Sword & Planet

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Sword & Planet

Editat: set. 7, 2011, 9:41pm

Since this genre has been mentioned a bit I figured I'd take the initiative and start a thread.

I am not well read in this genre having only read ERB's first three Mars books, Howard's Almuric, and most of the Gor novels. I don't consider Moore's Northwest Smith stuff to be S&P but I am not sure how others feel about it.

I have an anthology called Swordsmen in the Sky but I have yet to read it and I just received Gardner F. Fox's Llarn books, Warrior of Llarn and Thief of Llarn, in the mail today.

My understanding is that it is believed that Otis Adelbert Kline finished Almuric as Howard left it incomplete. I only read it once and I could not tell that the end was written by a different person. Maybe if I read it again I could notice.

Any recommendations in the genre?

How are the Dray Prescot books?

set. 7, 2011, 10:14pm

Yeah, how are the Dray Prescott books? I've got one, but haven't read it.

In my little book binge this week, I scored a copy of The Book of Skaith, which I probably won't get to for a while. But I liked the Eric John Stark stories in Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories a lot.

Editat: set. 9, 2011, 12:00pm

I'm currently about halfway done with Lieutenant Gulliver Jones: His Vacation. I've seen on the internet some people saying that they do not think that ERB got his ideas for A Princess of Mars from this book. What!?

The book was re-released in the 60's by Ace as Gulliver of Mars. It is the story of an American soldier who makes a mystical trip to Mars where he meets a dying race of Martians with a decayed society, falls in love with the Martian princess, who is kidnapped by another Martian race that lives across the sea, and he must set off to reclaim her. I think I have read this book before...

I am planning on reading Across the Zodiac by Percy Greg, Pharaoh's Broker by Ellsworth Douglas, and some others early tales to see just how Sword & Planet they are.

set. 9, 2011, 12:24pm

There's a healthy thread on this topic in Science Fiction Fans too:

set. 9, 2011, 12:58pm

^I always see the Gor books get a lot of flack. Personally, I do not mind the misogyny in the books . *shrug* The slave stuff does get tedious though. To me it would be like not reading The Rats in the Walls or Herbert West: Reanimator, or not reading The Vale of Lost Women, because of the racism. I just don't care about it really. Guess that is just me though.

I wouldn't recommend ALL of the Gor books unless someone just really liked the series but the first several are pretty good, ignoring the tedium of the master/slave chats. I thought they were pretty good up into the teens. Now the last time I read them I was a teenager so maybe they do not hold up as well. I'd like to re-read the first few sometime.

An Earthman college professor ends up going to Gor, a world directly opposite the sun of Earth, where he becomes a warrior. Warriors ride giant birds of prey known as Tarns (basically Rocs) and later giant lizard-things. He has adventures among societys that are analogous to Rome, Greece, Vikings, Native Americans, Arabia, Eskimos and Huns and gets caught up in local politics and wars.

Also, there is no sex in the books despite what some people would have you believe. It all fades to black long before it gets to that point. Maybe in the later books it gets graphic, I don't know but I don't think it does.

I also have a soft spot for the books because the third one, Priest-Kings of Gor, is the book that got me to really love reading.

I think the series is worth checking out for people who enjoy S&S and S&P. Some people, who have probably never even read the books, would dismiss them out of hand and have others do the same. They are pretty fun adventure stories though.

Editat: gen. 5, 2012, 11:29am

Priest-Kings of Gor actually gets the "eternal recurrence" tag in my library because of its allusions to Nietzschean philosophy. I actually like (in an odd way) the obsessive philosophical asides on the merits of slavery. They remind me of the literary form of de Sade's Justine, although they are a bit less absurd. As adventure stories, the books hold up okay, with some of them having an effective element of intrigue, and others being rather formulaic.

The slavery feature of the setting isn't so very different from what you can find in a number of REH Conan stories, the big difference being that Norman's protagonist is transplanted from our world, so he has alternating abhorrence and enthusiasm for an institution which is--it must be admitted--endemic to much of known human history.

For pure sword-and-planet pleasure, I'll certainly take Burroughs or Brackett over John Norman! But I can't help noting that even those ground-breakers had many of the details that were later fetishized by Norman, and those details had not been lost on readers.

Editat: set. 9, 2011, 1:34pm

>5 Thulean:

Good to read that, I never picked up the Gor books though friends did, so I saw them around. I liked the premise (planet directly opposite Earth, etc). In retrospect I see my reading started to branch out from SF about the time I came across Gor, so they simply never rose to the top of the pile.

There are other titles I think I'd pick up beforehand: for instance, I never have read Gene Wolfe, particularly the Urth series. Does that fit here, or do I have the wrong idea of Wolfe's work?

set. 9, 2011, 1:35pm

I wouldn't call Wolfe's Book of the New Sun "Sword and Planet," but I would recommend it highly--certainly over Gor. It's actually on my list to re-read, which is a very short list that rarely advances.

