It has been a while since we checked in with longtime contributor and friend of TGR, Charles Saunders. While Charles has been away from his blog for several months, he returned to it last month with a post called “Catching Up“, which brings us up-to-date on his fiction appearances this year. As always, Charles has other writing projects ongoing such as his fifth Imaro novel.
As was the case with the first Griots anthology, Charles is heavily involved with its sequel, Griots II: Sisters of the Spear. In addition to contributing a new Dossouye story, Charles is co-editor of the book with Milton Davis and provides the introduction to the book. The cover is by Andrea Rushing. Here is Milton’s purpose statement for the collection from the writer’s guidelines:
The purpose of the Griots II: Sisters of the Spear anthology is to pay respect and homage to women of color and continue to expand the definition of Sword and Soul. Our hope is that the anthology will become an annual publication which will inspire more writers to take part and expand the readership. We also hope to increase the diversity of the Sword and Sorcery genre by publishing quality stories with rich characters that transcend the barriers of mainstream publishers.
Right now book is currently available only for Kindle, but a paperback version is slated for publication next month. Here are the contents of this sword and soul anthology:
Griots II: Sisters of the Spear
Introduction: “Spearing Sterotypes” by Charles R. Saunders
“A Subtle Lyric” by Troy L Wiggins
“Blood of the Lion” by Joe Bonadonna
“Brood” by Balogun Ojetade
“Death and Honor” by Ronald Jones
“Ghost Marriage” by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
“Lady of Flames” by Treka Willis Cross
“Marked” by Sara Macklin
“Queen of the Sapphire Coast” by Linda Macauley
“Raiders of the Skye Isle” by Cynthia Ward
“The Antuthema” by D.S. Brown
“The Night Wife” by Carole McDonnell
“The Price of Kush” by Sylvia Kelso
“The Sickness” by Valjeanne Jeffers
“Zambeto” by J.C. Holbrook
“Old Habits” by Milton Davis
“Kpendu” (a new Dossouye story) by Charles R. Saunders
It is an amazing line-up of authors and stories all celebrating the bravery and tenacity of warrior women. Charles sums it up best in this excerpt from his introduction to Sisters of the Spear:
Our expectations have been more than fulfilled. Our modern-day griots came through with – not to belabor the point – flying colors. The fictional warrior-women and sorceresses you will meet in the following pages can hold their own and then some against the barbarians and power-mad monarchs and magic-users of both genders who swing swords and cast spells in the mostly European-derived settings of modern fantasy and sword-and-sorcery. The reach of sword-and soul has expanded greatly with Sisters of the Spear.