Sunday, November 28, 2010

Under the Warrior Star -- Joe R. Lansdale

Joe Lansdale's long story is half of the Planet Stories "Double Feature" volume pictured to the left. It's a sword-and-planet adventure in the vein of Burroughs, Kline, and Howard, or at least those are the three names Lansdale invokes in his brief epigraph. I was also reminded of Philip José Farmer. What the story does as much as anything if prove that if Lansdale had been born in another era, he could have made a living writing for the pulps. This pastiche could have been published in Planet Stories magazine back in the late '40s without changing a line.

Brax Booker, an Olympic swordsman, who's trained in various arts with the mysterious Mr. Rimbauld, finds himself transported to another universe, to a world where he has to use all his skills and mental powers (which are now greatly enhanced) to help the people there fight off their great enemies. There's a princess, of course, and monsters. There's swordplay and derring-do aplenty, and it all moves at a great pulp pace. If you're looking for character development and introspection, look elsewhere. This is sheer storytelling for the fun of it.

There are a couple of little glitches along the way, but if you're looking for pure entertainment, this more than fills the bill. Bring on the sequel!

3 comments:

George said...

I have this on order. You're lucky to get an advanced copy!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of this.

Bill Crider said...

I bought my copy, so it should be in general release.