Editat: set. 9, 2011, 1:46pm

The Book of the New Sun has sword-and-planety elements, such as the mixture of ultratech and swords, and the basic plot could probably be used for a good sword and planet book, but the atmosphere is very different, with a reflective protagonist-narrator who'll interupt a description of a dangerous situation to treat you to his speculations on related matters. He also has somewhat curious ideas as to what his reader may or may not have background knowledge of.

I second the recommendation.

Editat: set. 9, 2011, 1:54pm

After I finish some of those early roots of S&P type books I think I'll re-read the first three Gor novels to see how they hold up for me.

Edit: Which is a pretty redundant statement since I said as much in the previous post. :P

set. 9, 2011, 2:01pm

the downside of starting with Brackett is that it is pretty much down hill from there. She is the best. Haffner collects her material very well

I think the first 4 or 5 Gor are tolerable

set. 9, 2011, 6:21pm

As with a lot of speculative fiction subgenres, I am not nearly as well-read in s & p as I would like to be - I've read the 1st 3 Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels, the 1st book in Michael Moorcock's Kane of Old Mars series, some comics adaptations of: the ERB Barsoom & Venus series, Almuric, one of the Lin Carter s & p series (was it? God, the memory is really going...), Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation, and that's pretty much it. I've had the 1st Gor book forever & still have not read it. I think I need to sit down & figure out a schedule where I devote a year each to each of the major sf subgenres. I can see it now: "Okay, 2012 - Sword & Planet. 2013 - Dystopian SF. 2014 - Post-Apocalyptic..." Yeah, that'll work. :D

Editat: set. 10, 2011, 4:25am

I've decided I'm going to write a S&P tale. I'm going to call it John Jones: A Vacationer of Mars.

Stop me if you've heard this premise before.

A soldier of some sort from the end of the Victorian era, John Jones to be precise, will travel to Mars through some sort of mystical means (perhaps he will rub a magic lamp he found while serving in the Orient and a jinn will send him there) where he will immediately encounter the remnants of a Martian race living in the decayed remains of their once glorious civilization. He will meet a beautiful princess and fall in love anon. By Jove we can't end the story thus, so a more savage, barbaric Martian race will kidnap her and he will have adventures a plenty on his travels to rescue said pirated princess. What do you think?

OK, for some reason I thought that was hilarious but I know it is probably not. :P

set. 11, 2011, 3:36pm

>13 Thulean:

I think that s & p is long overdue for a revisionist take on the genre, a la Watchmen, Moorcock's Elric tales, or Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (to use a cinematic example). Somebody needs to take those genre tropes & turn them on their heads. Question is, would there be an audience for it?

set. 11, 2011, 3:43pm

> 14

Well, if the new John Carter movie is a smashing success, there should be a big audience. Right now there's a small one.

set. 11, 2011, 7:41pm

A couple of S&P books were put out by S.M. Stirling a while back: The Sky People and In the Courts of the Crimson Kings. I have both, have not read either, but hear good things about them.

set. 11, 2011, 7:44pm

>15 paradoxosalpha:

I'm wondering if they will even mention Mars in the new movie. I know they dropped the "of Mars" from the title. Perhaps they will only refer to it as Barsoom?

Editat: set. 11, 2011, 7:58pm

>15 paradoxosalpha:

Wouldn't it be crazy if s & p suddenly became all the rage? Then we'd be the cool guys! :D

>16 jseger9000:

I saw a copy of The Sky People at a local used bookstore a few weeks ago. I would have picked it up but was short of cash at the time.

EDIT: I see it's available at my local public library, so it's probably best that I didn't get it.

set. 11, 2011, 7:48pm

#17 - Maybe they were a bit gun shy after the failures of Mission to Mars and Red Planet a while back? More likely, they didn't want to confuse your typical stupid movie-goer who would see Mars in the title and assume it was a science fiction movie (well, it is a science fiction movie, but you see what I mean).

set. 11, 2011, 7:52pm

>18 artturnerjr:

Star Trek became cool again after the last film so I suppose it could happen.

>19 jseger9000:

I've seen people on the internet say that Mars stuff makes no sense since we know that there is nothing on Mars. I guess suspension of disbelief is hard for some folks. I'm think that might be a reason if they never call it Mars.

Editat: set. 11, 2011, 8:10pm

#20 - I've seen people on the internet say that Mars stuff makes no sense since we know that there is nothing on Mars.

Yeah, we only want reality-based stories, like robots that turn into cars or dog-fights, sound and explosions in space. Life on Mars, though? Preposterous!

Within the movie I'm guessing they will talk about Mars. It really wouldn't hurt anything if they left it out though.

Having seen the trailer, I do hope the movie does well, to make up for the lousy Conan. I'd hate to see John Carter wind up like The Rocketeer, a fantastic movie beloved by the community, but ignored by the public when it was released.

