Friday, May 21, 2010

Bitter Steel Published



Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Achilles, Beowulf! Kull, Conan, Kane!

Heroes are born, but they never die. They become legends; they become myths. Bitter Steel is a collection of new myths, new heroic adventures told in the ancient tradition.

So come! Gather with me around the fire where the smoke stings our eyes. We’ll listen to the drums beat in time with our hearts. We’ll drink from the common bowl as it passes among us. The darkness whispers outside our camp, but we have no fear. There are heroes among us. Let us hear their tales.

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I’m very happy to say that Bitter Steel has now been published. This is a collection of my heroic fantasy and sword and sorcery stories, along with some fantasy poems on the same themes. Most of these have been previously published in small magazines in and out of the States, but many of those have also been revised for this book, and there are new pieces that have never before seen print.

The top of this post is the back cover blurb for the book, and for those who aren’t familiar with the genre, “Conan,” “Kull,” and “Solomon Kane” are sword and sorcery heroes created by the writer Robert E. Howard. The stories in this book are in that same Howard tradition, and Howard himself wrote in the tradition of The Odyssey, the Iliad, and the Norse Sagas.

These are the kinds of stories that Frank Frazetta, the very fine artist who just recently died, did his most famous cover paintings for. If you’d like to see more Frazetta art, check out the Unofficial Frank Frazetta Fantasy Art Gallery. The ones below I borrowed from there.





At the moment, Bitter Steel is only available on Amazon, but it should be available at Borders and Barnes & Noble soon, as well as at Wildside Press. I’ll be posting more about the book over the next few days.

Thanks for listening.
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55 comments:

David Cranmer said...

The back cover blurb has me hooked. Sounds marvelous and I hope you sell a million. I will be getting my copy in the weeks to come.

David J. West said...

Awesome-I'm gonna pinch the pennies and order it very soon.

Shauna Roberts said...

Just the kind of stories I love! I'm on my way to Amazon now. Congratulations!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's awesome! Congratulations.

Angie said...

Congrats on the publication! :) And I like this new blurb much better -- good stuff.

Angie

benjibopper said...

Congratulations Charles! Once it hits stores I'll be sure to pick up a copy - it will be in Canada too yes?

ArtSparker said...

Good to see it out in the World.

Charles Gramlich said...

David Cranmer, me too. Thanks, man.

David J. West, I think you might enjoy it.

Shauna, thank you. I put the "Gilgamesh" refrence in just for you. ;) There's a couple of quality sword women in this collection too.

Alex, Thanks very much!

Angie, thanks. Yes, the first one was certainly a bit pedantic.

Benjibopper, I'm sure it will be offered through Amazon UK, and it might be in Chapters up there. Not sure. Some of my books are.

Charles Gramlich said...

Artsparker, indeed. :)

Avery DeBow said...

I'm so happy for you, Charles! I'll be sure to pick up my copy.

This is the big announcement, right? If so, I take back what I said on Facebook. ; )

Charles Gramlich said...

Avery, yeah, that's the big announcement. Big for me for sure!

Christopher said...

Congratulations, Charles! Sounds great!

Shauna Roberts said...

Cool! Thank you, Charles, both for the Gilgamesh ref and the swordswomen. I can't wait for my copy to arrive.

X. Dell said...

Congratulations.

I've heard about Conan because of the movie. I think you might have mentioned the other two at some point in this blog.

Regarding your previous post, I've never owned a laptop. So it comes to me as a surprise that it's not so comfortable to use it on your lap.

Charles Gramlich said...

Christopher, thanks much!

Shauna Roberts, the first story in there is called "A Gathering of Ravens," and features a swordswoman.

X. Dell, one would suppose about a laptop, and it isn't so bad except for the heat it generates after a while.

ivan said...

I swear quantum mechanics works in human affairs as well as physics.

You had a down, wobbly period for a while, and now, Success.

Congratulations.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Congrats, Charles, thanks for the tip of the hat to Frazetta, a huge talent whose influence will continue to ripple through the community for many, many years (I'm tempted to say eons, in the heroic mode - there, I said it, eons!) to come.

The back cover blurb is wonderful.

sage said...

