Friday, September 14, 2007

[Read Vicki’s post below first.]

Lord of the Rings, huh? Sorry, I just could never get into it. Oh I tried, dozens of times I tried. But Bilbo Baggins and a bunch of Hobbits? Couldn’t care what happened to the lot of ‘em. And the movies? Too long for me to bother with. More like Bored with the Rings.

It wasn’t always this way. I used to be Mr. Fantasy reader. I devoured everything by Edgar Rice Burroughs – the John Carter series, the Middle Earth series (not the same Middle Earth as Tolkin, more like center of the Earth), the Venus series. Most of my adolescent fantasies involved metal-bikini-clad woman and swords, and not just the sexual ones either. I was never a big Robert E. Howard fan, not because I didn’t like the stuff but simply because I couldn’t find the stuff. The Walden’s at Long Ridge Mall didn’t carry any, so for me it didn’t exist. I wasn’t hip to libraries then and couldn’t even conceive of a used books store. I mean who would want to get rid of books? I got turned on to Conan in the Marvel comic series and I’ll admit that from time to time I still pick up a copy. As an artist, I tried to emulate Barry Windsor-Smith but ended up more like Sergio Aragonés – not a knock on the great Sergieo, but when you’re trying to be heroic, his style doesn’t quite cut it.

I did read Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara, a massive tome almost as long as a Tolkin, but that just about capped my guys-with-swords era. The next books I remember all had to do with smart-assed detectives and barking roscos. That and stories that all started with, “I never believed the stories I read in Letters to Penthouse Forum until it happened to me.”

I’m tempted to pick up an old John Carter of Mars book – maybe The Gods of Mars, The Swords of Mars or A Fighting Man of Mars, books that I recall absolutely loving. But it’s probably best I don’t. A few years ago I came across a CD of an album that I hadn’t heard in years, a band that I associated with that same guys-with-swords era. Triumvirats’s Illusions on a Double Dimple. “This is amazing”, I said, ripping off that damn cellophane and placing the CD in the tray. “Absolutely amazing.”

Let’s just say that my definition of amazing might have shifted since 1978.

So John Carter and Dejah Thoris and Thuvia and Tas Takas and all the other remain as “absolutely amazing” as I remember them.

Question: Did anybody else read this stuff?


Rick Blechta said...

Nope. You're it.

Vicki Delany said...

I was given a Terry Brooks book at my retirement party as someones favourite book of all time. Never heard of any of your others tho'

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