A few years ago it seemed like a couple of people were making attempts to bring back Sword & Sorcery, with the release of a few new anthologies. Now it looks like nothing came of that, and I think in part that’s because those anthologies were not very good. I mostly hated them, really not being what was looking for and seeing in the old classics.
So I have come to the conclusion that Sword & Sorcery at this point is clearly dead. And it has been since the 80s. At least as new releases are concerned. Of course, the old classics are all still around and they are still great, and fans still love and reread them. Just like the skeleton of the king in his tomb that is discovered by Conan, Sword & Sorcery may be long dead, but it’s still magnificent in all it’s glory.
And of course, it does not have to stay dead. Fans waiting for someone to come along and bring us new Sword & Sorcery didn’t work out. Just saying that you want it does not make it happen. If Sword & Sorcery fans want to read new tales of the classic style, it is Sword & Sorcery fans who will have to write them. Who else could? Commercial writers who spot an abandoned niche and think there might be some money to make? They might produce something and declare it Sword & Sorcery, but it will only have the spirit of the old classics if the spirit of the classics is inside them. Sure, the first attempts will probably be pretty bad, but with practice and dedication results will improve with time.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”