Image - Scheherazade's Bedchamber banner

Heroines of sword and sorcery

"To C. L. Moore, who gave us Jirel of Joiry, the first woman to take up her sword against sorcery."

— "Dedication," Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sword and Sorceress

Home | Araby | Heroines | Contact


C. L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry (1934-1939)

C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry was the first female swords and sorcery character who first appeared in the 1934 story "The Black God's Kiss."  Jirel of Joiry appeared in six stories written by Moore:

Image - The Black God's Kiss by C.L. Moore

"The Black God's Kiss," cover illustration by Margaret Brundage, Weird Tales, October 1934 (served by Pulp Covers).

• "The Black God's Kiss," first appeared in Weird Tales, Vol. 24, No. 4, October 1934, pp. 402-421, with cover illustration by Margaret Brundage and interior illustration by H.R. Hammond.

• "Black God's Shadow," first appeared in Weird Tales, Vol. 24, No. 6, December 1934, pp. 701-718, with interior illustration by H.R. Hammond.

• "Jirel Meets Magic," first appeared in Weird Tales, Vol. 26, No. 1, July 1935, pp. 30-52, with interior illustration by Jack Binder.

• "The Dark Land," first appeared in Weird Tales, Vol. 27, No. 1, January 1936, pp. 53-70, with interior illustration by C.L. Moore.

• "Quest of the Starstone," C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner, first appeared in Weird Tales, Vol. 30, No. 5, November 1937, pp. 556-574, with interior illustration by Virgil Finlay.

• "Hellsgarde," first appeared in Weird Tales, Vol. 33, No. 4, April 1939, pp. 37-60, with interior illustration by Virgil Finlay.

Moore's Jirel of Joiry stories were most recently collected in Jirel of Joiry / Northwest of Earth / Judgment Night, C.L. Moore, London: Gollancz, 2014.


Robert E. Howard's Red Sonya (1934) and Dark Agnes (1934-?)

Robert E. Howard's "Red" Sonya of Rogatino, who inspired the swords and sorcery character Red Sonja, appeared in a single historical fiction story, "The Shadow of the Vulture":

Image - The Shadow of the Vulture by Robert E. Howard

Gottfried von Kalmbach "saw the feathered end of an arrow quivering under [Ivga's] heart," illustration by Jayem Wilcox from "The Shadow of the Vulture," The Magic Carpet Magazine, January 1934 (served by the Luminist Archives).

• "The Shadow of the Vulture," first appeared in The Magic Carpet Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 1, January 1934, pp. 39-65, with uncredited interior illustration by Jayem Wilcox.  Most recently reprinted in Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, Robert E. Howard, New York: Del Rey / Ballantine, 2011, pp. 387-422.

Howard's "Dark" Agnes of Chastillon was a genuine swords and sorcery character but her stories were not published until after Howard's death (though the first one, "Sword Woman," is mentioned in a 1934 letter exchange between Howard and C.L. Moore).  Three Dark Agnes stories, one an unfinished fragment, have been published:

• "Sword Woman," first appeared in The Second Book of Robert E. Howard, Glenn Lord, ed., New York: Zebra (Kensington), 1976, pp. 21-80.

• "Blades for France," first appeared in The Sword Woman, New York: Zebra (Kensington), 1977, pp. 67-98.

• "Mistress of Death," a story fragment, first appeared in Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, Robert E. Howard, New York: Del Rey / Ballantine, 2011, pp. 505-514.  This story fragment was completed by Gerald R. Page and first published in The Sword Woman, New York: Zebra (Kensington), 1977, pp. 99-101.

Howard's Dark Agnes of Chastillon stories were most recently reprinted in Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, Robert E. Howard, New York: Del Rey / Ballantine, 2011.


Pat McIntosh's Thula (1975-1980)

Pat McIntosh is best know for writing a series of historical mysteries set in her native Scotland but she began her career writing a series of fantasy stories which first appeared professionally in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories anthologies.  McIntosh wrote five stories of the mercenary swordswoman Thula:

• "Falcon's Mate," first appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories, Lin Carter, ed., New York: DAW (#166), 1975, pp. 105-119.

• "Cry Wolf," first appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 2, Lin Carter, ed., New York: DAW (#192), 1976, pp. 34-50.

• "Ring of Black Stone," first appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 3, Lin Carter, ed., New York: DAW (#267), 1977, pp. 59-76.

• "The Cloak of Dreams," first appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4, Lin Carter, ed., New York: DAW (#318), 1978, pp. 114-127.

• "Child of Air," first appeared in The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 5, Lin Carter, ed., New York: DAW (#370), 1980, pp. 118-135.


Charles R. Saunders's Dossouye (1979-2004)

Charles R. Saunders has written a series of stories about Dossouye, a sword and sorcery character inspired by the real-life female warriors of the West African Kingdom of Dahomey.  Saunders has written six stories of the "sword and soul" warrior Dossouye:

Image - Dossouye by Charles R. Saunders

Cover illustration by Mshindo Kuumba (served by Pulp Fiction Reviews).


• "Agbewe's Sword," first appeared in Amazons!, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, ed., New York: DAW (#364), 1979, pp. 84-106.

• "Gimmile's Songs," first appeared in Sword and Sorceress, Marion Zimmer Bradley, ed., New York: DAW (#578), 1984, pp. 101-117.

• "Shimenege's Mask," first appeared in Sword and Sorceress II, Marion Zimmer Bradley, ed., New York: DAW (#628), 1985, pp. 119-136.

• "Marwe's Forest," first appeared in Sword and Sorceress III, Marion Zimmer Bradley, ed., New York: DAW (#678), 1986, pp. 269-282.

• "Yahimba's Choice," first appeared in Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, Sheree R. Thomas, ed., New York: Aspect / Warner Books, 2004, pp. 24-46.

• "Obenga's Drum," first appeared in Dossouye, Charles R. Saunders, Fayetteville, GA: Sword and Soul / MVmedia, 2011, pp. _____.



Home | Araby | Heroines | Sitemap



Please support Scheherazade's content at Zarthani.net


©2018-2020 by Zarthani.net.  The contents of this Web site are for personal, non-commercial use only.  Any use of copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.  In addition, any material displayed on or served by this site cannot be republished or distributed without explicit consent from Scheherazade's Bedchamber.