Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Issue #6 of Swords and Sorcery Magazine On Line

   So I've been digging the issues of Swords & Sorcery Magazine Online I've read to date.  This one, #6, not so much.  Its two stories just aren't that special or good, though for different reasons.  Still, it's free so why aren't you reading it?
   The first story is "Corbane's Wish" by Charlene Brusso and it tells of the arrogant and successful bard Corbane and his desire to become the greatest lute player in the world.  This brings him to a wizard which leads to all the sorts of problems when you forget about the tendency of wishes to bring on unintended consequences.
   I didn't dislike the story, I just don't think it's got much going on.  There really are no surprises or twists that will surprise you or make you feel twisted.  It just sort of sits there unspooling something you've seen from the first few paragraphs.
   "A Little Peril in Brisbett" by Jeffery Scott Sims fills the second slot in the issue and I almost don't want to write about it.  I don't actually enjoy writing negative reviews and despite some qualms about his mock-archaic writing style, I liked his "In the Hills of Yost" in the magazine's third issue back in April.  This one, despite an engaging little plot is overwhelmed by the archaisms taken to awful new heights.
   Those unpleasant heights bring sentences like this one: "Trooped the band from Dyrezan across the pitiful foot bridge that spanned the brook, accosted they those who dwelt in mud and stone shacks beneath enticing oddity."  Or: "That be  plain," said Lord Harmon, with a dismissive flick of hand.  "Subaros willed us here, to this far realm, as he did that poor native of Brisbett, sent that repulsive beast to slay.  Did you attend, Nantrech?"  I When I read the first sentence above I actually hoped it was an editing error.  A few more lines on I lost that hope.
   Last time I wrote I assumed Sims was striving to recreate a style like Clark Ashton Smith's or Dunsany's.   Now I'm not so sure.  I'm starting to suspect there's a little less going on than that which is a shame.  I like the old fashioned "Weird Tales" world he's created and peopled with various parties from Dyrezan exploring new and dangerous places.  But the style's just not working for me. 
   The next issue will be along in two weeks or so and I'm looking forward to it.  This one may have been a let down (sure, like letting me down really matters), but overall I've been pleased enough with the magazine to look forward to each time a new issue posts.

P.S. "A Little Peril in Brisbett" is a about a party from Dyrezan coming across the marvelous citadel of an evil wizard and what happens in the wake of his discourteous attitude.  I can't believe I left out any sort of description of the actual plot.  See, I do have weak editing skills!

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