Reviews and Readers’ Comments


Dermanassian (recurring heroic fiction character) and General Comments

“Dermanassian, the desert elf, has proven to be one of the most popular characters featured at Flashing Swords, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise, for S.C. Bryce is a careful crafter with a vivid imagination. Bryce seamlessly blends old and new concepts to create something original, and knows how to deliver a good action tale…” Howard Andrew Jones, managing editor of Black Gate, editor in chief,, and former editor of Flashing Swords.

“S.C. Bryce follows in the tradition of Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, presenting an engaging and enigmatic hero (Dermanassian) for the reader to root for, along with effective characterizations of the supporting cast. And while her style reflects yesterday’s fantasy sagas, she avoids many of the pitfall stereotypes that might bring down the work, instead providing thoughtful revelations and fresh perspectives in her stories.” David Frank Daumit, speculative fiction author.

“[M]arvelous stories… Your plots are complex and fascinating, twisting to surprise but always highly logical in retrospect. [Dermanassian] is a complex well-realized individual.” Richard K. Lyon, co-author of novels Demon in the Mirror, The Eyes of Sarsis, The Web of the Spider, Rails Across the Galaxy and author of numerous short stories, on The Rise of a Necromancer.

“[Dermanassian]’s sexy as hell…”

“A very cool hero…”

“I’m a Dermanassian fan…”


127 Fears

“Just knock me over after reading “127 Fears” by S. C. Bryce. Red Roan is a hero and adventurer, questing after the very real titular Fears brought to life and unleashed upon the world. But “in the dusk of his life,” Red Roan has succeeded in destroying only two of the Fears, the 68th (Fear of Suffocation) and the 14th (Fear of Things That Creep). Forty-three years of adventuring have brought him to the end of his days with little to show for it, and he encounters a Fear that takes full advantage of his mood. The game I had going in my head while I read Bryce’s stellar prose is what the Fear would be named (saved for the very end, which was a virtual certainty). You can play the game, too, and I’ll let you know that my guess of Fear of Failure was wrong. A great, great story once again showing the outstanding relationship of a man and his role as hero, solid characterization punctuating the idea of the setting.” Rob Santa, Firebrand Fiction.

“A wonderful, dream-like story—glad I picked it to read first in the premiere issue. I made that call based on A) the intriguing title, and B) experience reading Bryce’s stuff. It was a good decision… ‘127 Fears’ rocks.” Steve Goble, Swords Against Boredom, editor of Carnivah House.

“The opening line caught my attention immediately. The rest of the story held it. Fears are something we all have, and SC Bryce uses that to allow the reader to understand the motivation behind the main character. I have had to reword this review several times because I keep giving away the ending. I guess I will have to conclude by simply stating that this is a fantastic story and should be read without some silly reviewer spoiling it.” Deven Atkinson, Blogtide Rising.


Anonymous World

“This story was a prime example of what a short story should contain and how it should be plotted out. Great job!”


The Burning River

“Good and gruesome…”

“A great piece of man vs. monster fiction…”

“You have a great sense of pace and the ability to set a scene and build tension at the same time…”

“I was compelled to keep reading. I just had to know what would happen next…”


Cloning Jesus

“Great story!” Edward J. McFadden, former editor, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination.

“Let me say that I loved this story. It has a great title and a great idea behind it. In enjoyed your laconic, dry style and your wry humor. You have taken a simple, but thought-provoking idea and developed it through a nicely paced plot to an interesting conclusion… I enjoyed this story very much.”

“Brilliant. Seriously brilliant…”

“A smooth read…”

“What a great concept!”

“I was hooked…”

“Very well done…”

“Good job!…”

“Excellent characterization…”

“Wonderful story…”


The Dawn Tree

“It’s a tale full of wonder and strangeness, charm and mystery, and absolutely fascinating…” Richard K. Lyon, co-author of novels Demon in the Mirror, The Eyes of Sarsis, The Web of the Spider, Rails Across the Galaxy and author of numerous short stories.

“The Dawn Tree” by S C Bryce is a tale of a desert elf. Yes, a desert elf. If you have delved into the Flashing Swords magazine online, and I highly recommend it, you may have run into Dermanassian. This is the best of the stories to my mind. It is a world-shaking story I think you will enjoy.” Dan Nelson.

““The Dawn Tree,” by S.C. Bryce: That settles it; I must delve into the Flashing Swords archives and read some other Dermanassian tales. This was an unusual story written with style.” Wesley Lambert, The Star Road.

““The Dawn Tree” by S.C. Bryce is another story about betrayal, but this time about a hero being tricked into betraying himself. This was an excellent story, and Bryce’s concept of the Dawn Tree ushering in the new epoch is creative.” John Ottinger, Grasping for the Wind.

“This is a complex, well-evolved, well-thought out story… your descriptive powers are in full bloom here. This is just plain, flat out good writing… [You have] done your job well… fleshed out the characters, given them purposeful motivations, shown us their passion and their desire, and led us on an adventure… ”

“Great story! It was smooth and flowing… The story is very creative and perfect for a short story. From beginning to end it read easily… You read very much like Robert E. Howard… I like the mood you set and the way you wove tension into each scene. It kept me engaged until the end.”


The Demon War

“Enough fast-paced, high energy adventure for the most action-starved reader… exotic and well-detailed…” Tangent Short Fiction Review

“S.C. Bryce is a real talent. Stirring characters, sharp dialogue, fascinating scenery — Bryce has them all, and a unique spin on fantasy tropes. Don’t walk into a Bryce story expecting the ordinary, but expect a rousing adventure every time…” Howard Andrew Jones, managing editor of Black Gate, editor in chief,, and former editor of Flashing Swords.

“This story was so vividly imaginative, so smoothly written and so engrossing that it was over before I knew it…” Bruce Durham, award-winning speculative fiction author and Contributing Editor to


The Diary of Hillary Sorensen-French

“Witty and charming…”

“Off the wall…”

“Well done…”

“I laughed out loud…”

“A fun piece through and through…”

“I loved it…”

“Amusing and an easy read…”

“I admired the tongue-in-cheek diary style…”

“Funny, funny story…”

“I loved the character…”

“Very nice…”

“Quite mad…”


The Dragon’s Scale, Part 1 of the Rise of a Necromancer

“Vying for a position as the best story of the group with [Harold] Lamb’s [classic reprint] offering is S. C. Bryce’s “The Dragon’s Scale.” This first of a two-part story is about another recurring character, Dermanassian, a desert elf of considerable brains, weapon skill, and magic. Charged by a god to recover a scale from the white dragon, Dermanassian uses stealth to observe and enter the dragon’s lair, eventually being discovered. Dragon and elf strike up both conversation and bargain, with the inevitable combat ensuing. The dialog is quick and clever, the action more so. Even though this story could be considered well ended here, I relish the next issue of Flashing Swords to see part two.” Robert J. Santa, Firebrand Fiction Review.


The Elric Saga Overview, Parts 1 & 2 (essays)

“Very fascinating article. [I]t’s obvious [you] know your stuff when it comes to Elric.”

“Very astute commentary…”

“Good reading…”


Let the Black Earth Take It All

“An extremely effective horror story. Not merely convincing, but appallingly so…”

“Hits a parent in the place a lot of us fear… What if my child is really a monster?…”

“Dark, disturbing…”

“You’re an excellent writer…”


“A good read…”

“Quite satisfying…”

“Awfully good…”


“I’ll look for your [work] again…”

“Solid, well written and had plenty of twists and turns.. I look forward to your future writings…”