Amidst the clanging steel and grunting parries, he seemed very much at ease. Ellsworth watched the action thoughtfully. In , he served as editor of The Big Book of Swashbuckling Adventure , a centuries-spanning gallery of cutthroats and knights errant. There are now plans to refresh the entire series. To all his work, Ellsworth brings an evangelizing zeal. Not I. Certainly not Ellsworth. Together we perched on a pair of hand-carved stools and watched as a young man with a samurai-style beard led the others through a series of sword-thrusting drills. The clothes change from one generation to another but not the impulse or the thrill.
The truth is far more complicated. In fact, Ellsworth may well be at the center of a culture that is not only living yet, but on the rise and rattling its swords. For most of the history of print, swashbuckling literature has enjoyed enormous popularity. With the rise of pulp publishing in the s, the US swashbuckling market enjoyed its own run of success and an expansion into the world of science fiction.
His father, an engineer with a healthy appetite for adventure, would leave issues of All-Story and Weird Tales around. Straight away, he was hooked. This was the s. Ellsworth found his own brand of rebellion in the pages of adventure novels: stories about individuals pirates, space travelers, knights who lived by their own code. The hero was on a journey. Neither family nor society could tell him what to do. He had to confront great obstacles and harrowing dilemmas guided only by a sense of justice.
For a while, Ellsworth believed he would end up writing stories for the pulp presses. He went to Kent State and studied journalism and English.
Classic Pirate Books
It was the early s, the aftermath of the shootings and an era of unrest. Ellsworth found himself drawn to a particular subset of the student body: the science-fiction club. They were gamers and fantasists. It was adventure. He and Moldvay wanted a bigger world for their adventures, so they created one, a realm derived from the great civilizations of history: Persia, Carolingian France, Egypt under the Pharaohs.
Novels with Swordplay: Some Suggestions « Swordplay & Swashbucklers
In retrospect, it seems like a natural progression from the richly imagined worlds of Sabatini and Stevenson to the suburban basements and hotel ballrooms where role-playing games cut their teeth. The gaming community was growing all the time. There were late nights, long weekends. Game designers and writers scoured texts looking for inspiration—adventure novels, mythology, folklore. Best of all, there was no template for what role-playing should be. It was a new art form—collaborative storytelling. Recommend to a friend.
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Article Information Volume: 11 issue: 3, page s : Article first published online: November 10, ; Issue published: November 1, First Page Full Text. Sign Out. Email required Password required Remember me Forgotten your password? Need to activate? Institutional Access does not have access to this content.
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Rent Article. Your Access Options. Forgotten your password? Reblogged this on Tasmanian Bibliophile Large and commented: Swashbuckling, anyone? This one, despite the unevenness that you mention, sounds like a lot of fun, a good collection to live the dream of one becoming a pirate. I love that title.
7th Sea (role-playing game)
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