Sword & Sorcery Annual 1975
In the summer of 1975 Ultimate Publishing put out this Fantastic Stories Special, a Sword & Sorcery Annual, featuring an all-star lineup of writers and illustrators.
It opens with a cover painting and inside front cover illustration by Stephen Fabian. The editorial info inside is sparse, just four lines of indicia, but the digest magazine is packed with content:
“Queen of the Black Coast” by Robert E. Howard featuring Conan, a tale that originally appeared as the cover story of Weird Tales May 1934. It also headlined the Avon Fantasy Reader No. 8 in November 1948. Here, each chapter is illustrated by a series of beautiful, round character portraits by Fabian.
Sam Moskowitz profiles the author in “L. Sprague de Camp: Sword and Satire”
“The Pillars of Chambalor” by John Jakes, features Brak the Barbarian, who debuted in Fantastic Stories of Imagination May 1963. “Pillars” was first printed as the cover story in the March 1965 issue of the magazine. Here, it appears with an illustration by Gil Kane.
“Master of Chaos” by Michael Moorcock, originally appeared in Fantastic May 1964. Featuring Aubec of Malador, it’s illustrated by Virgil Finlay.
“The Mirror of Cagliastro” by Robert Arthur first appeared in Fantastic Stories of Imagination June 1963, an adaptation of his script “The Prisoner in the Mirror” for TV’s Thriller, first broadcast on May 23, 1961. The story is illustrated with several drawings by Dan Adkins.
As mentioned, the May 1963 issue of Fantastic saw the debut of the barbarian Brak. The same issue also included the first publication of “The Cloud of Hate” by Fritz Leiber, featuring Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. For the story’s representation in Sword & Sorcery the tale includes an illustration signed “LRS.”
“The Masters” by Ursula K. Leguin, illustrated by Dan Adkins, originally appeared in Fantastic Feb. 1963.
The Special’s final entry is “Horseman!” by Roger Zelazny, a tale pulled from Fantastic August 1962, illustrated by Summers.