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The Sword of Rhiannon
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2015 Reads > TSoR: Ok Started Early..Any Other Early Adopters

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Paul Harmon (thesaint08d) | 639 comments Yep Started early and no spoilers.
But Im almost halfway through in one day and its actually not bad so far.
Anybody else Start Early?
It has me intrigued a bit.


Zach Robinson Ya I'm almost halfway through and I am actually really enjoying it. I don't care for the narration on the audiobook version though.


Daniel K | 164 comments I am almost at the end and I find this story pretty straightforward if not plain. Writing is not bad, but the plot doesn't do any sharp turns and doesn't reveal any epic truths unfortunately. Worldbuilding is limited to creating some kind of simulacrum of 1st millennium BC Mediterranean world with some fantasy stuff.

As per its belonging to the sci-fi genre, i can hardly find any besides words "Mars", "Deimos", "Phobos", "Earthman", "ancient science".

It seems The Sword of Rhiannon was intended to be pure adventure without really being any near to serious sci-fi stuff. But it is a naive adventure with moments like (50-75% of the book) (view spoiler) Maybe the scene was such at that time but its hard to enjoy old-fashioned pulp-fiction today. Anyway, as i remember, Burroughs did it better.


Korey | 5 comments I just finished it. I didn't mean to finish it so early. I started it yesterday and it's pretty short. I'll say this about it: it kept me turning pages. I appreciate that in a book. It's a pretty standard adventure story. A little old fashioned in places, but it holds up surprisingly well for 40's pulp sci-fi. A lot of this books contemporaries are unreadable garbage this day and age. This book is still eminently readable, and I consider that a towering achievement. I will definitely keep my eyes open for more Leigh Brackett stories going forward.


Mark (markmtz) | 2480 comments For me, the gold standard for Mars pulp adventure has always been Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom books. Since reading them as a kid many moons ago, I've read other Mars pulp and found them wanting by comparison. This was my first time reading Leigh Brackett's Mars fiction and I was pleasantly surprised by the compelling narrative. I wanted to keep turning the page as I read. She doesn't put as much effort into worldbuilding as Burroughs, but she kept me interested.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments This was a very short book and I finished it off in two days. I agree with the other posters, not as good as Barsoom but still enjoyable even today.


William | 429 comments I intended to wait. I got the ebook all ready, but then decided to take a look at the pdf scans of the original publication at http://www.unz.org/Pub/ThrillingWonde... I was just sucked in.

I seriously recommend the pdf, there was something about reading it in pulpy context that gave it an extra flavour (and maybe allowed me to forgive some of it's more loopy aspects).

I finished it at speed. Forgive me oh Lords of Schedule! Forgive me Rhiannon!

;-)


Robert Osborne (ensorceled) | 79 comments Finished it off today. It's pretty short and I could do the audio book on 1.25 speed without problem because the narration is fairly solid (if a bit plain). All in all, a product of it's time and place.


message 9: by Brendan (last edited Apr 29, 2015 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Started and finished today.

EDIT: I'm enjoying looking through the various covers this has received, some of which depict scenes that are almost certainly not from the book.


message 10: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil | 1152 comments I'm about 2/3 through. I actually enjoy the writing more than I did the Barsoom books although some of the more florid parts remind me of Annihilation which isn't a good thing.


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Phil wrote: "I'm about 2/3 through. I actually enjoy the writing more than I did the Barsoom books although some of the more florid parts remind me of Annihilation which isn't a good thing."

That is not a comparison I ever expected to hear.


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments I keep getting distracted by the fact that I have a female friend by the name of Rhiannon. It's Maia all over again. I'm only about 1/4th through so far.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments As this was such a short read I'm going to continue the month reading more pulp fiction. First up I'm tackling the crossover novel Tarzan at the Earth's Core (Tarzan, #13)


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Joanna wrote: "I keep getting distracted by the fact that I have a female friend by the name of Rhiannon. It's Maia all over again. I'm only about 1/4th through so far."

Since Ywain is a man's name (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ywain_th...) I have to feel like this was some sort of purposeful choice, though what the reason is I cannot guess.


message 15: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4074 comments And then there's the Fleetwood Mac song...


Daniel K | 164 comments Brendan wrote: "Since Ywain is a man's name (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ywain_th...) I have to feel like this was some sort of purposeful choice, though what the reason is I cannot guess. "

I saw a lot of men/women names juggling in movies. For example what do you feel about calling a girl Jackie or Chuck? There are a lot of this stuff in pop culture. I have no idea why.


