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Harold Lamb

hajones
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Post by hajones » Tue March 9th, 2010, 12:19 pm

Annis, thank YOU for all your work on Lamb's behalf.

Keny, I'm delighted to hear you enjoy the collections so much. I just received my "author" copies of Swords from the Sea and Swords from the East. They're not quite the same size as Swords from the West, but they're close. I hope you'll be able to latch on to your own copies soon. You can always order them through Amazon U.S., I suppose, though I guess there'd be a shipping charge.

Further plans for reprints, well, I've supplied Donald M. Grant with the text of Rususan and an appendix featuring all the linking bits that were added for the 1931 version of Durandal. I hope that will be going to press this year, but I'm not actually sure. Through Grant it should then be possible to have all three of the Durandal books, Durandal, Sea of Ravens, and Rusudan.

I may yet talk to Bison about reprinting Nur Mahal and Omar Khayyam, perhaps in one large volume, but I'm pretty busy working on book contracts for my own fiction right now, so I'm not sure when that would happen. A lot of Lamb's non-fiction seems to be getting reprinted, and I'm not sure it's getting reprinted legally -- I need to check with the estate and see what's happening there. I WOULD like to see one of his best books, March of the Barbarians (bad title, I know) get back into print, and I will definitely push for that some day with Bison.

But I think I've just about got the historical fiction end of things covered, at this point. Nur Mahal and Omar Khayyam are actually still easy to latch hold of through libraries and even used book services, so I'm not sure there's the same urgency to get them between covers again. The fiction from the pulps was a different animal, as it was scattered through many different magazines, all difficult to find.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue March 9th, 2010, 2:14 pm

[quote=""annis""]The narrative biography is not currently very fashionable, so I suspect cataloguers are not quite sure what to do with them. I recently came across a book from the 1930s about Anglo-Scandinavian resistance to the Normans in eleventh century Cumbria which was described everywhere as a novel, but when I read it, it was clear that it was a narrative biography. Harold Lamb's style is very readable, and he resists the temptation to use deliberately archaic language which can be a bit of a trial to the modern reader.[/quote]

This is something I've noticed, too. This seemed to be a much more common practice when I was growing up. I can remember quite a few biographies for adolescents that were narrative biographies. Moderns are being brought up to be prejudiced against this kind of approach to NF (very similar to the current taboo against allowing protagonists in historical fiction to display cultural and ethnic prejudices), but I think like anything else there are good and bad examples of how to do it. Lamb did it very well. I also like that these aren't bogged down by deliberate use of archaic language (which I believe to be a legacy of the Victorians and Edwardians who were quite fond of this). Lamb was very good at weaving in words and terminology that defined the age he was writing about in a way that felt natural and easy to absorb.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Wed March 10th, 2010, 1:32 pm

[quote=""hajones""]Annis, thank YOU for all your work on Lamb's behalf.

Keny, I'm delighted to hear you enjoy the collections so much. I just received my "author" copies of Swords from the Sea and Swords from the East. They're not quite the same size as Swords from the West, but they're close. I hope you'll be able to latch on to your own copies soon. You can always order them through Amazon U.S., I suppose, though I guess there'd be a shipping charge.

Further plans for reprints, well, I've supplied Donald M. Grant with the text of Rususan and an appendix featuring all the linking bits that were added for the 1931 version of Durandal. I hope that will be going to press this year, but I'm not actually sure. Through Grant it should then be possible to have all three of the Durandal books, Durandal, Sea of Ravens, and Rusudan.

I may yet talk to Bison about reprinting Nur Mahal and Omar Khayyam, perhaps in one large volume, but I'm pretty busy working on book contracts for my own fiction right now, so I'm not sure when that would happen. A lot of Lamb's non-fiction seems to be getting reprinted, and I'm not sure it's getting reprinted legally -- I need to check with the estate and see what's happening there. I WOULD like to see one of his best books, March of the Barbarians (bad title, I know) get back into print, and I will definitely push for that some day with Bison.

But I think I've just about got the historical fiction end of things covered, at this point. Nur Mahal and Omar Khayyam are actually still easy to latch hold of through libraries and even used book services, so I'm not sure there's the same urgency to get them between covers again. The fiction from the pulps was a different animal, as it was scattered through many different magazines, all difficult to find.[/quote]


Thanks for your replies, Howard. It would be great to have the durandal books in a single volume.

And ill order my books though one of the UK suppliers. Im about to finish "west" so ill probably pick up "desert" to fill the interim before "seas".

If you dont mind I had a quick question or two. Just curious about the ordering of the stories in "Swords from the west". They werent ordered by publisher or publication date, nor chonological. They seem to be randomly interspersed (which is the best way, im just curious if you had a reasoning behing the ordering of the tales)

Also, there is some great info on adventure magazine in your forward. im curious do you think we could see more reprints from other authors in the publication? Id really love to sample some of Lambs contemporaries (ive read talbot mundy and d howden smith)

Lastly, id just like to mention what a great story "the grand Cham" is. Thats been my favourite of the volume so far.

cheers.

