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Saturday, February 28, 2009


Cover: Hadon of Ancient Opar

Philip José Farmer has handed in his typewriter and gone to that big fantasy kingdom in the sky. He was 91, which was good innings, as the Brits say. If I'd known that, I'd have stopped hoping for him to continue with the Opar saga.

According to Wikipedia, Opar was a frequently-visited ancient city in the Tarzan novels. Since my acquaintance of Tarzan is more through movies than the novels (I need to rectify that), I had not known that.

Cover: Flight to Opar

I picked up the Opar books while in Oz, and found them good, rip-snortin' yarns in the old tradition. Maddeningly, Flight to Opar ends with Hadon and someone else (a woman, if I recall -- maybe a princess -- the books are back in Houston so I can't check) struggling over some mountain pass. Hanging from a cliff for 33 years. Man.

Well, Farmer took Burroughs's ideas and wrote new stories about them; perhaps someone else will take up the Opar saga, and get Hadon and the girl off that mountain.

I sure wish I had the first DAW editions, just for the cover art (Hadon and Flight). (The covers displayed here are for the Methuen editions I have.) I was thinking that those covers looked like the work of the fellow who did some of the covers for Lin Carter's Green Star series. That link says that By The Light of the Green Star and As the Green Star Rises had their covers done by Roy Krenkel. And, sure enough, he did the original DAW covers for the Opar books. (See here for Hadon and here for Flight.)

And, of course, he has a Wikipedia entry. The work of the seriously nerdy is made easy in the 21st century.