Followers

Word Counts in Sword & Sorcery

How long are Sword & Sorcery stories? (Related Question: How long should a Sword & Sorcery short story be?)


Well, let's look at some historical examples...


Conan by Robert Howard:

  1. The Phoenix on the Sword: 8,823
  2. The Scarlet Citadel: 15,446
  3. The Tower of the Elephant: 9,726
  4. Black Colossus: 14,346
  5. The Slithering Shadow: 12,897
  6. The Pool of the Black One: 11,252
  7. Rogues in the House: 9,676
  8. The Frost Giant’s Daughter: 3,284
  9. Iron Shadows in the Moon: 12,123
  10. Queen of the Black Coast: 11,334
  11. The Devil in Iron: 12,292
  12. The People of the Black Circle: 30,890
  13. A Witch Shall be Born: 16,337
  14. Jewels of Gwahlur: 17,167
  15. Beyond the Black River: 21,799
  16. Shadows in Zamboula: 12,146
  17. The Hour of the Dragon: 72,375
  18. Red Nails: 30,946



Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber:

  1. The Jewels in the Forest: 14,215
  2. The Bleak Shore: 4,272
  3. The Howling Tower: 5,855
  4. The Sunken Land: 6,900
  5. Thieves’ House: 12,235
  6. Adept’s Gambit: 31,901
  7. Claws from the Night: 9,410
  8. The Seven Black Priests: 9,523
  9. Lean Times in Lankhmar: 15,400
  10. When the Sea-King’s away: 9,806
  11. The Cloud of Hate: 4,929
  12. Bazaar of the Bizarre: 9,653
  13. Their Mistress, the Sea: 1,316
  14. The Wrong Beach: 2,267
  15. The Circle Curse: 3,596
  16. The Price of Pain-Ease: 4,650


Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock

  1. Elric of Melnibone: 48,000
  2. The Sailor on the Seas of Fate: 24,000
  3. The Weird of the White Wolf: 39,000
  4. The Vanishing Tower: 48,000
  5. The Bane of the Black Sword: 45,000
  6. Stormbringer: 71,000


The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

  1. The Witcher: 10,213
  2. A Grain of Truth: 10,418
  3. The Lesser Evil: 12,764
  4. A Question of Price: 13,105
  5. The Edge of the World: 14,395
  6. The Last Wish: 18,349
  7. The Voice of Reason: 12,495


Also let's look at some works of H.P. Lovecraft, who wrote in a different subgenre, but also wrote Pulp Fiction short stories, novelettes and novellas:

  1. Dagon: 2,216
  2. The Lurking Fear: 8,164
  3. The Rats in the Walls: 7,974
  4. The Shunned House: 10,742
  5. The Call of Cthulhu: 11,905
  6. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward: 51,112
  7. The Colour out of Space: 12,457
  8. The Dunwhich Horror: 17,524
  9. The Whisperer in Darkness: 26,624
  10. At the Mountains of Madness: 40,881
  11. The Shadow over Innsmouth: 27,026
  12. The Thing on the Doorstep: 10,954


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