SWORDS FROM THE DESERT, by Harold Lamb, ed. by Howard Andrew Jones. University of Nebraska Press (www.nebraskapress.unl.edu), 2009, 317 pp., $21.95, ISBN 978-0-8032-2516-9
SWORDS FROM THE WEST, by Harold Lamb, ed. by Howard Andrew Jones. University of Nebraska Press (www.nebraskapress.unl.edu), 2009, 611 pp., $26.95, ISBN 978-0-8032-2035-5
Before there was AMAZING STORIES and before there was ASTOUNDING STORIES OF SUPER-SCIENCE (which became today’s magazine ANALOG), there was ADVENTURE Magazine. Like the authors Murray Leinster or John W. Campbell to ASTOUNDING, there was Harold Lamb to ADVENTURE. His Lamb’s adventures of the Crusades in what we now call the Middle East came not from the raiders’ point of view, but to the so-called conquered – the Moslems. In fact, Lamb was always providing the Moslem point of view in these stories from World War I until the Great Depression cut back severely on pulp magazine available to print the magazines these stories appeared in.
Lamb knew a LOT about Iran – he was a personal friend of the Shah – and often pleaded for the U.S. to actually show some respect to Iran after World War II (a time when we cared a lot more about what the Russians were doing, trying to appease them way before the natives).
In the SWORDS FROM THE DESERT Foreword (written by the editor, I presume), there is a lot to say about Lamb’s work to appease the Iranians. No matter. These tales of Khlit the Cossack, Khalil el Khadr, Kirdy and Ayub, and others still entertain and educate, if you can navigate the heavy Elizabethan language (riddled with so many “thous” and “thees” and “thines”) in many decisively Asian cultures.
A companion volume, SWORDS FROM THE WEST, has a great introduction by Robert Weinberg. Cossacks and Crusaders, Mongols and Moslems, round out these tales.
CYBERABAD DAYS, by Ian McDonald. Pyr/Prometheus (www.prometheusbooks.com), 2009, 279 pp., $15.00. ISBN 978-1-59102-699-0
Seven stories in CYBERABAD DAYS are set in the year 2047 in India, including a Hugo Award winner and nominee.
THE THIRD SIGN, by Gregory A. Wilson. Five Star/Gale Cengage Learning (www.gale.cengage.com), 2009, 351 pp., $25.95. ISBN 978-1-59414-765-4
Calen Gollnet, resident of the country of Klune, watches as his world goes to war, as the peace made by the king and the arlics has become tenuous at best. But the armies are the least of his concern, as the Soul Wall appears. Prophecies are coming true - and what will the latest portend?
BY BLOOD WE LIVE, ed. by John Joseph Adams. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2009, 485 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-156-0
There is a strange craving for these types of stories, felt by mostly teenage girls suddenly feeling the throngs of post-puberty. And there are plenty of authors to accommodate this strangeness, indeed.
TWO EXCELLENT TACHYON ANTHOLOGIES:
THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION, ed. by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel. Tachyon (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2009, 381 pp., $14.95. ISBN 978-1-892391-93-3
I remember reading most of these SF classics when they were first published, with seminal work by Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. LeGuin, Lucius Shepard, Connie Willis, Gene Wolfe, James Patrick Kelly, and many others.
THE VERY BEST OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, 60th Anniversary Anthology, ed. by Gordon Van Gelder. Tachyon (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2009, 475 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-892391-91-9
Many of these I read collected in other anthologies, and some I read in the magazine itself. (I have subscribed to F&SF regularly from 1977-2007, and off and on since 2008.) Included are works by Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, Theodore Sturgeon, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, Damon Knight, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, Ted Chiang, and others).
A Sample Of Our Upcoming Reviews...
GASLIGHT GROTESQUE Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes, ed. by J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec. Edge (www.edgewebsite.com), 2009, 311 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894063-31-9
TESSERACTS THIRTEEN ed. by Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell. Edge (www.edgewebsite.com), 2009, 317 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-894063-25-8
THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR Vol. 1, ed. by Ellen Datlow. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2009, 321 pp., $15.95. ISBN 978-1-59780-161-4