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Under the Green Star (1972)

af Lin Carter

Serier: The Green Star (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2114128,910 (3.24)8
On Earth, life held for him only the fate of a recluse--confined to daydreams and the lore of ancient wonders but apparently destined never to share them--until he found the formula that let him cross space to the world of the Green Star. There, appearing in the body of a fabled hero, he is to experience all that his heroid fantasies had yearned for. A princess to be saved . . . an invader to be thwarted . . . and otherworldly monsters to be faced A thrilling adventure in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, as only Lin Carter can tell it This edition includes an afterword by Lin Carter.… (mere)
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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Under the Green Star is Lin Carter’s homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs and it’s a quick, fun, exciting adventure with some terrific scenery. Our hero (who’s telling the story in first person) was crippled by polio when he was a child and, as an adult, he’s confined to a wheelchair. He’s wealthy, though, so he has managed to get hold of an ancient scroll that describes the lost Tibetan science of eckankar — soul travel. After years of studying, he manages to free his soul from his crippled body so that he can explore the Earth... and beyond!

It’s not long before he finds himself on a green star which supports a beautiful land where people live in the trees and ride dragonflies. When he gets too close to the crystal-encased tomb of one of their ancient heroes, his soul is sucked into the hero’s body which then comes back to life, fulfilling one of their prophecies. He is now the protector of their beautiful princess and, in his new and vigorous body, he has adventures.

Under the Green Star will likely feel derivative to readers who’ve read a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I haven’t, but it did remind me of several other works I’m familiar with: Abraham Merritt’s The Moon Pool (both the story and the writing style are very similar), John Norman’s Gor stories (Earth man becomes a hero on another planet) and Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series (diseased Earth man become a hero in a beautiful land).

The best part of Under the Green Star is the setting: a spectacular shady world with trees that have branches as wide as highways (or maybe the trees are normal-sized and the people are tiny — our hero never learns which is true). The people live in cities high up in the trees because dangerous monsters live on the floor of the forest.

The story is fast-paced and exciting and easily read in a day. Although it was really fun, there are a couple of problems with Under the Green Star. Foremost is the severely exhausting infuriating redundant extreme overuse of adjectives and descriptors:

"Her face was fine-boned, heart-shaped, exquisite. Beneath delicately arched brows, her eyes were enormous wells of depthless amber flame wherein flakes of gold fire trembled. Thick jetty lashes enshadowed the dark flame of her eyes, but her hair, elaborately teased and twisted and coiffed, was startlingly white: a fantastic confection of frosted sugar, and exquisite construction of spun silver. Her mouth was a luscious rosebud, daintily pink, moistly seductive. A delicate flower of superb and breathtaking loveliness was Niamh the Fair, when first I looked upon her there on the gilt throne, bathed in shafts of somber and ruby light from the hollow dome above."

That makes me want to gag and effortlessly brings me to my next point: that’s about all there is to the princess when our hero decides he’s in love with her. She looks like cotton candy (and her personality’s about as substantial as cotton candy, too). But, what did I expect? I’ve read enough old SFF to know not to expect much more from this type of story. It wasn’t written for me, anyway.

The Kindle version of Under the Green Star is only $2.69 (at this writing) and I was pleased with its quality. I gave the book only a 3 star rating, but because it’s short, fun, and cheap, I recommend it to anyone who wants to further their education in old SFF. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Under the Green Star is the first of what came to be several sword-and-planet novels in its setting by Lin Carter. It was written in conscious homage to the Barsoom books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but, as Carter notes in his afterword "On the Burroughs Tradition," it is not at all Burroughs' prose style. It is also quite a different setting. The world of the Green Star is vast and arboreal, with elfin peoples dwelling in cities in the branches of great trees, where giant bugs and lizards represent the chief environmental hazards.

The occultism of this story is more pronounced than the accidental interplanetary projection of Burroughs' John Carter. The hero in this case is a victim of juvenile polio who studies arcane lore in an effort to be able to project his consciousness from his crippled body. In a bit of inadvertant hilarity, the author chose Eckankar as the mysterious ancient discipline that brings success to this occult quest, evidently taking propaganda from the then-young New Age sect of Paul Twitchell as a more neutral exposition of astral magic.

I did genuinely enjoy the story, and I would class it with Burroughs as quality sword-and-planet fantasy with a sort of baseline naivete that enhances its charm.
5 stem paradoxosalpha | Feb 24, 2014 |
This is Burrough's style 'barbarian planet' science fiction, or really fantasy. Carter's stuff isn't bad, but it is not as good as Burrough's Barsoom series. Short, easy to read, semi-repetitive. ( )
  Karlstar | Oct 17, 2009 |
Book 1 in the Green Star series. Followed by When The Green Star Calls.

"On Earth life held for him only the fate of a recluse - confined to daydreams and the lore of ancient wonders but apparently destined never to share them - until the day he found the formula that enabled him to cross interstellar space.

"It was then that the world that revolved around an unnamed green star drew him - and as the usurper of the body of the tree city of Phaolon's fabled hero he was to experience in flesh and blood all that his heroic fantasies had yearned for. For there was a princess to be saved, an invader to be thwarted, and other-world monsters to be faced...

"UNDER THE GREEN STAR is Lin Carter's salute to the great tradition of the grand masters of interplanetary swordplay."


Book 1 of the 'Green Star' series and the best of the 5. Unnamed astral traveller goes to the Green Star planet where he occupies the enchanted body of legendary hero Chong and finds a princess in trouble (a typical Carter plot device). Plot is not too involved as Carter takes time to describe the Green Star world. This one is largely self-contained as the subsequent 4 books in the series are serialised. ( )
  schteve | Apr 18, 2006 |
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On Earth, life held for him only the fate of a recluse--confined to daydreams and the lore of ancient wonders but apparently destined never to share them--until he found the formula that let him cross space to the world of the Green Star. There, appearing in the body of a fabled hero, he is to experience all that his heroid fantasies had yearned for. A princess to be saved . . . an invader to be thwarted . . . and otherworldly monsters to be faced A thrilling adventure in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs, as only Lin Carter can tell it This edition includes an afterword by Lin Carter.

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