Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What If You're Wrong?

A recent post of mine was one of those, "Have you actually read any of the old pulps?  Because they are crazy fun.  Here's one that ain't perfect, but has all the adventure, action, heroism, and humor that a reader could ask for."  At some point, somebody will take me up on this, and then one of two things are going to happen:
  1. They read it, enjoy it, and merrily go their way, the scales freshly fallen from their eyes.
  2. They read it, they hate it, and merrily go their way, never listening to my ranting again.
I'm good either way. 

But honestly, this was just an excuse to talk more about Queen of the Panther World.

You see that bloke facing down a six foot panther dressed in a skirt?  His name is Jimno  He has to throw that harness on it, and bust that bronco.  Then he has to do it five more times.  Somebody has to train these mounts before they can be ridden to war or to fight a dragon, the latter of which happens more than once in this story.

What Jimno is going through here is a punishment for sass-talking his wife after she slapped him around with a club for burning the soup.

This is how Jimno was introduced:

He gets better.

Let me spell that out for you one more time.  This story sees two average Chicago guys teleported to a world where all the women are strong, the men are meek, and the good guys ride seven foot mildly telepathic panthers into battle against big dragons and the renegade men who would subjugate the world beneath the hooves of their elk-lizard mounts.  In this new world the two average guys are as strong as the mightiest warrior because that's how insert characters and escapism work.  That's the explanation - no gravity, no magic, just that's how it is.

And it works.

The real world Joes manage to get captured by the rebellious warrior men, escape from their prison, fight their way to the village of the warrior women, liberate the men from their oppressors and train them to fight, battle dragons, launch raids and ambushes, and counter ambushes, and even find the time for a little romance along the way.

I can't figure out how it works, but it does.

If that description doesn't sound like something that interests you, then maybe science fiction and fantasy aren't really your thing.  Maybe you should stick to Oprah approved books.


  1. As much as I hate to champion progressiveness, the pulps were WAAAAY more progressive than they're ever given credit for.

    Burroughs set the bar incredibly high for women as co-protagonists in Son of Tarzan.

    Even something as cheesy as Spidermen of Gharr had a bit where the action scientist from the past got told to get with the (post-apocalyptic) times - there was no reason for the dame to NOT go on a raid against the alien robot concentration camp to free the slaves because she was good with a spear and they needed as many bodies as they could get.

  2. Also, Kline's Venus trilogy starts with the space princess as a cold hard bitch who has not only conquered half the planet, she's thrown the Venusian prince into the salt mines for the offense of being a cad and trying to come onto her. It's kinda like the Taming of the Shrew, but with more giant termites, pteronodons and swamp dragons.