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Charles R. Saunders (1946–2020)

Autor(a) de Imaro

42+ Works 568 Membros 20 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Charles R. Saunders

Também inclui: Charles Saunders (1)

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Obras por Charles R. Saunders

Imaro (1981) 255 exemplares
The Quest for Cush (1984) 87 exemplares
Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology (2011) — Contribuidor; Editor — 48 exemplares
The Trail of Bohu (1983) 44 exemplares
Nyumbani Tales (2017) — Autor — 15 exemplares
Imaro: The Naama War (2009) 12 exemplares
Abengoni: First Calling (2014) 11 exemplares
Griots: Sisters of the Spear (2013) — Contribuidor; Editor — 10 exemplares
Dossouye (2011) 9 exemplares
Once Upon a Time in Afrika (2012) 9 exemplares
Damballa (2011) 8 exemplares
Gimmile's songs (1984) 5 exemplares
The City Of Madness (1974) 4 exemplares
Agbewe's Sword (1979) 4 exemplares
The Pool Of The Moon (1976) 3 exemplares
Mai-kulala 2 exemplares
Yashimbe's Choice 2 exemplares
Death In Jukun 2 exemplares
The Last Round 1 exemplar
Dossouye, Book One 1 exemplar
Turkhana Knives 1 exemplar
Amma 1 exemplar
La piste de Bohu (Imaro III) (1987) 1 exemplar
La Route Du Cush -Imaro 2 (1986) 1 exemplar
The Afua 1 exemplar
Sweat and soul (1990) 1 exemplar
Betrayal In Blood 1 exemplar
Mwenni 1 exemplar
Bana-gui 1 exemplar
Marwe's Forest 1 exemplar
Cush 1 exemplar
Shimenege's Mask 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Sword and Sorceress I (1984) — Contribuidor — 688 exemplares
Sword and Sorceress III (1986) — Contribuidor — 511 exemplares
Sword and Sorceress II (1985) — Contribuidor — 476 exemplares
The Book of Cthulhu (2011) — Contribuidor — 292 exemplares
Amazons! (1979) — Contribuidor — 237 exemplares
The Players of Luck (1986) — Contribuidor — 222 exemplares
Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2005) — Contribuidor — 195 exemplares
The Sword & Sorcery Anthology (2012) — Contribuidor — 149 exemplares
Hecate's Cauldron (1982) — Contribuidor — 146 exemplares
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013) — Contribuidor — 143 exemplares
Dark Masques (2001) — Contribuidor — 132 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 3 (1977) — Contribuidor — 98 exemplares
Swords Against Darkness IV (1979) — Contribuidor — 88 exemplares
Heroic Fantasy (1979) — Contribuidor — 88 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy Stories (1980) — Contribuidor — 84 exemplares
Best Of Masques (1988) — Contribuidor — 30 exemplares
Masques II: All-New Stories of Horror and the Supernatural (1987) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
Changa's Safari (2011) — Introdução — 21 exemplares
Meji Book One (2010) — Introdução, algumas edições17 exemplares
Black Pulp (2013) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares
Beyond the Fields We Know (1978) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Innsmouth Magazine # 4 (2010) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Saunders, Charles Robert
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, USA
Locais de residência
Nova Scotia, Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Lincoln University




I only got this to read Skin Magic by P. Djèlí Clark and this is a review of that story.

I was hoping for more of the similar and i wasn't disappointed.

Once again we're thrown right into North-African/Middle-Eastern folk lore kind of stuff with Djèlí's incredible writing that just keeps dragging you along without a pause.

Djèlí's writing is so refreshing, and i'm so looking forward to reading many more of his stories in the future.
5t4n5 | 3 outras críticas | Aug 9, 2023 |
Spurred by a Sword & Sorcery groupread honoring this year's passing of Charles R. Saunders, I continued the Imaro Series with The Trail of Bohu. A guide to the series and book availability will be posted on Blackgate.com shortly [link coming].

