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Kane of Old Mars (Eternal Champion Series,…

Kane of Old Mars (Eternal Champion Series, Vol. 9) (original 1998; udgave 1998)

af Michael Moorcock

Serier: Kane of Old Mars (Omnibus), The Eternal Champion (Kane of Old Mars books 1-3)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1504139,112 (3.75)7
The founders of modern literary fancy deserve their own place in the light. The Borealis Legends line is a tribute to the creators of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres as we know them today.
Titel:Kane of Old Mars (Eternal Champion Series, Vol. 9)
Forfattere:Michael Moorcock
Info:White Wolf Publishing (1998), Hardcover, 334 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Kane of Old Mars af Michael Moorcock (1998)


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My reaction to reading this omnibus in 1999. Spoilers follow.

“Introduction” -- Interesting introduction to the omnibus in which Moorcock reveals more of his prodigious talent and history. He learned to read at age three and was a professional writer at age 15. The three novels of this volume were written in “just over a week”. The introduction mainly talks about Moorcock’s love of Edgar Rice Burroughs and how this series is a John Carter of Mars pastiche written, under a pen name, at the same time he edited the avante garde New Worlds. He cheerfully acknowledges, but does not try to reconcile, the inconsistencies of editing a magazine rebelling and denouncing genre conventions while writing a pastiche of one of the pulpiest (Moorcock loves pulp) series of all times. I found it interesting that Sexton Blake (a detective that shows up in Michael Moorcock’s Multiverse comic and, I think, Tales of the Texas Woods) and Zenith (also a character in the Multiverse comic) were not original to Moorcock. Rather the Blake series of novels goes back into the 1800s and has had many manifestations.

City of the Beast -- This is a pretty faithful John Carter of Mars imitation. Both heroes are expert swordsman who spend a lot of time trying to find and rescue scantily clad princesses and, by accident, befriending nonhumans. Moorcock’s plot coincidences (Michael Kane just happening to live in a town populated by an ex-fencing instructor of the Romanovs and just happening to meet Shizala, his beloved princess, first thing of Mars and just happening to be rescued by a Argzoon he showed mercy to) are better hidden than Edgar Rice Burroughs but still there. I didn’t find this story very interesting, but then I’m not a fan of its model, Burroughs’ John Carter. I found the most interesting aspect was that the Martians of a Mars millions of years in the past will eventually emigrate to Earth and give rise to Hindu mythology. Moorcock used the same idea, the reality behind Hindu mythology, in his “Flux”, the installment before this in his Eternal Champion saga as published by White Wolf. This novel has very little seeming relevance to the notion of the Eternal Champion and adds nothing to the notion.

Lord of Spiders -- More John Carter style adventures on Mars. Nothing really interesting here and, though it was only 122 pages long, it was a struggle to finish this one.

Masters of the Pit -- This was, of the three novels in this omnibus, the most interesting. Kane, in this novel only, seems, in his fight against the bizarre government of the Eleven in Cend-Amrid, to be a manifestation of the Eternal Champion in his fight against Chaos. I also liked the Dr. Moreau-like elements of the Fast monsters creating sentient beings out of cats and dogs. Philosophically, this novel is weightier than its two predecessors. Kane says he likes Mars because its governments and societies do not make the mistake of trying to attain perfection. This is an odd tenet for Moorcock, a political liberal, to express since one of modern liberalism’s basic tenets is precisely trying to perfect society. The major philosophical point of this novel is that fear leads to various evils. This is also a common, major, and vacant tenet of liberalism. While Kane and his fellow Varnalians are to be commended for not killing the victims of the Green Death, this tenet of fear springing from lack of understanding and leading to aggression is not only proved false in reality (sometimes aggression is necessary precisely because an enemy is well understood) but also by the story itself. Kane is more than happy to kill opponents he fears and understands. ( )
1 stem RandyStafford | Oct 6, 2013 |
City of the Beast: http://www.librarything.com/review/25447197
Lord of the Spiders: http://www.librarything.com/review/86331739
Masters of the Pit: http://www.librarything.com/review/86331746

After the books contained in the 8th volume of the Omnibus Editions, I found this volume a welcome respite - simple stories, simple writing, simple plot, simple characters. These books are just fun. Nothing deep here. Swords, a little science, a little mysticism, a little skin and lots and lots of dead bodies. ( )
  helver | Jun 3, 2012 |
Kane of Old Mars is a collection of Michael Moorcock's blatant homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series.

Much like John Carter, Michael Kane is mysteriously transported to Mars, this time through some transportation device. As Mars is known to be a desolate world in our day and age, Kane is surprised to see it full of thriving life, including humanoid inhabitants. This is not today's Mars, but a Mars of ages past, when dinosaurs roamed Earth.

Kane sets himself as a hero on this world, as he was a physicist by trade, he also knows a thing or two about swordplay, and uses his knowledge to help keep his adopted home town, and the woman he has fallen in love with, safe.

Kane adopts the same sort of ethics as Carter, about it being wrong to kill and so forth, only instead of adopting these ethics and then running green martians through with a sword, Kane does all he can to not kill those that would, under their own volition, wish him harm, instead preferring to disable them with a whack to the head.

While I must admit, at first, I was wary of Moorcock's ability to pen science fiction (I found "The Blood Red Game" to be a little more challenging of a read than the other works in The Eternal Champion omnibus), I have actually been pleased with the sci-fi I've read of his of late. Granted, most of it has been Sword and Planet style sci-fi, which is closer to fantasy or adventure than science fiction, but still, he's shown himself able to write in almost any genre and still be exceedingly interesting.

This book is recommended for fans of Burroughs' Barsoom series, or any other fan of Sword and Planet style stories. ( )
  aethercowboy | Feb 10, 2009 |
White Wolf put together a series of 15 Omnibus editions of Michael Moorcock's the Eternal Champion (at least they Printed it here in the USA). Kane of Old Mars, though probably not considered Moorcock's best work, was my favorite. I would guess it had the least literary merit, however it was a great adventure that kept moving. I never got bored reading it and enjoyed it from cover to cover. I enjoy Moorcock's work in general but this one had that spark for me that wouldn't let me put it down. ( )
  readafew | Dec 12, 2006 |
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The founders of modern literary fancy deserve their own place in the light. The Borealis Legends line is a tribute to the creators of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres as we know them today.

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