Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton Universe discussion

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What books (Wold Newton only) is everyone reading right now?

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message 1: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments As part of research for a proposal I'm working up, I recently read ERB's 'Tarzan the the Foreign Legion' (takes place 1944; enjoyed it greatly) and Will Murray's 'Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don' (takes place 1941; it was good, though a tad longer than it needed to be). Right now, continuing that research, I am rereading Matthew Baugh's excellent Avenger novel, 'The Sun King,' and am also re-reading the wonderful essays collected in 'Heritage of the Flaming God" (see the group's bookshelf for more info on that).


message 2: by Will (last edited May 24, 2018 11:55AM) (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Thanks for posting this Win. Gonna geek out for a moment. I have decided to format this post with bold subheadings because it is varied and lengthy (for a Goodreads post).

First let me say, I'm looking forward to seeing this research proposal once it's formulated and public. I don't have the knowledge of the pulp heroes that you do, Win, but if you ever need a second set of eyes on something you have my email :-)

Currently reading: Wisdom's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard. My sense is that there's probably a bit to uncover in the Ayesha novels that can inform our understanding of the similarly timeless Rafmana from The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan Novel.

Recently read and loved: Around the World in Eighty Days, the Doc Savage novel Fortress of Solitude, and "The Wild Huntsman" by the learned original poster. AW80d was like the funniest novel I've read since I can't remember. I was also recently edified by a first draft of an article by Jason Aiken on the Numatenu of Khokarsa.

Reading and rereading: passages from Dark Heart of Time (truly information dense) and The Stone God Awakens (flawed but lovely) as well as a lot of Win's and Dennis Power's creative mythography.

Finally, this book is allegedly non-fiction but I feel like The Sirius Mystery: New Scientific Evidence of Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago likely provided some of the scaffolding for writing Dark Heart of Time or at least the basis for some of its ornamentation. (Of course, everyone was linking spirituality and ancient aliens in the 70s when the SM was written).

Potential WNU novels: Manly Wade Wellman's Giants from Eternity and J. G. Ballard's The Crystal World both have some cool valences with Ironcastle and Dark Heart of Time. The former also has some valences with Riverworld.

I also recently read the first half of The Beetle Horde by Victor Rousseau in the first issue of Astounding. I mention it here because it's hollow earth story where the villain is a runaway from a polar "Greystoke Expedition" (not sure on spelling as I was listening to it and I don't remember which pole). I can't help but feel it is a self-conscious reference to Tarzan at the Earth's Core. The two novels were being serialized at the same time, but the Beetle Horde (Jan 1930-Feb 1930) started serialization 9 mos after TaEC (March 1929-March 1930, Blue Book).

Soon to read: Christopher Paul Carey's Exiles of Kho or perhaps The Other Log of Phileas Fogg this weekend. I "need" to read the latter super-soon if I'm going to meet my fanzine deadlines but I've been putting it off because I'm still finishing Lord Tyger which is sort of a double-edged sword because LT doesn't fit into my research (or, to my knowledge, the WNU). #goodproblems

In response to Win's readings

am also re-reading the wonderful essays collected in 'Heritage of the Flaming God"

It would thrill if a certain boutique publishing company could get the rights to re-issue this collection. ;-)

"'Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don' (takes place 1941; it was good, though a tad longer than it needed to be)"

I read maybe the first half of this novel last year. The newly introduced Pal-ul-don peoples were interesting to me but felt more fabulous than the familiar-if-tailed Woz-ho-don peoples. This felt uneven.

I probably would have finished it by now if it felt more Pal-ul-don-ny or if it hadn't been set in Pal-ul-don. Tarzan the Terrible is kind of a hard act to follow.

I plan to finish it someday but it fell down the priority list with a half dozen non-WNU books I was reading at the time for a reason now obscure to me.

Will Murray (whom I do not know) and I, I think, have different aesthetic philosophies in a way I have not totally articulated to myself yet. This leads to, e.g., a disagreement RE whether it is pleasing to give Tantor a personal name. I know Numa had one in Jad-bal-ja but that seems like a special case.

This also reminds me that I've been kicking around a polemic in my head called "In Defense of the Tor-o-don." It's true that some cultures have practiced cannibalism throughout the ages and still more have practiced woman-stealing. However, it seems likely the Ho-don and Woz-don are unreliable narrators when it comes to the Tor-o-don. More likely the strong cultural difference and competing types of society (settled versus maybe herders) and the Woz-ho-don people's justified fear of the Gryfs have led to the accusations. In fact, the Tor-o-don's symbiosis with the Gryf is truly amazing. Notably, it was easily imitated by Tarzan who, after all, is at least as 'primitive' or 'savage' as the Tor-o-don. The 'civilized' Woz-ho-don peoples seem unable to master the trick.


message 3: by Sean (new)

Sean | 8 comments Let's see, I read several books at a given time, but here are the ones that I'm currently reading that are directly WNU-related:

-The Doc Savage novel THE GOLDEN PERIL, which I'm reading in the Nostalgia Ventures double edition with DEATH IN SILVER, complete with original illustrations. Fun stuff. Doc returns to Hidalgo. As Rick Lai noted, some of the things Doc's gold is financing in that country in this novel (like a new hospital) were based on real happenings in Guatemala (which Dent based Hidalgo on) at the time.