This third novel is a setup for last: The Naama War. The Trail of Bohu has considerably less action than Imaro and The Quest for Cush: Imaro II (the prior being comprised of short stories and this being the first full length novel). So far, Saunders has been building up two big plots: (1) Imaro's mysterious, ancestral origin, and (2) the burgeoning war between the united Northern tribes/nations (Cloud Strider and Cushite aligned) and the evil Naamans (Erriten, Mashataan sorceries). Here Saunders delivers mostly on the former, and quite comprehensively; the latter, reserved for the final book.

When he does deliver action, he doesn't hold back. Creatures are wonderfully dark:
Even in the half-light of dusk, the animate corpses were hideous to behold. Though they were all naked, the bloating of their bodies had advanced to the point that their sex was difficult to determine. Their faces were travesties of humanity: noses split apart, teeth jutting beyond peeling lips; eyes that were nothing more than gelatinous orbs that glimmered with a tinge of green luminescence. Machawai green... The walkingdead gouged at throats, faces, eyes. They attempted no defense against the steel that hacked and slashed at their bodies..."

Saunders provides plenty of Nyumbani (i.e. Africa) lore, culture, and creatures, including mountable rhinoceros and zebras. Glossaries in the back of each book are appreciated, but not necessary. There is one distinct moment which made me snicker, recalling Samuel Jackson's renowned cursing. When questioned by Rabir about what Imaro will do when he catches the titular Bohu, Imaro says: "I will kill the mama-mfuka." I am no linguist to know the etymology of that insult, but it sounded the most contemporary of every Nyumbani term.

My favorite location is the "The Placed of Carved Trees", a mystical grove that Imaro seeks guidance:
"Each of its trees was carved into a gigantic sculpture that was grotesque in form and enigmatic in meaning. At first glance, the sculpted tree-trunks appeared distorted, and even monstrous. Many of the carvings took the shape of bulbous masses of bodies separated by thin, cylindrical stalks that might have been legs. Faces hung from those bodies--faces with misarranged features and distended mouths with protruding teeth, sometimes smiling, sometimes screaming..."

All in all a great stage for an all out war for the continent of Nyumbani!
… (mais)
SELindberg | Dec 6, 2020 |
“Who am I? Who is my father? Where is my mother? Why do death and demons follow me wherever I go?” – Imaro in The Quest for Cush

Charles R. Saunders, the originator of Sword & Soul, passed away May this year (2020). He is most known for his Imaro tales chronicling an African-inspired “Conan the Barbarian” on the fictional continent of Nyumbani. Saunders also wrote of a heroine named Dossouye (separate series). The Goodreads Sword and Sorcery group honored his memory with a groupread, catalyzing this review and tour guide into the series:
1) Imaro DAW 1981 (Nightshade reprinted 2006 )
2) Imaro 2 : The Quest for Cush DAW 1984 (Nightshade reprinted 2006). reviewed previously)
3) The Trail of Bohu DAW 1985 & 2009
4) Imaro: The Naama War 2010
- Nyumbani Tales 2018, a collection of tales of character’s in Imaro’s world
- The Warrior’s Way (mentioned in the 2017 intro. to Nyumbani Tales by Saunders; the current 2020 status is “complicated” according to the esteemed Milton J. Davis, Sword & Soul author & owner of MVmedia, LLC. So, stay runed.
Imaro by Charles R. Saunders The Quest for Cush (Imaro #2) by Charles R. Saunders The Trail of Bohu (Imaro, #3) by Charles R. Saunders The Naama War (Imaro, #4) by Charles R. Saunders Nyumbani Tales by Charles R. Saunders

So where were we?: In the first volume, Imaro evolved from being a fatherless, abandoned child from the Ilyassai tribe… into a vengeful, tribeless Hercules-like figure set on destroying evil sorcery. We learned that his mother, Katisa had been force-married to a shaman named Chitendu. Chitendu was a servant to the Mashataan Demon Gods and was removed from power thanks to Katisa; Chitendu is confronted by Imaro in Book#1 “The Place of Stones”. Katisa was also exiled for her being tainted. Imaro’s biological father is a mystery, who may have been someone other than Chitendu. Katisa is a fascinating figure who deserves more attention (in fact, she is featured in the first story in the Nyumbani Tales collection). What is clear, is that Imaro is very special, akin to the child of a god. His destiny is to confront the Mashataan gods/sorcery run through the Namaa.

