Monday, December 17, 2007

Sword and Planet Link

As a supporter of all things “Sword and Planet,” or “Interplanetary Romance,” if you prefer, I must refer you to the The Perils on Planet X Blog. This is a sort of production diary set up by Christopher Mills, who is writing the story for a three issue comic book series of this name. The series features an earthman named Donovan Hawke who ends up stranded in the past, on a planet named Xylos, which also happens to be the planet that once inhabited our solar system at the spot now known as the Asteroid Belt. Swashbuckling ensues, as I’ve seen from getting a glimpse of chapter 1 of the series.

There are certainly elements of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in the series, and a bit of Burroughs as well, but there are a lot of nice new touches that keep the story line fresh. As you could guess from the Talera series, I believe there is still tremendous potential in the general Sword and Planet genre, with plenty of room to respect what has gone before while still telling wonderful fantasy adventures that have never been told.

By the way, Christopher and I have different preferences for how to name this genre. He thinks Sword and Planet is clunky and prefers Interplanetary Romance, which is one of the earlier names for the genre. I stopped using “romance” myself because I found that if I tried to describe the Taleran books as Interplanetary Romance almost all non-fans of the genre were confused by what I meant. A term that I use sometimes is “Interplanetary Adventure,” although Christopher has suggested “Interplanetary Swashbuckler.” I like that, but for the moment may continue to use Sword and Planet as a parallel construction for Sword and Sorcery, which I also like to read and write.


RK Sterling said...

I can see how "Interplanetary Romance" would confuse people. There are "Space Operas" within the romance genre, so that's what I would have thought of.

I like the terms "Interplanetary Adventure" and "Interplanetary Swashbuckler" though. Sounds exciting. :)

Danette Haworth said...

I like Interplanetary Romance, but I can see how guys might turn away from anything with that label.
Interplanetary Adventure sounds good, and Interplanetary Swashbuckler makes me think of Johnny Depp, which can only be good.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to open up my mind and start reading some of that. Somehow, I've never fully caught the appeal. It goes further--I've never seen an episode of Star Wars nor one of Star Trek. If it has anything to do with other worlds, I've shied away.

Charles Gramlich said...

Kate, always good to hear from you. Hope you are doing well. In some ways interplanetary romance was the fantasy equivalent of Space Opera for SF.

Danette, I like the term swashbuckler for sure.

Wayne, I'm probably the opposite way, or was at least when I was young. If it smacked of real life I didn't want to read it. (except for sports fiction.) I always figured I was living real life so for my reading I wanted something different.

Bernita said...

"Adventure" is a good ( and accurate) word.

virtual nexus said...

Charles I picked up this E Howard link on Gabriele's blog -

any interest?

Shauna Roberts said...

I like "interplanetary swashbuckler" myself. It reminds me of all those wonderful old movies I used to watch on TV on Saturday afternoons as a kid about pirates or Robin Hood or Tarzan. If there's a man with a sword, I'm hooked.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernita, yes, I like it. Although I just love the word "sword" so Sword and Planet still sings a bit more to me.

Julie, thanks for the heads up but I'm aware of The Cimmerian and The Cimmerian Blog. It's linked to my blog through my link to REHupa. Many Howardian links there. Someday I'll tell everyone here a story about some of those links. But today is not that day. :)

Shauna, I do love a good swordfight myself.

Erik Donald France said...

Sword and Planet works for me.
But would Pen and Planet be mightier?

Drizel said...

hey charles...I am reading yor blog, just cant always frustrating.
Comic books we dont have so many here anymore...or maybe I just dont know where do look.
Have a good week:)

Steve Malley said...

Um... Sword & Science? Cause, you know, the weird science usually takes the place of weird magic...

I don't knows what to calls it, but I knows I likes it! - L'il Abner

writtenwyrdd said...

Personally, I'm with you, Charles. Sword & Planet gives a clear understanding of the genre.

Have you ever read Witches of Karres or the recently-released sequel? That is my all time favorite read, and it's a rollicking space opera from the 60s, I think. That's what the term Sword & Planet sort of embodies for me. Except with swords. Or those old Barsoom/Mars stories.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, good one.

Etain, we all go through periods where posting and commenting is hard. Hope life lets up for you soon. I miss your poetry.

Steve Malley, scientific romance was an early term used for some of these stories because of the fact that "super" science generally replaces the magic. I generally use the term Heroic Fantasy to cover the whole range of sword type stories.

Writtenwyrd, I haven't read that. I looked it up online and found some discussion about it but couldn't find any copies available on amazon. Gonna have to search a few other sites for it.

Travis Cody said...

If you're taking votes, I like Interplanetary Swashbuckler. "Adventure" seems very broad...I could expect almost anything.

But "Swashbuckler" is much more specific and I get an immediate idea what kind of story and characters to expect.