I think all the super-hero movies have steered people's tastes though, so it is a better market for this kind of movie.

set. 11, 2011, 10:54pm

I have really high hopes for the John Carter film, both aesthetically and commercially. Andrew Stanton is a gifted filmmaker, and Michael Chabon's involvement reassures me enormously. If you look at global box-office figures for films of the last 15 years, almost all the really huge hits have been speculative fiction-themed, and the Barsoom stories have had a broad-based and enduring appeal for almost a century.

Editat: set. 12, 2011, 1:21am

I think with Disney and Pixar behind it it will most likely do well. I do have concerns about some of what I saw in the trailer but I'm going to try to be more optimistic about this film than I was Conan3d. I didn't like what I saw of the Thark. It looked to small. Maybe it was a youth though and they are trying to trick us with it. I also thought the Martian city looked way different than what I imagined when I read the book. Too...Star Wars or something. I also do not like the airship designs at all. I'm sure to a general audience that stuff will not matter at all though.

set. 12, 2011, 10:28am

In my head I'm already expecting the story as it was written to be unfilmable, so I'm willing to give them a lot of leeway and allow for all sorts of changes. As long as the John Carter movie is good as a film, I'll be happy enough.

That was what kept me away from the new Conan. Not that there were too many changes, but that it was just a lousy movie.

Besides, I have to admit I've formed most of my Barsoom imagery from those wonderful Frazetta covers, the covers of the Gor novels and Richard Corben's Den (no touchstone? I thought I'd added my own Den graphic novels). Anyway, I can't expect any modern big budget movie to go for that look.

set. 12, 2011, 10:29am

Oh! And I would recommend Corben's Den stories as some excellent Sword 'n Planet.

set. 12, 2011, 10:43am

I was just thinking about Den yesterday. There's a pretty decent Wikipedia article on the topic.

set. 12, 2011, 1:03pm

Thanks for that. It was pretty interesting. Reading through the synopsis of the different story arcs sure got confusing though.

I'd like to see the Neverwhere movie some time. I've seen clips online, but never the whole thing. I wonder if YouTube has it? With the amount of nudity in a Den story, I'm guessing not.

set. 12, 2011, 2:08pm

I've been wanting to pick up all the Den stuff. I'd like to get the original Heavy Metal Magazine. They do not seen to be overly pricey and the first one is on eBay often. I'd like to get the collections too for ease of reading though. I have never read any of the DEn stuff but I have loved the idea of it ever since seeing the Heavy Metal film. And Corben's stuff is pretty awesome. I like the stuff he did in Dark Horse Conan comic for the flashback stuff.

BTW, Robert Rodriguez has the rights to make the next animated Heavy Metal film and he is making it a collection of shorts like the first one. Maybe some more Den in there?

set. 12, 2011, 5:13pm

#28 - I'd like to get the original Heavy Metal Magazine.

I've discovered .cbr/.cbz files. teamed up with a cheap Android tablet and it is something like a Kindle for comics.

Thanks to that and a torrent containing the complete run of Heavy Metal, I've (sorta) got a complete run of the magazine.

I would like to get the other Den collections, but they are pretty pricey (or were the last time I checked). Luckily, I picked up the first two collections when they were released.

set. 12, 2011, 5:31pm

#28 - Robert Rodriguez has the rights to make the next animated Heavy Metal film

Robert Rodriguez is the best hands I can think of for another Heavy Metal movie.

set. 12, 2011, 8:51pm

>29 jseger9000:

I have a Nook Color running a custom rom and all that jazz. I am using it for my ill-gotten Marvel Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan digital copies. Works great. I'll have to find me some digital HM.

>30 jseger9000:

Yup. Between that and Fire & Ice the man is about to become my favorite film maker...after John Milius anyhow.

set. 12, 2011, 11:13pm

#31 - I'll have to find me some digital HM.

If you can't find it, email me or leave a message on my profile. I'll show you the torrent I grabbed.

Between that and Fire & Ice the man is about to become my favorite film maker...

The only thing that worries me is that he was also supposed to do Sin City 2&3. Where are they? I think he piles way too much on his plate and just does not have the time to do it all. Still, best of luck to him. At least he has good taste.

set. 12, 2011, 11:20pm

I think he was attached to Red Sonja for a while too.

set. 13, 2011, 4:58am

I just finished watching Planet Hulk. I never read the comic but this is definitely S&P. I'm not a big fan of modern animation styles but it was cool anyhow.

set. 13, 2011, 8:13am

Thanks to that and a torrent containing the complete run of Heavy Metal, I've (sorta) got a complete run of the magazine.

Oh temptation . . . We have to scratch our heads and wonder why the complete run hasn't been made available on DVD-ROM yet? I have the National Lampoon disc that was available briefly a few years back and I'd fight to keep another pair of hands off it.

