Sword And Sorcery

Fantasy genre generally involving a more or less generic and/or ill-thought-through pseudo-medievalist society and world, with the presence of paranormal magical phenomena and/or gods.

Frequently used as a term of abuse towards fantasy by Hard SF fans, Sword And Sorcery does suffer from a tendency towards generic plots, perhaps simply because the genre is so rigidly defined by overuse.

Notable examples of Sword And Sorcery are:

Notable cliches of Sword And Sorcery are:

I think Tolkien's only on the edge of 'sword and sorcery', in that he does have some out of left field ideas by comparison with the average species, tho' he probably gets more and more S&Sish as time goes on... --TL

Tolkien is surely the definitive sword and sorcery author, in that if there were no Tolkien, there would be far less S&S. -- NH

Well, shall we say that Tolkien is the antecedent of sword and sorcery then- he wrote a book/three books/an oeuvre which features and introduces to modern writing quite a lot of sword and sorcery, but having recreated said genre for the modern world, he can't really have been said to have been writing in it, since it didn't exist in the modern sense at the time...? (Expecting correction by Tanaqui) So, he's Sword and Sorcery in the sense that that's what he's writing, but he's not in the 'Just copying Tolkien with the names changed' sense of S&S beloved by certain writers (See Terry Brooks). --WJR

I suggest reading Diana Wynne Jones's The Tough Guide To Fantasyland if you haven't already, for a good laugh and/or wince. -- SDN

Tolkien is not Sword And Sorcery, it is fantasy. Ask Fritz Lieber, the originator of the term. Sword And Sorcery applies to writings such as R. E. Howard's (acknowledged as the Father of the genre by Leiber) Kull and Conan characters umung others. Or Leiber's own Fafrd and the Grey Mouser. Or Moorcock's Elrik. Dragon Lance, Tolkien that is Fantasy and Tolkien is the only one worth reading. The difference is sublte, but distinct. As for copying Tolkien, try a Dennis L. Mc Kernan book for that. Man should be arrested.

And nowhere is there even a mention of David Gemmel? He is the undesputed champ of Sword and Sorcery!

Mon, 24 Jan 2005 00:23:25 GMT Front Page Recent Changes Message Of The Day