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Essay Example: A Milestone for Charles Saunders and Imaro

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It was 30 years this month that Charles Saunders’ first Imaro novel hit the street as a DAW paperback. By then I had been reading Imaro stories for five years, having read my first Imaro yarn in Gene Day’s Dark Fantasy magazine. A number of those early gems from DF were incorporated into this first Imaro volume. We owe the late Gene Day a debt of gratitude for giving Imaro his start. Over on the blog portion of his website, Charles has posted on this monumental occasion:

Imaro and I had come a long way to reach that peak moment. I’d first conceived the character 10 years before, and stories of his adventures had been published in small-press magazines and mainstream-press throughout the second half of the 1970s. DAW publisher Donald A. Wolheim had encouraged me to write an Imaro novel, but that didn’t lessen my anxiety as I awaited his decision on whether or not my novel would be published.

I didn’t know it then, but my Illyassai friend and I had a long way to go after that momentous day at my mailbox. We’ve reached other peaks, but we’ve had the chance to climb out of some deep valleys as well. After all these years, though, we are still standing on a new mountaintop. with the first four Imaro novels in print and another on the way.

A number of folks, including yours truly, Joe Bonadonna, Milton Davis, Valjeanne Jeffers, David C. Smith and others, have contributed our thoughts to Charles’ blog post celebrating this important milestone.

Charles is working on a fifth Imaro novel and has several other projects either in the works or recently published. I you have not read Imaro, you are missing out on a first fate sword and sorcery series that, like Howard’s Conan canon, has stood the test of time.