Editat: set. 28, 2011, 6:40pm

I thought of adding this mention to the Weird Fiction Illustrators thread that started today, and then thought it'd be better here in Sword and Planet:

The fine Barsoomian art of Joe Jusko (click through):

set. 28, 2011, 11:58pm

>36 paradoxosalpha:

That's a nice blog. I was especially appreciative of all the Frank Cho Dejah Thoris stuff he has posted there. Pulchritude overdose! :D

Editat: set. 29, 2011, 3:27pm

I read the Jack Vance Planet of Adventure series only a couple of years after the Barsoom books and always saw them as a characteristically oblique tribute by Vance. Don't remember how much swordplay is actually involved, but there's a similar, basically pre-industrial society, but with futuristic though scarce technology, humans alongside a variety of intelligent but absolutely alien species, and the feel of an immeasurably ancient and complex culture. The characters may be complex and troubled, but swash is most definitely buckled.

oct. 4, 2011, 9:04pm

NEW (yes, you read that correctly) collection of Barsoom adventures coming out from Simon & Schuster in 2012:


Editat: oct. 10, 2011, 5:59pm

> 39 Looks good!

I just for the first time today looked through the Wikipedia "Sword and Planet" article, which turns out to be quite an inventory. The Wikipedia article on the Dray Prescott books proved interesting too.

> 39 Wishlisted!

feb. 18, 2012, 5:27pm

A couple of nice pieces on the enduring influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs on popular culture. The io9 article is by noted fantastic fiction and Alan Moore scholar Jess Nevins.



feb. 25, 2012, 10:13pm

I had been considering reading some ERB to warm up for the imminent movie, but I didn't want to get my head into a "purist" mindset either.

Today I stumbled across Ardor on Aros, and I think it fits the bill quite nicely!

Editat: feb. 26, 2012, 9:19am

>42 paradoxosalpha:

Speaking of purism (and hopefully not going off on too much of a tangent), I was listening to one of the audio commentaries on my FANTASTIC FOUR Extended Edition DVD (http://amzn.com/B000O77SPE) (yes, I actually liked that movie) and it became apparent that while most of the filmmakers involved were fans of the FF comic, they weren't necessarily fanatic fans. Personally, I think this is a good thing. Sometimes I think the worst thing that can happen with adaptations is for the filmmaker(s) to come into the project saying, "This is my list of 526 things from the book/comic/tv series/whatever that have to exactly the same in the film". You are, after all, adapting into a different medium, and there are things that work really well in books/comics/etc. that don't really work in films.

feb. 26, 2012, 10:08am

I see there's not too much on the 'net to show why I'm interested in the Offut book. The jacket copy calls it "a satiric masterpiece of crossed swords and sorceries," and the TOC gives these chapter titles:
  1. The scientist who was not mad
  2. The planet that was not Mars
  3. The man who was not a prince
  4. The girl I did not rescue
  5. The girl who was not Dejah Thoris

> 42

The Watchmen movie is a perfect case-history for what you get if the moviemaker is a fan who embraces fidelity to a comics original. But comics are already a somewhat cinematic medium.

Novels aren't susceptible of direct translation into film, partly because they are usually just too long! (A feature film can really only hold the full contents of a novella.)

feb. 26, 2012, 11:04am


Hope you have time to do a review of the Offut when you've read it.

feb. 26, 2012, 12:27pm

> 45


feb. 27, 2012, 12:12pm

JOHN CARTER page on Facebook (which I "liked", naturally):


Editat: feb. 27, 2012, 12:23pm

I hope you Barsoom fans will post reviews here after you see the film! I hope it turns out better than Conan did!

Editat: feb. 27, 2012, 12:25pm

> 47

Bah. No |f| for me, no matter how culturally congenial.

> 48

Yeah, of course!

feb. 27, 2012, 12:34pm

>49 paradoxosalpha:

No |f| for me either. I'm in the running to be the last man on earth with neither tattoos nor a Facebook page! Ah, fame!


feb. 27, 2012, 1:06pm

> 50

Oh, well you've got me beat on tattoos. But I've never carried a cell phone, and lately I like to joke that I'll do so when it's pried between my cold, dead fingers.

Clearly, I'm one of those subversive types.

feb. 27, 2012, 8:40pm

>51 paradoxosalpha:

Clearly, I'm one of those subversive types.

Ah yes, but don't you find that subversion is that much more beautiful when it's foisted upon the masses? The greatness of John Lennon's "Imagine", for example, is less a product of its neo-Marxist utopianism than it is of the fact that said utopianism is affixed to such an irresistible pop melody.

març 11, 2012, 7:20pm

Ardor on Aros finished and reviewed as promised in #46.

març 12, 2012, 7:11am

Read your review, paradoxosalpha. Not what I expected. And yes, that's a good candidate for Frazetta's worst cover.

Editat: març 12, 2012, 10:14am

>53 paradoxosalpha:, 54

Perhaps the publisher is to blame for the cover of Ardor on Aros? I'd have to check, but isn't that badly-reproduced image taken out of context from a larger painting? I'll have to check my Frazetta books later, unless someone can find a link...

