Who is Scott Oden?

“As an adolescent with aspirations to write, my first literary hero was J.R.R. Tolkien. I read and re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and in those pages I developed an odd love that has followed me into adulthood: Orcs. The chapters where Merry and Pippin were in the clutches of a band of Uruk-hai, or where Frodo and Sam dealt with the lads of Cirith Ungol, became my favorites. The circle of authors who influenced my writing grew to include Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Harold Lamb, Karl Edward Wagner, and Mary Renault.” — Scott Oden

cutmypicScott is the author of five novels, two historical fiction (Men of Bronze and Memnon), three fantasy with a strong historical bent (The Lion of Cairo, A Gathering of Ravens, and Twilight of the Gods), and a collaborative novel (A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus). He is the author of the Robert E. Howard pastiche Conan novella “The Shadow of Vengeance”, serialized in issues #1-#12 of Marvel’s The Savage Sword of Conan, as well as the Conan short story “Conan Unconquered”, appearing in the video game of the same name.  In addition, he has written a couple of short stories, and a few non-fiction articles and introductions (notably, the introduction to Del Rey’s Robert E. Howard collection, Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures). He has been an avid tabletop roleplaying gamer since 1979, beginning with Holmes-edition D&D. Scott was born in Columbus, Indiana, but was raised in rural North Alabama, near Huntsville. He currently splits his time between his home in Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age.

Scott’s first novel, Men of Bronze, was published in 2005; Memnon followed in 2006 and The Lion of Cairo in 2010. After a seven year hiatus from writing, Scott returned to bookstore shelves in June of 2017 with his critically-acclaimed “Orc novel”, A Gathering of Ravens — the first in a projected trilogy of stand-alone novels featuring the savage Grimnir.  February 2020 saw the publication of the second book in the series, Twilight of the Gods.  As of this writing, Scott is working on the third book, called The Doom of Odin.

“Since young adulthood, I’ve wanted to write a book about Orcs—those foot soldiers of evil first revealed to us in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I wanted to write it from the Orcs’ point of view. And I wanted to redeem them.” — Scott Oden



Skrælingr. Orcnéas. Fomoraig. He is Grimnir . . .

For over a century, he has tracked the dragon, Níðhöggr — the Malice-Striker — from the shores of Lake Vänern, across the Baltic Sea, through Russia, and down into the Mediterranean; he has hounded the wyrm from Old Muscovy to Messina. And finally, to the Eternal City — to Rome, itself.

And in Rome, on a cold November night in 1347 AD, on the ruined steps of Old St. Peter’s basilica, Grimnir’s saga comes crashing to an end. A crossbow bolt, loosed in terror, slays him out of hand. It is a mundane finale to a life spent hip-deep in bloodshed and slaughter, surrounded by steel and savagery and the sorcery of the Elder World.

But Death is just the beginning . . .

Now, on the grim and misty isle of Nástrond, under the shadows of Yggðrasil, Grimnir is plunged headlong into the twisted Valhalla that is the afterlife of his people. Here, bloody in-fighting, schemes and betrayals are the order of the day. Grimnir is forced to contend with a cabal of witches, with giants and trolls who have never felt the light of Miðgarðr’s moon, and with his own rapacious kin as he journeys beyond the shores of Nástrond to find answers. And with every death he suffers, in this world and the next, Grimnir unravels another thread of a monstrous secret woven at the dawn of time — one that will turn him from the pawn of unknown gods into the most powerful being in the Nine Worlds. And the most hunted.

For he, alone, holds the key to Ragnarök and the Doom of Odin . . .

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“A satisfying saga that’s as complex as an old tree’s roots, and a pleasure to read.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.

AGoR Cover​Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.​

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.

​But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?

​Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.

“Oden mixes an exciting and vibrant narrative with a wealth of historical detail to bring Grimnir and his world to life, providing the reader with an immensely satisfying and rewarding experience.” — Booklist


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“An action-packed and grim adventure, this novel further demonstrates Oden’s able combination of historical narrative with dark fantasy. Highly recommended for all orc fans.” —Booklist (starred review)

In A Gathering of Ravens, he fought for vengeance. Now, Grimnir is back and fighting for his very survival.

It is the year of Our Lord, 1218 and in the snowy heart of Sweden, in the land of the Raven-Geats, the Old Ways reach deep – as deep as the roots of ancient Yggðrasil. And while the Geats pay a tax to the King in the name of the White Christ, their hearts and souls belong to the gods of Ásgarðr.

Twilight of the Gods coverBut, no man can serve two masters.

Pledging to burn this Norse heresy from the land, famed crusader Konráðr the White leads a host against the Raven-Geats, using torch and sword to bring forth the light of the new religion. But the land of the Raven-Geats has an ancient protector: Grimnir, the last in a long line of monsters left to plague Miðgarðr. And he becomes the only thing left that stands between the Raven-Geats and their destruction at the hands of the hymn-singing hordes of the Nailed God.

Aided by an army of berserkers led by their pale queen, Grimnir sparks off an epic struggle – not only against the crusaders, but against the very Gods as the grim and bloody gaze of Odin is drawn to the conflict. For there is something buried beneath the land of the Raven-Geats that the Lord of the Æsir wants, something best left undisturbed. Something the blood of the slain, Christian and pagan, will surely awaken.

“Robust action sequences and detailed descriptions mark Oden’s ambitious second Grimnir Viking adventure… Oden’s impressive writing successfully evokes a grand but grim atmosphere as the well-developed heroes undertake a dangerous quest to find Sárklungr. Fans of fast-paced battles and indomitable warriors will relish the sweeping fight scenes, complete with berserkers, siege engines, and the growing threat of Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse.” —Publishers Weekly

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2005: Men of Bronze


2006: Memnon

Memnon cover

2010: The Lion of Cairo

The Lion of Cairo cover

2011: “Theos Khthonios”, Lawyers in Hell


2011: “Introduction”, Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures by Robert E. Howard.


2017: “”Xenia in the Court of the Winds”, A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

A Sea of Sorrow Book Cover

2017: Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of RPG, contributor


2017: “Amarante”, SKELOS 2


2017: A Gathering of Ravens

AGoR Cover

2018: “The Red Pit” (with Lou Agresta), Robert E. Howard’s Conan RPG: Jeweled Thrones of the Earth


2018: Men of Bronze re-issue, Crossroad Press


2018: Memnon re-issue, Crossroad Press


2019: “A Shadow of Vengeance”, Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan, issues #1-#12

SSoC #1

2019: “Conan Unconquered”, Conan Unconquered Deluxe Edition.


2020: Twilight of the Gods

Twilight of the Gods cover

2021: Scott Oden Presents The Lost Empire of Sol: A Shared World Anthology of Sword & Planet Tales.


2021: “An Empire of Ghosts and Smoke”, Robert E. Howard Changed My Life.


Selling the Past

For most of my early writing career, the seven most pernicious words I encountered came from the same place: agents and publishers. I heard them so often I came to view them as a defense mechanism, a fight-or-flight response that just spilled from their pens/keyboards when confronted with something alien. What were those words? “I …