Ep. 11 – Glen Cook’s The Black Company

War. War never changes… But the way we conceptualise and relate to it sure does! This episode we’re looking down the barrel at Glen Cook’s The Black Company (1984) the first installment of the eponymous series and a Grand-pappy of Grimdark as a fully realised sub-genre. Cook’s Black Company is a ragtag crew of lowlifes and ne’er-do-wells come elite mercenary unit bound together by the bonds of history, brotherhood and the certain knowledge that when shit hits the fan they’ll be the guys cleaning the upholstery.
On tonight’s discussion, we get heavy on Realism and what it’s doing sobering up my Fantasies and consider the Vietnam War and the impact of history on reading and writing. It’s a hoot!

Spoilers as always but you weren’t there man!

Up next with the Alcomancer: we slip through a rent in time and space and journey forth to the world of Raymond E. Feist’s Magician (1982). Pack something warm.

Links: Michael Herr the Vietnam War journalist, New Historicism, Mark’s article on violence in Fantasy

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