Editat: març 12, 2012, 12:32pm

> 55

That was my theory, actually. It looks like a detail of a larger work -- you can sort of see the canvas grain. And it certainly doesn't illustrate anything in the book. So maybe it's not really Frazetta's fault ... even though his signature is clearly visible in the lower left corner.

març 12, 2012, 12:25pm

>56 paradoxosalpha:

Easy enough to find the image:

There actually isn't a whole lot more to the thing than is on the cover of Ardor on Aros, but they still didn't quite do it justice. There is a higher-res image of the cover in the LT record for the book that makes it look a little better. I also think that I may have been confusing it just a bit with this painting:

Bonus - here's a John Carter that I haven't seen in ages:

abr. 4, 2012, 9:06am

I made a little Sword & Planet buy last night:
* Transit to Scorpio, so I can give the Dray Prescott books a try from their beginning
* The Man Who Loved Mars by Lin Carter
* Gods of Xuma, or Barsoom Revisited and its sequel Warlords of Xuma by David J. Lake

I'm not sure when I'll get around to any of these, but the Lin Carter might be the first on the list.

abr. 4, 2012, 12:36pm

>58 paradoxosalpha:

The Lake books sound neat from what I glean from the LT and Amazon reviews - reminds me a bit of S.M. Sterling's LORDS OF CREATION series (http://www.librarything.com/series/The+Lords+of+Creation), which I've been meaning to get to forever.

abr. 20, 2012, 2:23pm

So, I read and reviewed The Man Who Loved Mars, and while it was a pretty solid planetary romance, it wasn't really arterial sword and planet.

I'm about 40% of the way into Transit to Scorpio, and so far, so good. It's certainly better than City of the Beast, although it is keeping rather rigorously to the Burroughs formula. Akers makes his alien princess a cripple at the her first meeting with the protagonist, which is an interesting choice. The hero is from 18th-century Earth, and learned to buckle his swashes in a nautical career.

There's an overt allusion to the Gor books, in the form of a continent called Gah that is reported to host gender relations of the Gorean type. But that's just peripheral detail, at this point anyhow.

abr. 20, 2012, 3:05pm

>9 AndreasJ:

Agreed. A fantastic series set in a distant future with interesting cosmic/planet elements.

abr. 20, 2012, 8:55pm

Oh the Irony! Charlton Heston's real name is JOHN CARTER.

abr. 23, 2012, 9:51pm

Anybody here read a book called Paragaea: A Planetary Romance by Chris Roberson?

abr. 25, 2012, 2:06pm

Finished reading Transit to Scorpio, and posted my review.

Editat: abr. 25, 2012, 5:08pm

>65 paradoxosalpha:

So, having read quite a bit in the s & p subgenre now, is there anything you'd rank as being as good as Edgar Rice Burroughs' or Leigh Brackett's stuff?

abr. 25, 2012, 7:01pm

> 65

So far Brackett is still my favorite. Bulmer's not bad, though, and for all I know, he gets better after he has written five or ten of them. I'm still interested to try Lin Carter's Under the Green Star, which is evidently more straight-up sword and planet, as opposed to the planetary romance of The Man Who Loved Mars. There's a lot I have yet to get to, actually: Otis Adelbert Kline, the S.M. Stirling mentioned in #16, the David J. Lake Xuma books I recently picked up ... heck, I haven't even read ERB's Amtor stuff at all.

Editat: març 13, 2013, 10:35am

Paizo's Planet Stories line is no longer accepting subscriptions so I imagine they are dropping it. I don't know what kind of stock they are sitting on but if there were books you wanted from them you might want to get them since they will not be reprinted I imagine. By them at least.

abr. 28, 2012, 9:52am

>68 Thulean:

Probably time to snatch up Almuric, then!

juny 5, 2012, 8:55am

I've just finished reading Lake's Gods of Xuma and posted my review.

juny 19, 2012, 5:59pm

Many years ago, I seem to remember reading a book by L. Sprague de Camp which was focussed on gently debunking Charles Berlitz and other figures of seventies pop mysticism but digressed into older 'lost race' fantasies, in particular what Edgar Rice Burroughs had taken from Blavatsky in creating Barsoom. Can't remember the title, would like to read it again.

juny 20, 2012, 2:30am

>72 paradoxosalpha: Looks likely, thanks, I'll try and pick it up

juny 20, 2012, 7:36pm

I just read and wrote my review of the graphic novel John Carter: A Princess of Mars.

juny 24, 2012, 9:18pm

Continuing my slog through Barsoomian comics, I've reviewed the collection John Carter of Mars: Weird Worlds.

juny 25, 2012, 9:29pm

>75 paradoxosalpha: Just out of curiosity, have you read Gold Key's version of John Carter? I didn't even know they did one until I was researching some Gold Key stuff the other day.

