It's never easy being a knight, especially for a practical Eudoric Dambertson, whose mind and temperature are better suited to trade than to the highly impractical demands of chivalry. Take the simple matter of courting a wife. To please his potential father-in-law, the enchanter Baldonius, the young man must bring back two square yards of dragon hide. Only then can he earn his knightly spurs and the hand of the beauteous Lusina. But battles with dragons always seem to go better in the ballads.
Lyon Sprague de Camp was born in 1907 and died in 2000. During a writing career that spanned seven decades, he wrote over a hundred books in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. Although arguably best known for his continuation of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, de Camp was an important figure in the formative period of modern SF, alongside the likes of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, and was a winner of the Hugo, World Fantasy Life Achievement and SFWA Grand Master awards.