If you’re interested in the sf/f field in general, the SF Signal web site is probably already familiar to you. This week they’ve put up one of their regular podcasts, this time a panel discussion on the state of the Swords & Sorcery (S&S)subgenre and where the genre is at the moment, (Episode 108): 2012 Sword & Sorcery Mega Panel Part 1
. Panelists were:
Lou Anders is the editor of Pyr Books, Scott Andrews is the editor of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Violette Malan and James Sutter are authors, Jaym Gates and Patrick Hester are the SF Signal podcast moderators. Besides being an interesting discussion in itself for anyone even remotely interested in the subject (and I’m looking forward to part 2), it was interesting to me personally because my name came up several times as a modern S&S author in connection with the Lord Yamada stories.
I can see it. For one thing, as subgenres go, S&S is pretty mecurial. Any subgenre that can encompass at various times Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, C.L. Moore, Joanna Russ, G.R.R. Martin, and Michael Moorcock, has to be a bit of a moving target. For another, at various times in my development I was very deliberately writing S&S. For one thing, I went through an early phase where I didn’t read much else. For another, when I was first trying to break into the fantasy magazines (all maybe three of them at the time), S&S was in the ascendant, as hot or hotter than Steampunk is now. I wrote a fair bit of it, and apparently I still am.
I’ll grant you, I wasn’t thinking of Yamada as S&S when the series first came to me. I had him envisioned more as a Heian-era noire detective, sort of Sam Spade with a tachi. He quickly grew past that limited conception, and thank heavens for that, but the tone remained that of a generalist fantasy with mystery overtones. And yet the stories still easily fit under the S&S umbrella. I hadn’t thought of them that way, but it’s true, and perfectly fine with me.
Categories aside, I think this is the first time that my name and work has come up in a podcast that wasn’t a podcast of one of my own stories. Getting a reminder now and then that other people do read and like what you do doesn’t entirely suck.