(I have no idea if it's any good.)

juny 26, 2012, 9:14am

> 76

Nope. I'd be curious, of course.

jul. 2, 2012, 8:47am

I'm a glutton for punishment; I just finished and reviewed John Carter: World of Mars.

ag. 21, 2012, 10:28am

I've just read and reviewed the Leigh Brackett trilogy collected as The Book of Skaith.

set. 6, 2012, 3:13pm

Read the Joe Lansdale contribution to Under the Moons of Mars last night, and I'll be working my way through the whole thing over the coming weeks.

set. 6, 2012, 3:14pm

>80 paradoxosalpha:

And how did Lansdale fare on Barsoom?

Editat: set. 6, 2012, 3:22pm

Oh, it actually reminded me of Doctor Who! Golden Cybermen presided over by Davros in an underground civilization, with a bit of a steampunk nod. John Carter is taken captive and busts up the joint. Fin. Lansdale's prose was well-adapted to the complete lack of interiority one finds in the Burroughs material.

Editat: set. 6, 2012, 3:50pm

>82 paradoxosalpha:

Lansdale has the discipline to play by the rules, but I was wondering if maybe he couldn't resist letting some of his hilariously vulgar humor slip into a Barsoomian scenario.

set. 21, 2012, 10:03am

Finished Under the Moons and posted my review.

Editat: set. 21, 2012, 10:13am

>84 paradoxosalpha:

Good review, PA. I am planning on setting a few months aside in the near future (2014 or 2015) to read all the ERB Barsoom books straight through; I will almost certainly tag this volume on the end when I am done.

set. 21, 2012, 10:40am

Ooooh... Tarzan crossovers!

oct. 11, 2012, 10:20pm

Just picking up Warlords of Xuma now.

oct. 27, 2012, 3:49pm

I finished reading Warlords of Xuma and posted a brief review.

Editat: nov. 20, 2012, 2:15pm

I've made a start on The Suns of Scorpio.

des. 3, 2012, 12:02pm

Finished and reviewed it.

feb. 28, 2013, 10:01am

Just begun Warrior of Scorpio.

març 14, 2013, 11:03am

Finished and reviewed Warrior of Scorpio. I think I'm going to take a breather from sword & planet for a bit.

març 14, 2013, 11:55am

>92 paradoxosalpha:

"Heroic nudity"? Heeeeee!

març 19, 2013, 2:28pm

ERB is sixty-three years dead today, but John Carter still lives.

març 19, 2013, 7:18pm

>94 paradoxosalpha:

Amen to that. 8)

set. 6, 2013, 11:19am

I finished reading High Couch of Silistra this morning and posted my review.

oct. 30, 2013, 11:45am

I recently picked up a copy of Under the Green Star, so that it is now on my physical TBR pile.

I finished reading Swordships of Scorpio and posted my review.

oct. 31, 2013, 10:11pm

>97 paradoxosalpha:

There's actually a lot of Lin Carter S&P stuff at the Half Price Books store that opened up in my hometown recently. Tempting, but by Barsoom I've already got a lot to read! (Didn't stop me from picking up a copy of Pirates of Venus (as well as some other non-S&P stuff which I'll post about elsewhere), though.)

nov. 15, 2013, 9:16am

Hmm. I wonder what A Princess of Mars would be like if rewritten by George R. R. Martin. Who would be left living after the first volume? Tardos Mors would be gone for sure...

nov. 16, 2013, 10:45am

>100 dukedom_enough:

As I've indicated earlier on this thread (http://www.librarything.com/topic/123347#2924731), S & P is way overdue for a revisionist/deconstructionist interpretation, moreso than any other SF subgenre I can think of. Haven't read any of Martin's stuff (yet!), but from what I've heard about him it sounds like he'd be as good a person for the job as anybody. :)

Editat: feb. 18, 2014, 11:11am

I've worked back around to my S&P stack, and I'm currently midway through Under the Green Star, which is Lin Carter's homage to Barsoom. Like David J. Lake, he goes interstellar, but in opposition to him, he ramps up the (more salient anyhow, I think) occult fantasy aspects rather than the speculative sci-fi ones. The pacing is much more Burroughsian than the slower going afforded by Kenneth Bulmer or John Norman.

Also, I picked up The Art of Dejah Thoris and the Worlds of Mars (after a significant discount).

feb. 24, 2014, 12:00pm

I finished Under the Green Star and posted my review.

feb. 25, 2014, 10:52pm

>102 paradoxosalpha: & 103

Listening to Robert M. Price's podcast (http://lovecraftzine.com/the-lovecraft-geek-robert-m-price-podcast/) has definitely piqued my interest in Carter's fiction, which he discusses frequently. Perhaps I'll tackle some of his stuff after I've read some more of il maestro (ERB).

