Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brak the Barbarian and Other Things to Come

I've need to start planning a little better beforehand what I'm going to review at Black Gate for some time now. There've been a few weeks where I didn't pick something until the Thursday before. First, it means I avoid longer books, and secondly, whatever the length, I still have to rush through it faster than I'd like.

So, next Tuesday - John Jake's first volume of unabashed REH inspired tales of Brak the Barbarian, called Brak the Barbarian. I've read part of it and it's not that bad. In fact some of it's pretty alright.

After that I'm going to go back to Andre Norton's Witch World series with Sorceress of the Witch World, finishing the trilogy started in Three Against Witch World and continued in Warlock of the Witch World (both reviewed in Black Gate). I'm looking forward to how she ties the trilogy together.


Then it's back to P. C. Hodgell's Kencyrath Cycle and the third volume, Seeker's Mask. Again I reviewed the earlier books,  God Stalk and Dark of the Moon over at Black Gate. I've read this one before and I can tell you it's a great gothic mystery (with ensorcelled chickens and wandering towers).


Finally, I'm going to review the coected Thongor books of too many people's favorite punching bag; Lin Carter. I'll be doing it in two parts: first, Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria, Thongor and the Dragon City, and Thongor Against the Gods, second, Thongor in the City of Magicians, Thongor at the End of Time, and Thongor Fights the Pirates of Tarakus.


John O'Neil's piece on fan fiction last week over at Black Gate inspired me to revisit one of the possible progenitors of stuff, I've written before, as John very kindly mentions, that Lin Carter was essentially a fan fiction writer who managed to get published. Most of his books are pastiches of his favorites. That means lots of ERB, Leigh Brackett, Lester Dent, and of course, REH and HPL imitations.



Four years ago I reviewed Thongor and the Wizard of LemuriaIt was harsh, and while the book warrants harsh, but a little too flippant. . I've grown a little softer on Carter in the ensuing years. I really dug Young Thongor and Kellory the Warlock's a solid middle-of-the-road book. So I'm going back to it.


I'm also readng a bunch of other stuff, mostly in conjunction with the reading days going on at Howard Andrew Jones' site. That means some hardboiled crime stories for Mondays and Lord Dunsany for Firdays.

So far it's been a lot of fun. I haven't read a lot of crime fiction lately and Jones has put a lot of stuff I have never heard on my radar. I've never read more than a few Dunsany stories at all so this has been a great chance to read them and read some interesting commentary.

So that's what going. Fun reading times ahead!



13 comments:

  1. Just picked up Jirel of Joiry. Can't wait to dive in.

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    1. You will not be disappointed. One of my earliest reviews here was of the Joiry story Hellsgarde. Good stuff

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  2. Troy - good choice.

    Fletcher, you're right about planning ahead. My Black Gate posts aren't regularly scheduled, but the ones I do for Amazing Stories are. Fortunately, they aren't always reviews, which is good because I need to have something for Monday...

    I've not read Brak, but I think I have the first volume. I have several installments. I'll check when I get home. If I have it, I'll try to read at least some of it by the time your post goes live.

    The noir list Howard posted is quite impressive. I'm not familiar with all of the authors on it. Keeping up with it is a bit of a challenge time-wise, but fun.

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  3. I need to get back to reading some good old-fashioned Sword & Sorcery fiction again. I spend too much of my reading time these days either reading non-fiction for research purposes, or doing beta-reading for other authors. It's been a long time since I read what I wanted to for fun.

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    1. It's funny, but by locking myself into read-review on a weekly basis I haven't been able to read outside of heroic fiction too much until recently. That's when I finally developed a nice rhythm that's given me some breathing room. I actually want to read more non-fiction.

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  4. Some people complain about Brak as being paltry Conan but I really don't care. I admire Jakes for doing what he did unabashedly and he was always honest about it.

    There is a nice video interview of him over at Open Road Media where he discusses Brak. I tried to post earlier, but it failed. In case the URL was the reason for the fail, I'm not including it but you should be able to find it if you are interested.

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    1. Amen. He never claimed to be writing more than stories he thought would be fun. Thanks for the video link, I'll check that out tonite.

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  5. Trying again. This is the main portal. See the "Brak" video specifically.

    http://www.openroadmedia.com/john-jakes

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  6. The books about Brak are good sword and sorcery.
    I would like to read the books about Thongor, because i'm interested of Lemuria.

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  7. I had a hard time making it through the first Thongor and didn't get through the second, though I tried. But I do think that Lin Carter gets a bad rap. And I DID enjoy the Thongor short stories, which were among the best Carter I read. Maybe I'll try out Thongor again myself.

    I think my favorite books of his, apart from Kellory and his best book, Lost World of Time, were the Burroughs rip-off Callisto books. They're the best Burroughs pastiche I've read.

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    1. I've always heard good things about the Callisto books and i think I've got them tucked away somewhere - so maybe, some day. I should track down Lost World.

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  8. I never tried the Zanthodon books. I still have those on a shelf. If there as much fun as Callisto, they could be worth a read.

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  9. Tko god danas čita ovo svjedočanstvo, trebao bi slaviti sa mnom i mojom obitelji, jer je sve počelo kao šala za neke ljude, a drugi su rekli da je to nemoguće. Moje ime je Božo Šime i ja sam iz Zagreba, ali se sa suprugom selim u SAD. Sretno sam oženjen s dvoje djece i lijepom ženom. Nešto strašno se dogodilo mojoj obitelji, kada sam izgubio posao i moja žena je napustila moju kuću jer nisam mogla dobro voditi brigu o sebi i potrebama obitelji. od nje i moje djece u tom određenom trenutku. Uspjela sam devet godina, bez žene koja bi me podržavala da se dobro brinem o djeci. pokušavam poslati test poruku svojoj supruzi, ali ona me blokira od razgovora s njom i pokušavam razgovarati s njenom prijateljicom i članovima njezine obitelji, ali još uvijek znam da mi netko može pomoći, a ja sam kasnije podnio prijavu tako mnogo tvrtki, ali ipak su to učinili ne zovi me, dok ne dođe vjerni dan koji nikada neću zaboraviti u svom životu. Kad sam sreo jednog starog prijatelja kojeg sam objasnio svim svojim poteškoćama i rekao mi o velikom čovjeku koji mu pomaže da dobije dobar posao u coca cola tvrtka, a on mi je rekao da je njegova čarolija, ali ja sam osoba koja nikada ne vjeruje u čarolija čarolija, ali sam odlučio da ga pokušati i Drigbinovia me uputio i pokazao mi što učiniti u ovih sedam dana ručak čaroliju. Pratim sve upute i radim ono što me je zamolio da učinim dobro. Drigbinovia se pobrinuo da je sve prošlo dobro i moja supruga bi me opet vidjela nakon što je Drigbonovia izvrstan posao. Moja me žena nazvala s nepoznatim brojem i ispričala se i rekla mi da joj stvarno nedostajem ja i naša djeca i moja žena se vraćaju kući. I nakon dva dana Tvrtka koju sam poslala u svoje pismo za priznanje, sada sam menadžer tvrtka u SAD-u. Savjetujem vam ako imate bilo kakvih problema pošaljite poruku na ovu e-poštu: doctorigbinovia93@gmail.com ili WhatsApp on na +2348144480786 i dobit ćete najbolji rezultat. Uzmi stvari zdravo za gotovo i to će ti biti oduzeto. Želim vam najbolje.

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