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Review: New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine Issue #0

New Edge Sword and Sorcery Magazine Issue #0

Genre: Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery

Reviewer: Jay

eBook – Free at Payhip | Amazon – Paid Print Editions

About The Book

A brand new sword & sorcery short fiction magazine featuring brand new fiction, articles, interviews, reviews, and original illustrations! Learn more at

Stories include:

  • The Curse of the Horsetail Banner by Dariel R.A. Quiogue
  • The Ember Inside by Remco van Straten & Angeline B. Adams
  • Old Moon Over Irukad by David C. Smith
  • The Beast of the Shadow Gum Trees by T,K. Rex
  • Vapors of Zinai by J.M. Clarke
  • The Grief-Note of Vultures by Bryn Hammond

Articles include:

  • The Origin of the New Edge by Howard Andrew Jones
  • C.L. Moore and Jirel of Joiry: The First Lady of Sword & Sorcery by Cora Buhlert
  • Sword & Soul – An Interview with Milton Davis
  • The Outsider in Sword & Sorcery by Brian Murphy
  • Gender Performativity in Howard’s “Sword Woman” by Nicole Emmelhainz
  • The Obanaax and Other Tales of Heroes and Horrors, a review by Robin Marx
  • What is New Edge Sword & Sorcery? by Oliver Brackenbury

What is “New Edge Sword and Sorcery”?

New Edge Sword & Sorcery takes the genre’s virtues of its outsider protagonists, thrilling energy, wondrous weirdness, and a large body of classic tales, then alloys inclusivity, mutual creator support, a positive fan community, and enthusiastic promotion of new works into the mix.

It’s also a short fiction magazine dedicated to the Sword & Sorcery sub-genre of Fantasy speculative fiction. Each issue features several original short stories each with their own B&W illustration, as well as non-fiction articles and interviews covering subject matter related to the past, present, and future of Sword & Sorcery.

It’s for EVERYBODY. New Edge Sword & Sorcery is dedicated to making sure readers and creators from all walks of life have a seat at the table. Hate and harassment are not welcome here.

The Review

This venture is a new magazine about the subgenre Sword and Sorcery. It’s free, and if there’s sufficient interest the editors intend to crowd-fund future issues. The editor in chief, Oliver Brackenbury, defines the genre for us when he says:

‘Sword and Sorcery tells short, episodic tales with historical and horror-tinged influences, of outsider protagonists with personal motivations, often facing dark and dangerous magic.’

The magazine is divided into two parts.

The first contains a variety of short stories, all of which show some kind of very welcome inclusivity as regards race, gender and culture. These all are very definitely in the sword part of sword and sorcery and are, for me personally, a little too gruesome and gory with a great deal of decapitation and other violent death.

The writers also fall into a habit which I think is all too frequently found in this genre of using too much ‘epic’ or ‘high fantasy’ language which can be hard to take throughout an entire story. (Tolkien, for example, knew when to revert to the familiar and ordinary.) However, I am sure lovers of bloodthirsty sword fights will find much here to delight them.

The second part contains reviews, essays and interviews that, taken together, form an interesting critique of the genre. For the reader who just wants the tales, this rather academic section can be skipped, but I found it of more interest than the stories. I particularly liked an interview with Milton Davis entitled Sword and Soul, which made some fascinating points about African culture in both books and gaming.

It’s perhaps a niche subgenre, but for anyone whose tastes include it, this free first issue is worth reading.

The Reviewer

I’ve been doing book reviews on my website, crossposted or linked to various social media, for a few years. I read a number of genres but I really enjoy all kinds of speculative fiction so thought I’d like to share my views with you. I love sci fi and other speculative fiction because of the way it can, at its best, make us see ourselves in a new light. Quite apart from the exciting stories, of course! I used to be an English teacher, and I’m a writer (fantasy) so I can be quite critical about style etc. but I hope I can also appreciate properly some books that don’t appeal to me personally but might be simply perfect for others. I have, obviously, read widely, and continue to do so.