Monday, February 7, 2011

L. Sprague DeCamp Is Awesome!

Okay, maybe the title of the post should be "Edd Cartier is Awesome!" My first introduction to Mr. DeCamp was in discussions of how he ruined REH's Conan stories by over editing them. Knowing nothing else about the guy, I tended to look on him as a bit of a villain. Later, I discovered he was favored by EGG, and just finished reading his Harold Shea stories, which I found enjoyable. Then I discovered these delightful pieces of art by Edd Cartier at Golden Age Comic Book Stories (follow this blog if you follow nothing else) from a story called The Hand of Zei ...

Nobody who can write something that inspires these gonzo images can be all bad. I have to find a copy The Hand of Zei. I have to believe the fictional creators of Encounter Critical were inspired by this story when they were penning their magnum opus in the 1970's.


  1. I agree. When de Camp wasn't badmouthing REH or altering his work or writing crappy Conan pastiches, he was awesome. I recommend his Pusadian cycle highly.

    He doesn't have the thematic depth of Howard, but de Camp had a definite style of his own that's a lot of fun IMHO.

  2. I get kind of sick of all the de Camp bashing. I truly enjoy Howard's writings but I do not worship at his alter as some do.

    de Camp's "Lest Darkness Falls" will always be one of my favorite stories.

  3. Those are great! I wonder if their are illustrated editions of other Planet Krishna novels?

  4. De Camp had a brilliant and witty imagination. Many of his fantasies, such as those he co-authored with Fletcher Pratt, are foundational to both the genre and the hobby. Just don't trust a word the man ever said about REH.

  5. Ah, Viagens Interplanetarias. I've never had a chance to read them but have always wished to. I have to think it's planetary romance done swell, and an eminently gameable setting.

    (or so GURPS claims)

  6. If it wasn't de Camp's efforts I wouldn't have discovered Conan in the first place, or become so fascinated by Howard's writings; I think a lot of Howard fans dramatically underplay his importance in keeping Howard's fiction alive and accessible to new generations in the 70's and 80's especially; certainly nothing he did to Howard's works was any "worse" than the many comic adaptation of the time...I have a great deal of respect for both him and Howard (as well as Carter and all the rest of the gang that turned swords & sorcery in to its own genre of fiction). On top that his own stories were excellent; you should try to find "The Fallible Fiend" by de Camp if you can, one of his best and most overlooked works, I feel! His Planet Krishna novels are all great as well (I think there were five in all).

  7. I have read Fallible Fiend (almost forgot about it) and liked it quite a bit. I'm definitely going to go looking for the Krishna novels.

  8. I agree with camazotz post completely. I also wouldn't have read Conan without the de Camp editions.

  9. The Harold Shea stories w/ Pratt were the first fantasy books I read as a youth. I used to scour used book stores and snap up anything de Camp I could find.

    When de Camp is hitting on all cylinders his work is delightful. I enjoy the Gavagan's Bar series and the Novarian series as well as the Shea stuff. The Purple Pterodactyls is a fun read as well.

    Tom Wham even wrote a Shea story in the 90's which is included in one of the later Shea collections.

    Nice blog, by the way.


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