Your Stories of Lin Carter Books

Extollager

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Herewith, a thread for people who'd like to tell how one or more of the books Carter edited (or even ones he wrote??) contributed to their adventures in exploring imaginative fiction.
ballantine-youngmagicians.jpg

My memory is that I bought a copy of his anthology The Young Magicians when it was a new release. (Its publication date was October 1969.) Aged 14, I recognized Ballantine as Tolkien's paperback publisher -- I was a confirmed Tolkien fan, and indeed this book contained two "new" poems by Tolkien, as well as a poem by C. S. Lewis, whose Narnian books I knew and loved by then. These two remain absolute favorites, writers who have grown with me, fresh and delightful, wise and encouraging.

Most of the authors in this book, however, were new to me, and either I read them first in it, or in other books that I got hold of at about the same time. So far as I can now recall, it was in this book that I first read William Morris, E. R. Eddison, A. Merritt, etc. Here, I suppose, I first encountered the term "Cthulhu Mythos" -- so questionable a term for some serious readers of Lovecraft. It seems that, to me, "Cthulhu" looked vaguely Mayan or Aztec (I wouldn't have been very clear about the difference), so that I had a very vague impression that a "Cthulhu Mythos" story might involve fantastic adventures in the Andes. The bibliography at the back tickled my imagination.
il_340x270.580926888_r4zf.jpg

I'd already bought and read Carter's Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings, which is open to objections, certainly, but was a nifty thing to fall into a middle-school-age kid's hands. Here I would have read of Rider Haggard's She for the first time, as a book that Tolkien admitted had influenced him. I didn't wait too long to make good on the nudge implied, and have ended up reading 25 or so of Haggard's books, although a number of these are ones I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, printed out, and bound with staples. A typical Haggard novel might require three "volumes" of stapled sheets.

I'll have another Carter-related story or two later, I expect.
 
He had a story in his own anthology, FLASHING SWORDS #1 which was so bad I'm surprised I finished it. His novel, TIME WAR, was pretty good, though. In the future I will probably be more open to his sf and less likely to give his fantasy a try.
 
Poor Lin. So much of what he himself wrote was... well, frankly, crap. (Not all, but a goodly portion, I'm afraid.) Yet... he really was often a good editor when it came to putting together books exploring the wider aspects of the fantasy realm, or even the wider aspects of sub-genres such as swords-and-sorcery or "Cthulhu Mythos" fiction. And, to give him his due, when he was readable, even when the stuff itself wasn't all that good, there were often good things in it which made it somehow, perversely, fun.


By the way, Dask, that story by Carter in FS#1 was "The Higher Heresies of Oolimar", which a very young J. D. actually enjoyed quite a bit... enough to write to Lin asking more about the character there. I received in reply one of the wonkiest letters it has ever been my pleasure to receive, full of that boyish enthusiasm for these things which so characterized Carter's take on it all. If nothing else, that enthusiasm was infectious, as he genuinely loved it all, and was not in the least ashamed to show it.
 
I think it's cool that you wrote him. I wish I would have written some of my favorites while they were still alive. By the way, wasn't that story part of an upcoming novel? Did it ever come out and did you read it?
 
I didn't keep up with Lin's work much once I was out of my teens (save for the anthologies he edited, of which I have quite a few); but, to the best of my knowledge, he never completed the projected novel. He did have at least one other story of Amalric, which was included in FS#3, "The Curious Custom of the Turjan Seraad". Like its predecessor, it was mildly amusing, with some pointed comments on human absurdity, but not particularly memorable....
 
I think it's cool that you wrote him. I wish I would have written some of my favorites while they were still alive.

While in high school, I wrote to Carter, probably c/o Ballantine, with remarks on his New Worlds for Old anthology. He wrote back. I was well chuffed about that, even though he sarcastically suggested Agatha Christie might be more in my line since I'd criticized one or two of his poetry selections. :D
 
While in high school, I wrote to Carter, probably c/o Ballantine, with remarks on his New Worlds for Old anthology. He wrote back. I was well chuffed about that, even though he sarcastically suggested Agatha Christie might be more in my line since I'd criticized one or two of his poetry selections. :D
It's great that you wrote him though, and he did give you good advice. Agatha Christie's a better writer, tells better stories and kills people in better ways. I mean, drowning a girl while she bobs for apples --- how cool is that? (Sorry, got a little carried away.:eek:)

Anyway, I regret not writing Edmond Hamilton when I had the chance. I did write Jack Vance but knew in advance he wouldn't write back. Oh, the life of an sf fan is a life of endless regrets.
 