-THE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT, with Leslie S. Klinger doing the annotations. An excellent resource. Rather than including all of Lovecraft's works, such as the "collaborations," it focuses mainly on Mythos stories. I also have read and enjoyed Klinger's annotated editions of the Sherlock Holmes stories (though I still prefer Baring-Gould's version) and DRACULA. Profusely illustrated, both with photos and art. Alan Moore did the foreword.

-SMOKE BELLEW by Jack London. Phil said in DS:HAL that Leo Queequeg Tincrowdor's dad knew Smoke in the Klondike. Unlike THE SEA-WOLF, which I have of course read, this one is a collection of stories about Smoke and his partner, Jack "Shorty" Short. I don't like it quite as much as THE SEA-WOLF - Smoke's not as distinctive a character as Wolf Larsen - but it's pretty entertaining.


message 4: by Will (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
This is fun. Maybe we should do one of these threads on the Ides of every month? (Since we're already near the end of May and Win started us on the 14th, which is close enough).

Sean said: "I read several books at a given time"

I don't know how not to.

Sean said:"As Rick Lai noted, some of the things Doc's gold is financing in that country in this novel (like a new hospital) were based on real happenings in Guatemala (which Dent based Hidalgo on) at the time."

I went and googled that snippet from Rick's article, just in case anyone's interested:

"The Man of Bronze was set in a Central American republic whose true identity was cloaked under the alias of Hidalgo. The real name of Hidalgo is Guatemala (2). This identification is based on several factors that are mentioned in later Doc Savage novels, particularly The Golden Peril (December 1937) by Harold A. Davis and Lester Dent. Both Guatemala and Hidalgo have a large population of Mayan Indians. Guatemala was economically sound through most of the 1930’s. In fact, it ran on a balanced budget from 1933 to 1944. In the Doc Savage novels, the economy of Hidalgo prospered because Doc Savage was sharing with the government the gold from the Valley of the Vanished. The Golden Peril cited construction projects in Hidalgo such as a new National Palace and a modern hospital that had parallels in real-life Guatemala."

I've always been fascinated with the Maya and Central American history in general. Coincidentally, I started working on a sort of sci-fi/jungle thriller/lost race story fragment vaguely set in Hidalgo a few months ago. I'm a real Doc Savage newbie still, so it's cool to learn this detail.


message 5: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments "I've always been fascinated with the Maya and Central American history in general."

You may want to check out my novella 'The Scarlet Jaguar.' :-)


message 6: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments "-SMOKE BELLEW by Jack London. Phil said in DS:HAL that Leo Queequeg Tincrowdor's dad knew Smoke in the Klondike."

I have Phil's personal copy of the Easton Press edition of 'Smoke Bellew,' to which he wrote the introduction.


message 7: by Will (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Win wrote: ""I've always been fascinated with the Maya and Central American history in general."

You may want to check out my novella 'The Scarlet Jaguar.' :-)"


It's sitting dutifully on my shelf next to Evil in Pemberley House :P


message 8: by Sean (last edited May 25, 2018 06:25PM) (new)

Sean | 8 comments Win wrote: I have Phil's personal copy of the Easton Press edition of 'Smoke Bellew,' to wh..."

Wow! Gonna have to find a copy of that!


message 9: by Sean (new)

Sean | 8 comments You may want to check out my novella 'The Scarlet Jaguar.' :-)"

A masterpiece! I am eagerly awaiting your next revelation of the adventures of Pat Wildman and company!


message 10: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments :-)


message 11: by Atom (new)

Atom Bezecny | 21 comments I reread Rick Lai's books on pulp Heroes and Villains, which has led me to reread Phantom of the Opera (a lot better than I remembered) plus The Parisian Jungle, the first Black Coats volume. I'm not sure if I'm the biggest Black Coats fan from what I'm seeing so far, but the historical value of the series can't be understated. I've actually been on a French pulp kick recently, also having gone through Leonox, Monstre des Tenebres by Paul Bera, the first of his works about the war between spiritual beings Leonox and Lisa. It's never been translated but fortunately the prose was straightforward enough where my French could handle it. (:

I also found a copy of the '70s Phantom novel, The Scorpia Menace, at my local bookstore. I've only paged through it so far but it was an amusing find given that it's the only '70s Phantom novel I was previously familiar with. Reminds me of the time I was in an antique shop and found a pile made up of Farmer's A Feast Unknown, the Doc Savage book The Red Spider, and an Avenger reprint. Guess someone in Middle-of-Nowhere, MN was a Wold Newton fan!


message 12: by Sean (new)

Sean | 8 comments Just started reading the G-8 novel THE DRAGON PATROL. Good so far. It's the third G-8 I've read, and #10 in Adventure House's reprints of the series. This edition is one of several books I have been given over the years by a generous soul who goes by the name of Win Scott Eckert. :)


message 13: by Win (last edited May 30, 2018 12:12PM) (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments Sean :-)

I finished The Avenger #15, 'House of Death,' last night. Next I plan to tackle Lee Strong's 'Untamed Pellucidar.' I am also still reading 'Heritage of the Flaming God.'


message 14: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (talekyn) | 8 comments I have been horribly remiss in reading any Farmer / Wold-Newton lately. I did finally read Ironcastle earlier this year, and enjoyed it. I intended to read Escape From Loki, Dark Heart of Time, and Time's Last Gift, plus the BCP translation of the original Ironcastle novel, before PulpFest, but that's starting to look less likely.

