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.

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Black Pulp

Black-PulpI’m currently reading Black Pulp, and a fine collection it is.
I like the idea, I like the execution.

Walter Mosley‘s introduction is a great love letter to the pulps of old – which is fitting for an anthology of stories that manage to update the old without throwing out what good was there in ancient (well, ok…) times.
The list of authors reads like a selection of the best writers in the field – Walter Mosley and Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Phillips, Charles R. Saunders, Derrick Ferguson, D. Alan Lewis, Christopher Chambers, Mel Odom, Kimberly Richardson, Ron Fortier, Michael A. Gonzales, Gar Anthony Haywood, Tommy Hancock…
All genres get covered, a gallery of great characters is deployed in the service of adventure.

It’s hard to single out one title in this selection of gems.
I’d be tempted to get my fanboy hat on and exclaim “there’s a new Dillon story in here!” – but it would be unfair to all the other fine stories between the covers of this great book.

And talking about the cover – the book is wonderfully designed, and it’s a pleasure to read.
Great work from the guys at Pro Se Press.
We want more.