Authors Ask That Their Work Be Removed From Flashing Swords #6

Flashing Swords! was a series of fantasy anthologies published by Dell Books from 1973 to 1981 under the editorship of Lin Carter. It showcased the heroic fantasy work of the members of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America and included Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories by Fritz Leiber, Dying Earth stories by Jack Vance, the first two parts of the novel The Merman's Children by Poul Anderson, two Amalric the Mangod stories by Lin Carter, the first part of the novel The Incorporated Knight by L. Sprague de Camp, two Elric of Melniboné stories by Michael Moorcock and many more.

Recently Robert M. Price, Carter's literary executor, sought to revive the series with Lin Carter's Flashing Swords #6, to be published next month.

Authors Ask That Their Work Be Removed From Flashing Swords #6
Flashing Swords 6 cover

Again with a number of fantasy tales of the old school from some familiar names – including Cliff Biggers, long-standing comic store owner as Dr No's and publisher of Comic Shop News. But he was also a founding member of the amateur press alliance (APA) Myriad, the Atlanta Science Fiction Club for which he wrote and edited their publication Atarantes, and was active in the Southern Fandom Press Alliance, Galaxy, CAPA-Alpha, Apa-5, and other amateur press alliances.

Authors Ask That Their Work Be Removed From Flashing Swords #6
Flashing Swords 6 back cover.

But on the upcoming publication of Flashing Swords #6, the foreword by Robert M Price, as partially seen in an Amazon.com preview, has caused considerable concern by a number of the included authors. Here is one example page from the Amazon 'Look Inside' that is amongst that which has caused concern.

Authors Ask That Their Work Be Removed From Flashing Swords #6
Extract from Flashing Swords 6 intro

Cliff Biggers wrote

It has come to my attention that in the introduction to the book Flashing Swords #6, Editor Robert M. Price has made several statements that I cannot and do not agree with. I have requested that my name and story be removed from the anthology, and I cannot recommend that anyone buy the book. I'll make sure that my story "Godkiller" is available in another form at a later date. I apologize to anyone who may have already purchased the book at my earlier recommendation. If you cannot cancel your order from Amazon, contact me and I will personally reimburse you for the cost of this book. None of us who contributed to the book saw the introduction prior to publication. This introduction does not reflect my beliefs, my feelings, or my philosophy of tolerance, understanding, and acceptance. I still believe that sword and sorcery is a fine genre that has room for people of all races, genders, lifestyles, and beliefs, as it has from the early days when women like C.L. Moore and Margaret Brundage played a vital role in developing and popularizing the genre. I am not the only author who has expressed these concerns to Robert M. Price, but I will let those other authors speak for themselves.

Frank Schildiner wrote:

RETRACTION: Earlier today I recommended and spoke of how proud I was in seeing my first published Sword and Sorcery story in the returning anthology series, Flashing Swords. I apologize for those words. A short time ago I learned of Robert Price's introduction and felt sick to my stomach. I wrote and requested my name and story be removed from the book as well as the book that followed. I'm grateful to Charles R Rutledge for bringing this to my attention. If you purchased the book on my recommendation, I hope you will forgive me for this situation. I had not received a proof copy and would not have allowed my name connected to such statements.

It has also been reported that  Charles R. Rutledge and Paul McNamee have asked for their contributions to be removed,

UPDATE: The book has now been delisted by the publisher, you can find details here.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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