Sword and Sorceress series

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The Sword and Sorceress series is a series of fantasy anthologies originally edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and originally published by DAW Books. As she explained in the foreword to the first volume, she created the anthology to redress the lack of strong female protagonists in the subgenre of sword and sorcery. At the time, most female characters in sword and sorcery were little more than stock damsels in distress, or pawns who were distributed at the conclusion of the story as "bad-conduct prizes" (Bradley's term) for the male protagonists. Many of the early sword-and-sorcery works featured attitudes toward women that Bradley considered appalling.

As the Sword and Sorceress series grew in popularity with readers, she began to receive increasing numbers of excellent submissions. As a result, she had to become more selective, and to shorten her reading periods accordingly. For the eighteenth volume, which she was editing at the time of her death, she had enough material for three volumes. After her death, it was decided to take as many as possible of the stories she had tentatively chosen and publish them in three annual volumes, thus extending the series. After volume twenty was published, the publisher decided to extend an invitation for an additional volume under Diana L. Paxson, an editor who had worked with Bradley, with the possibility of additional volumes being published if it became a success.

The Sword and Sorceress series is noteworthy not only for its introduction of strong female protagonists into a subgenre previously dominated by male characters, but for its financial success. Unlike most anthologies of original fantasy short fiction, they routinely earned out their advances and continued to pay their authors royalties for years afterward, often on foreign sales. In addition, many authors who made their first professional sales in the Sword and Sorceress anthologies subsequently enjoyed successful careers as novelists.

In February 2007, the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, which holds her copyrights, negotiated a contract with Norilana Books to publish a new volume and proceed to elicit submissions.[1] The book was published in November 2007, and the editor was Elisabeth Waters. Norilana Books has published four more books of the series, also edited by Elisabeth Waters. Since 2012 the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust has published the Sword and Sorceress anthologies.

The Anthologies

Sword and Sorceress I

1984. ISBN 978-0-88677-359-5 (USA edition)
1986. ISBN 978-0-87997-928-7 (USA edition)
1988. ISBN 978-0-7472-3105-9 (UK edition)

Sword and Sorceress II

1985. ISBN 978-0-88677-041-9 (USA Edition)
1986. ISBN 978-0-88677-360-1 (USA Edition)
1988. ISBN 978-0-7472-3106-6 (UK Edition)

Sword and Sorceress III

1986. ISBN 978-0-88677-141-6 (USA edition)
1986. ISBN 978-0-88677-302-1 (USA edition)
1988. ISBN 978-0-7472-3107-3 (UK edition)

Sword and Sorceress IV

1987. ISBN 978-0-88677-210-9 (USA edition)
1989. ISBN 978-0-88677-412-7 (USA edition)
1989. ISBN 978-0-7472-3364-0 (UK edition)

Sword and Sorceress V

1988. ISBN 978-0-88677-288-8 (USA edition)
1989. ISBN 978-0-7472-3389-3 (UK edition)

Sword and Sorceress VI

1990. ISBN 978-0-88677-423-3

Sword and Sorceress VII

1990. ISBN 978-0-88677-457-8

Sword and Sorceress VIII

1991. ISBN 978-0-88677-486-8

Sword and Sorceress IX

1992. ISBN 978-0-88677-509-4

Sword and Sorceress X

1993. ISBN 978-0-88677-552-0

Sword and Sorceress XI

1994. ISBN 978-0-88677-614-5

Sword and Sorceress XII

1995. ISBN 978-0-88677-657-2

Sword and Sorceress XIII

1996. ISBN 978-0-88677-703-6

Sword and Sorceress XIV

1997. ISBN 978-0-88677-741-8

Sword and Sorceress XV

1998. ISBN 978-0-88677-768-5

Sword and Sorceress XVI

1999. ISBN 978-0-88677-843-9

Sword and Sorceress XVII

2000. ISBN 978-0-88677-891-0

Sword and Sorceress XVIII

2001. ISBN 978-0-88677-996-2

Sword and Sorceress XIX

2002. ISBN 978-0-7564-0049-1

Sword and Sorceress XX

2003. ISBN 978-0-7564-0142-9

Sword and Sorceress XXI

2004. ISBN 978-0-7564-0195-5. Edited by Diana L. Paxson.

Sword and Sorceress XXII

2007. ISBN 978-1-934648-15-5. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.
2007. ISBN 978-1-934169-90-2. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXIII

2008. ISBN 978-1-934648-78-0. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXIV

2009. ISBN 978-1-60762-048-8. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXV

2010. ISBN 978-1-60762-081-5. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXVI

2011. ISBN 978-1-60762-096-9. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXVII

2012. ISBN 978-1-938185-08-3. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXVIII

2013. ISBN 978-1-938185-31-1. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXIX

2014. ISBN 978-1-938185-39-7. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.

Sword and Sorceress XXX

2015. ISBN 978-1-938185-40-3. Edited by Elisabeth Waters.


  1. "Sword & Sorceress 22". Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust. Retrieved 2014-02-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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