27 May 2012

What Is Sword and Planet?

Who Created the Sword and Planet Genre?

The creation of the Sword and Planet genre is credited to Edgar Rice Burroughs. This has become a relevant subject of conversation thanks to the movie John Carter or John Carter of Mars. In the book series, the character, John Carter, is whisked away to Mars and finds adventure and romance with a Martian princess. The first book in the series is called A Princess of Mars and the last or one of the last is called John Carter of Mars. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote other stories about men engaging in high adventure on other planets, such as Venus, and another that told of adventures inside the moon. The characters used basic weaponry, often swords, thus giving the genre its name.

Noteworthy Sword and Planet

Edgar Rice Burroughs has received credit for inventing Sword and Planet, but other writers have found success with the genre as well. Leigh Bracket created a very entertaining series about the planet Skaith with a main character named Eric John Stark who had an unusual and very rugged upbringing on a hostile planet. The three-book series included The Ginger Star, The Hounds of Skaith and The Reavers of Skaith. Bracket successfully mixed telepathy, witchcraft, swords and sun worship with space ships and space travel.

A Future for Sword and Planet Movies?

Whether or not the movie John Carter brings back the popularity of the genre for readers and fiction writers is yet to be seen. However, it does complete a journey that fans of the sword and planet genre have anticipated for many long years. With movie technology at a point where sword and planet fiction can be successfully translated into film, we may see more of the age-old classics of the pulp fiction era reintroduced to younger generations.

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