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Post by hajones » Wed March 10th, 2010, 3:29 pm

Hi Keny,

Thanks for your note. Re: Durandal, maybe some day it would be possible to have "the complete Durandal" with all the pieces in a single volume. Right now, though, once Grant prints Rusudan, it will be possible to have all three pieces and the linking bits with the three books.

Swords from the West ordering -- I tried to intersperse them by my own sense of flow. Stories that might have too many similarities I broke up a bit, and I tried to intersperse the long ones amongst the short ones.

Grand Cham IS a terrific page turner, isn't it? The main character just never lets up.

Other reprints, well, there ARE some fine writers from Adventure. I dug deeply, thinking that I could find many more talented writers in there, but in truth, while there are some good writers in there, none of them produced work as consistently good as Lamb. A small press outfit has been reprinting Arthur Friel's Amazon stories (Amazon Stories 1 and 2, by Arthur O. Friel). Friel's one I haven't tried as steadily -- David Drake prefers him to Lamb.

Other, rarer guys, well, Arthur D. Howden Smith can be brilliant or just dead dog dull. He wrote about 18 Viking stories and I was set on collecting them all until I started noticing how many of them were boring. Have you read any of the Swain stories? Gilchrist and Brodeur could be brilliant or dull, but one or two of theirs really ought to see reprint. Brodeur, solo, wrote a cracking good Harald Hardrada serial for Argosy that's too good to be forgotten. I might try to get that into print some day. But this is all really time consuming -- finding the stories, scanning them, proofing them... so I will probably not be messing with it for a bit. The Lamb project took many years.

More on D. Howden Smith -- have you read the 1931 version of Gray Maiden? The goods ones in there are REALLY good. It's a short story series about a sword that gets passed down through the ages. The '31 version is complete except for the origin story, The Forging, where the blade is created for an Egyptian Pharoah. Then there's one collection of his with five of his Swain Viking stories in it, also from the '30s.
Last edited by hajones on Wed March 10th, 2010, 3:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu March 11th, 2010, 1:26 pm

Hi Howard, thanks for your reply.

I know very little about the Adventure authors, only that Adeventure fiction seems right up my alley.

I have a copy of the grey maiden stories from avon(?) from the 70s i think. It reprints 4 of the grey maiden stories (3,4,5,6, i think) and Ive read the first one on-line somewhere. I really enjoyed them all. and the concept of the grey maiden is a lot of fun.

I'd be up for any type of Adventure reprints (oriental stories, or the like as well). Maybe a grab bag of good stories from a variety of authors (i imagine a lot of the stories are public domain by now, but i dont know anything about the legal angle of reprints). but im not sure if anybody else would.

finished up "Swords from the west" so im off to look for "desert".

hajones
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Post by hajones » Fri March 12th, 2010, 2:44 am

Hi Keny,

Do let me know what you think of Desert.

If you can find a copy of the '31 Grey Maiden, perhaps through interlibrary loan, there are more good stories to enjoy. I'd say about two-thirds of them are good, and three or four are excellent. I particularly enjoyed Hanno's Sword, Thord's Wooing, The Gritti Luck, and Marathon. Statement for the Queen was pretty good as well.

best,
Howard

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat May 29th, 2010, 8:29 pm

im midway through "swords from the sea" just finished up the john paul jones stories. really interesting to see that americas first naval hero had a second carreer under cathrine the great in the black sea.

man, this book is good

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 7:51 pm

well, i didnt think id read anything better than "swords from the west" this year but "swords from the sea" might have even been better. probably mostly due to its eclectic subject matter. one of the best things about lambs short stories are learning where the next story is set.

Ill start on "swords of the desert" this summer.

I found an ancient copy of "durandal" in a used bookshop in Florida last week. It was a beat to hell copy and whoever cut the pages did a poor job. unfortunately the owner knew Lamb and loved his work so was asking 45 dollars for the copy. thats the price ive seen it for online. Id love to read it but i just couldnt justify spending 45 on a old beat up copy.

Pity.

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Post by chuck » Fri July 23rd, 2010, 4:34 pm

As much as I dislike E-Books...maybe this is an opportunity to get those hard to find copies of H. Lamb; transferred to electronic books.....would love see the Durandal and the rest of his collection...That also goes for some of Frank Yerby novels....

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat July 24th, 2010, 12:28 pm

[quote=""chuck""]As much as I dislike E-Books...maybe this is an opportunity to get those hard to find copies of H. Lamb; transferred to electronic books.....would love see the Durandal and the rest of his collection...That also goes for some of Frank Yerby novels....[/quote]


true. the best option would be to reissue the trilogy but from what i remember taking to Howard Jones that didnt seem an option at the moment.

Its starting to feel like a quest. Ill read those books someday, somehow....

:-)

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