LOGOmasthead2021

Being the Official Discussion Forum for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea


Visit us at the HYPERBOREA web site! Also check out HYPERBOREA 3E now available for pre-order!


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

1/14/2021 8:40 pm  #1


John Carter of Mars

Well, I finally read some of the John Carter novels after getting the first 5 in an omnibus edition for Christmas.  Much like Jack Vance, I'm glad I read them, but I doubt I'll read any more or even re-read these ones.  Plenty of action, I guess, but not much character development and the stories tended to be pretty repetitive.  Actually they remind me of Vin Diesel movies.  Buddy action pieces pretty much designed to go from chase scene to capture to chase scene to fight, then repeat, with a smattering of romance that reads like it was written by a teenager.  But hey, at least I can say I read them.


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
 

1/17/2021 11:40 am  #2


Re: John Carter of Mars

Spider of Leng wrote:

Well, I finally read some of the John Carter novels after getting the first 5 in an omnibus edition for Christmas.  Much like Jack Vance, I'm glad I read them, but I doubt I'll read any more or even re-read these ones.  Plenty of action, I guess, but not much character development and the stories tended to be pretty repetitive.  Actually they remind me of Vin Diesel movies.  Buddy action pieces pretty much designed to go from chase scene to capture to chase scene to fight, then repeat, with a smattering of romance that reads like it was written by a teenager.  But hey, at least I can say I read them.

Oddly, I love these novels for the very reasons you state! I think you summed up the Planetary Romance genre pretty well. Lots of action, fighting, chasing, and such.  I appreciate the thriftiness of language that tells a tale of action, romance, violence, cruelty, and loyalty! I get from the tales just the right amount of "character development" to set my mind to the task of enjoying a couple hours of escape from the mundane. I would say that "Mars" has influence my gaming over the years and for the better I think!

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot.

 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/17/2021 3:28 pm  #3


Re: John Carter of Mars

mabon5127 wrote:

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot.

I'm hopeful, too! Still have my half-blood Pict Runegraver ready to go...
 


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

1/17/2021 5:07 pm  #4


Re: John Carter of Mars

rhialto wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot.

I'm hopeful, too! Still have my half-blood Pict Runegraver ready to go...
 

Nice!


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/19/2021 11:12 am  #5


Re: John Carter of Mars

mabon5127 wrote:

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot. 

I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure. 
 

 

1/19/2021 11:44 am  #6


Re: John Carter of Mars

Spider of Leng wrote:

Well, I finally read some of the John Carter novels after getting the first 5 in an omnibus edition for Christmas.  Much like Jack Vance, I'm glad I read them, but I doubt I'll read any more or even re-read these ones.  Plenty of action, I guess, but not much character development and the stories tended to be pretty repetitive.  Actually they remind me of Vin Diesel movies.  Buddy action pieces pretty much designed to go from chase scene to capture to chase scene to fight, then repeat, with a smattering of romance that reads like it was written by a teenager.  But hey, at least I can say I read them.

It’s interesting how you likewise  bring up Vance in this breath. I read a half dozen tales in The Dying Earth before, really, having enough. I point to the general  amorality of all the characters as the cause for my ultimate dissatisfaction. The fantastic marvels in the worldbuilding just weren’t enough to keep me interested.

I initially thought I was going to give up on ERB, too, but, incomprehensibly, I keep reading him! Perhaps the awful plots and ridiculous coincidences are mitigated, for me, because the heroes *are* traditional heroes and the villains are villainous. I guess I’m old fashioned.

Similarly, I gave up on Zelazny’s highly regarded Amber novels because the characters were reprehensible and utterly politically motivated. But I’m going to try again. Recently I obtained I nice used copy of the omnibus Book of Amber.

Just so I don’t come across as an utter whiner, some writers I absolutely adore are REH, CAS, William Hope Hodgson, William Morris, Fritz Leiber, Gene Wolfe, and Steven Erikson.

I’m also a huge Inklings reader. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are my first loves, but I recognize that their outputs are secondary to the purposes of this community.

Last edited by Eirvit (1/19/2021 11:46 am)


“Our own age is not one which can afford to call its ancestors savage.” 
― Poul AndersonThe Broken Sword
 

1/19/2021 2:39 pm  #7


Re: John Carter of Mars

Interesting; I too, tried and failed to get through the first Book of Amber way back in high school.  May try it again.  But it's also interesting how my opinions have changed on certain books & authors.  I loved Stephen R. Donaldson's books back in high school.  I tried re-reading a couple series recently and while I made myself finish both (First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant & Mordant's Need), I found both annoying because I dislike the protagonists so much.  But I still enjoy the original Conan stories.  The pastiches, which I enjoyed before, are generally lousy because they generally miss the point of the character and simply turn Conan into an SJW.

