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Scott Oden

annis
Bibliomaniac

Scott Oden

Postby annis » Tue July 27th, 2010, 2:15 am

For those who enjoy authors like Harold Lamb and Robert E Howard, i've just found a worthy successor to the tradition in Scott Oden's latest novel, The Lion of Cairo, a fabulous medieval adventure with plenty of swords and a hint of sorcery in the form of a demon-haunted sword that reminds me a bit of the one owned by Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné. Assassins and crusaders, caliphs, viziers and courtesans mix it up in a vividly recreated desert world. I enjoyed Oden's Memnon and Men of Bronze, but this is something else again. Olé! (Which may even be appropriate - the word is meant to have derived from the Arabic wallah ("by God")

Doug
Scribbler

Postby Doug » Mon August 2nd, 2010, 9:57 pm

At Pulpfest this past weekend, a friend of mine who's a big fan of Robert E. Howard, Harold Lamb, Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur and others in that style recommended Oden to me highly as well. I'll have to check him out pronto!

Doug

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Mon August 2nd, 2010, 11:18 pm

Given that Scott Oden is American, it seems a bit odd (and maybe a bit unfair, though I'm not complaining :) ) that here in New Zealand I can get a copy of Lion of Cairo before readers in the States .

On his website he comments:

"I've been asked quite a few times why The Lion of Cairo is coming out in the UK before it comes out here, in my home country. The simple answer: that's just how the schedules worked out. Though there is some overlap (mainly online) in the markets, the US and UK book trades are independent of one another, but good ink garnered in the UK can be used to help promote the US release, and vice versa".

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue August 3rd, 2010, 2:44 am

Just had the thought that it might be good to link Carla's excellent review of Men of Bronze to this thread, for Doug and others wanting to get a handle on Scott Oden's work
http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1160

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ScottOden
Newbie
Location: Southern USA
Contact:

Thanks!

Postby ScottOden » Sun August 8th, 2010, 2:39 pm

Annis, thank you for the mention! And Doug, I do hope you enjoy it (I keep meaning to get to Pulpfest, but every year it slips up on me).

I thought it kind of odd that the UK edition would come out so much earlier than the US edition, too, but what the heck. It's easiest just to roll with it ;) The UK edition is, hand's down, the most attractive book of mine I've ever seen. The pics at Amazon just doesn't do it justice . . .

Again, thanks!

Best,

Scott

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Wed August 11th, 2010, 2:07 am

Annis has just posted a lively review of Scott Oden's latest novel, The Lion of Cairo, at www.HistoricalNovels.info. Already available in the U.K., the novel will be published in the U.S. in December. The publisher must have it in mind for the Christmas market.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

Doug
Scribbler

Postby Doug » Mon August 23rd, 2010, 4:32 pm

I've now had the pleasure of reading The Lion of Cairo and I'd echo Annis' review of it, linked above. A great read, full of action and intrigue. I think Annis covers the plot in her review (go read it!) as well as can be without giving too much away, so I won't add anything further on plot, but I will quote her when she says that "it is a worthy successor to the work of early pulp-masters like Harold Lamb and Robert E. Howard." If you like tales of the Crusades, secret societies, palace intrigues, blended with battles large and small, this one's up your alley.

By pure coincidence, the novel I'd read just before The Lion of Cairo was also set in the time of the Crusades, with some involvement of the Assassins, though in a completely different way than in The Lion of Cairo. This was A Son of Strife by Arthur D. Howden Smith, which never saw book publication but which was serialized in the pulp magazine Adventure in 3 parts, March 30, April 10 & April 20, 1922. To come full circle, Robert E. Howard likely read it, as two of these issues are listed among those that were on his bookshelf, cataloged after his death.

Doug

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu August 26th, 2010, 9:38 am

Glad you enjoyed Lion of Cairo as well, Doug. Scott Oden kindly answered a couple of questions I had about what inspired Assad and his bloodthirsty sentient sword, and maybe I'll check with him to see if he minds me passing on his interesting answers, which confirmed my initial response to Lion. What gives Lion of Cairo its edge is that it is not just a sword-and-sorcery pastiche, but a genuine modern interpretation which melds original pulp-fiction elements with more recent influences - the work of later fantasy authors like Tolkien and Moorcock - and media like cinema and computer games.

And the good news is that Scott says will be more adventures of Assad to look forward to.

I haven't read any of Arthur D. Howden Smith's work- maybe I should track some down. Keny mentioned him elsewhere - wasn't he the writer who led a very adventurous life himself and was one of the original embedded journalists?
Last edited by annis on Thu August 26th, 2010, 7:38 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Doug
Scribbler

Postby Doug » Sun August 29th, 2010, 2:09 pm

Yeah, Arthur D. Howden Smith led an adventurous life, at least early in his career. Around 1907 he spent some time in the Balkans as a journalist, travelling with the resistance movement fighting against the Ottomans. These experiences formed the basis for a book and several articles about this struggle and his involvement with it. His earliest fiction shares that setting as well, and doubtless draws on his real life experiences. After WWI broke out, changing the landscape of the Balkans, he shifted focus and began writing historical fiction. He's best remembered by pulp fans for his tales concerning his Viking hero Swain that ran in Adventure (several of which which collected in book form), but he didn't limit himself to that setting.

Doug

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed December 22nd, 2010, 5:00 pm

In conjunction with the US release of Lion of Cairo Margaret has posted a short interview with Scott at her Historical Novels Info website. Scott came up with some interesting and thoughtful replies.

The interview can be read here:
http://www.HistoricalNovels.info/Scott-Oden.html


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