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Classic SF&F Classic science-fiction authors and books, from the Golden Age to the 1970's.

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Old 18th April 2008, 03:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Some classic S&S ??

Hi there.

I'm a fan of S&S but these following series (except for Carter) I'm not familiar with. Anyone care to comment?...

Imaro
*****
This series is being put out by Nightshade book and was first begun in 1975. It's called Imaro by Charles Saunders and is based on Howard's Conan but featues instead a black african as the main hero.


Death Dealer
**********
Sword and Sorcery series by legendary artist Frank Frazetta.


Thongor
*****

Thongor and the Wizard Of Lemuria beginning of a 6 book series - Lin Carter

** I'll add more about these later...
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Old 18th April 2008, 04:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

"Classic" may be going too far in this case... at least, with the possible exception of Imaro (which I've not read since it was first published, and even then only the first of the set). I'm sorry; Lin was a wonderful man in a lot of ways, and could sometimes write some very good things... but on the whole he was an awful writer -- derivative, hackneyed, and extremely slipshod. (This is not to say I don't occasionally get in the mood for his work, and that I don't enjoy some of it -- I do; but that's a different thing en-tirely!) The Frazetta -- that's not actually written by Frazetta, though, is it? It's based upon his painting (which is one I quite like -- very moody), but written by Joshua Ortega, Nat Jones, and Jay Fotos... no? At any rate, I'm rather skeptical about this one, I must admit... but that could just be me....

Incidentally... wasn't Imaro at least as influenced by ERB's Tarzan as Howard's Conan? That was my impression, at any rate....
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Old 18th April 2008, 05:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

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Originally Posted by j. d. worthington View Post
Incidentally... wasn't Imaro at least as influenced by ERB's Tarzan as Howard's Conan? That was my impression, at any rate....
Don't know, just read that from a blurb of the book & you're right about Frazetta being the inspiration for Death Dealer.

Sounds as if Imaro then is worth looking at. I'll check out the copies from Nightshade next...
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Old 18th April 2008, 06:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

I've read one of the Thongor books -- Thongor of Lemuria -- a long, long time ago, and would have to agree with jd's comments regarding Lin Carter... which is why I never read any more.

Actually, I'm not even convinced I finished that one.
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Old 18th April 2008, 08:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

Gollum let me know what you think about Imaro.

An african hero and a series based ERB or REH is more than enough to be interested.
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Old 18th April 2008, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

I like Lin Carter's Callisto series. They're a complete rip-off of ERB's Barsoom series, but entertaining ones. I've also read one of his Mysteries of Mars series, Down to a Sunless Sea, and that was pretty poor.
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Old 18th April 2008, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

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I've read one of the Thongor books -- Thongor of Lemuria -- a long, long time ago, and would have to agree with jd's comments regarding Lin Carter... which is why I never read any more.
Seconded. If the word "derivative" hadn't existed, they'd have had to invent it for the Thongor series....
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Old 18th April 2008, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

That's the problem with nearly all of Carter's work, Pyan: it's all derivative. (Well, that... and he could often be a simply atrocious writer.)

On the other hand, as an editor, Carter was quite often very good; his knowledge of the fantasy field was considerable, and his love for the field immense. As an editor, he brought all that enthusiasm to what he did, and that was often very infectious. It was also frequently that infectious enthusiasm that made a fair amount of his fiction fun... but (to quote the old man in HPL's "Picture in the House") "'twan't quite satisfyin'...."
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Old 18th April 2008, 10:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

Funnily enough, his book on the background to The Lord of the Rings has just arrived at the top of my "to-be-read" pile.....Spooky, or what....

Take a photo - current book, next 5 books
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Old 18th April 2008, 10:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

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Funnily enough, his book on the background to The Lord of the Rings has just arrived at the top of my "to-be-read" pile.....Spooky, or what....

Take a photo - current book, next 5 books
Ummm, Pyan... are you referring to his Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings? If so... that's a very wonky little book. A huge chunk of it is taken up with Carter's synopses of the Hobbit and the three volumes of LotR (synopses which are not always entirely accurate, by the way), as well as looking at the book in context. I've never found it a particularly good book on either Tolkien or the novel, but it does have some interest in going through thosse who (probably, in Carter's view) influenced Tolkien as well as those he influenced in turn (up to the time of writing). It also has a rather nice bibliography for those who aren't aware of the rich history of the fantasy field. In all, a seriously flawed book, but a fast and fairly enjoyable read -- and it may have a thing or two to provide a pleasant surprise along the way....
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Old 18th April 2008, 10:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

Yes, I remember you posting a gentle warning somewhere before, jd...but it turned up in a charity shop I was in, and I couldn't pass up the chance to add it to my collection of literary Tolkienabilia...
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Old 18th April 2008, 11:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

And there was a similar 6 book series to Thongar, which was the Gondwana Epic starting(1969) with the Giant of Worlds End & ending with Pirate of World's End (1978).

But one of my favorite LC novels was The Wizard of Zao(1978)
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Old 19th April 2008, 04:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

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And there was a similar 6 book series to Thongar, which was the Gondwana Epic starting(1969) with the Giant of Worlds End & ending with Pirate of World's End (1978).
The actual chronological ordering of that series is:

The Warrior of World's End (1974)
The Enchantress of World's End (1975)
The Immortal of World's End (1976)
The Barbarian of World's End (1977)
The Pirate of World's End (1978)
Giant of World's End (1969)

I recall these being a bit more enjoyable than a lot of Carter's work -- though that's going on a memory 30 years or so old... meaning I was about 20 at the time the last book (Pirate) was published. IIRC, The Enchantress got a good deal grimmer than I was used to from Carter, and had a bit more "punch" because of that.

At any rate, fun books, but by no means great fantasy....
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Old 22nd April 2008, 11:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

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Originally Posted by GOLLUM View Post
Imaro
*****
This series is being put out by Nightshade book and was first begun in 1975. It's called Imaro by Charles Saunders and is based on Howard's Conan but featues instead a black african as the main hero.
I wouldn't say it's based on Conan; in fact Saunders has repeatedly tried to avoid any simplistic "black Conan" or "black Tarzan" analogy. See here for the reason why.

Regarding the books themselves, while Saunders was obviously influenced by Howard, he was also as much influenced by East African myth and folklore, to the point of actually using Swahili terms for many of the peoples, weapons, beasts and so on. He goes a little overboard, IMO, but it helps to give the world a richer feel. More successfully, he manages to mix and match many real life African cultures into a cohesive whole. There are echoes of the Hyborian Age, but an authentic rather than pastiche one.

Incidentally, the Nightshade edition, which is the one I've got, differs considerably from the original printing, even going so far as to excise an entire story and replacing it with a new. Also be aware that Nightshade have no more plans to publish the rest of the series after 2, though I believe they will be available as print-on-demand.

Last edited by nomadman; 22nd April 2008 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 22nd April 2008, 11:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Some classic S&S ??

On the subject of Carter, I must confess I'm somewhat baffled as to how such a well-read man can write such staggeringly derivative work. I'm starting to think that excessive erudition is actually counter-productive to penning original tales. Perhaps some degree of ignorance is required?
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