Vance & Burroughs just become repetitive for me and I don't get as pulled into the settings as I do by, say, Tolkien.  Even today, I love Tolkien though more recently I've been reading all the histories, Unfinished Tales and posthumous stuff as opposed to LOTR & The Hobbit.

I've also re-read some of the D&D & Warhammer fiction, which is generally pretty bad.  But I loved all that stuff as a teenager....


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
     Thread Starter
 

1/19/2021 2:58 pm  #8


Re: John Carter of Mars

“Vance & Burroughs just become repetitive for me and I don't get as pulled into the settings as I do by, say, Tolkien.  Even today, I love Tolkien though more recently I've been reading all the histories, Unfinished Tales and posthumous stuff as opposed to LOTR & The Hobbit.”

Me too! These days I’m more likely to be rereading The Silmarillion or continuing to work through the History than The Hobbit or LotR (though it all is fantastic). These days Tolkien gets blasted as “dry” or “boring” or “too descriptive,” and I’m of the mind that this is probably because he first should be regarded as Literature (such depths!), second as “fantasy entertainment.”

Yes, his imitators (or subversives) are lacking. As a kid, I felt alienated by Donaldson’s protagonist. I recently reread Lord Foul’s Bane and now understand why. Okay, we get it, you think it’s all a dream, but oh dear me it’s such a *persistent* dream. Don’t you think there should come a time (you plaintive whiner) when you should just give in and *enjoy* it (if not believe it, which you have every justification in doing)?

As far as D&D novels, I try, now and then, to keep reading the main Dragonlance line (as a kid, I completed Legends, of course, fell away from the Tales). I’m up through Dragons of Summer Flame (I’m trying to read, in order, everything that directly contains Weis’s fingerprints, so I recently started Kang’s Regiment). They’re still pretty all right. There’s vivacity and invention in the writing, but they’re still (apparently) directed at younger audiences.

I’ve become sort of academically interested in the gaming connection with Weis and Hickman’s work (though I also should read some Greyhawk novels sometime, and Feist) because of how crazy excellent Erikson (and, to a lesser degree, Esslemont) is and how those masterpieces grew out of gaming.


“Our own age is not one which can afford to call its ancestors savage.” 
― Poul AndersonThe Broken Sword
 

1/19/2021 4:53 pm  #9


Re: John Carter of Mars

The Greyhawk novels vary widely in quality, though I'd say none are great or even rise to the level of Weis, Hickman & Salvatore.  Some of the early Gygax novels are fun, but they get weaker and more ridiculous down the line.  The late 90s, early 2000s classic module tie-ins range from so-so (Against the Giants) to outrageously bad dumpster fires (Descent to the Depths of the Earth.)  I'm actually in the midst of the Dark Elf trilogy now, as I'm putting together an OSE Underdark Campaign to run over the summer (I hope).  It's high art compared to the aforementioned Depths.  I re-read the first Dragonlance Trilogy a couple years back.  It was okay, but I thought that it got weaker by the novel and the ending of the first trilogy was rather weak and abrupt after all the build-up.  I liked the Twins trilogy back in the day but I haven't re-read it.

I also read the first couple Shannara series last year after the books sat on my shelf for almost 30 years.  The first series is pretty much an inferior ripoff of LOTR where nearly every main character can be equated to one from Tolkien.  The second series was just okay; not particularly interesting or inspiring.  But at least I read the damn books after looking at them on the shelf for decades...


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
     Thread Starter
 

1/19/2021 8:16 pm  #10


Re: John Carter of Mars

Hmmm, well I think Vance is definitely an acquired taste, and it's a very different taste from Tolkien (I also appreciated the recent books his son published, and have half a mind to re-read the Silmarillion). The two authors really seem to have opposite ethoi, and with Vance some of the pleasure is the command of language and sly humor.


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

1/20/2021 8:55 am  #11


Re: John Carter of Mars

rhialto wrote:

Hmmm, well I think Vance is definitely an acquired taste, and it's a very different taste from Tolkien (I also appreciated the recent books his son published, and have half a mind to re-read the Silmarillion). The two authors really seem to have opposite ethoi, and with Vance some of the pleasure is the command of language and sly humor.

