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Engineer Al's Sci-Fi Library: Lin Carter

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03 Mar 2015 21:16 #198775 by engineer Al

Engineer Al shares his love of sci-fi literature.

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04 Mar 2015 11:57 #198776 by SuperflyPete
You say "tainted with LSD", and I'm thinking "out there, like Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said". Is this right, or is it just 70's counterculture type shit?

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04 Mar 2015 15:36 #198792 by engineer Al

SuperflyTNT wrote: You say "tainted with LSD", and I'm thinking "out there, like Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said". Is this right, or is it just 70's counterculture type shit?


No, no, nothing like that. PKD had a way of bending your mind with his words. He could do that because he was a fantastic writer and had a remarkable facility with language. Carter depends more on bringing absurd images into what is really just an adventure story. I don't think "counterculture" was his intention, more like he was giving the people what he thought they wanted.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SuperflyPete

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04 Mar 2015 18:27 #198809 by trif
I had a couple of the DAW SF Gondwane books = The ___ of World's End series, and may be one of the Thongor novels. He was enjoyable for what he did and is probably due for a rediscovery, especially by Hollywood. Ah, if only "John Carter" hadn't been a massive flop, Lin Carter's back catalogue would be strip-mined.

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04 Mar 2015 18:32 #198810 by trif
I'd forgotten that Carter had written a biography of Lovecraft that was my introduction to his work. So he was one of the most important writers of my youth.

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04 Mar 2015 21:31 #198816 by engineer Al

trif wrote: I had a couple of the DAW SF Gondwane books = The ___ of World's End series, and may be one of the Thongor novels. He was enjoyable for what he did and is probably due for a rediscovery, especially by Hollywood. Ah, if only "John Carter" hadn't been a massive flop, Lin Carter's back catalogue would be strip-mined.


Damn, I forgot about the "Worlds End" stuff. Not on my bookshelf anymore because they were all destroyed in the fire we had a couple of years ago. In those books Carter seems to be chanelling some Jack Vance "Dying Earth" stuff, and I remember enjoying them immensly. I have never read any of the "Thongor" books.

You are absolutely right that many of Carter's books could easily be made into interesting movies. Boy, THAT would be a trip!

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06 Mar 2015 09:57 - 06 Mar 2015 10:07 #198946 by SuperflyPete
With a middle name like Vrooman, you know the guy was doing massive amounts of drugs. It's not so much a middle name as a description LMAO

I've been reading about him this morning and it appears that he didn't just do a biography, he made a great many stories that use his mythos. There's a collection:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Xothic_Legend_...iction_of_Lin_Carter

Goodreads rates it a 3.6/5 with the one review stating...


Oct 22, 2014Christopher Sutch rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
While there are some entertaining Mythos tales in this collection, a little Lin Carter goes a long way (which is to say that I appreciate Carter's skills as an editor a bit more than I do his skills as a writer). Part of my problem with Carter's ideas is the sheer overkill he inflicts on Lovecraft's (and Derleth's) original ideas, the overwhelming need Carter felt to systematize everything so that all the contradictions would be reconciled (even when it was those very contradictions that have made the Mythos such a fertile ground for writers' creativity for generations). Robert Price's editorial comments, like other books in this series, are insightful, and the final tale (by Price), a pastiche of Carter's take on Lovecraft, is both a funny and fitting tribute to Carter's work. (less)


I'm not sure I'd like to read this, but I have this thing about Lovecraft...anyone who wrote after him is just really making FanFic. Not necessarily bad, but still not from the horse's mouth, so to speak. I make exceptions to this, such as REHoward's Black Stone, and Cairn, but not many. It's just too hard to replicate the writing style and anything else is just kind of not worth reading, in my opinion.

I'm really interested in the Thongor stuff, though. Might pick one up when my Amazon points re-up. Right now the only thing I've got earmarked for that is the Wool series. There's an Omnibus (1-5) that's like 20$ and I'm thinking that's going to be my next journey into a paper world.
Last edit: 06 Mar 2015 10:07 by SuperflyPete.

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06 Mar 2015 22:59 #199007 by engineer Al
Hilarious. I completely agree with you about that ridiculous middle name. I had pretty much the same thought. I also agree with you about the Lovecraftian stuff. As I stated before I never read Carter's Conan stories and it is for pretty much the exact same reason. I'm interested in why you are choosing the Thongor books as a place to start. Is it because they were his first books? I have the first novel in the series on my bookshelf, but none of the others. I would love a good reason to go book hunting!

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07 Mar 2015 13:32 #199020 by SuperflyPete
Primarily because its his earliest works, and I find that those are the most original thoughts, untainted by being successful. Seems to me that the earliest are generally the best, and really let the writer's voice ring truest.

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