Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[& Sword] How would you do a mass combat?

Started by hix, September 24, 2006, 12:53:29 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Ron Edwards

Dude, stop dissing Howard. You're mainly describing Conan the pop icon, not the guy Howard writes about, and it's making me want to decapitate you. Let's talk about Nifft and be happy.

The Shea/Vance connection is direct. Shea's first novel is called The Quest for Simbilis, and it's his sequel to The Eyes of the Overworld, yes, starring Cugel and using Vance's creatures like hoons and erbs. I don't know how that played out legally. So Nifft and his world really are a literary heir to the Dying Earth, and I wouldn't be surprised if Shea considered himself a student of Vance.

For me, the beauty of Nifft the Lean lies in the metaphysics. You've got the whole Subworld thing going on, with the various debates of what the demons really are, and I think that Gildmirth's hypothesis might be the strongest ... which leads to the question of whether the "upper" world (which Gildmirth dreams of) exists or what it might be. And then, wham, right on cue, the final story raises that exact question.

Yeah, Jessica Amanda Salmonson is 100% solid gold. She edited a couple of horror zines for a long time, but fell out of mainstream publishing entirely; I dunno why, although I suspect massive changes in publishing policy had something to do with it.

Best, Ron

Frank T

When we drove home from Essen yesterday, I was telling Harald the story of "Sing a Last Song of Valdese". As I reached the conclusion, with Kane picking up the stillborn child and Claesna crying out his name and Korjonos finishing his spell, the hoarseness in my voice was not owed to four days of booth service alone. Man, these stories are powerful.

- Frank



For fans of Jessica Amanda Salmonson, go to  She has a brief blurb about her editing activities at the bottom of the page, plus a link to her bibliography.



Cheers for the Salmonson links!

Hey, and while we're posting links: a ton of stories written by Clark Ashton Smith, including some of his Zothique Cycle, which seems to be otherwise out of print.  The American used book sellers have this stuff going for like $20, to which I say, "right-click Save As..."

An Introduction, with the short stories accessible from the right-hand menu


And back on topic: yes, the scenes with Gildmirth were very good.  I like that little octopus-critter that was following him along all the time. 

I was just thinking this weekend that "The Tertiary Sub-World" sounds so much more Vancian than "the Third Hell;" it's nice to know there's a reason for that.  And yikes, the sheer inventiveness of all the various torments!  "The Fishing of the Demon Sea" goes on for, what, like 100 pages, and on every one of them, no two dudes are getting tormented in the same way.  (Why can't artists ever make Heaven seem as interesting?)  It's about the closest I've seen in prose to the work of Hieronymous Bosch.  Some commentators on Wikipedia seem to think it's an allegory for the materialism of the 1980's; that seems like a reach to me, but who knows?  The other thing that's so wonderful about that story is that it's so universal.  Everyone's had an experience like that, and that's really what it feels like.

Also, Shea is good with town names.  "Lurkna Downs!"  I could say that all day.