I don’t disagree with this at all! I hope it’s understood that the Spider of Leng and I merely were describing our reading preferences, not gatekeeping or establishing any kind of “literary hierarchy.”


“Our own age is not one which can afford to call its ancestors savage.” 
― Poul AndersonThe Broken Sword
 

1/20/2021 9:05 am  #12


Re: John Carter of Mars

tomas wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

Hopefully, once this current issue is past we can gather again with tomas for a one shot. 

I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure. 
 

Great!  I would love to begin playtesting the second section in person.
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/20/2021 9:06 am  #13


Re: John Carter of Mars

Eirvit wrote:

rhialto wrote:

Hmmm, well I think Vance is definitely an acquired taste, and it's a very different taste from Tolkien (I also appreciated the recent books his son published, and have half a mind to re-read the Silmarillion). The two authors really seem to have opposite ethoi, and with Vance some of the pleasure is the command of language and sly humor.

I don’t disagree with this at all! I hope it’s understood that the Spider of Leng and I merely were describing our reading preferences, not gatekeeping or establishing any kind of “literary hierarchy.”

Everyone's opinion is most welcome!
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/20/2021 1:03 pm  #14


Re: John Carter of Mars

Sadly; I'm not in Annapolis anymore but I'd be up for Skyping or Zooming in if you guys play again.  Incidentally, over the course of several adventures last summer and fall, our whole AS&SH party got killed.  So we've been playing other games the past few months. 


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
     Thread Starter
 

1/20/2021 5:07 pm  #15


Re: John Carter of Mars

One of the few good things to come out of last year is that I reconnected with my college buddies and we have been playing AD&D every Friday night via Zoom. It can get awkward with showing maps, but in general it works fairly well.

 

1/21/2021 7:34 am  #16


Re: John Carter of Mars

mabon5127 wrote:

Eirvit wrote:

rhialto wrote:

Hmmm, well I think Vance is definitely an acquired taste, and it's a very different taste from Tolkien (I also appreciated the recent books his son published, and have half a mind to re-read the Silmarillion). The two authors really seem to have opposite ethoi, and with Vance some of the pleasure is the command of language and sly humor.

I don’t disagree with this at all! I hope it’s understood that the Spider of Leng and I merely were describing our reading preferences, not gatekeeping or establishing any kind of “literary hierarchy.”

Everyone's opinion is most welcome!
 

Indeed!


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

1/21/2021 7:36 am  #17


Re: John Carter of Mars

Eirvit wrote:

I don’t disagree with this at all! I hope it’s understood that the Spider of Leng and I merely were describing our reading preferences, not gatekeeping or establishing any kind of “literary hierarchy.”

Your quote is most apt: The Broken Sword was a recent read for me, and an excellent example of pulp awesomeness. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


"Rhialto said sternly: 'Sarsem, your conduct has been less than wise. Need I remind you of this?'
'You need say nothing! In sheer disgust, discharge me from my indenture! The humiliation will be an overwhelming punishment.'
'We are not so cruel,' said Ildefonse."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous
 

1/21/2021 7:37 am  #18


Re: John Carter of Mars

tomas wrote:

One of the few good things to come out of last year is that I reconnected with my college buddies and we have been playing AD&D every Friday night via Zoom. It can get awkward with showing maps, but in general it works fairly well.

Yup, Roll 20 allowed our group to stay partially connected during the worst of the lockdown! 
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/21/2021 7:38 am  #19


Re: John Carter of Mars

Spider of Leng wrote:

Sadly; I'm not in Annapolis anymore but I'd be up for Skyping or Zooming in if you guys play again.  Incidentally, over the course of several adventures last summer and fall, our whole AS&SH party got killed.  So we've been playing other games the past few months. 

What other things have you tried? Were these campaigns influenced by your reading as well?


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/21/2021 8:24 am  #20


Re: John Carter of Mars

Nothing unusual; we've been playing our Swords & Wizardry/Labyrinth Lord mashup or OSE with a bit of DCC added.  Also a couple sessions of DCC RAW just to see how it plays.  The S&W party is currently in the middle of Rappan Athuk.


"Could you fancy me as a pirate bold?  Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side?  Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero.  But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride."--Jethro Tull
     Thread Starter
 

Board footera





“HYPERBOREA” is a registered trademark of North Wind Adventures, LLC. “Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea,” “AS&SH,” and all other North Wind Adventures product names and their respective logos are trademarks of North Wind Adventures, LLC in the USA and other countries. ©2021 North Wind Adventures, LLC.