Charles R. Saunders Gives Props to Frazetta

Over on his Drums of Nyumbani blog, Charles R. Saunders has posted an entry entitled, “In Memoriam: Frank Frazetta.” Mr. Saunders reminisces about his discovery of Frazetta’s work, depictions of blacks in Frank’s art and also speculates about what a Frazetta cover for an Imaro novel might have looked like. CRS does an admirable job covering the latter two topics, but I have few more factoids and opinions to add. Feel free to click the link above, read the post and click back here.

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Saunders, Changa’s Safari and Meji

Author Milton Davis has a new blog, Wagadu, dedicated to his Sword-and-Soul literary creations. It should come as no surprise to TC readers that the Godfather of Sword-and-Soul, Charles R. Saunders, stopped by Wagadu to write about Davis’ upcoming novel, Changa’s Safari.

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CRS and the Empire of Gold

In welcome news, TC just learned that Charles R. Saunders has a fresh blog entry posted at Drums of Nyumbani, his website. The title of this post is “The First Ghana.” Much like his article, “The Epoch of Kush,” this piece by Saunders explores the rich history of sub-Saharan Africa. Another similarity betwixt the two is that both were written during the ’70s by CRS for one of the fantasy/S&S fanzines that proliferated during that decade. Fear not, Saunders’ scholarship still holds up.

Mr. Saunders reveals the history of the first Ghana (modern-day Ghana shares little but a name with its namesake). Called Aoukar by its own people, the kingdom was given its common name by Arab chroniclers, who derived it from one of the titles of the Ghanaian ruler (a situation similar to the one in which the “Inca” empire received its name from the Spanish). Reaching its height in the eleventh century AD, Ghana was a veritable sub-Saharan Klondike, exporting gold to Europe and Asia. Such riches invited envy and aggression. Eventually, Ghana succumbed.

Medieval Ghana was very likely the source of the name which REH bestowed upon the “Ghanatas” seen in the unfinished Conan yarn referred to as “The Tombalku Fragment.” Serious students of Conan the Cimmerian might also recall that he wielded a “Ghanata knife” when infiltrating black-walled Khemi in The Hour of the Dragon. Clues left by REH point to the Hyborian Age Ghanatas being a tribe situated somewhere betwixt Stygia and Tombalku, and that said tribe had notable iron-working skills. All things considered, that matches up fairly well with the Ghanatas’ (probable) historical inspiration.

I’ve been studying sub-Saharan Africa for more than twenty-five years and CRS’ post still taught me a few things. As I stated earlier, Saunders’ scholarship (like his fiction) has stood the test of time.

Milton Davis: Meji, Changa and Sadatina

A couple of months back, I wrote a blog entry regarding Sword-and-Sorcery author, Milton Davis, and his current and forthcoming projects. I thought that TC readers might like an update.

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Imaro: The Naama War Is Finally Here

Imaro versus Bohu

The Cimmerian just heard the word via the Drums of Nyumbani: the long-awaited fourth novel in Charles R. Saunders’ Imaro series is now available from Imaro: The Naama War brings to a close the epic first chapter in the life of CRS’ iconic Sword-and-Sorcery hero, Imaro.

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Charles R. Saunders Reviews Wind Follower at Black Gate

Legendary Sword-and-Sorcery author, Charles R. Saunders, has posted another guest blog over at the Black Gate site. In this entry, he looks at Carole McDonnell’s Wind Follower. CRS dubs McDonnell’s particular brand of fantasy “Sword-and-Soul.” Check it out.

20% Off at For the Holidays!

Paul Herman passed on this helpful tip:

“Hey, I got an email from lulu, they are offering 20% off, just enter HOHOHO at checkout. Good till December 31.”

This means that [redacted]’swb-cover [redacted], Frank Coffman’s The Selected Poetry of Robert E. Howard and the REHF’s The Collected Drawings of Robert E. Howard are all available at four-fifths the cover price until January 1, 2010.

dossouye-mshindoIn addition, two of Charles R. Saunders’ Sword-and-Sorcery novels, Imaro: The Trail of Bohu and Dossouye are available at Lulu. Dan Clore, Lovecraftian fictioneer and scholar, has his expanded second edition of The Unspeakable and Others for sale at, with brand-new illustrations from top-flight Mythos artist, Allen Koszowski. All for twenty percent off. Merry Christmas.


Of Buffalos and Women-Warriors: CRS’ brand new blog


Gbo (or close enough)


Charles R. Saunders has posted a very helpful blog entry for the bovinically-challenged on his website. Saunder’s utterly bad-ass Sword-and-Sorcery dossouye-coldheroine, Dossouye, is partnered in her exploits by an equally deadly “side-kick” named Gbo. Gbo is not to be trifled with, nor is he an Asian water buffalo. Mr. Saunders sets the record straight.

I first read about Dossouye and Gbo in Amazons! around 1980 (the story in question was “Agbewe’s Sword”). At the time, I was struck by how unique CRS’ pairing of warrior and bull was in fantasy fiction. Unique, but not unlikely. Having grown up around cattle all my life, it seemed far more probable that a (woman-) warrior would bestride such a steed than, say, a dragon. Bovines, even domesticated ones, are formidable beasts. Generally speaking, for any herd animal to survive, it must possess one of two traits: speed or lethality. Bovines aren’t renowned for their speed. There is a perfectly logical reason why the very capable predators of sub-Saharan Africa have never wiped out the Cape buffalo. Cape buffalos are bad news.

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The Worlds of Milton Davis


Ndoro and Obaseki

I do think the time is overpast for drawing inspiration from other milieus — Oriental, Near Eastern, North and Black African, Amerindian, Polynesian, an entire world — and am happy to see that several writers have begun doing so.

— Poul Anderson, from his essay, “On Thud and Blunder.”

Over at the Black Gate blog, Charles R. Saunders has logged on and made another (and most welcome) guest appearance. His motivation this time is to promote the work of an up-and-coming fantasy author. Click here and then click back, if you would.

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Charles Saunders Compares Conan and Jack Reacher

sidebar_author_saundersCharles R. Saunders, legendary Sword-and-Sorcery author and Friend of The Cimmerian, has posted a guest blog over at the Black Gate website. It’s a review of Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series. A big reason why it should interest readers of  The Cimmerian (besides the obvious), is that Mr. Saunders compares Child’s peripatetic protagonist to Robert E. Howard’s Conan. (Continue reading this post)