Back when Black Gate‘s editor John O’Neill lived in Ottawa in the early 80s, he was a member of a small SF fan club. His first meeting featured a reading from the editor of an excellent local fanzine, Stardock, who had just completed his first novel. The author was Charles Saunders, the novel was Imaro, and the reading he never forgot.
DAW released the first three Imaro novels between 1981 and 1985, then dropped the series for reasons arising from textbook bad marketing decisions, a lawsuit from the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate over a poorly chosen cover quote (“The Epic Novel of a Black Tarzan”), and publishing delays.
For the whole sordid tale, read Charles de Lint’s introduction to the Night Shade edition of the first novel.
Night Shade books released the first two books, Imaro and The Quest for Cush, in handsome new editions in 2006 & 2007, and Saunders self-published the third volume, The Trail of Bohu, through his Sword & Soul Media press last year.
The true tragedy of the saga of Imaro is that the fourth novel has never been published – until now.