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Araby: Historical adventure and speculative fiction

"But please remember that Araby, as Europe came to know it in the Middle Ages and subsequently, was and is not so much an historically and anthropologically accuate representation of various cultures but rather a spendid amalgam of people, creatures, and places that never existed, except in storytellers' and readers' imaginations."

— Susan Shwartz, Arabesques


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Susan Shwartz's Arabesques (1988-1989)

Scheherazade's Bedchamber was inspired by two anthologies, Arabesques: More Tales of the Arabian Nights, Avon 1988 (Pan, 1988, UK), and Arabesques 2, Avon 1989, edited by Susan Shwartz.

Image - Arabesques by James Warhola

Cover illustration by James Warhola.

Arabesques: More Tales of the Arabian Nights, Susan Shwartz, ed., New York: Avon, 1988, with cover illustration by James Warhola, collects thirteen original stories plus framing fiction by Swartz, and includes:

• "The Tale of the Djinni and the Sisters," by Larry Niven;
• "The Tale of the Rose and the Nightengale (And What Came of It)," by Gene Wolfe;
• "Foolish, Wicked, Clever and Kind," by Tanith Lee;
• "Memoirs of a Bottle Djinni," by Jane Yolen;
• "An Eye for the Ladies," by Esther M. Frieser;
• "Truthseeker," by Nancy Springer;
• "The Dowry of the Rag Picker's Daughter," by Andre Norton;
• "Kehailan," by Judith Tarr;
• "The Elephant In-Law," by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough;
• "The King Who was Summoned to Damascus," by Melissa Scott;
• "The Truthsayer," by William R. Forstchen;
• "The Banner of Kaviyan," by Harry Turtledove;
• "The Lovesick Simurgh," by M.J. Engh.


Image - Arabesques 2 by James Warhola

Illustration by James Warhola.

Arabesques 2, Susan Shwartz, ed., New York: Avon, 1989, with cover illustration by James Warhola, collects sixteen original stories plus framing fiction by Swartz, and includes:

• "The Djinn Who Watches Over the Accursed," by Stephen R. Donaldson;
• "The Wishing Game," by Larry Niven;
• "Curse of the Three Demons," by Harry Turtledove;
• "The Tale of the Four Accused," by Gene Wolfe;
• "The Three Brides of Hamid-Dar," by Tanith Lee;
• "The Houri's Mirror," by Esther M. Friesner;
• "Ali Achman and the City of Illusion," by Ru Emerson;
• "Al-Ghazalah," by Judith Tarr;
• "The Scorpion," by Nancy Springer;
• "The Peri, the Roc, and the Undergrooms," by M.J. Engh;
• "The Merchant," by Melissa Scott;
• "Beyond the Golden Road," by Charles Sheffield;
• "The Tale of Sindbad and the Mid-Day Demon," by Marvin Kaye;
• "Feather of the Phoenix," by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel;
• "The Soul of a Poet," by Cherry Wilder;
• "The Flower Princess," by Diana L. Paxson.


Judith Tarr's Alamut series (1985-1991)

Judith Tarr's Alamut series consists to two novels, Alamut and its sequel, and a subsequent trilogy which follows events of these two novels (but written previously), all set in the same fantasy historical setting.

Image - Alamut by Thomas Canty

Dust jacket illustration by Thomas Canty.

Alamut, Judith Tarr, New York: Doubleday, 1988, with dust jacket illustration by Thomas Canty.

The Dagger and the Cross, Judith Tarr, New York: Doubleday, 1991, with dust jacket illustration by Thomas Canty.

The Isle of Glass, Judith Tarr, New York: Bluejay Books, 1985, with dust jacket illustration by Kevin Eugene Johnson, collected in omnibus The Hound and the Falcon, Judith Tarr, New York: Nelson Doubleday (SFBC), 1986, with dust jacket illustration by Dan Horne.

