Forgotten: Swordsmen From the Stars by Poul Anderson

Swordsmen From the Stars by Poul Anderson, DMR Books 2020 Kindle ebook, 172 pages, cover art by Allen Anderson.

swordsmen from the stars01Three early fantasy-adventure novelettes by Anderson, showing off his ability to write in the pulp fantasy-adventure vein, better than most.

 “Witch of the Demon Seas” originally appeared in the January 1951 issue of Planet Stories. Sorcery and greed for power result in captured pirate leader Corun and a band of mercenaries under the leadership of the sorcerer Shorzon sailing dark seas to meet with the feared water-reptile race once of the Xanthi, the Sea Demons in hopes of a treaty of conquest. The sorcerers’ beautiful daughter is the Witch. This made me think of the early Conan tales of Robert E. Howard.

“The Virgin of Valkarion” originally appeared in the July 1951 issue of Planet Stories. An ancient prophesy tells of an outlander from the north riding into the city on the night the King dies, and ending the planet02Thirty-Ninth Dynasty when the “Mating of the Moons” occurs overhead, but the leaders of The Temple are sure they can assassinate the stranger first. Reading this, I kept thinking of Fritz Leiber’s Lankmar stories.

planet 01“Swordsman of Lost Terra” originally appearedm in the November 1951 issue of Planet Stories. Proud Kery of Broina felt like a ghost himself; shade of a madman flitting hopelessly to the citadel of Earth’s disinherited to recapture the fierce, resonant Pipes of Killorn—weapon of the gods—before they blared out the dirge of the world! A hint of Burroughs, in this one.

So, I’ve mentioned Robert Howard, Fritz Leiber and Edgar Rice Burroughs in describing these stories. I don’t think that’s reaching. If you like fantasy adventure, these are for you.

note: Poul Anderson is a favorite author of mine, so take that into account.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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17 Responses to Forgotten: Swordsmen From the Stars by Poul Anderson

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Love the covers, but this is just not my kind of thing. Not a big fantasy guy.

  2. Jerry House says:

    The Anderson from Planet Stories is so much different than the Anderson from Astounding/Analog or F&SF. A versatile writer, always entertaining at the very least.

  3. Steve A Oerkfitz says:

    I would have loved these as a teenager but not quite my thing anymore. Although his Fantasy Novel The Broken Sword is one of my favorites of his.

  4. tracybham says:

    I don’t know if I would like these or not but I bought the ebook version to give them a try.

  5. JohnnyMac says:

    “Poul Anderson is a favorite author of mine,”

    That shows you have good taste!

  6. stevelewis62 says:

    I like Anderson’s early books and stories like these a whole lot more than most everything he did later on. It’s difficult to explain, but to me, they’re pure entertainment and great fun to read.

  7. I agree with Steve Lewis. I’m ordering this right now!

  8. Evan Lewis says:

    Anderson did a decent job when he put on his Robert E. Howard pants for CONAN THE REBEL.

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