Editat: ag. 12, 2014, 3:41pm

I've just posted a rather digressive review of Wind from the Abyss, the third Silistra book. (I see that I also failed to place notice on this thread of my review of the second book, The Golden Sword.)

ag. 15, 2014, 1:24pm

I finished off reading the Silistra series and posted my review of its last book, The Carnelian Throne. Just afterward, I was pleasantly surprised to see my review of Wind from the Abyss on the LT "Hot Reviews" list.

ag. 15, 2014, 1:53pm

That's not happened to me much, and it is gratifying when it does (esp when I can comfortably surmise my audience is one whose collective perspective I respect).

set. 3, 2014, 4:43pm

Apparently there's a new John Carter comic coming out from Dynamite Entertainment in November. This series will feature original stories, not adaptations of the ERB novels like the previous Dynamite JC series.


set. 3, 2014, 5:56pm

I think several of the earlier Dynamite Barsoom series have been "original," but pretty terribly written, and while they've had some great cover artists, their interior art got so bad that I just couldn't read 'em anymore. Frustrating.

Editat: gen. 11, 2015, 12:07pm

It must be a slow weekend on LT, because my review of The Art of Dejah Thoris is "hot."

Now, that's not to be confused with the axiomatic fact that Dejah Thoris is "hot":

(ETA: Frank Cho illo not from the book reviewed!)

gen. 16, 2015, 7:42pm

>110 paradoxosalpha:

Frank Cho sure can draw pretty women. :)

Speaking of things Burroughsian, my primary literary goal for 2015 is to read his Barsoom series in its entirety; right now, I'm about five chapters into my reread of The Gods of Mars.

gen. 23, 2015, 8:04pm

Thought this might be a good place to mention that Wildside Press is currently offering Lin Carter's Journey to the Underground World as a free eBook on their website:


It seems this is more Hollow Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollow_Earth) (a la Pellucidar) than sword and planet, but I thought it might be of interest since we've discussed Mr. Carter's work here in the past.

Editat: feb. 5, 2015, 10:51pm

On the topic of a revisionist sword and planet tale (see >14 artturnerjr: ff.), I came across this delightful little tidbit while perusing the John Carter of Mars entry (complete with Dungeons & Dragons-derived lingo) at TV Tropes*:

In the first book at least, John Carter is disgusted at the Green Barsoomians for their warlike ways and violent tendencies, but it is taken for granted that his killing of dozens of generally innocent people is perfectly justifiable because he is doing it to rescue his One True Love. The closest he comes to acknowledging that maybe murder isn't the best way to solve all his problems is when he reflects that the guards were Worthy Opponents and fighting men like him. An Alternate Character Interpretation might be that since the story is told in the first person, the reason John is portrayed as chaotic good despite his somewhat chaotic neutral method of interacting with obstacles is because he's actually a narcissistic sociopath who doesn't see anything wrong with sacrificing other people's lives if they get in the way of his personal happiness and that of those he cares about.

Ha! Now that's an idea I'd like to see expanded upon! :)

* http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/JohnCarterOfMars

feb. 9, 2015, 5:55pm

Geoff Ryman wrote a story, "The Film-makers of Mars", which is a very revisionist take on Carter. Sociopath doesn't begin to describe it. This isn't the first time I've pointed to this story on LT, apologies if you've seen it before.

feb. 10, 2015, 6:59pm

>114 dukedom_enough:

Fantastic! No, haven't seen it before. Many thanks for the heads-up. :)

feb. 11, 2015, 6:10am

It both critiques and updates the story. Ends a bit abruptly - I keep hoping Ryman will expand it someday.

feb. 11, 2015, 12:28pm

>116 dukedom_enough:

Downloaded and read it last night. Really enjoyed it - pretty much exactly what I've been looking for. Agreed that it would benefit from a novella-length (or longer) expansion - I, for one, would certainly read it.

I've never read Ryman before. Is all his stuff this good?

feb. 12, 2015, 11:02am

I've never read a Ryman story that was less than amazingly good. "Film-Makers" is maybe just average for him. I confess I've read less than I should. He works in both SF and fantasy. Was is a novel that riffs on The Wizard of Oz, both book and film; my review. Ryman sets many stories in Cambodia, past, present, and future; The King's Last Song tells a historical tale of a Cambodian king, contrasting that story with modern Cambodia, haunted by the Khmer Rouge. I haven't read the well-reviewed Air. Paradaise Tales is a recent collection of fine work.

feb. 12, 2015, 4:12pm

>118 dukedom_enough:

Well, I will certainly be keeping an eye out for his work then. Thanks again for bringing him to my attention. :)

feb. 12, 2015, 11:42pm

>119 artturnerjr: I haven't read a lot of Ryman, but I did like his Unconquered Countries. (Evidently, I'm the only one who reviewed that one on LT.) And, yes, it does have a future Cambodia in it.

feb. 14, 2015, 11:59am

>119 artturnerjr: You're welcome.

