Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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While I was away: Richard L. Tierney

I am back online, having scrapped one PC and set up a new one – with the usual corollary of backups, lost passwords and money I would have rather not spent.

And while I was offline, working on my system, I received the news of the passing of author Richard L. Tierney, at the age of 86.
I had discovered Tierney with a book by Fedogan & Bremmer called The House of the Toad – a solid entry in the Cthulhu Mythos catalogue. If that book was what put Tierney on my radar, it was the collection The Scroll of Thoth that turned me into a fan – because in Tierney’s stories about Simon of Gitta I found everything I liked in my sword & sorcery: a historical setting, a cast of intriguing characters, a modicum of Yog-Sothotheries, and a first class style of writing. What else could anyone ask?

Indeed, I usually mention the stories in that old Chaosium anthology as one of the main influences on my own sword & sorcery stories.

Through the years, Tierney became one of those writers whose work I was always on the lookout for, but that seemed to appear only in small press/limited editions, hard to find volumes.

In the last two years, the reprinting of the Simon of Gitta stories in the volume Sorcery against Caesar, and of the massive novel Drums of Chaos had been a welcome opportunity to spread the knowledge of this writer, by giving away ebooks as gifts to my friends.

Richard L. Tierney’s passing hit me like the loss of a loved uncle, the sort that you see only occasionally, but whose appearance is always a welcome occasion.
He will be sorely missed.