Friday, February 3, 2017

Luria, Queen of the Panther World

I posted the image to the left on Twitter as a completely un-ironic goof.  As you know, I've been using the skills developed during fighting in the meme-trenches to install the God Emperor's butt on the Cherry Blossom Throne to show the world that the old pulps are well worth their time.

This guy (for a good time, go follow him) remarked that he wanted to read the Queen of the Panther World, and so a bit of poking demonstrated such a thing was possible.  You can read it online right here!

Love at first punch, it's a beautiful thing, isn't it?
This isn't high lit-ra-chur by any stretch.  It's just a damn fun little story about two kind of nebbish Chicagoans (not New Yorkers, and that alone is refreshing) teleported to a topsy-turvy world where women rule men.  The eponymous Queen used her magic mind projection/teleportation powers to bring two middle class guys to a world filled with massive nearly-sentient and partially telepathic giant panthers, dragons, and proud Amazonians that somehow actually do need a few real men in their lives. 

The narrator, a pulp writer named Berk (note this was written by a man names Berkeley) and his friend, the illustrator at the magazine are stronger than most men for reasons not fully explained, so what they lack in training, they more than make up for in brute strength.  The adventure takes maybe one or two more twists than is absolutely necessary, and dips into slapstick a bit deeper than it probably should have, but it features all the great stuff that one comes to expect from stories of this nature:

A strange world populated by warrior cultures that none-the-less could stand a little bit of 20th century American thinking?  Check.

Daring escapes?  Check.

A world saved from barbarism?  Check.

A nefarious old wizard that betrayed the king who ruled for a golden age?  Check.

The mind of that golden age king thrown forward in time to live in the body of a sacred parrot that now stands as a symbol of hope and rule?  And it talks like a Bronx gangster so that the narrator is the only one that can understand it?  Check and check.

The hero's first encounter with his romantic partner consists of a knock-down drag out fist fight that only ends when he cranks her one right in the snot-box and sends her flying fifteen feet through the air?  Which only inspires her adoration at his warrior prowess?
Well, I don't know that I expected that last one, but check!

As I said, it's got some rough patches, and doesn't compare to the old masters of Howard, Burroughs, and Moore, but it's still a damned fun adventure.

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