Hellfire: Plague of Dragons by Robert Weinberg
Friday, February 26, 2010
posted by Miguel Martins
Pulp collector and scholar (and early member of REHupa) Robert Weinberg, who contributed several times to The Cimmerian print journal, was recently mentioned on the TC blog because of his introduction to the collection of Harold Lamb’s stories Swords from the West. Editor Emeritus Leo Grin interviewed him a few years ago for REHupa when Bob Weinberg was named Guest of Honor for Howard Days 2004.
But first and foremost, Mr Weinberg is a writer and an editor. His next volume of fiction, Hellfire: Plague of Dragons, is an 80-page volume slated for a release in October 2010 from Running Press. Apparently, this is a fantasy story set in an alternate Europe. It’s based on an idea of artist Tom Wood, who created 24 full page color illustrations and numerous spot illos for the book.
Retrieved from Mr Weinberg’s blog, here’s the blurb:
A lost text reveals Europe in the 15th century. It tells a tale that has long been suppressed by Europe’s popes and noblemen: there wasn’t just one, but two plagues; the Black Death and the Invasion of the Dragons. The Church managed to destroy all accounts of the events and silence all the witnesses. All but one. Robert of Averoigne, an elderly French knight-scholar, defied the commands of the powerful Inquisition and wrote a riveting account of how the invasion started and how the dragons were eventually destroyed. This is that text. Dragon enthusiasts and fantasy fans will lose themselves in this “history” of dragons in Europe, complete with lushly illustrated pages by renown artist Tom Wood.
With sixteen novels, two short story collections and more than a dozen non-fiction books, Robert Weinberg is a prolific writer who has been published in fifteen languages and has had bestsellers in five different countries.
Tom Wood’s fantasy illustrations, some of which have been specially created for this book, have sold over one million copies in poster format and are well-known and appreciated among adult fantasy fans.
Right on. I like historical fantasy/historical Sword-and-Sorcery/alternate history with a fantasy spin (or whatever other label you put on it). I loved how Poul Anderson used La Matière de France (The Matter of France) in Three Hearts and Three Lions and I consider The War Hound and the World’s Pain to be Michael Moorcock‘s single most readable novel in a “hit-and-miss” production. Few will be surprised if I mention Robert E. Howard’s Bran Mak Morn, Turlogh Dubh O’brien and Solomon Kane yarns as my favorites among this kind of stories. Most of TC‘s alert readers have probably already noted that the account of Hellfire ‘s ‘Draconic Plague’ is supposed to have been written by a character named Robert of Averoigne, a nice nod to the fictional southern French province invented by ‘Klarkash-Ton’ Smith, another great author who penned some wonderful tales in this vein. Let’s hope that Mr Weinberg, who definitively has all the right influences (and some talent as well), has honored this fine tradition and written a story at least half as good as what the abovementioned writers produced.
All the illustrations in this blog were made by artist Tom Wood and will be included in Hellfire.