M. Harold Page is Black Gate‘s Thursday afternoon blogger, and one of our most consistently popular contributors. He’s also a noted fantasy novelist in his own right, author of The Sword is Mightier, Blood in the Streets, Marshal Versus the Assassins, and his popular book on writing, Storyteller Tools. But his magnum opus is his five-volume series Swords vs Tanks. I’ve made a couple of efforts at writing a synopsis, and ultimately I think it’s best to let the author explain it himself. Here’s Mr Page:
What did I care about? What did I like? Swords, apparently, and tanks.
It was more than that. I’m fascinated by the medieval mentality, and by — at the other end of history — the emergence of modernity in the 1900s-1930s. Why not, I thought, bang the rocks together? Great idea!
Well it was a great idea. I set out to pen a Baen-style military yarn with time travelling communists clashing with magic-enabled knights… The end result was too short and the story had grown in the telling — shifting from Military to Heroic Fantasy (or was it, Heroic Steampunk?) while exploring themes about Medievalism versus Modernism… I realized that the editors were right: it was too fast paced by modern standards. What I’d written was not really a modern 100 thousand word Fantasy novel. Instead, it was three or four 1970s-style short novels making up a series like the old Michael Morcock yarns I grew up on.
Now, I could have taken each novella and expanded it into a Big Fat Fantasy. However, it worked rather well as an old school series. Doorstop tomes were an artefact of the practicalities of publishing back in the 1980s anyway. There was no literary reason to expand. Why the hell not just chop it up and release it in its natural form? And that, dear reader, is what I did.
Read the complete article, ‘Swords Versus Tanks — What “10 Years in the Making” Means,’ here. Swords Versus Tanks was published by Warrior Metal Tales; all five volumes are now available in digital format for $2.99 each. Click the images above for bigger versions.