Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Michael Moorcock Revisits His Youth with Reprint of Kline’s The Swordsman of Mars (1933)

Science Fiction Grand Master Michael Moorcock wrote an awesome introduction to the new Paizo Publishing unabridged reprint of Otis A. Kline’s
The Swordsman of Mars, which was originally published in Argosy magazine back in 1933.

In successfully pulling Kline out of the shadow cast by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Moorcock recalls his long-standing personal relationship with The Swordsman of Mars:
I had this particular novel in my hand long before I read it. I was tempted to buy it but by the time I saw it on a dealer’s stall at an SF convention, I had lost, I thought, all interest in other-world sword and spaceship romances. At that time, the only writer of that kind I continued to enjoy was Leigh Brackett, whose tales of Mars and Eric John Stark were also inspired by Burroughs ... Of course, I came back to Burroughs and to Howard some time after that first renaissance, but by that time copies of Kline’s books were hard to come by. One of the chief reasons for my wanting to write this introduction was so that I would at last have the chance to read The Swordsman of Mars!

In some ways I am very glad I didn’t buy this book in the 1970s. If I had I would never have enjoyed the experience of revisiting my youth. The Swordsman of Mars is so much better than expected ...
To learn what fans are saying about the new reprint of Kline's work, read the messageboards at Paizo Publishing.

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