New Worlds For Old

new worlds for oldI don’t spend a lot of time talking about the Ballantine Fantasy series anymore, but it was a great introduction to the history of fantasy fiction, and I always enjoyed Lin Carter’s introductions. Thanks to these books I became much more familiar with the grandsires of most of what we’re reading today. Some were interesting in a historical way (as in — huh, so that’s where THAT idea came from), some were curiously different from what we’re reading today, and then a handful of authors crept onto my favorites list mostly due to this series, among them Lord Dunsany.

But this particular Ballantine anthology is a favorite of mine simply because it contains, so far as I know, the only printing of Lin Carter’s very best short story, “Zingazar.” He’s in full Dunsanyian mode, imitating, as he always seemed to do, someone else’s style. But THIS time he knocks it out of the park, riffing on Dunsany’s “The Sword of Welleran” to deliver what I happen to believe is a stronger tale than the master himself, a minor sword-and-sorcery masterpiece.

Morgan Holmes and I have imagined, for years, a “best of” Lin Carter collection that would get 1-2 of his good short novels and a grab bag of his best short stories. This would definitely be right in there. Heck, I like this one so much I contributed an essay about it into a Lin Carter critical studies book. Anyway, if you’ve got this book, read the tale.

3 Comments on “New Worlds For Old

  1. I have the book and will try to fit it in sometime over the next week or two. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve not read this particular volume.

  2. Hey Keith,

    I look forward to hearing what you have to say. It’s a nice collection, but you’re probably familiar with most of it. “Zingazar,” though, is a treasure.

  3. I will have to find this. In the meantime, I am glad to report I have finally gathered all the HB volumes of “Flashing Swords.”

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