Today I’m happy to present something new: my first BookLikes guest post! It’s about a new duology out called Thunder on the Battlefield! Vol 1-Sword and Vol 2- Sorcery, edited by James R. Tuck, who also contributed to the series.
Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword- HARK! to the sounds of battle. Mighty men and women who take their destinies with the strength of their arm and the sharpness of their blades. These are tales of warriors, reavers, barbarians, and kings. Lands of wonder populated with monsters, black-hearted sorcerors of Stygian power, and heroes who have blood on their hands and on their steel.
The Sword volume features tales from the following authors: G. Gerome Henson, Jay Requard, D.T. Neal, John F. Allen, Marcella Burnard, David J. West, Alexis A. Hunter, James R. Tuck, Loriane Parker, W.E. Wertenberger, Stephen Zimmer and J.S. Veter.
Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery- BEHOLD! the clash of war. Steel upon steel and heroes fighting shield to shield. The only true victory is a brave death and the destruction of your enemies. These stories harken back to a barbaric past that never was. A time when heroic men and women cut glory from the cloth of a sorcery-filled world and stole gold from the hands of the gods themselves. This is fiction that takes no prisoners. No quarter asked. No quarter given.
The Sorcery volume features tales from the following authors: Jeffe Kennedy, Alex Hughes, Selah Janel, Steven Grassie, James R. Tuck, M. B. Weston, Brady Allen, S. H. Roddey, Steven S. Long, D. A. Adams, Mark Taverna and Steven L. Shrewsbury.
This is SWORD AND SORCERY.
Both books are edited by James R. Tuck, acclaimed author of the Deacon Chalk Novels.
Brady Allen is a contributor to the series, and graciously shared his perspective on what he wrote about and why.
Writing a story for Thunder on the Battlefield was the toughest challenge yet in my writing career, so I’m more grateful to be part of this Seventh Star Press anthology than I am any other publication I’ve been in.
Well, for one thing, I grew up, like so many of the writers in this two-volume anthology, with Robert E. Howard. He and Ray Bradbury shaped my worldview prior to discovering Stephen King as a kid. Howard was more than a master storyteller and world-builder, he was a writer. The man wrote prose in his Conan tales (and Solomon Kane tales, and others) that sang. I mean, it sang out to the Heavens of Sentence Crafting.
Fuck the distinction between a writer and a storyteller—the best of those who lay down words on the page to create fiction do both: write sentences that nobody else could write, and spin a yarn that’d keep the cat population playful for eternity.
Anyone who tells you Howard is not in this company is basing their opinion on taste as far as subject matter and not any real attention to his style and craft.
I wanted to write a tale like Howard might’ve.
So, I wasn’t puttin’ no pressure on myself or nothin’.
I don’t feel my story measures up to Howard (but I think a few of the folks’ stories do!), but I have to say that I’m glad I finished it. “Grinding the Gears” is a first step for me. Sta’wa’ Fal’, the fantasy world where Turlough the Aggravator’s story is set, is a place that is just removed from Stairway Falls, the contemporary small town where a lot of my horror, noir, and surreal fiction is set.
I’ve had my Bradbury/King small-town world to play in for a while, but now I have ideas for more Turlough stories, thanks to James R. Tuck and Seventh Star Press.
But, there is ONE MORE THING!
For me, I reckon this was a chance to fully write a story about a man.
There is such an oppressively (and I know some will say that is ironic coming from a big, tall, burly, hairy white dude) politically correct cloud hovering over speculative fiction today that we’ve lost the understanding that while many men are different, and that’s okay, it is still okay to be a man who thinks women can be sexy, that some men need their asses kicked, and that beards and dirty denim are okay and fine and right. All men don’t need to sing “We Are the World” or embrace sensitivity— they just need to be man enough not to hurt or bully those who don’t.
So, Turlough was fun to write. He horn-dogs it with a hot gal (with consent) and invites a little violence (and reciprocates times ten) from some twiddle-dinkle men. And that’s okay.
Even if I’m not the writer he was, I think Robert E. Howard would appreciate that.
I couldn’t agree with him more about Robert Howard. If you’ve never read a Conan novel, do so- Howard’s stories have a style and rhythm so vibrant and alive that you simply won’t believe they were written eighty years ago. Just one of the many reasons the man is an all-time great and a damn fine source of inspiration. And another good reason to dive into this series.
James Tuck, Brady Allen and Thunder on the Battlefield appear courtesy of Tomorrow Comes Media Book Tours.