#2 The Quest for Cush, i.e., the Fellowship of the Sacred Warrior: Imaro may be the primary hero, but Saunders gifted him a fellowship with two others. First in the party was his love-interest, Tanisha, who grants companionship (she was rescued in Book#1, Chapter 3: Slaves Of The Giant Kings, a story reimagined & replaced with “The Afua” in Nightshade’s edition). Secondly, is the pygmy sage called Pomphis, who is introduced either in DAW’s Imaro Book #1, chapter 5: The City of Madness, or in the introduction of the Nightshade 2006 edition (the same story of “City of Madness” renamed “Mji Ya Wzimu”). Depending on which edition of Imaro #1 and #2 you read, you may miss a key transition. Why move of the “City of Madness”?

Arc & Conflict: Well… the second edition of Imaro#2 captures the full story arc of Pomphis (1) finding Imaro and (2) delivering him to Cush. Imaro 2 : The Quest for Cush retraces Pomphis’s journey backwards toward Cush with the object of his quest found: a sacred outcast warrior. Underscoring every conflict is an epic battle of forces between evil, Mashataan forces (streaming through the land and people of Naama) and their mchawi magic (cast in green auras, which involves tentacles, serpentine mutations reminiscent of Lovecraftian mythos) versus the “good” sorcery (cast in red auras, fueled by the power of tawa from the Cloud Striders, streaming though the people of Cush).

Imaro 2 : The Quest for Cush Contents:
0) “Mji Ya Wzimu” is the first chapter in Nightshade’s 2006 reprint, which is merely a renamed version of ”The City of Madness”, the final chapter from DAW’s Imaro #1. This has Imaro, with Tanisha, meeting Pomphis.

1) “In Mwenni” 100pages: The first seventy pages have the group searching for a ship and a secret artifact containing tawa that Pomphis knows about. Cultural conflict. Frankly, I expected more ties to the death of Pomphis’s mentor (Khabatekh) who was murdered as Pomphis traveled with him through this seaport Kundwa (located in Mwenni). Instead, we get introduced to the Heart of Shihazz, but slowly. Firstly, we have battles in an arena and the coming of an Asian-inspired martial artist named Chang Li. Li’s presence interrupted the “Sword & Soul” vibe but his role reinforced the concept of chi/balance in the universe (ie the struggle between Mashataan and Cloud striders). The last thirty pages kick into high gear, with weird sorcery, a focus on Imaro’s past, and strange creatures:
“The left side was human, although the sin was the marbled gray hue of a corpse left to rot in the sun…The right side was horror. Pale, pitted stone tinged green…Only mchawai, the unimaginable evil power of the Mashataan could have created such a composite monstrosity… Their arms were spread to forestall Imaro from fleeing…Hatred burned hot within him…Shortening the slack of his chain, Imaro swung the weapon overhand, catching the half-man full in the face. The flesh of the human side was torn by the blow, but no blood leaked from the wound…”

2) “In Bana-Gui” 60pages: The trio pass through the remote village of Rendille, stumbling through horrific echoes of the past wars against Mashataan sorcery. Mutated, cursed folk remain, and the chapter reveals their history:
“Against her will, Tanisha’s gaze left that single, sadly beautiful face and slid downward once again. And the gorge rose hot and sick from her stomach, blocking the cry of revulsion that leaped into her throat as she stared at the woman’s body. // Her long neck flowed smoothly into slender shoulders. Her bare breasts were small, cone-shaped, perfect. Beneath those breasts—horror! // A bulbous mass of tissue clothed in dark skin protruded from the woman’s abdomen. Its shape seemed a distorted replica of the buttocks of young child. Jutting from the asymmetrical mass were a pair of legs and a single arm ending in clenched, clawlike fingers…”

