I just finished reading the highly entertaining new book, Gabriel Hunt at the Well of Eternity (my review here). It's a classic adventure tale complete with cliffhangers galore and many feats of daring action. I haven't had that much fun with a book in a long time.
So, I started thinking about pulp adventure stories. You got the hard-boiled detective, you got the SF story where the dashing star captain rescues the damsel from the clutches of the vile, eight-legged monster. You have the horror version of pulp adventure with folks like H. P. Lovecraft. What about fantasy pulp adventures? I may be showing my ignorance here but are there books and authors who write fantasy stories in the vein of old-school pulp adventure?
The one person that comes to mind is Robert E. Howard, Conan's creator, but, since I've never read any of his stuff, I can't say.
There are some modern fantasy authors, like Joe Abercrombie, whose works get tagged with "noir fantasy," blending, I imagine, the tropes of fantasy with the nihilistic themes of noir fiction.
Fantasy is a genre I always have associated with Brave Deeds, Noble Acts, and other things you have to use initial caps to designate. Hero must prevail or the World Will End.
I guess what I'm asking is this: are the light (lite?) fantasy tales? Are there stories and books that make you chuckle one moment, as the hero and the heroine trade witty banter, yet hold your breath the next, as the hero must slay a Shakespeare-quoting dragon the next?
That, Dear Friends, is My Quest.