springtime reads

In the Spring a woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of pulp adventure?

I'm pretty sure that's not how it goes, but that's the mood I've been in lately. If April showers make you want to curl up with old-fashioned tales of swords and/or sorcery too, here are some ideas.

Swords and Deviltry, by Fritz Leiber
Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #1) Leiber wrote about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser starting in the 1930s. This book collects three stories from the 60s and 70s that are about how the characters began their adventures. Included is "Ill Met in Lankhmar," which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella. The Lankhmar stories had a big impact on fantasy fiction, and more importantly, they're pretty interesting reads.

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, by Robert E. Howard
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian  Conan's been a thief, a pirate, and a king, and the movies about him, while entertaining, barely scratch the surface of the character. These action-heavy stories take place in a gritty, detailed world, and this anthology is a pretty good introduction to them. And if you find yourself falling for Howard's vivid prose, you can also try some of his many, many other works.

Captain Blood, by Rafael Sabatini
Captain Blood Peter Blood, a doctor forced to the sea because of injustice on land, is the definitive gentleman pirate. Sabatini's novel blends historical fact, drama, and adventure into a story that's just plain fun. One of the film adaptations of this book launched Errol Flynn's film career, and since it's out of copyright, you can even get a free ebook copy. (Kindle link / other formats)

If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

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