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Under the Green Star - Warning - Spoilers!!!

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  • steveseg@aol.com
    It s been about five years since I last re-read the Green Star series and then one day last week, it hit me. I HAD to read this incredible series again and
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 10, 2007
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      It's been about five years since I last re-read the "Green Star" series and
      then one day last week, it hit me. I HAD to read this incredible series again
      and so I began with volume 1 (of 5) "Under the Green Star."

      But before I get to the story proper, I'd like to mention the five plus page
      Epilogue titled "Author's Note on the Burroughs Tradition" by Lin Carter.
      Though situated at the end of the book, I read this first. How ERB first wrote
      and sold "Under the Moons of Mars" to "All-Story Magazine" in 1911 begins the
      essay and it expands to how Carter discovered Barsoom as a lad down in St.
      Petersburg, FL. Further on he discusses other works and authors of the
      Interplanetary Adventure (or Romance) genre and his own role as an author. The
      difference between influence and imitation is weighed with kudos to Norman's Gor
      books (first five only, I hope), Farmer's "The Wind Whales of Ishmael (one of
      my all-time favorites) and Leiber's "Tarzan and the Valley of Gold." Carter
      hopes that "Under the Green Star" will be as accepted as ERB influenced and
      not an imitation.

      I believe that he did in fact accomplish this. Carter admits that his
      upcoming Callisto books were written in the Burroughs style but not "Under the
      Green Star," claiming instead to have utilized "a crisp, vivid style A la A.
      Merritt prose." To my untutored eye, I see nothing of Merritt but plenty of Lin
      Carter who combines adventure with a suitable dose of humor, akin to his
      Zanthodon books (which appeared later in the seventies and early eighties.)

      If I were to find a Carter/Burroughs connection, aside from writing
      Interplanetary Adventure tales, it would be that the World of the Green Star (WotGS)
      has many geographic and plot similarities with ERB's Amtor. In both, the hero
      (unnamed on the WotGS) and Carson Napier on Amtor or Venus) from Earth lands
      on the portion of the cloud-shrouded planet rearing city-bearing forests
      with a civilization or city (the Laonese of Phaolon on tWotGS) and the Vepajans
      of Kooaad on Amtor) in dire need of succor. And naturally, there is a
      princess (Duare/Niamph) to be saved and her heart and hand won.

      Further, both Carson Napier and Lord Chong (Chongaphon tai-Vena-Vena) soon
      fall from a tree and are saved by the web of a giant spider (xoph on the World
      of the Green Star and targo on Amtor). It is later learned that these
      gigantic forests cover only a small portion of the planet and the action does extend
      to oceans and far-off lands. The geography of both planets seem compatible.
      So much so that I bet Den Valdron could write an essay claming that both
      worlds are in fact, one and the same. Naturally the difference in solar systems
      would have to be explained...

      But now, onto the story it self. By now, it is probably noted that neither
      our adventurer from Earth or the planet he visits, are named. Only the
      astrally/spiritually inhabited body of the in stasis hero (Lord Chong) is named and
      Carter keeps referring to the planet as the World of the Green Star. Strange
      that not one civilization would have a name for their world. Reminds me of
      Andre Norton's Witch World in this regard.

      The adventurer is a polio stricken man from Conneticut (near New Haven), who
      manages to find the secret of astrally projecting his spirit to Mars and
      later, the World of the Green Star, which beckoned to him like Barsoom did to
      John Carter and Antares did to Dray Prescot.

      Some of what our hero experienced during his search and before leaving our
      solar system is worth mentioning. Carter speaks of an ancient Earth, before the
      rise of cities like Ur, of kingdoms such as Egypt and even civilizations
      like Atlantis. It is the Uighur Empire of Asia he refers to and the book "Kan
      Chan Ga" is a remnant of that empire, as are some of the remote Tibetan
      lamaseries, one of which the book was "loaned" from. It appears that Carter was a
      political conservative as he writes decisively about the Red Chinese conquest
      of Tibet and later (in the Callisto books), the communist actions in Cambodia.
      Not surprising, he was in Korea when the red hordes poured south...

      To be continued. Darn it, I was in a groove but a couple of buddies just
      called from a bar.

      Steve S.
      <BR><BR><BR>**************************************<BR> AOL now offers free
      email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at
      http://www.aol.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Saroda Mara
      ... Lift one for us. And I look forward to reading more. I m finally reading _Journey to the Underground World_, and will soon be able to say what I think of
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 14, 2007
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        > To be continued. Darn it, I was in a groove but a couple of buddies
        > just called from a bar.

        Lift one for us.

        And I look forward to reading more. I'm finally reading _Journey to
        the Underground World_, and will soon be able to say what I think of it.
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