Posts Tagged With: Otis Adelbert Kline

Fly to the Green Star

Man is dissatisfied with his life. The never-ending, ever-repeating, events of daily life threaten to kill him with boredom

Then he finds himself on another world, in one peril after another. And nearly always, he encounters a woman that was meant for him and he must fight for her by conquering unimaginable dangers.

This is the classic foundation of the stories perfected by Edgar Rice Burroughs in lost worlds, hidden jungles and on faraway planets. He managed to keep each creation fresh and exciting, as did Otis Adelbert Kline who followed in his footsteps. Another is the underrated Lin Carter, who’s creation of Thongor we have already reviewed. Now, travel to a distant world in the Green Star series.

Here a crippled man finds a way to send his soul to a faraway world. There he enters the dead Chong the Mighty, and later Karn the Hunter, taking his place in this tropical world where the races live in towering forests. Soon he encounters Niamh the Fair, a princess, who he quickly falls in love with. However, and this is no surprise, before he can forever be her mate, five books full of death-at-every-turn adventure must be overcome.

Why have such stories, so often derisively called “pulp,” endured for decades? They all have the underlying theme of being fed-up with conformity, the status quo and what society has decided life should be like. Sure, they are often told from the perspectives of men, but the women they meet are not fragile flowers.

The desire to be better, to find one’s purpose, is a call that never goes quiet. These are tales of earthlings finding and doing what their own world won’t allow. As I have written before:

Read to be entertained. Read to get lost. Read to be inspired.

thon

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Categories: Books, Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finding Your Destiny Off Planet

Robert Ellsmore Grandon stifled a yawn…He was tired of life at twenty-four, he decided – tired and disillusioned and trapped…[he] yearned for action, adventure, romance – something that seemed to be gone in this world of the Twentieth Century.

That is how Otis Adelbert Kline’s novel Planet of Peril began.

And it was written in 1930.

We often think that our lives are unique to our time, but in many ways they are not. So were the fantastic adventures of Kline and his contemporary Edgar Rice Burroughs, at their foundation, a reflection of buried desires? In particular the desire not to be suppressed and molded by whichever social and political masterminds are currently in style? To not be drug into endless, mindless repetition? The rebellion against conformity and corruption?

Perhaps some think this is reading too much into the over-the-top adventures from sci-fi’s first Golden Era. On the other hand, those extreme adventures may also be reminders of how far we fall from our potential.

Read to be entertained. Read to get lost. Read to be inspired.

popoak

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Epic Sci-Fi…From 1933

It seems that many authors think that their sci-fi or fantasy books must run 200,000 words to qualify as a world-building epic. As we discussed before, that isn’t always the case. There are many lengthy books that are must reads, but many others that fail to let their stories breath and trust their readers’ imaginations.

Older sci-fi tended to be much shorter, such as Otis Adelbert Kline’s The Swordsman of Mars and The Outlaws of Mars. A contemporary of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Kline wrote in the same vein of swashbuckling adventures.

Does the short nature of these books mean they lack detail? No, you quickly find yourself on the red world, immersed in another culture. for a short while you are there on a world that never was. I have often argued that just enough detail can go along away to implanting images in the reader’s mind. Describing every last button and rock along the trail just slows down the journey.

A writer must learn when to detail and when not to. Where to pause and give more, and where to forge ahead and trust the reader. Surely reader preferences may come into play, but most want to be pulled in and stranded in a fantastic adventure.

The Red Planet is a good of a place as any to start.

oak

Categories: Books, Fiction, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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