Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lin Vrooman Carter

Lin Carter seems to have been in the air with a little more frequency than usual lately. From my review of Kellory the Warlock at Black Gate today, to John C. Wright's piece about James Stoddart on Carter, to 
Raphael Ordoñez's ongoing examination of Imaginary Worlds, Carter's getting a lot of attention these days.

The thing is, except for my review, it's mostly about his editing, not his writing. I get it. I've only dipped a small toe into Carter's writing on a few occasions and most times it's come out all mucky. 

The Xothic Legend Cycle, LC's Lovecraft pastiches can be tough going. Too many read like a Mythos-checklist and lack atmosphere and suspense. The Thongor novels I've read are terrible. But I keep wanting to read more and it's not a case of returning to look at an accident. There's something fun and almost naive about his eagerness to recreate the books he loved reading the most. 

Last year, Charles R. Rutledge recommended Kellory, and I'm grateful for that. It's such a quick read that the flaws don't have enough time to weigh it down. It also isn't a slavish imitation of some other writer. It struck me the same way the recent collection, Young Thongor, did; Carter could write much much better than he did a lot of the time. Maybe if his output was less and he took more time more of his books would have had the quality of these two. But then, maybe Lin Carter wouldn't have had as much fun writing.

Meanwhile, because I've be distracted by reading books for current reviews, I'm still haven't finished Carole McDonnell's wonderfully strange The Constant Tower and Harold Lamb's exciting Swords from the West. The latter makes me wish I had time to play Devil's Horsemen from GMT. 

Not much music this past week, just a little old AC/DC with Bon Scott. I don't dislike Brian Johnson, I just really prefer Scott and the older pre-Mutt Lange sound.

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