Christopher Heath has written a great post over at Home of Heroics about heroic fantasy grand masters and who they’ve influenced him. His assessment is insightful and informative. Check it out. The only one I’d add (at least off the top of my head) would be C. L. Moore. Her Jirel of Joiry series, while barely enough to fill a book, are powerful and eerie. Jirel was one of the first warrior women, and created in a time when science fiction and fantasy was a male dominated field. Moore’s stories brought an emotional depth to the field that had been lacking in the bulk of the work published up to that point. Heath credits Lovecraft for atmosphere. While Moore’s writing was certainly atmospheric, I would have to say one of the techniques at which Moore excelled was imagery. I’ve been wanting to take a detailed look at her Northwest Smith series, which is really fantasy in a science fictional setting, for a while now. Imagery will be one of the things that series will focus on. Hopefully those will start appearing by the end of the summer.