Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Issue #3 of Swords and Sorcery Magazine On Line

The third issue of the new "Swords and Sorcery Magazine" posted the other day.  Like the previous issues it contains two new stories.  There's no reason not to spend the thirty minutes or so reading them both.
   The first, is "Love and Scorpions" by Steve Goble.  A repairer of saddles has acquired an elixir that allows him to create a dream world and a dream woman.  Over succeeding nights he visits that world hoping to win her hand.  Needless to say there are complications.  It's a interesting story of dreams and longing fired by the dreariness of humdrum life.
   "In the Hills of Yost" by Jeffrey Scott Sims reads like something from Weird Tales.  Following a victorious battle against the evil Rhexellites, Morca of the Dyrezan army leads an expedition to hunt down any survivors hiding in the hills.  They soon encounter an abandoned city and the repulsive idol of the god Blug.  There's nothing new going on here but it's well enough done.
   Sims' characters speak in a not always successful archaic style that leads to lines like " I detect in this loathsome pile no majesty, no inspiration of awe, nor even reverential terror".  It almost works and as much as the plot lends to the story's Clark Ashton Smith feel.
   It's also too short.  The story reads more like a little bit of exposition letting the reader know where Morca was when he was off screen in a much longer tale than a stand alone short story.  It's brevity prevents the characters and events from developing enough.
   So neither is groundbreaking but they're not bad.  I think "Love and Scorpions" is better written and more successful but the little bits of background created in "In the Hills of Yost" made me want to see a little more of where Sims is taking things.  I'm happy to see the fine people of "Swords and Sorcery Magazine" doing their part to publish and promote the genre.

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