First published: 1976 Warner Books (“In the Lair of Yslsl” first published in Midnight Sun 1, 1974 edited by Gary Hoppenstand)
Nominated: 1977 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
This month we are bringing you Part 1 of our coverage of Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane novel Dark Crusade. I recently read Fantasy Newsletter numbers 38 and 39, from July and August 1981, that feature a two-issue interview with Wagner. It is a lengthy interview that covers a lot of Wagner’s thoughts on how his career started and his character Kane. Highly recommended.
I can’t state enough how awesome the painting ‘Dark Kingdom’ by Frank Frazetta is. Earlier, Frazetta had painted a cover for the Kane novel Bloodstone and Wagner claims the sales from that book, which allowed him to publish Dark Crusade, were due solely to the cover art. (I would disagree.) Do yourself a favor and look at a high quality version of ‘Dark Kingdom’ here. I love the detail of his crazed eyes looking down at the skeleton below him. It can’t be fear of the dead, is it fear of what he’s wrought? Brilliant.
Thanks for joining us for another episode as Season 3 ramps up. Next month we’ll be coming back with Part 2 of our coverage of Dark Crusade. Till then, stay safe, healthy, and keep those axes sharp!
Hosts: Jordan Douglas Smith and Jonathan Gelatt
Theme music: F. N. York