Paul Batteiger is creating Writing
8

patrons

$78
per month
The subgenre of fantasy known as Sword & Sorcery has been one of the mainstays of fantastic literature since it was created in the 1920s by a Texas writer named Robert E Howard. When he wrote his story, “The Shadow Kingdom”, he was only about 20 years old, and he pulled together elements of adventure, horror, and traditional fantasy into a potent new mixture that has never left us since. He himself created the characters almost synonymous with the genre: Kull, Conan, Cormac Mac Art, and Solomon Kane.

Later, new writers took up his ideas, and made their own contributions, with authors like Karl Edward Wagner and Micheal Moorcock adding to this new tradition. With a resurgence in the 1960s, Sword & Sorcery set the dominant image for pulp fantasy and that image has remained indelible for the past fifty years – harsh landscapes, ancient ruins, with muscular heroes and heroines cutting their way through tales filled with blood and thunder.

But as an actual literary genre, Sword & Sorcery has fallen on lean times. While hugely influential in the realms of video and tabletop games, fantasy art, and even music, the actual literature of Sword & Sorcery has been poorly understood and often co-opted by marketing and second-rate imitations. The genre is far from its heyday in the 60s, and in fact that very upswing in popularity led to a glut of poor works that have tarred the very words “Sword & Sorcery” with the idea of junk fiction.

Howard’s own long shadow in the field is in fact part of the problem. His influence is so pervasive that it can be hard to separate his works and characters from the genre he created. It’s even more difficult because his genuine works have become obscured by pastiches and derivative hackwork that are far inferior to the man’s own rough-hewn fiction.

A result of this is that despite a great love for Sword & Sorcery among fans and creators alike, the genre is viewed as inherently inferior, and is not much published these days. Genuine stories appear in small press anthologies if at all, and books are few and far between.

Despite this, I believe the audience for genuine quality Sword & Sorcery fiction exists, and that there is a hunger for stories that dig back to the roots of the genre and exploit what makes it compelling, rather than simply trying to cheaply imitate things that have already been done. That is the purpose I have set myself with New Iron Age.

With your support I intend to create new Sword & Sorcery stories that are inspired by the past but not slavishly imitative of it. I want to create quality stories in the genuine tradition of the best the genre has produced. I want to get back to what the genre was supposed to be – a vital, exciting style of adventure story, laced with horror, action, and darkness. What I don’t want to do is try to re-create the tired “barbarian” tropes that have come to dominate the perception of the genre. At its heart, Sword & Sorcery is a kind of fantasy noir, rejecting the bright, polished worlds of high fantasy in favor of a harsher, bloodier vision. It’s about humanity pitted against itself, against the elements, and against primordial powers or inhuman magical forces. It’s about will and endurance and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

And most importantly, it’s about action, adventure, and stories that go right for the throat. Come and join me in the New Iron Age.  I will post new stories twice a month on my site New Iron Age as well as other posts about the genre, news, or discussions of works in progress.
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
3 patrons
With just a $1 pledge you get my thanks, and you will be able to get goals rewards before anyone who is not a pledge.  Plus you will be supporting the most bad-ass fiction known to humankind.
Pledge $5 or more per month
2 patrons
With a $5 pledge you get my gratitude, a shout-out on the blog, and access to all published materials before anyone else sees them.  You will help to bring hard-edge S&S fiction back to the world.
Pledge $20 or more per month
3 patrons
With this level you will not only get gratitude, a shout-out, and access to all materials before they are released to the public.  If I make the $200 milestone then you will get a FREE print copy of the story collection, as long as you have been a pledge for at least 6 months.  Help make the world of fantasy a bloodier place.
Goals
$78 of $100 per month
I will collect all the stories from the year into an ebook and each donor will get a FREE copy
1 of 2
The subgenre of fantasy known as Sword & Sorcery has been one of the mainstays of fantastic literature since it was created in the 1920s by a Texas writer named Robert E Howard. When he wrote his story, “The Shadow Kingdom”, he was only about 20 years old, and he pulled together elements of adventure, horror, and traditional fantasy into a potent new mixture that has never left us since. He himself created the characters almost synonymous with the genre: Kull, Conan, Cormac Mac Art, and Solomon Kane.

Later, new writers took up his ideas, and made their own contributions, with authors like Karl Edward Wagner and Micheal Moorcock adding to this new tradition. With a resurgence in the 1960s, Sword & Sorcery set the dominant image for pulp fantasy and that image has remained indelible for the past fifty years – harsh landscapes, ancient ruins, with muscular heroes and heroines cutting their way through tales filled with blood and thunder.

But as an actual literary genre, Sword & Sorcery has fallen on lean times. While hugely influential in the realms of video and tabletop games, fantasy art, and even music, the actual literature of Sword & Sorcery has been poorly understood and often co-opted by marketing and second-rate imitations. The genre is far from its heyday in the 60s, and in fact that very upswing in popularity led to a glut of poor works that have tarred the very words “Sword & Sorcery” with the idea of junk fiction.

Howard’s own long shadow in the field is in fact part of the problem. His influence is so pervasive that it can be hard to separate his works and characters from the genre he created. It’s even more difficult because his genuine works have become obscured by pastiches and derivative hackwork that are far inferior to the man’s own rough-hewn fiction.

A result of this is that despite a great love for Sword & Sorcery among fans and creators alike, the genre is viewed as inherently inferior, and is not much published these days. Genuine stories appear in small press anthologies if at all, and books are few and far between.

Despite this, I believe the audience for genuine quality Sword & Sorcery fiction exists, and that there is a hunger for stories that dig back to the roots of the genre and exploit what makes it compelling, rather than simply trying to cheaply imitate things that have already been done. That is the purpose I have set myself with New Iron Age.

With your support I intend to create new Sword & Sorcery stories that are inspired by the past but not slavishly imitative of it. I want to create quality stories in the genuine tradition of the best the genre has produced. I want to get back to what the genre was supposed to be – a vital, exciting style of adventure story, laced with horror, action, and darkness. What I don’t want to do is try to re-create the tired “barbarian” tropes that have come to dominate the perception of the genre. At its heart, Sword & Sorcery is a kind of fantasy noir, rejecting the bright, polished worlds of high fantasy in favor of a harsher, bloodier vision. It’s about humanity pitted against itself, against the elements, and against primordial powers or inhuman magical forces. It’s about will and endurance and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

And most importantly, it’s about action, adventure, and stories that go right for the throat. Come and join me in the New Iron Age.  I will post new stories twice a month on my site New Iron Age as well as other posts about the genre, news, or discussions of works in progress.

Recent posts by Paul Batteiger

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
3 patrons
With just a $1 pledge you get my thanks, and you will be able to get goals rewards before anyone who is not a pledge.  Plus you will be supporting the most bad-ass fiction known to humankind.
Pledge $5 or more per month
2 patrons
With a $5 pledge you get my gratitude, a shout-out on the blog, and access to all published materials before anyone else sees them.  You will help to bring hard-edge S&S fiction back to the world.
Pledge $20 or more per month
3 patrons
With this level you will not only get gratitude, a shout-out, and access to all materials before they are released to the public.  If I make the $200 milestone then you will get a FREE print copy of the story collection, as long as you have been a pledge for at least 6 months.  Help make the world of fantasy a bloodier place.