Tag Archives: dray prescott

Swordships of Scorpio

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Swordships of Scorpio by Alan Burt Akers, book 4 of the Dray Prescot series.

Alan Burt Akers Swordships of Scorpio

This book shows some slight signs of improvement over its predecessors. It is the fourth of the initial cycle of five, in the dozens of Dray Prescott sword-and-planet books. Many otherworldly swashes are buckled in this one, but it seems that towards the end of it the narrative starts to acquire a wry sense of humor, striking off in a direction that just barely reminded me—however faintly—of James Branch Cabell.

Early on, the author provides a stunning discontinuity, where he inserts his protagonist into a desperate cliffhanger of a situation, and then simply jumps forward to a point well after its unexplained resolution, chalking up the lacuna to a gap in the audio tapes which were his supposed source material! This lackadaisical approach to yarn-spinning is why I’m not pursuing these books with much zeal, and I lack confidence that the next book (ending the “Delian Cycle”) will even arrive at a satisfactory climax. [via]

 

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Warrior of Scorpio

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Warrior of Scorpio, book 3 of the Saga of Prescot of Antares, by Alan Burt Akers, from DAW Books:

Alan Burt Akers' Warrior of Scorpio from DAW Books

 

The third installment of Akers’ long, long Kregen series is absolutely formulaic sword and planet fiction. The book features beast-men, airships, exhaustive detail of exotic military technology, a kidnapped princess, a predatory queen, an arena battle with a monster, and heroic nudity. Protagonist Dray Prescott’s companion-in-arms is Seg Segutorio, a name that recalls the Tars Tarkas of Barsoom, although Seg is more conventionally humanoid than the green Martian. The bird steeds that are called tarns in the Gor books feature here as multiple species, including corth and impiters.

One little innovation: A footnote points out a lack of continuity with the previous volumes, and opines that some of Prescott’s memoir has been lost. It’s a sort of retnoncon! Along with a different allusion to missing tapes in the second book, this may have been the author’s scheme to open up gaps in the narrative that might later be filled with further writings.

Towards the middle of this book I was getting genuinely bored of planet Kregen (pretty unforgivable in a book of this sort!), but the pace picked up toward the end, and I genuinely enjoyed the last two or three chapters. I guess I’ll read some more Dray Prescott, but not very soon. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.