Pros often wrote letters to fanzines, which printed the letters with the authors' personal addresses sometimes included. Poul Anderson's handwritten note had a pecūliarity, a "hyphen" above the letter U in words as shown. L. Sprague de Camp sent typed (but signed) replies. Of course I was tickled to hear back from these gentlemen whose books I'd enjoyed. The two I've just mentioned remained active presences in fannish circles with their letters and con appearances, though I never saw them in person.
 
Pros often wrote letters to fanzines, which printed the letters with the authors' personal addresses sometimes included. Poul Anderson's handwritten note had a pecūliarity, a "hyphen" above the letter U in words as shown. L. Sprague de Camp sent typed (but signed) replies. Of course I was tickled to hear back from these gentlemen whose books I'd enjoyed. The two I've just mentioned remained active presences in fannish circles with their letters and con appearances, though I never saw them in person.


A bit off-topic, but... Never met Poul (though I'd like to have done so), but I did meet Sprague at a book signing here in Austin (along with his wife Catherine, and a few others, all of whom were very interesting to chat with). Sprague I didn't get too much time to talk to, as the fans were all focusing on him; but I spent a good 2-1/2 to 3 hours talking with Catherine, with Sprague (who was a bit deaf by that point in his life) joining in when possible. A stentorian voice, but a courtly manner, and quite charming; very pleasant. Catherine was more chatty and even vivacious, despite her age; and we had a lovely conversation.

I found that the same thing happened, by the way, when I met Michael Moorcock and his wife Linda; Linda and I had a very long chat, which Mike joined in on when possible, and it was a fascinating experience in both cases, as I learned a lot which I'd never run into mention of anywhere in their writings, but which made great stories about them and their friends, as well as offering a lot of insights into aspects of their work. From my understanding (returning to Lin, though not to his books necessarily), Carter was also very approachable personally, and as enthusiastic in person as in his writings....
 
Herewith, a thread for people who'd like to tell how one or more of the books Carter edited (or even ones he wrote??) contributed to their adventures in exploring imaginative fiction.
ballantine-youngmagicians.jpg

My memory is that I bought a copy of his anthology The Young Magicians when it was a new release. (Its publication date was October 1969.) Aged 14, I recognized Ballantine as Tolkien's paperback publisher -- I was a confirmed Tolkien fan, and indeed this book contained two "new" poems by Tolkien, as well as a poem by C. S. Lewis, whose Narnian books I knew and loved by then. These two remain absolute favorites, writers who have grown with me, fresh and delightful, wise and encouraging.

Most of the authors in this book, however, were new to me, and either I read them first in it, or in other books that I got hold of at about the same time. So far as I can now recall, it was in this book that I first read William Morris, E. R. Eddison, A. Merritt, etc. Here, I suppose, I first encountered the term "Cthulhu Mythos" -- so questionable a term for some serious readers of Lovecraft. It seems that, to me, "Cthulhu" looked vaguely Mayan or Aztec (I wouldn't have been very clear about the difference), so that I had a very vague impression that a "Cthulhu Mythos" story might involve fantastic adventures in the Andes. The bibliography at the back tickled my imagination.
il_340x270.580926888_r4zf.jpg

I'd already bought and read Carter's Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings, which is open to objections, certainly, but was a nifty thing to fall into a middle-school-age kid's hands. Here I would have read of Rider Haggard's She for the first time, as a book that Tolkien admitted had influenced him. I didn't wait too long to make good on the nudge implied, and have ended up reading 25 or so of Haggard's books, although a number of these are ones I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, printed out, and bound with staples. A typical Haggard novel might require three "volumes" of stapled sheets.

I'll have another Carter-related story or two later, I expect.

I have some of those anthologies. Good stuff.:)
 
A bit off-topic, but... Never met Poul (though I'd like to have done so)
Not to up one you but I did see Poul Anderson signing books at a bookstore in town a long time ago and as you might expect there was the stereotypical hoggish fan clamoring for all his attention. Poul was allowed to sign my copy of THE DARK BETWEEN THE STARS and I to tell him I enjoyed his work very much but hogs know when enough is enough and after Poul thanked me it was apparent my time was up. I also saw Kate Wilhem and Bubbles Broxon sitting together in the coffee shop at Norwescon but it wasn't until later I realized who they were. At the same con I also met Orson Scott Card with whom I had a brief correspondence and my opinion of him is that he's about the nicest guy you can ever hope to meet.
 
I'm reviving this thread in case we have anyone around who would like to contribute (or just read here) but missed this thread the first time around.
 
A couple of years ago I set out to make a list of must-read fantasy from the beginning of the modern fantasy genre. I wasn't really sure where to start, but someone recommended Carter's Imaginary Worlds: The Art of Fantasy book, which is a study of modern fantasy up to the time of its publication. The book was a great help and introduced to me to one of my all time favorite authors, Lord Dunsany, and many of my favorite works.
 
