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Literary Inspirations » Old School fantasy lit, Appendix-N related » 11/30/2018 11:40 pm

Replies: 15

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Druvas wrote:

I finally finished the Kane stuff and was pleased with it.  It was hard going at first.  I think I was taken aback by the description of some blacks, but I put it in context and rolled with it.  Upon further reflection, I'm not sure that he was being overtly racist so much as 'evolutionist' (does that make sense?).

I know what you mean.  I first started reading Howard, Burroughs, E. E. "Doc" Smith, Lovecraft, etc. about fifth and sixth grade (1967-1969) and from there started gobbling up anthing "fantasy" and "science fiction" and have yet to stop.  I still love that old stuff even though what I mostly read now is the modern stuff.  I'm afraid that too many modern readers might feel that they are too "sophisticated" to read the old pulpy classics.

Beyond that, I'm not sure that love for these old classics will be passed on down to the next generation, particularly because of the way non-white races were referred to and portrayed.  I can enjoy the old stuff because I can read them and accept them for what they were and not judge them by the standards of the world 80 years in their future.  But then again, I was only about 30 - 45 years removed from their creation when I first read them so I cannot relate to what a new reader removed 80 years from their creation might think of them upon a first reading.

Are any of you aware that when Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. prepared the Tarzan series for paperback release in the early 1960 that they "cleaned up" the text and removed a LOT of offensive racial portrayals and dialog.  That version of the texts have been standard now for about 55 years and even most devoted Burroughs fans don't know that what they're reading isn't the fully original texts.  If you read some of the original pre-World War I text and are unprepared for it, you'll be shocked.  But if you know the world as it was back then, you'll see that Burroughs isn't any worse than anyone else and, in fact, actually portrays so

Literary Inspirations » Lin Carter » 11/30/2018 11:11 pm

Replies: 17

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Ghul wrote:

I could see how it could get lumped in with sci-fi. It's pretty much fantasy, but it has a lot of those "lost alien technology" elements that I enjoy. The Thongor book I have has a cover that features a sort of dragon chasing a spaceship, so it looks sci-fi. Actually, the ship on the cover doesn't look like the ship as described in the book, but it's still a decent concept. I read some of Carter's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" pastiche, and I enjoyed imore than Thongor, who seems to exemplify the big, dumb barbarian stereotype that Conan often gets lumped into, mostly due to Ahhh-nold. 

You have to realize that at the time the first few Thongor books appeared (late 1960s):
a) Fantasy as a genre hadn't really come into being fully -- it was always lumped in with science fiction, and
b) Because of the absolutely MASSIVE success of Tolkien, every publisher was scrambling to publish anything that could be considered "fantasy".

Thanks to that, we ended up with everything Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard ever wrote, a magnificent Ballantine Adult Fantasy line, a massive amount of Lovecraft and C. A. Smith, a BUNCH of great old stories from the pulps printed in anthologies that otherwise would have been lost, a BUNCH of new writers that we have now enjoyed for years, and two more things:

1.  The converting to "the cause" of fantasy ("sword & sorcery", "high fantasy", "sword & planet", whatever) many, many new young fans, and
2.  Unwittingly laying the groundwork for the entire Fantasy Role Playing Game genre.  No fantasy boom in publishing, no role playing games.

While Lin Carter's fiction is probably below average, it can be enjoyable and be a good source for ideas.  I have a lot and have never regretted buying it, reading it (some more than once), and collecting it.(Thongor, The Green Star, Jandar of Callisto, etc.).  There certainly was much worse being published at that time.

Give him a chance, just don't take his fiction t

Literary Inspirations » Robert E. Howard » 11/30/2018 10:28 pm

Replies: 45

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I've read Howard extensively.  The posters on this thread have mentioned a lot of good stories, but there's one character that is missing . . .

Try to find a copy of A Gent from Bear Creek and it's sequels and read about Breckenridge Elkins.  If you don't actually laugh out loud and gasp for breath there is something missing in your makeup.

How can one man write the Conan and Solomon Kane stories and the Elkins stories, both done very well?  What a talent!


Maps » Foolsgrave (development, spoilers) » 11/26/2018 9:25 pm

Replies: 104

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Oh my God!  No updates for this fantastic dungeon in over a year and a half??  Seriously??

I'm no longer an active gamer (live in the country, no players available, maybe this will change when I retire).  I'm 62 and besides being very interested in megadungeons, I am also very interested in old pulp fiction.  A lot of these stories were collected in book form in the late '60s and early '70s, right when I was really getting into fiction (11 to 15 yrs old).  I've read all of Howard and Burroughs and most of Lovecraft, Smith, Merritt, Vance, Carter, Kuttner, Moore, Tolkien, etc., etc.  Appendix N held little surprises for me when the DMG came out my senior year in college.  By the time we were playing OD&D at the end of my sophomore year in college, my literary tastes had improved, but I never left my love of the pulps behind.

Jumping ahead 40-50 yrs, I now like to browse the net, reading blogs and buying some products that I find interesting.  Rappan Athuk, Barrowmaze, Stonehell, Dwimmermount, etc., etc.  I like to look for products for Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord because I'm still an OD&D, AD&D (both 1st & 2nd Ed.) kind of guy.  Never made the transition to 3rd edition or d20 or Pathfinder or 4th edition, etc.

So two days ago I once again put "megadungeon" into the slot on Google to see what would float to the top.  There were a few new finds where people were listing out their opinions on megadungeons and on one post Grodog posted quite a list of what he had played, what he had run and some that he wasn't sure of yet.  (I've read a lot of posts by Grodog and read a lot of his blog posts as well and I have a very high degree of respect for his opinions.)  So when he listed "Foolsgrave", which I had never heard mentioned before, I took notice.

A short Google search later and here I am.

This thread is a wonderful thread!   A love of maps led me to D&D in the first place way back when, so by the time I got thru the first page of posts on this

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