East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Charles R. Saunders (1946-2020)


I have just learned of the passing away, early last week, of Charles R. Saunders, the author whose Imaro was the first character in a fantasy genre that would come to be known as Sword & Soul, and whose catalog included some of the best fantasy produced in the second half of the 20th century.

I am absolutely devastated – no more than two weeks ago, I was suggesting Charlse Saunders’ books to a contact that was looking for some different take in sword & sorcery – and the recent reprint of the first Imaro book was just what he needed.

For me, Imaro was, with Elric, the first sign that there was life beyond Conan, and I still have my trade paperback of the first volume.

It’s time for a thorough re-read, in remembrance of a great writer.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Charles R. Saunders (1946-2020)

  1. I remember him getting his start with the Imaro stories in Gene Day’s old Fanzine ‘Dark Fantasy’ back in the late 70’s.

    Gene died way to young back in 1982. Now Saunders is gone. I have come to seriously dislike watching pieces of my youth disappear.

    RIP Mr. Saunders


  2. Oh bloody no.
    Charles Saunders gone.
    He was legitimately one of the greats, and an original too. Besides the stalwart, stoical Imaro, he created the black warrior woman Dossouye, whose alternate-world culture and martial training was based on the corps of barbaric Dahomey Amazons in our history. And he wrote the excellent pulp novel “Damballa”, about a black crime-fighter of the 1930s whose origins were African though his father was a black American minister. When I read it I thought, “Doc Savage and The Shadow, move over.”
    Saunders said he intended to write a second Damballa novel, but I don’t think he got around to it, and it’ll never happen now. But as L. Sprague de Camp (I think) said, “The parts of a writer that don’t die with his body are his stories.”

    Liked by 1 person

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