Herewith, a thread for people who'd like to tell how one or more of the books Carter edited (or even ones he wrote??) contributed to their adventures in exploring imaginative fiction.
ballantine-youngmagicians.jpg
Don't know if this is the right place to comment on Lin Carter's Jandar of Callisto series. It seems to me to be the most determined attempt that I know of to create an ERB-type series set on a Solar System world - in other words a literary homage to Barsoom. I'm currently re-reading book four, "Mad Empress of Callisto", trying to spot exactly where I thought the series went downhill the first time I read them aeons ago... the first three books were basically good enough to be worth reading for those who enjoy Barsoom, but I couldn't say the same for the rest. Maybe I shall think differently if I'm getting broadminded in my old age.
My memory is that I bought a copy of his anthology The Young Magicians when it was a new release. (Its publication date was October 1969.) Aged 14, I recognized Ballantine as Tolkien's paperback publisher -- I was a confirmed Tolkien fan, and indeed this book contained two "new" poems by Tolkien, as well as a poem by C. S. Lewis, whose Narnian books I knew and loved by then. These two remain absolute favorites, writers who have grown with me, fresh and delightful, wise and encouraging.

Most of the authors in this book, however, were new to me, and either I read them first in it, or in other books that I got hold of at about the same time. So far as I can now recall, it was in this book that I first read William Morris, E. R. Eddison, A. Merritt, etc. Here, I suppose, I first encountered the term "Cthulhu Mythos" -- so questionable a term for some serious readers of Lovecraft. It seems that, to me, "Cthulhu" looked vaguely Mayan or Aztec (I wouldn't have been very clear about the difference), so that I had a very vague impression that a "Cthulhu Mythos" story might involve fantastic adventures in the Andes. The bibliography at the back tickled my imagination.
il_340x270.580926888_r4zf.jpg

I'd already bought and read Carter's Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings, which is open to objections, certainly, but was a nifty thing to fall into a middle-school-age kid's hands. Here I would have read of Rider Haggard's She for the first time, as a book that Tolkien admitted had influenced him. I didn't wait too long to make good on the nudge implied, and have ended up reading 25 or so of Haggard's books, although a number of these are ones I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, printed out, and bound with staples. A typical Haggard novel might require three "volumes" of stapled sheets.

I'll have another Carter-related story or two later, I expect.
 
Herewith, a thread for people who'd like to tell how one or more of the books Carter edited (or even ones he wrote??) contributed to their adventures in exploring imaginative fiction.
ballantine-youngmagicians.jpg

My memory is that I bought a copy of his anthology The Young Magicians when it was a new release. (Its publication date was October 1969.) Aged 14, I recognized Ballantine as Tolkien's paperback publisher -- I was a confirmed Tolkien fan, and indeed this book contained two "new" poems by Tolkien, as well as a poem by C. S. Lewis, whose Narnian books I knew and loved by then. These two remain absolute favorites, writers who have grown with me, fresh and delightful, wise and encouraging.

Most of the authors in this book, however, were new to me, and either I read them first in it, or in other books that I got hold of at about the same time. So far as I can now recall, it was in this book that I first read William Morris, E. R. Eddison, A. Merritt, etc. Here, I suppose, I first encountered the term "Cthulhu Mythos" -- so questionable a term for some serious readers of Lovecraft. It seems that, to me, "Cthulhu" looked vaguely Mayan or Aztec (I wouldn't have been very clear about the difference), so that I had a very vague impression that a "Cthulhu Mythos" story might involve fantastic adventures in the Andes. The bibliography at the back tickled my imagination.
il_340x270.580926888_r4zf.jpg

I'd already bought and read Carter's Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings, which is open to objections, certainly, but was a nifty thing to fall into a middle-school-age kid's hands. Here I would have read of Rider Haggard's She for the first time, as a book that Tolkien admitted had influenced him. I didn't wait too long to make good on the nudge implied, and have ended up reading 25 or so of Haggard's books, although a number of these are ones I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, printed out, and bound with staples. A typical Haggard novel might require three "volumes" of stapled sheets.

I'll have another Carter-related story or two later, I expect.

I've just read again a narrative poem by C. S. Lewis that should, should, have been published in one of Carter's anthologies such as The Young Magicians or New Worlds for Old. It's "The Nameless Isle" (as it's titled by the editor of 1969's Narrative Poems) or "In a Spring Season" (as it appears in the recent critical edition of Lewis's complete poems, edited by Don W. King). It would be the perfect subject for one of the Ballantine series' famous wraparound covers. But Carter did reprint at least the razzle-dazzle short poem "Narnian Suite."
 

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