On Friday, Mary and I made our second stop of the day at the Davis-Kochert Cemetery, also known as just the Davis Cemetery. It was much smaller than the Armstrong Cemetery. It is located on a minor county road, and doesn’t seem to be connected to any specific church or chapel.
I mentioned in passing, in my post about my relationship with poetry, that I enjoy fantasy. I’ve been reading fantasy, off and on, for about as long as I can remember. The first real book that I remember owning was a book of fairy tales and poems, Golden Books Treasury of Elves and Fairies, that was given to me by my grandmother, my dad’s mother. I still own that book, though it is in bad shape after all of these years. It was first published in 1951, but I’m not sure in what year she gave it to me.
My next venture into fantasy, outside of Mother Goose, that I recall, was the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff and how they defeated the troll. There were probably other stories that I heard or read, but that was the most memorable.
Then, when I was older, I found out about Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. I started reading the Lancer paperback editions of the Conan stories in the 1960’s. I’ll admit that I was drawn to the books by the Frank Frazetta’s covers. It’s a case of the cover art drawing me in, and the stories bringing me back. I was introduced to the Sword & Sorcery genre.
My other great love in Sword & Sorcery was Fritz Leiber’s stories about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. That’s where I learned that S&S need not all be dark and brooding.
I started reading as much S&S as I could. There was C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry, Michael Moorcock’s Elric (and other heroes) stories, and Roger Zelazney’s novel Nine Princes In Amber (and yes, the Jeff Jones cover of the paperback is what caught my eye.
In that time I was also tackling The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Here is where I admit that I tried E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros, but could not get into that story. Perhaps it is time that I tried again.
Recently I have been reading some of Glen Cook’s books. Specifically his tales of the Black Company. I bought one of the books on a whim and liked it so much that I believe I have all of the published stories so far. They are good reads. I have also been reading various King Arthur books, but for some reason they are often listed a Historical Fiction. Tell that to Merlin.
One thing I have always found in fantasy is that no matter how dark the story becomes, there is always the glimmer of hope, of light on the horizon…or maybe just over the hill. You don’t give up on the story.
Now you have the thumb sketch about me and fantasy.