditorLin Carter
Cover artistFrank Frazetta
CountryUnited States
SeriesFlashing Swords!
PublisherNelson Doubleday
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pagesxiv, 175
Followed byFlashing Swords! #2 



  1. ^ Flashing Swords! 1 title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Dying Earth

Dying Earth is a fantasy series by the American author Jack Vance, comprising four books originally published from 1950 to 1984.

Some have been called picaresque. They vary from short story collection to fix-up (novel created from older short stories) perhaps all the way to novel.The first book in the series, The Dying Earth, was ranked number 16 of 33 "All Time Best Fantasy Novels" by Locus in 1987, based on a poll of subscribers, although it was marketed as a collection and the ISFDB calls it a "loosely connected series of stories".

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are two sword-and-sorcery heroes appearing in stories written by American author Fritz Leiber. They are the protagonists of what are probably Leiber's best-known stories. One of his motives in writing them was to have a couple of fantasy heroes closer to true human nature than the likes of Howard's Conan the Barbarian or Burroughs's Tarzan.Fafhrd is a very tall (nearly seven feet) and strong northern barbarian, skilled at both swordsmanship and singing; the Mouser is a small (not much more than five feet) mercurial thief, gifted and deadly at swordsmanship (often using a sword in one hand and a long dagger or main-gauche in the other), and a former wizard's apprentice who retains some skill at magic. Fafhrd talks like a romantic, but his strong practicality usually wins through, while the cynical-sounding Mouser is prone to showing strains of sentiment at unexpected times. Both are rogues, living in a decadent world where to be so is a requirement of survival. They spend a lot of time drinking, feasting, wenching, brawling, stealing, and gambling, and are seldom fussy about who hires their swords. But they are humane and—most of all—relish true adventure.

The characters were loosely modeled upon Leiber himself and his friend Harry Otto Fischer. Fischer initially created them in a letter to Leiber in September 1934, naming at the same time their home city of Lankhmar. In 1936, Leiber finished the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser novella, "Adept's Gambit", and began work on a second, "The Tale of the Grain Ships". At the same time, Fischer was writing the beginning of "The Lords of Quarmall". "Adept's Gambit" would not see publication until 1947, while "The Lords of Quarmall" would be finished by Leiber and published in 1964 and "The Tale of the Grain Ships" would become the prototype for "Scylla's Daughter" (1961) and, later, the novel The Swords of Lankhmar (1968).

The stories of the two were only loosely connected until the 1960s, when Leiber organized them chronologically and added additional material in preparation for paperback publication. Starting as young men, the two separately meet their female lovers, meet each other, and lose both their lovers in the same night, which explains both their friendship and the arrested adolescence of their lifestyles. However, in later stories, the two mature, learn leadership, and eventually settle down with new female partners on the Iceland-like Rime Isle. Leiber contemplated continuing the series beyond this point, but died prior to doing so.

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.

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.

Rhialto the Marvellous

Rhialto the Marvellous is a collection of one essay and three fantasy stories by American writer Jack Vance, first published in 1984 by Brandywyne Books, a special edition three months before the regular (below). It is the fourth and concluding book in the Dying Earth series that Vance inaugurated in 1950. One of the stories was previously published.

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 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.

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