Heroic Fantasy

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Heroic Fantasy is the modern name of a subgenre of fantasy previously called Sword & Sorcery, the older term coined by Fritz Leiber.

It was the dominant kind of fantasy between the weird fiction era typified by Weird Tales (ending in the 1940s) and high fantasy, which began with the spate of Tolkien imitators perpetrated by Del Rey Books starting in the 1970s.

Heroic Fantasy often featured mighty-thewed barbarian heroes and sorcerers (who were more often than not unfriendly, and were consequently hewed down by the aforementioned MTBs). Some of the main writers of S&S were Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp, Fritz Leiber, and Lin Carter.

The fanzine Amra was intellectual home to the movement, which met annually at Worldcon with the muster of the Hyborian Legion, which chronicles the tales of heroes in imaginary lands. The writers also had the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America.

L. Sprague de Camp's Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy was published by Arkham House in 1976.



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