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Daniel wrote: "I saw a lot of men/women names juggling in movies. For example what do you feel about calling a girl Jackie or Chuck? There are a lot of this stuff in pop culture. I have no idea why. "

Off the cuff? I'd guess it's a way of making the hero seem special or different without a lot of work. It's a minor surprise. It's especially common for female characters who being portrayed as having traits associated with masculinity to be given a "boyish" nickname, especially if they have an overly feminine given name that they don't like.

I definitely started going by Jo instead of Joanna when I went to technical college basically for that reason (I liked Joanna, but I didn't like being mistaken for Joanne). I didn't think that choice through at the time, but I think I was subconsciously trying to signal that I was "one of the boys" and ought to be taken seriously.


Daniel K | 164 comments Is Emer also a man name? It definitely feels like it.

Also i'm wondering if Carse is such a blatant borrowing from John Carter or just a coincidence.

Joanna wrote: "I definitely started going by Jo instead of Joanna when I went to technical college basically for that reason (I liked Joanna, but I didn't like being mistaken for Joanne). I didn't think that choice through at the time, but I think I was subconsciously trying to signal that I was "one of the boys" and ought to be taken seriously. "

Ha. Interesting. How do you feel about that now? Was it an adolescent caprice or you still feel you want to be perceived more boyishly?

Most of the girls i've known liked to be perceived in feminine way and even in the group of boys, i think, that actually helped them be a center of attention.


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Daniel wrote: "Ha. Interesting. How do you feel about that now? Was it an adolescent caprice or you still feel you want to be perceived more boyishly?

Most of the girls i've known liked to be perceived in feminine way and even in the group of boys, i think, that actually helped them be a center of attention."


I like Joanna and I like Jo, for different reasons and it different contexts. It's less tied to wanting to be seen boyishly. Honestly, it wasn't boyishness I wanted. I wanted not to be hit on with such frequency. I wanted to be seen as a person and not as a trophy. Boyishness was a semiunconscious tactic to get at that. When I met the man I later married, I relaxed the tomboyishness by degrees. I was "taken" and thus no longer fair game.

I knew women in college who would play up their femininity for attention. As for me, being the center of attention is crap if folks aren't attending to the parts of your identity you want them to attend to. And if their attention comes with a tinge of threat.

Incidentally, when I visited the old college recently, the gender percentages are much, much closer to 50/50, even in the scifi club. It all feels so much more relaxed. I'm glad of it.


message 20: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul (latepaul) Finished it. Part audible, part ebook. Narration was so-so but serviceable.

Enjoyed it for what it was. Have to say I prefer it to the one Barsoom book I've read. Fun, quick read and not too serious. Good quality pulp!


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Korey wrote: "I just finished it. I didn't mean to finish it so early. I started it yesterday and it's pretty short. I'll say this about it: it kept me turning pages. I appreciate that in a book. It's a pretty s..."

Well said, Korey. Leigh Brackett is one of my favourite pulp-era authors. TSoR is not the best of her SF tales (though it still has some endearing qualities), but if you liked this book on any level, then it would be worth your while to check out some of her others (including the short stories). The ones featuring her most recurrent character - Eric John Stark - are good, for their time.


Ivi_kiwi | 87 comments William wrote: "I intended to wait. I got the ebook all ready, but then decided to take a look at the pdf scans of the original publication at http://www.unz.org/Pub/ThrillingWonde... I was just sucked in.

..."


Thanks for the link! I got the audioboo and just started it, but it is interesting checking out the original.


message 23: by Lindsay (last edited May 10, 2015 06:39PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lindsay | 593 comments Daniel wrote: "Also i'm wondering if Carse is such a blatant borrowing from John Carter or just a coincidence."

It's even closer to Carson of Venus by the same author. I believe Brackett acknowledged the influence of Burroughs in her planetary romance stories.


Stephen Ivy | 25 comments I managed to finish it on audiobook. Glad it was only five hours. I couldn't have taken much more. I couldn't root for anyone in this book. I was hoping everyone would die horribly at the end.


message 25: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Harmon (thesaint08d) | 639 comments I liked it at first but the more I read the the slower it felt


Dwayne Caldwell | 141 comments It started out with promise. But as it progressed, I didn't feel anything for the characters. That isn't to say I didn't care about them. In fact Boghaz was actually starting to grow on me a bit. I just never felt they were in any actual danger. Especially once Carse found out about his special connection to Rhiannon. And after that revelation, it's just a matter of wondering through the book without any emotional attachment to anyone or any concern as to whether they'd solve any of the predicaments or obstacles set before them. Maybe I'm asking too much from a pulp adventure?


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