3) “On the Bahari Mashiriki” 20pages. Finally, the trio finds a ship for hire. But the storm season approaches and evil forces hunt them. Captain Rabir takes them through storms while the piscine hibi attack:
“Yet for all their sea-spawned strength, ferocity, and swiftness, the hibi could not reach Imaro. Like a leopard ravening among dogs, the warrior carried the battle to the hibi. His arm rose and fell in a dark blur, raining steel on the horde of sea-dwellers. Showers of blood spurted to mingle with the rain of the dhoruba … Shark teeth snapping madly at air, the sea-dwellers leaped and fell, their bodies piling in a grim harvest at Imaro’s feet.”

4) “In Cush” 23pages: The end answers some questions while preparing us for books #3 and #4 that escalate the conflict. Imaro will go to war with the Mashataan-loving Naamans!

Availability: Click here to go to Saunders’ website to locate books: Where to purchase new Saunders books. Although the first two Imaro books from DAW were reprinted in ~2006 by Nightshade, they are sometimes difficult to track down. Used bookstores are your best bet. Lulu.com still distributes his books, but note: books appear under two different versions of his name:
A) With the "R" ... at Charles R Saunders Lulu
Imaro by Charles R. SaundersThe Trail of Bohu (Imaro, #3) by Charles R. Saunders
B) Without the "R" ... at Charles Saunders Lulu
Dossouye (Dossouye, #1) by Charles R. Saunders Dossouye The Dancers of Mulukau (Dossouye #2) by Charles R. Saunders The Naama War (Imaro, #4) by Charles R. Saunders

Saunder’s Passion: An excerpt from Saunders’s Into to Milton Davis’s Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology best reveals the author’s motivation:
“Robert E. Howard and his contemporaries were products of their time. Racism, in the form of white supremacy, was an integral part of the popular culture of the early decades of the twentieth century, and as such it pervaded pulp fiction. As a product of a later time during which the tenets of racism came under vigorous challenge, my enjoyment of fiction from past decades was often compromised by the racial attitudes I encountered in my reading. On some occasions, I simply let it slide. On others, I wrestled with resentment. Then I discovered a way to resolve my dilemma.

Interest in African history and culture surged during the 1960s, and at the same time I was reading sword-and-sorcery and fantasy fiction, I was also absorbing heretofore-unknown information about a continent that was not “dark” as its detractors made it out to be. I realized that this non-stereotypical Africa of history and legend was just as valid a setting for fantasy stories as was the ancient and medieval Europe that served as the common default setting for everything from Conan to Lord of the Rings. A character came into my head then: Imaro, a black man who could stand alongside mythical warrior-heroes like Beowulf and Hercules, as well as fictional creations such as Conan and Kull.” – Charles Saunders
… (mais)
SELindberg | 2 outras críticas | Nov 19, 2020 |
This anthology was a song that kept on singing for me. It's a must read for any fan of fantasy and a vital introduction to sword and soul and afrofuturism genres. World's like Ki Khanga and Nyumbani, need to be part of our national imagination, and can serve as inspiration to us all.
ChaseBolling | 3 outras críticas | Sep 8, 2020 |



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Valjeanne Jeffers Contributor
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Melvin Carter Contributor
Minister Faust Contributor
Natiq Jalil Cover artist
Stafford L. Battle Contributor
Kirk A. Johnson Contributor
Geoffrey Thorne Contributor
Anthony Nana Kwamu Contributor
Maurice Broaddus Contributor
Julie Dillon Cover artist
Joe Bonadonna Contributor
Cynthia Ward Contributor
Andrea Rushing Cover artist
Sylvia Kelso Contributor
Sarah A. Macklin Contributor
Linda Macauley Contributor
LaTreka Cross Contributor
Derrick Brown Contributor
JC Holbrook Contributor
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