>120 RandyStafford: Hmm, I have a copy and should get around to reading the stories I haven't read yet.

feb. 14, 2015, 6:32pm

I checked out a DVD of the John Carter film at my local public library this afternoon. Should be interesting to see how it holds up now that I am immersed in the Barsoom series; the last time I saw it (when it was in theaters back in 2012), I hadn't read any of the books in years.

maig 20, 2015, 10:36pm

Well, I'm happy to report that I officially hit the halfway mark (the middle of The Master Mind of Mars, the middle book of the series) on ERB's Barsoom series last night. What can I say? In spite of some down spots (Thuvia, Maid of Mars, anyone?) it's been a fun ride so far. I slightly regret not spacing them out a little more, as they get a bit samey after a while, but I'm glad I've gotten as far as I have.

maig 20, 2015, 11:03pm

>123 artturnerjr: Congratulations! I really have to read that full series some day. I've only made it through the first three.

maig 21, 2015, 10:32am

>124 RandyStafford:

Thanks! Yeah, that was as far as I'd ever gotten pre-2015, too. Here's hoping I can finish the whole thing this year.

maig 31, 2015, 9:48pm

A Burroughs pastiche I stumbled upon at Amazon:


set. 30, 2016, 10:41pm

I've just posted my review of When the Green Star Calls. I think I'll be reading some more S&P during the autumn.

Editat: oct. 1, 2016, 1:49pm

I chuckled at the John Jones vacationer on Mars synopsis. I even remember (though neither the title nor author, alas) a straight SF book/story in which one astronaut on Mars tells the other to bring him back a princess á la Edgar Rice Burroughs.

oct. 1, 2016, 1:25pm

Yes! I still have my entire set of Frank Frazetta dust-jacketed John Carter books. I had to point out the homage to A Princess of Mars in the cover of "Excalibur" vol. 1 #15 to the Uncanny X-Men site. Sadly, they hadn't recognized it. http://uncannyxmen.net/comics/issue/excalibur-1st-series-16

Yes, I have the pb ERBs with Frazetta covers, too. My dad was a big ERB fan. After he saw me watching classic "Star Trek" when I was 12, he came home with a little paper lunch sack in his hand and a big smile on his face. He said if I liked that show, I was going to love this, as he pulled out the Ballantine pb of The Warlord of Mars. He was so right. My little brother came to love them when he was old enough. Our little sister? Nah.

(I'm going to be 62 this month so we are talking first airings of those episodes and the then-current ERB editions.)

Editat: oct. 1, 2016, 1:50pm

I vaguely remember the Dell John Carter comics. They weren't that bad, but I didn't care that much for the art.

oct. 1, 2016, 1:37pm

I've had The Coming of the Terrans most of my life, but didn't get The Ginger Star and Eric John Stark: Outlaw of Mars until I found them at the Friends of the Library's monthly 1/2 price sale in August. Should I wait until I get all of the Stark books to read them?

Editat: oct. 1, 2016, 1:51pm

Ewwwwwwwwwww! From the title (High Couch, etc.) I expected a spoof. Thanks for the warning! My childhood sexual abuse fell short of rape, thank God, but I still have no interest in reading rape fantasies.

oct. 1, 2016, 1:46pm

When the Green Star books were new, I just enjoyed them. Later on, recalling that little knife the women carry so they can kill themselves rather than be raped, I wanted them to be taught to kill/maim/castrate the would-be rapist instead.

oct. 1, 2016, 1:47pm

Ha! indeed.

oct. 1, 2016, 6:40pm

>128 JalenV:

Hey there, Jalen! Just wanted to make sure you were aware that you can automatically generate a link to an earlier message in the thread by typing the > (greater than) symbol followed immediately by the message number (i.e., with no space in between). That makes it much easier for the person whom you're replying to tell that you are speaking in response to that particular message.

>129 JalenV:

I had to point out the homage to A Princess of Mars in the cover of "Excalibur" vol. 1 #15 to the Uncanny X-Men site. Sadly, they hadn't recognized it. http://uncannyxmen.net/comics/issue/excalibur-1st-series-16

Neat! Excalibur scribe Chris Claremont did an 11-issue run on Marvel's John Carter, Warlord of Mars comic, so that totally doesn't surprise me. :)

des. 25, 2017, 4:19pm

I've recently read and reviewed By the Light of the Green Star, and since last year I've also read and reviewed Diadem from the Stars, My Lord Barbarian, and Quest for the White Witch.

Editat: set. 28, 2020, 5:37pm

I've just finished reading what is evidently the only sword and planet work of Robert E. Howard, and posted my review. I now see that it appeared in the first post of this thread.

I guess I can see why readers might try to blame Almuric on Kline, to exonerate Howard.

set. 29, 2020, 8:56pm

>137 paradoxosalpha:

Or it could be that REH's heart just wasn't in it. I have a copy, but I've never had the urge to read it. Might have read some or all of the adaptation in Marvel's Epic mag, but even that doesn't really ring a bell beyond a few panels.