Saturday, March 12, 2011

Three Paperback Gems from the 70s

This weekend I picked three old paperbacks from my bookshelf to highlight.

Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria by Lin Carter – This 1976 paperback was the first Thongor novel. Clearly meant to evoke Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Carter’s Thongor was a sword and sorcery hero that would have been right at home in the pulp magazines of the 30s and 40s. Carter was an excellent writer and this short but exciting adventure was one of my favorites from the Swinging Seventies. Other Thongor novels included Thongor and the Dragon City and Thongor Fights the Pirates of Tarakus.

Death’s Deputy by L. Ron Hubbard – This 1970 paperback was a reprint of Hubbard’s classic 1940 pulp story, and it’s one of his best. A cross-genre air adventure and fantasy tale, this beautifully written and heartfelt novel tells the story of flight lieutenant Clayton McLean who continues to survive where others might perish. He’s a man that wants to die but knows that he can’t. It’s a timeless morality tale from the Master Storyteller’s typewriter.

The Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke – This early 70s reprint of Clarke’s 1957 novel is one of his best but sadly forgotten today. This is hardcore science-adventure, literate and compelling and perhaps just a tad implausible. But who cares. Clarke was so good with this type of novel that if you can find a copy you’ll be swept along with the action. Deep sea adventures couldn’t get any better than this.

All three of these books are currently out of print although I believe Galaxy Press intends on reprinting Death’s Deputy in a few years. If you are looking for some retro adventure these three classics will surely satisfy your appetite for adventure.


  1. Masters, all of them! If any story can hold your attention that is this old the writer had his chops! It's all about being swept away into the world they create for you - and these kinds of books sure as hell do that!

  2. I'm glad I hung on to all of these books. I have boxes packed away that I'll be going through and when I find something interesting I'll post it here!


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