Thursday, May 6, 2021

Some more S&S thoughts on the way; Keith Taylor news

Recently I've completed a couple of essays that will be published, both as early as tomorrow, by Dave Ritzlin over at DMR Books and Bill Ward at Tales from the Magician's Skull. "Myth manifesting in the present: Robert E. Howard’s “Marchers of Valhalla”* was a semi-spontaneous eruption of sheer joy to see Howard making myth, very much in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien, with this wonderful, lesser-known story that Dave recently reprinted in Renegade Swords 2. Anything with Vikings in it gets my attention, and when you combine REH at his wild, poetic best with mythic Aesir I'm all in.

The piece for Tales from the Magician's Skull, "Keith Taylor and the Bard's Songs"* was likewise inspired by two new-to-me stories from Keith Taylor from Renegades Swords 2 (these stories were first printed in the revival of Weird Tales back in 1988). Since then, I was able to obtain Keith's email address and wrote to him, and he's generously and at length been answering a series of 10 questions I posed to him about his early influences, writing career, and current health and upcoming plans. Great stuff from Keith which I hope to publish in some form or fashion.

(*Bonus points to those who spot the Blind Guardian references in both essays; they're pretty obvious).

6 comments:

Paul R. McNamee said...

"Marchers of Valhalla" was my REH gateway. I read that in EONS OF THE NIGHT (Baen) before I ever read the Conan stories. I'd read some of his Cthulhu Mythos tales when I was getting pulled into Lovecraft but those didn't stick. "Marchers of Valhalla" grabbed hold and never let go. Like you, I'm a sucker for Vikings (pulp Vikings, anyway) and I'm also fascinated with the Vinland saga. So, Vikings in North America in the hands of Robert E. Howard? Hell, yes!

D.M. Ritzlin said...

I haven't read the Keith Taylor essay yet, but I already spotted the Blind Guardian reference.

Brian Murphy said...

Paul: It is a potent story, isn't it? I'd be hard pressed to think of any writer who can convey that type of intensity. Maybe a few Jack London stories (which was an obvious influence). And I always forget about the Baen editions.

Dave: Couldn't resist.

Matthew said...

I was wondering about the Bard series. Do you recommend reading them in order? Because the only one I have is number 4.

Brian Murphy said...

Hi Matthew, full disclosure I've only read the first Bard, plus some other Taylor stories (from Swords Against Darkness, now the two from Weird Tales/reprinted in Renegade Swords 2). Bard is a good introduction to Felimid but there isn't some grand origin story that makes reading it first a must, IMO.

Matthew said...

Okay, thanks.