I also have John Small's latest book of essays on the pile of "Books By Friends And Acquaintances I Need To Read Sooner Rather Than Later" on my dining room table. I really should take a picture of that (although it wouldn't include the stuff that's on the Tablet...)


message 15: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments Anthony, you may as well wait for FarmerCon / PulpFest and read our new edition of Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time. :-)


message 16: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (talekyn) | 8 comments Win wrote: "Anthony, you may as well wait for FarmerCon / PulpFest and read our new edition of Tarzan and the Dark Heart of Time. :-)"

You make a compelling argument! Maybe striking that one will give me time to read the other two!


message 17: by Will (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Anthony wrote: "I also have John Small's latest book of essays on the pile of "Books By Friends And Acquaintances I Need To Read Sooner Rather Than Later"

I feel like this is a Wold Newtonian occupational hazard.

Time's Last Gift

TLG is really fun if you're into immortal feral men and hunter-gatherer bands. It's sort of the quintessence of a Farmer novel.

plus the BCP translation of the original Ironcastle novel

This might be slightly off topic: do you ever feel like you want to pause what you're reading and read a lot of Brian Stableford? I've got a bunch of his DAWs and am tempting by his four volume series on the history of the scientific romance. Never actually read anything by him.


message 18: by Will (last edited May 31, 2018 08:25AM) (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Win wrote: " Next I plan to tackle Lee Strong's 'Untamed Pellucidar.'"

Talk about a WILD Adventure: "At The Battle of the Plutonian Plain, the White Russian forces, aided by wily American Edgar Rice Burroughs, do not fall, instead retreating into the dangers of Pellucidar. Comrade Trotsky, the Soviet leader, sends his troops to hunt them down—and destroy them.

I like that there's 7 of these "Wild Adventures" of ERB (if you exclude Tarzan v King Kong). I don't know how I'll ever catch up but I'm glad the books are isolated enough that one can pick and choose. I was going to read Swords Against the Moon Men before Pulpfest but at this point I'll probably just pick up a copy off Chris there.


message 19: by Will (last edited May 31, 2018 08:27AM) (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
I finished Exiles of Kho this weekend. A Haggard-Burroughs-Farmer-Carey triumph.


message 20: by Will (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Adam wrote: " I've actually been on a French pulp kick recently"

Have you ever read Vampires of Mars? I'm kind of a planetary romance nut and it's been calling to me, but Idk if I have any friends who have read it.


message 21: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments ERB's Wild Adventures: I have read Chris' 'Swords Against the Moon Men,' 'Tarzan: Return to Pal-ul-don,' and 'Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy under Siege.' I have not read the Kong book or the other Wild Adventures yet. I have no plans to read/buy the other recent authorize ERB books, such as 'Martian Legion,' 'Cannibal King,' and 'Song of Opar.'


message 22: by John (new)

John | 2 comments Interestingly enough, I just came across an e-mail from an old high school friend of mine who I've recently reconnected with. He used to raz me about my love for ERB when we were kids, but more recently he's found himself becoming interested in the Burroughs works after seeing "The Legend of Tarzan." So he sought out a Tarzan book to become better acquainted with the literary character - but the title he chose to read wasn't one of the original ERB novels but a copy of "Cannibal King" that he said a friend loaned him. I now know how to roll my eyes via e-mail...


message 23: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (talekyn) | 8 comments I have to say Stableford is one of those writers I keep *meaning* to read, but never seem to actually get around to....


message 24: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments "but the title he chose to read wasn't one of the original ERB novels but a copy of "Cannibal King" that he said a friend loaned him. I now know how to roll my eyes via e-mail... "

maan-gann-EYE!!


message 25: by Will (new)

Will Emmons | 40 comments Mod
Anthony wrote: "I have to say Stableford is one of those writers I keep *meaning* to read, but never seem to actually get around to...."

Lol, I almost ended up my comment with an ellipses too. The life of we obscure writers and genre fanatics...


message 26: by John (new)

John | 2 comments Win wrote: ""but the title he chose to read wasn't one of the original ERB novels but a copy of "Cannibal King" that he said a friend loaned him. I now know how to roll my eyes via e-mail... "

maan-gann-EYE!!"



LOL!


message 27: by Win (new)

Win Scott Eckert (win_scott_eckert) | 37 comments John: :-)


message 28: by Atom (new)

Atom Bezecny | 21 comments Will wrote: "
Adam wrote: " I've actually been on a French pulp kick recently"


Have you ever read Vampires of Mars? I'm kind of a planetary romance nut and it's been calling to me, but Idk if I have any fri..."


I haven't, but I'll have to check it out at some point! A French planetary romance with vampires sounds like a great read.


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