Crimson Mists and Uncrowned Kings: Savage Scrolls, Volume One, edited by Jason Ray Carney

Crimson Mists and Uncrowned Kings: Savage Scrolls, Volume One, edited by Jason Ray Carney

Savage Scrolls, Volume One (Pulp Hero Press, 2020). Cover uncredited.

Last summer there was an ugly incident involving the long-awaited publication of Flashing Swords #6 from Pulp Hero Press, the spiritual successor to Lin Carter’s legendary sword-and-sorcery series from the 70s. Editor Robert M. Price’s introduction, which read to me like an incoherent right-wing rant against feminism, proved toxic enough that four contributors pulled their stories immediately, and publisher Bob McLain made the decision to de-list and kill the book before it even went on sale.

That left plenty of good tales without a home, though Bob did promise that some would find a home in “a new anthology series – no politics, no drama, just sword-and-sorcery! – that I’d like to release later this year.” So I was especially intrigued to see the first volume of Savage Scrolls, a new Swords & Anthology series edited by the distinguished Jason Ray Carney, arrive from Pulp Hero in November. I ordered a copy last month, and I’m delighted to say it’s a thoroughly professional production.

And what a list on contributors! In addition to two tales salvaged from Flashing Swords (Adrian Cole’s Elak of Atlantis tale “The Tower in the Crimson Mist,” and Steve Dilks’s sword & sorcery “Tale of the Uncrowned Kings”), Savage Scrolls includes names that will be intimately familiar to Black Gate readers, including Howard Andrew Jones (with a new Hanuvar tale), James Enge (a new Morlock the Maker story), David C. Smith (a new Oron adventure) and D.M. Ritzlin (with a tale of Avok the Cytheran). In a Publisher’s Note at the back, Bob McLain teases readers with a promise that

The cover art will tell a story, spread over four volumes of Savage Scrolls. On the cover of this volume we have our characters on the cusp of battle: the barbarian, the cultist, and the sorceress. On the cover of the next volume we will have those same characters, with the barbarian, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

A bold promise! Though why he’d draw such attention to the intriguing cover and then completely neglect to credit the artist, I have no idea. The artist isn’t credited anywhere, far as I can find. Maybe that’s part of the mystery.

Jason Ray Carney’s first blog post for Black Gate was Bran Mak Morn: Social Justice Warrior, and he’s promised us a behind-the-scenes peek at Savage Scrolls in the coming weeks.

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Glenn

Bought the ebook and read the Morlock story right away. It was great as usual.

Features Morlock in his drunk years. Which i think is my second favorite era for the character.

I’m trying to find the time to read Kuttner’s Elak stories before moving on to Adrian’s, which i’m sure are good and can stand on their own.

Carl E. Reed

Curiosity drove me to check out Robert M. Price’s intro to Flashing Swords #6. Now I want to write a short story about a couple of lesbian barbarians who lead a raid into the citadel of a chauvinist oppressor to liberate a captured sister and abscond with a talisman of great power: “The Rod of Mailer”.

Glenn

Yes i have, three of them i think. The one in issue #0, #1, and #3.

It was great timing because i started mike duncan’s History of Rome podcast. Hanuvar is very loosely inspired by Hannibal of Carthage.

I like them quite a bit. The idea that each story is taking place chronologically adds some difficultly but i’m excited to see where howard goes with it.

His website now has a list of his creators and where they originally appeared. I wish James Enge would do something like that for Morlock (and the rest of his work)

Adrian Simmons

Glenn, Howard Andrew Jones had a Hanuvar story published at heroic fantasy quarterly: http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/?p=2735

Mario

Great stuff! I wish i had the time for reading also this genre in addition to horror, supernatural and macabre fiction…vyZ

Joseph P Bonadonna

Excellent collection of solid Sword and Sorcery tales. Volume two is in the works.

James Enge

Thanks for the kind words; it’s an honor to be in this one.

Glenn, I’ve commissioned Gabriel McNally to write “A Probable Outline of the Career of Morlock Ambrosius” but he’s an even worse procrastinator than I am. I’ll see if I can hurry him along.

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