The Golden Horn, Judith Tarr, New York: Bluejay Books, 1985, with dust jacket illustration by Kevin Eugene Johnson, collected in omnibus The Hound and the Falcon, Judith Tarr, New York: Nelson Doubleday (SFBC), 1986, with dust jacket illustration by Dan Horne.

The Hounds of God, Judith Tarr, New York: Bluejay Books, 1986, with dust jacket illustration by Kevin Eugene Johnson, collected in omnibus The Hound and the Falcon, Judith Tarr, New York: Nelson Doubleday (SFBC), 1986, with dust jacket illustration by Dan Horne.


Harold Lamb's Cossack Adventures (1918-____)

Some of Harold Lamb's previously published "Cossack Adventures" were first republished by Doubleday in two collections issued in the 1960s.

Image - The Curved Saber by James Viles

Dust jacket photograph by James Viles.

The Curved Saber: The Adventures of Khlit the Cossack, uncredited editor, New York: Doubleday, 1964, with dust jacket photo by James Viles, collects nine stories about Khlit the Cossack, and includes:

• "Alamut," originally published in Adventure, August 3, 1918;

• "The Mighty Manslayer," originally published in Adventure, October 18, 1918;

• "Changa Nor," originally published in Adventure, February 3, 1919;

• "Roof of the World," originally published in Adventure, April 18, 1919;

• "The Star of Evil Omen," originally published in Adventure, July 18, 1919;

• "The Rider of the Gray Horse," originally published in Adventure, September 18, 1919;

• "The Lion Cub," originally published in Adventure, June 3, 1920;

• "The Bride of Jagannath," originally published in Adventure, August 3, 1920;

• "Bogatyr," originally published in Adventure, September 30, 1925.

In 2006 and 2007 a more comprehensive set of Harold Lamb's previously published "Cossack Adventures" were republished by Bison Books in four collections edited by Howard Andrew Jones.

Image - Wolf of the Steppes by Harold Lamb

Cover illustration by Darrel Stevens.

Wolf of the Steppes, Howard Andrew Jones, ed., Lincoln, Nebraska: Bison, 2006, with cover illustration by Darrel Stevens, collects ten stories about Khlit the Cossack, and includes:

• "Khlit," originally published in Adventure, November 3, 1917;

• "Wolf's War," originally published in Adventure, January 3, 1918;

• "Tal Taulai Khan," originally published in Adventure, February 18, 1918;

• "Alamut," originally published in Adventure, August 3, 1918;

• "The Mighty Manslayer," originally published in Adventure, October 18, 1918;

• "The White Khan," originally published in Adventure, December 18, 1918;

• "Changa Nor," originally published in Adventure, February 3, 1919;

• "Roof of the World," originally published in Adventure, April 18, 1919;

• "The Star of Evil Omen," originally published in Adventure, July 18, 1919;

• "The Rider of the Gray Horse," originally published in Adventure, September 18, 1919.


Robert E. Howard's historical adventure fiction

Howard wrote many historical adventures set in historical Central and Southwest Asia but not all saw print during his lifetime.  Those that were published in Howard's lifetime include:

Image - Oriental Stories, February-March 1931

Cover illustration by Donald von Gelb, served by Galactic Central.

• "Red Blades of Black Cathay," co-authored with Tevis Clyde Smith, first appeared in Oriental Stories, Vol. 1, No. 3, February-March 1931, pp. 294-313.  Most recently reprinted in Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, Robert E. Howard, New York: Del Rey / Ballantine, 2011, pp. 225-252.

Many of Howard's historical adventure stories have only been published after his death, including:


One of Howard's historical adventure stories was reminiscent of Lamb's Cossack tales, "The Road of the Eagles":

• "The Road of the Eagles," first appeared (as "The Way of the Swords," in order to distinguish it from a similarly-named 1955 Conan pastiche) in The Road of Azrael, uncredited editor, Hampton Falls, NH: Donald M. Grant, 1979.  Most recently reprinted, as "The Road of the Eagles," in Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, Robert E. Howard, New York: Del Rey / Ballantine, 2011, pp. 423-458.



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