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Sword & Sorcery is Alive and Well at Pyr

Friday, September 10th, 2010 | Posted by John ONeill

shadows-sonWell, I’m back from Dragon*Con, and my head is still spinning. It would take me weeks to jot down even a partial record of all the events we attended and the great people we met (not to mention the jaw-dropping costumes I was constantly gawking at) — so I think I’ll leave that to Howard, who’s already posted Part I of a splendid con report.

Instead, I’m going to hit the highlights.  The best event we attended at the convention, bar none, was the Pyr Books, a New Voice in Publishing panel, hosted by publisher Lou Anders and attended by Pyr authors Clay & Susan Griffith, Erin Hoffman, Andrew Mayer, Ari Marmell, Mike Resnick, Jon Sprunk, Sam Sykes, and the amazingly cool James Enge.

Why was it so great? Lou highlighted the terrific titles Pyr will be publishing over the next six months in a fast-paced and entertaining slide show, and each of the authors chimed in at appropriate moments to tell us a little more about their books. It was a great way to get introduced to an entire line in under an hour.

And what a line. I haven’t been this intrigued by so many books from a single publisher in a long time.

I keep telling people that Black Gate is not just about Sword & Sorcery, and that I buy a wide range of fiction for the magazine, but I have to admit that many of the titles that really grabbed my attention were S&S.  And as Lou made clear, “Sword & Sorcery is Alive and Well at Pyr.”

Pyr’s future titles will include The Wolf Age by our own James Enge, the sequel to his World Fantasy Award-nominated Blood of Ambrose, featuring his character Morlock the Maker.  I was also struck by Salute the Dark, the latest in the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky — how did I miss this one for so long? — and the upcoming Vampire Empire novels by Clay and Susan Griffith. I was also intrigued by both Ari Marmell’s Household Gods and Andrew Mayer’s The Society of Steam.

In terms of books I could lay my hands on now, I was immediately drawn to Jasper Kent’s Twelve, a vampire novel set in war-torn Russia during Napoleon’s invasion in 1812, and Matthew Sturges The Office of Shadow, the sequel to Midwinter, and bought them both as soon as I could dash to the Pyr booth the next morning. I also grabbed the steampunkishly beautiful The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder, and Sam Sykes’ gleefully violent and funny Tome of the Undergates.

Perhaps the most enticing title in the entire lot was Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk, a very promising S&S tale of urban treachery, dark sorcery, and a resourceful thief with a ghost girlfriend.  Both Howard and I put that one on top of our to-read pile.

Lou Anders writes in detail about many of these titles, and several others just as intriguing, at his Pyr-o-mania blog post Sometimes You Really Want to Take a Sword to Someone.

If you’re a fan of Sword & Sorcery — or just great fantasy — check them out, and support one of the most exciting publishers in the business.

7 Comments »

  1. I agree – the PYR titles are wildly enticing.

    Comment by pmcnamee67 - September 10, 2010 9:39 am

  2. You just made me want to read the Spring-Heeled Jack one. And the one in Russia. Mmmn. And maybe Shadow’s Son.

    Hopefully, I will forget my longing in the next five minutes and actually get some work done!

    Comment by C.S.E. Cooney - September 10, 2010 1:52 pm

  3. I think the concept of a ghost girlfriend is outstanding. I will probably sit around most of the day trying to figure out a way that such a relationship would.. you know… ‘work’

    Comment by Scott Taylor - September 10, 2010 2:43 pm

  4. […] I’ve found a home at Thomas Dunne, James Enge is at Pyr (and boy-howdy, does Pyr seem receptive to sword-and-sorcery!), but talented authors like Steve Goble, Bruce Durham, S.C. Bryce, Brian Dolton, TW Williams, and […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Dragon*Con Report Part 2 - September 10, 2010 4:17 pm

  5. If PYR was really serious about Sword & Sorcery, they would be publishing Darrell Schweitzer.

    Comment by John R. Fultz - September 10, 2010 8:01 pm

  6. Pyr is at the top of their game right now. They are putting out some of the best authors in the genre and I happily let them slurp up my money.

    Comment by Todd Pollman - September 12, 2010 11:30 pm

  7. […] to true sword & sorcery as Pyr Books. I still remember how delighted I was at the 2010 Pyr Books panel at Dragon*con, when publisher Lou Anders announced “Sword & Sorcery is Alive and Well at […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » New Treasures: The Barrow by Mark Smylie - March 17, 2014 1:28 pm


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