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Sadly, another one of the greats died this past week: Andrew J. Offutt passed away on April 30. He was 78. Here’s a more complete obituary for him, and here’s his entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction that lists much of his bibliography. If you haven’t heard of him, he was a surprisingly prolific author and editor of fantasy, SF, and erotica, oddly enough, many of which were published under an array of pseudonyms. If you enjoyed swords and sorcery stories in the 1970s or 1980s, you undoubtedly came across some of Offutt’s work. How can we forget the five Swords Against Darkness anthologies, or his character Hanse Shadowspawn from Thieves’ World?

I never knew what he looked like until last week. Here he is in the middle:
Andrew J Offutt

When I first heard about Offutt’s death, I looked through my collection to see what I owned of his. Quite a lot as it turns out, more than I had thought actually. I’ve got the complete run of the 19-volume Spaceways comedic, erotic SF novels that never quite grabbed me; I think most but probably not quite all of the stories he wrote in the Thieves’ World shared fantasy series; and a handful of his other fantasy novels, including one of the Conan pastiches he wrote, and several of his Cormac Mac Art books further developing the heroic Celt character originally created by Robert E. Howard. In fact, I had forgotten that Offutt ended up writing six entire Cormac Mac Art novels (the last two with Keith Taylor), far more words about Cormac than Howard himself did. Here’s the complete listing (to my knowledge) of Cormac Mac Art tales, written by a number of different authors.

Cormac Mac Art stories and novels:

  • “The Night of the Wolf” (first published in Mak Morn, 1969; also published in Tigers of the Sea, 1974) [Robert E. Howard]
  • “Tigers of the Sea” (first published in Tigers of the Sea, 1974) [Robert E. Howard fragment; completed by Richard L. Tierney]
  • “Swords of the Northern Sea” (first published in Tigers of the Sea, 1974) [Robert E. Howard]
  • “The Temple of Abomination” (first published in Tigers of the Sea, 1974) [Robert E. Howard fragment; completed by Richard L. Tierney]
  • Sword of the Gael (1975) [Andrew J. Offutt]
  • The Undying Wizard (1976) [Andrew J. Offutt]
  • The Sign of the Moonbow (1977) [Andrew J. Offutt]
  • The Mists of Doom (1977) [Andrew J. Offutt]
  • When Death Birds Fly (1980) [Andrew J. Offutt and Keith Taylor]
  • The Tower of Death (1982) [Andrew J. Offutt and Keith Taylor]
  • “The Land Toward Sunset” (1995) [first published in Baen Books’ Cormac Mac Art; David Drake]

Rest in peace, Andrew J. Offutt. I enjoyed your work.

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