Congratulations! This book sounds interesting and I like the way the back cover now reads even though I advocated swamping the paragraphs around.

Irish Gumbo said...

Congratulations, sir!

I used to read Conan regularly as a boy...Robert Howard's storied made me want to be a writer. So cool...

BernardL said...

Frazetta's artwork sold a lot of Conan paperbacks. Congratulations!

Charles Gramlich said...

ivan, I really believe we'll find that quantum fluctuations affect all kinds of human things that we would not have believed at our current state of knowledge. And yes, things have certainly gotten better for me.

Don, Frazetta's power will be missed in the fantasy art world. Sometimes his stuff is just overwhelming. I have his Icon, which has a bunch of his paintings in it, and of course the book covers.

sage, I decided I wanted to end with the campfire thing, maybe bringing the reader into the image for hearing a story.

Irish Gumbo, for me, it was a combination of Howard, ERB and L'Amour that made me want to be a writer. Adventure, incredible settings. I just loved it. Thanks for visiting and for the kind words.

BernardL, I know they did. I hear the voices of those folks all the time. I thikn the first fantasy art I really remember were imitations of Frazetta, but they still had power.

Lana Gramlich said...

You so rock. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, no dat's you.

Merisi said...

Congratulations, Charles!
I wish you many, many readers,
Merisi

Cloudia said...

There was a frazetta-type artist who did biker themes....what was his name? Bikers and ghost warriors, leaving prison, scenes like that....

Thinking of you, Lana, And LA all the time due to the spill. Hang in there!




Aloha from Hawaii


Comfort Spiral

laughingwolf said...

grats charles... another feather in your cap!

look forward to reading my copy, asap :)

Charles Gramlich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, thanks. One can always hope!

Cloudia, I'm not sure. A lot of folks have tried to copy Frazetta. Ken Kelley might be the most famous. Some of have done it well and others not so well. The Bikers thing doesn't ring a bell although it probably should.

Laughingwolf, thanks. It does feel good to have the books out there. Validates a lot of what I've been doing my whole life, or trying to do.

Travis Cody said...

Excellent! And congratulations to you.

Steve Malley said...

Nice rework on the blurb, and way to go on the publication!! Can't wait to get my copy!

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis, thankee.

Steve, yeah, I appreciated all the good feedback I got. It needed work.

laughingwolf said...

looking at that cover pic again, why the male hand is like that makes no sense to me :(

Christina said...

That is so awesome! I love hero stories. Major congrats on the publication.

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf. Me either. The hands should have more scars.

Christina, thankee!

Randy Johnson said...

Looking forward to this one.

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy, thankee!

Harry Markov said...

I am excited about this one and the cover looks good too. Not the highly ornate and photoshopped variety, but nice as well.

If you want reviews, you know the man.

Charles Gramlich said...

Harry, thanks. I'm wanting to get copies as quickly as I can so I can send some out for reviews.

Harry Markov said...

Brilliant. :D

Heff said...

I think that "common bowl" probably needs sanitizing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Harry, thanks.

Heff, my spit is sanitary. How about yours?

Mary Witzl said...

I love the title 'Bitter Steel'. Congratulations, Charles!

cs harris said...

Congratulations, Charles! And that's a great blurb.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mary, Candy, thanks. I appreciate the kind words.

Greg Schwartz said...

congrats! looks like a cool collection.

Demon Hunter said...

Charles,
Congratulations. I'll have to save to add it to my TBR pile. ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg, Demon Hunter, thanks much, my friends.

Kate S said...

Congratulations! Great re-do on the blurb - it really hooked me in this time and makes me want to read it.

Mimi Lenox said...

Congratulations!

Charles Gramlich said...

Kate, Mimi, thanks much, and Kate, thanks for the feedback on the original.

L.A. Mitchell said...

That's great news, Charles. Congrats :)

jennifer said...

Congratulations Charles! Your success is inspiring.

I will read your more recent posts soon (fingers crossed). I look forward to learning about the genre of fantasy from a master.

eric1313 said...

Congratulations!

I love writing mythology and epic, i do some back ground work on and off for my friend's gaming world he is creating.

I'll have to check in and see where it leads me.

Charles Gramlich said...

eric1313, thanks very much.

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