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Retro Rockets (To Be Continued...)


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CHAPTER XVI

The rocket shuddered as the flare behind, even at distance, buffeted the small craft to and fro. Dr. Bedlam glanced around the cockpit; though rivets shivered and struts groaned, the vessel still seemed to hold together. Stretching out a tanned, muscular arm, he drew back the throttle, decreasing fuel flow to the overworked engines; in response, the rocket slowed slightly in its passage through the luminiferous ether. He'd made it!

But Dr. Bedlam allowed himself no self-congratulations; the job was not yet done. His tanned, muscular chest still ached, and his tanned, muscular back still bore the marks of the whips of the Voodoo Virgins of the Vengeance Vector! He had allowed himself to be cozened once, and the inhabitants of the planet Gorkulon had paid with their lives. He would not be fooled again! Luck had been with him once, but even he dared not count on such when the fate of the Galaxy was at stake! The Voodoo Virgins would stop at nothing to dominate the Sagittarius Arm, and Dr. Bedlam knew that although the Galaxy Bureau of Investigation was clever and mighty, the wiles of the Voodoo Queen, Squeema, and her hypnotic powers of seduction would catch them unawares.

Unless he, Dr. Bedlam, were to get there first... and warn them!

Suddenly, a flicker of light on the Omniscioscope caught Dr. Bedlam's attention. "Eh?" he said to himself. "There's no way they could have caught up yet -- unless..."

A blip of light appeared on the hemispherical screen. Before his tanned, muscular eyes, it seemed to grow... and grow ... and GROW...

TO BE CONTINUED!

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CHAPTER III

Struggling against his bonds, Dr. Bedlam cried, "You're NUTS!"

"Nyah-hah-hah!" laughed Barrister. "You would not be the first to say so!"

"There's no way you can copyright a generic term made up of two common words!"

Barrister twirled his mustache theatrically. "That's what ORDINARY lawyers would say!" he laughed. "But I am no ORDINARY ATTORNEY! Whoever controls the law, controls the courts! Whoever controls the courts, controls copyright law! And whoever controls copyright law controls the universe! And I, and I ALONE, shall control the UNIVERSE, by copyrighting the term 'space marine!' And when I own the term, I shall own the thing itself! The armies of the Democratic Republic of Anti-Fascist Planets will obey MY commands, and shall have NO CHOICE but to DO SO!"

 

TO BE CONTINUED!

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CHAPTER 1

Dr. Bedlam blinked his tanned, muscular eyes. He was not awake yet. There was no coffee. And the fusel oils to be found in Ye Olde Rocket Booster Whiskye were still playing merry hell with his synapses.

"I did WHAT?" he said.

TO BE CONTINUED!

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but this is fun!

edited to add: I especially like the tanned muscular eyes description.

 

Yeah, that's what happens when you read too much Lin Carter after he'd been reading too much Robert Howard...

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but this is fun!

edited to add: I especially like the tanned muscular eyes description.

 

 

Yeah, that's what happens when you read too much Lin Carter after he'd been reading too much Robert Howard...

My favorite Lin Carter book was a history of the genre with the back quarter or so a distillation of what Lin Carter thought was How To Write Fantasy.

 

He sneered at Tolkien, scoffed at Moorcock, but boy, did he *worship* Howard.

 

His advice was jaw-dropping. Real "Eye of Argon" stuff.

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Now I kinda wanna read that...

  

 

Now I kinda wanna read that...

 

Likewise.

It was called "Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy," and I am sure that the high school teacher who gave me a copy meant well.

 

Kind of wish I'd kept it now.

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Now I kinda wanna read that...

  

 

Now I kinda wanna read that...

Likewise.

It was called "Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy," and I am sure that the high school teacher who gave me a copy meant well.

Kind of wish I'd kept it now.

Thank you. ^_^ That's enough to start looking - although with only 1 edition, published in '73, it'll be tricksy.

 

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/04/lin-carters-imaginary-worlds-the-art-of-fantasy

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...found a copy online. It will be mine!

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I've always kind of been interested in Lin Carter because he was such a strange guy. He worshipped guys like Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, despite the fact that Burroughs didn't have all that much regard for his own work, thinking of it more as a way to make a comfortable living, and as to Howard, he respected his own work... but Howard's fantasy was a tiny part of his own output (he was a lot fonder of his sports stories and westerns). 

So Carter wrote loads of swords and sorcery and planetary romance. And he didn't do it as well as Howard or Burroughs. But he got the attention of Ballantine Books, who hired him as an editor, and put him in charge of their Adult Fantasy line... which led to my discovery of Lovecraft, among other authors. In short, he kind of stank as an author, but he was hell on wheels as an editor, and there are sources who'd cite him as being as responsible for the rise of heroic fantasy in the seventies as Frank Frazetta's covers were...

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Iiiiii ... don't know. I associate his name with the oiliest of oiled-muscle fantasy of the 1970s. He was certainly eternally searching for the New Robert E. Howard, as he seems to have considered Conan knockoffs the best and most enduring, eternal, right and only deserving kind of fantasy.

 

As I said, he sniffed at Tolkien and Moorcock. He didn't seem to have time for women apart from knee-clinging, or poetry or deep thinking or symbolism or diversity or thoughtful explorations of worldbuilding or much of anything beyond oiled half-naked barbarians with big swords taking out sinister wizards. Which, although not without its charms, could be argued to be not the pinnacle of the best that is fantasy.

 

This was a guy who went out of his way with repetition, italics, and exclamation points to mock Moorcock's city name of R'lin K'ren A'a, yet thought that "Herpes Zoster" was a great name for a wizard.

 

If you do get a copy of the book, I would love to hear quotes. I haven't read it since probably 1986.

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