Four good things about Lin Carter

Author Lin Carter often gets criticized, especially for his “marked tendency for self-promotion” and “the hollowed out derivativeness of the setting and action“. However, there are several good things about him:

  1. He always acknowledged when he was trying to write in someone else’s style.
  2. I don’t think he ever tried to write a pastiche of Lord of the Rings (and presumably not because he didn’t like it: he wrote a book about it).
  3. The Man Who Loved Mars is actually pretty good.
  4. He might have had an influence on the plot of Avatar. I’ve already posted about how that film is partly similar to Carter’s Under the Green Star. I later found out that The Man Who Loved Mars, like Avatar, has a man who rejects near-future Earth society and leads a rebellion against it by tribal aliens. Of course, it could be a matter of them both using the same set of stock plots.

PS I haven’t included his editing the ‘Flashing Swords’ series. I read a couple and didn’t think they were that great.

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2 thoughts on “Four good things about Lin Carter

  1. The Man Who Loved Mars I think was Carter’s most original novel. Though I’m sure it was inspired by Brackett, I found the flavor of the book to be something of its own more than any of his other books.

    • Yeah- for example the hero comes across as quite the intellectual, whereas from what I’ve read Leigh Brackett’s heroes (and Lin Carter’s for that matter) tend to be Han Solo/Malcolm Reynolds types.

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