The Blogger at the Gates of Blog

My latest entry at the Black Gate group blog is up here. It was going to be a double review of REH’s Almuric and Otis Adelbert Kline’s The Swordsman of Mars, both of which I read recently in the handsome trade paperbacks from Planet Stories Library, along with some ruminations about sword-and-planet in particular and genre in general. But it got to be too long, so I’m chopping it into installments.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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18 Responses to The Blogger at the Gates of Blog

  1. scbutler says:

    Don’t know why, but as much as I love ERB, I’m meh about REH. But I’d never heard of Almuric before. May have to go read for comparison.

    • JE says:

      Well–I don’t know if Almuric is the work to make an REH fan out of anyone. Some of his staunchest advocates try to blame it on someone else. But it has its own peculiar interest.

  2. lemuriapress says:

    Hey, thanks for the review! Planet Stories is still a fledgling enterprise, and needs all the help it can get.

    That enormous bribe you mentioned is in the mail!

    I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about Otis Adelbert Kline. The book is getting a far better reception than I frankly expected.

  3. marycatelli says:

    actually. . . .

    While John Carter did sometimes take up the sword again, sometimes he let other heroes take the limelight. (Tarzan, now Tarzan never knew when to step back.)

    Which is good, because as paper-thin as the romances are, they are even less convincing when he’s trying to tell us that his hero and heroine have been married for years and have grown children.

    • scbutler says:

      Re: actually. . . .

      Didn’t Boy get his own book once?

      • lemuriapress says:

        Re: actually. . . .

        And the Tarzan Twins as well!

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: actually. . . .

        Jack. Believe it or not, that was fourth or fifth out of twentysome books. Get the “Son Of” out of the way early and get down to business, I guess.

        –Jeff Stehman

        • JE says:

          Re: actually. . . .

          I read somewhere ERB was going to make Korak the new focus of the series, but people weren’t buying so he went back to the old favorite. I forget where I saw that, exactly–maybe the Lupoff book on ERB.

          • marycatelli says:

            Re: actually. . . .

            That sounds plausible.

            Of course, he managed to switch main characters for both Mars and Pellucidar, so I suspect that it may have been Korak’s fault.

    • JE says:

      Re: actually. . . .

      “While John Carter did sometimes take up the sword again, sometimes he let other heroes take the limelight.”

      Yes–as a matter of fact, I think my favorite one in the series is Master Mind of Mars where the hero is Ulysses Paxton. But he still recapitulates the John Carter pattern. (Except he can’t be as Jeddaky as the Jeddak of Jeddaks–no one could be.)

      [edited to add context]

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: actually. . . .

        I remember laughing manically (fortunately I wasn’t sick) while reading about the second greatest swordsman on Mars (after John Carter) chasing after the second most beautiful woman on Mars (after Dejah Thoris). And wasn’t there a third-greatest/third-most one in there too?

        Burroughs is primarily responsible for me writing a spoof on kidnapped princesses.

      • marycatelli says:

        Re: actually. . . .

        Couldn’t be? That’s a virtue actually.

  4. Anonymous says:

    James, I’m on the tail end of being sick, and hard laughter still results in a hard cough. Since I’m not like to stop reading you, would you be so kind as to stop writing for a while?

    (It’s a good thing the next Black Gate isn’t imminent. Morlock might be my death.)

    –Jeff Stehman

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