Sword and sorcery

sword-and-sorcerySword & Sorceryswords and sorcerysword and sorcery filmswords-and-sorcerymedieval knightsSword & Sorcery Studiossword-and-sorcery epicswords-and-sorcery genre
Not to be confused with Sword and sandal, a genre of Italian costume adventure epic filmswikipedia
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Fritz Leiber

Fritz LieberFritz Leiber, Jr.Fritz Leiber Jr.
The term "sword and sorcery" was coined in 1961 by the celebrated American author Fritz Leiber in response to a letter from British author Michael Moorcock in the fanzine Amra, demanding a name for the sort of fantasy-adventure story written by Robert E. Howard.
With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having coined the term.

Robert E. Howard

Robert E HowardHowardRobert Ervin Howard
The term "sword and sorcery" was coined in 1961 by the celebrated American author Fritz Leiber in response to a letter from British author Michael Moorcock in the fanzine Amra, demanding a name for the sort of fantasy-adventure story written by Robert E. Howard. In addition, many early sword and sorcery writers, such as Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith, were heavily influenced by the Middle Eastern tales of the Arabian Nights, whose stories of magical monsters and evil sorcerers were a major influence on the genre-to-be.
He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.

Lin Carter

Thongor seriesCarter, LinLinwood V. Carter
In his introduction to the reference Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter notes that the heritage of Sword and Sorcery is illustrious, and can be traced back to mythology, including the labors of Hercules, as well as to classical epics such as Homer's Odyssey, the Norse sagas, and Arthurian legend. From the 1960s up till the 1980s, under the guiding force of Lin Carter, a select group of writers formed the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA) to promote and enlarge the sword and sorcery genre.
His best-known works are his sword and planet and sword and sorcery novels in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and James Branch Cabell.

Fantasy

fantasy fictionfantasiesfantastic
Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a subgenre of fantasy characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent adventures.
By 1950, "sword and sorcery" fiction had begun to find a wide audience, with the success of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian and Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories.

Fantasy tropes

raceracesfantasy races
However, these historical "swashbucklers" lack the truly supernatural element (even though Dumas' fiction contained many fantasy tropes) that defines the genre.
In some works, most notably in sword and sorcery, evil is not opposed by the unambiguously good but by the morally unreliable.

L. Sprague de Camp

de CampL. SpragueLyon Sprague de Camp
In his introduction to the reference Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter notes that the heritage of Sword and Sorcery is illustrious, and can be traced back to mythology, including the labors of Hercules, as well as to classical epics such as Homer's Odyssey, the Norse sagas, and Arthurian legend.
He was also known for his sword and sorcery, a fantasy genre revived partly by his editorial work on and continuation of Robert E. Howard's Conan cycle.

High fantasy

epic fantasyfantasyepic
Unlike works of high fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters.
Indeed, the importance of the concepts of good and evil can be regarded as the distinguishing mark between high fantasy and sword and sorcery.

Heroic fantasy

heroicheroic fiction
Sword and sorcery commonly overlaps with heroic fantasy.
Although it shares many of the basic themes of sword and sorcery, the term 'Heroic fantasy' is often used to avoid the garish overtones of the former.

Conan the Barbarian

ConanConan the CimmerianConan of Cimmeria
Particularly important was the magazine Weird Tales, which published Howard's Conan stories and C. L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry tales, as well as key S&S influences like Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
Conan the Barbarian (also known as Conan the Cimmerian) is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films (including Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer), television programs (animated and live-action), video games, role-playing games, and other media.

Jirel of Joiry

Black God's KissBlack Godstitle character
Particularly important was the magazine Weird Tales, which published Howard's Conan stories and C. L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry tales, as well as key S&S influences like Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
Jirel of Joiry is a fictional character created by American writer C. L. Moore, who appeared in a series of sword and sorcery stories published first in the pulp horror/fantasy magazine Weird Tales.

Magician (fantasy)

wizardsorcerermagician
In addition, many early sword and sorcery writers, such as Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith, were heavily influenced by the Middle Eastern tales of the Arabian Nights, whose stories of magical monsters and evil sorcerers were a major influence on the genre-to-be.
Villainous sorcerers were so crucial to pulp fantasy that the genre in which they appeared was dubbed sword and sorcery.

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

NehwonFafhrdFafhrd and the Grey Mouser
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are two sword-and-sorcery heroes appearing in stories written by American author Fritz Leiber.

Elric of Melniboné

ElricElric of MelniboneYoung Kingdoms
Elric of Melniboné is a fictional character created by Michael Moorcock and the protagonist of a series of sword and sorcery stories taking place on an alternative Earth.

Sword and planet

sword-and-planet
The genre tag "sword and planet" is constructed to mimic the terms sword and sorcery and sword and sandal.

Barsoom

Barsoom'' seriesMarsMars series
Planetary romance stories are similar to sword and sorcery tales, but include scientific aspects.

C. L. Moore

C.L. MooreCatherine L. MooreCatherine Moore
Particularly important was the magazine Weird Tales, which published Howard's Conan stories and C. L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry tales, as well as key S&S influences like Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
One features the rogue and adventurer Northwest Smith wandering through the Solar System; the other features the swordswoman/warrior Jirel of Joiry, one of the first female protagonists in sword-and-sorcery fiction.

Genre

subgenregenressubgenres
Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a subgenre of fantasy characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent adventures.
For example, if a fantasy story has darker and more frightening elements of fantasy, it would belong in the subgenre of dark fantasy; whereas another fantasy story that features magic swords and wizards would belong to the subgenre of sword and sorcery.

Return to Nevèrÿon (series)

Return to NevèrÿonNevèrÿonReturn of Nevèrÿon
Return to Nevèrÿon is a series of eleven sword and sorcery stories by Samuel R. Delany, originally published in four volumes during the years 1979-1987.

Imaro

Imaro (novel)
Imaro is a sword and sorcery novel written by Charles R. Saunders, and published by DAW Books in 1981.

Kane (fantasy)

Kane
Kane is a literary character created by Karl Edward Wagner in a series of sword and sorcery novels and short stories first published between 1970 and 1985.

Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America

Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA)
From the 1960s up till the 1980s, under the guiding force of Lin Carter, a select group of writers formed the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA) to promote and enlarge the sword and sorcery genre.
The Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America or SAGA was an informal group of American fantasy authors active from the 1960s through the 1980s, noted for their contributions to the "Sword and Sorcery" kind of heroic fantasy, itself a subgenre of fantasy.

Swords and Sorcery

Swords and Sorcery is an anthology of fantasy short stories in the sword and sorcery subgenre, edited by L. Sprague de Camp and illustrated by Virgil Finlay.

Conan the Barbarian (1982 film)

Conan the BarbarianConanConan the Barbarian Movie Special
During the 1980s, influenced by the success of the 1982 feature film Conan the Barbarian, many cheaply made fantasy films were released in a subgenera that would be called "Sword & Sorcery".
Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 American epic sword and sorcery film directed and co-written by John Milius.

Flashing Swords!

Flashing Swords! #2
Edited by Carter, these were collectively known as Flashing Swords!.
Most of the important sword and sorcery writers at the time of the group’s founding were members; later, membership was extended to other fantasy authors.

Gardner Fox

Gardner F. FoxRod GrayNelson, Bruce
From 1969 to 1970, Belmont Books published a series of sword and sorcery novels by Fox, featuring the barbarian character Kothar.