Tuesday, October 12, 2021

S&S updates: Glass Hammer, Schuyler Hernstrom, and more

In full disclosure I'm not a big prog fan, unless you count the likes of RUSH, and perhaps a bit of Yes' back catalogue. I'm metal all the way. But I've had the pleasure of discovering the band Glass Hammer recently after hearing from one of the band members, bassist/lyricist/co-founder Steve Babb, who is a reader of this blog.

Glass Hammer was founded in 1992 and possess a deep catalog of material based on the likes of The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, and sword-and-sorcery. In 2020 they released Dreaming City, an album inspired by Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone stories. Glass Hammer is now about to release  “Skallagrim – Into The Breach,” the second album of a proposed trilogy, on October 15th. As Babb explains:

“The project began as a nostalgic homage to the Sword & Sorcery genre, and to a lesser extent, the stories of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. It’s turned into much more, however, and my story of the Skallagrim, the thief with the screaming sword, has evolved into my first full-length fantasy novel which I plan to release next year.”

“Skallagrim is a thief who lost his memory and the girl he loves,” he goes on to say. “He’s up against dark magic and terrifying monsters to reclaim both, but finds an ally in a sentient, eldritch sword. Now his fate is bound to the sword as much as to the quest to find his love.”

Sounds pretty cool, I'll be digging into the album in the coming days. Check out the official video of "Anthem to Andorath" here on Youtube. After an atmospheric intro this one rips. And sounds great.

In some other news, my review of Schuyler Hernstrom's The Eye of Sounnu is up on the blog of DMR Books. Check it out here. I'm a fan of older sword-and-sorcery material and have not kept up as I should with newer authors and releases, and am slowly trying to rectify that. Hernstrom is a first-rate talent who gives me hope for the future of the subgenre and I can't recommend this book highly enough.

In more downbeat news, we recently lost author Robert Low (1949-21) back in June of this year. You can find a Facebook tribute here and a recent piece recalling his life and works over on Black Gate. I've heard many good things about his works over the years, in particular the Oathsworn series. Another author I have to seek out. 

I hope Low's spirit is sailing on a whale road of a different sort, and I thank him for his contributions to heroic fantasy and historical fiction.

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