Tag Archives: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Under the Green Star

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Under the Green Star by Lin Carter.

Lin Carter Under the Green Star

Under the Green Star is the first of what came to be several sword and planet novels in its setting by Lin Carter. It was written in conscious homage to the Barsoom books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but, as Carter notes in his afterword “On the Burroughs Tradition,” it is not at all Burroughs’ prose style. It is also quite a different setting. The world of the Green Star is vast and arboreal, with elfin peoples dwelling in cities in the branches of great trees, where giant bugs and lizards represent the chief environmental hazards.

The occultism of this story is more pronounced than the accidental interplanetary projection of Burrough’s John Carter. The hero in this case is a victim of juvenile polio who studies arcane lore in an effort to be able to project his consciousness from his crippled body. In a bit of inadvertant hilarity, the author chose Eckankar as the mysterious ancient discipline that brings success to this occult quest, evidently taking propaganda from the then-young New Age sect of Paul Twitchell as a more neutral exposition of astral magic.

I did genuinely enjoy the story, and I would class it with Burroughs as quality sword and planet fantasy with a sort of baseline naivete that enhances its charm. [via]


The High Couch of Silistra

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews High Couch of Silistra by Janet E Morris, with a mass market paperback cover by Boris Vallejo.

Janet E Morris Boris Vallejo High Couch of Silistra

This sword-and-planet yarn was the author’s first novel, and given that its entire sub-genre tends to fall (at its best) into the “guilty pleasure” category, I think it’s all right. I certainly liked it better than the Dray Prescott book (Warrior of Scorpio) which was my last reading in that field.

The sexual content is more explicit than Burroughs or Akers would deliver, and about comparable with Norman, although without the Gorean sadistic moralizing. In any case, it doesn’t really rise to the level of erotica despite the protagonist’s status as her homeworld’s most celebrated courtesan-madame-sexual athelete.

The metaphysical positioning of the book seems to break with the Burroughs-Norman tradition of fraudulent cults fronting for alien gods. The main plot of Returning Creation—evidently the author’s title, restored in a later edition—is the quest undertaken by a semi-divine woman (the “creation” in question) to find her alien father on his homeworld. Most in her society are skeptical about the “seed-sower” legendary that identifies the god race to which her father seems to belong, but her experiences eventually vindicate the lore, and the story ends inconclusively with her accession to her heritage among her father’s super-powerful people. Seeing that I have the sequels already in my possession, I expect to indulge my curiosity about where the author might take the narrative from that point. [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.