Thongor of Lemuria

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Thongor of Lemuria
Thongor of Lemuria.jpg
Cover art for the original edition.
Author Lin Carter
Illustrator Gray Morrow
Cover artistGray Morrow
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Series Thongor series
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Ace Books
Publication date
1966
Media typePrint (Paperback)
Pages127
Preceded by The Wizard of Lemuria  
Followed by Thongor Against the Gods  

Thongor of Lemuria is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter, the second book of his Thongor series set on the mythical continent of Lemuria. It was first published in paperback by Ace Books in 1966. The author afterwards revised and expanded the text, in which form it was reissued as Thongor and the Dragon City, first published in paperback by Berkley Books in 1970. This retitled and revised edition became the standard edition for later reprintings.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

Lin Carter American fantasy writer, editor, critic

Linwood Vrooman Carter was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor, poet and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H. P. Lowcraft and Grail Undwin. He is best known for his work in the 1970s as editor of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre.

Lemuria or Limuria is a hypothetical lost land located in either the Indian or the Pacific Ocean, as postulated by a now-discredited 19th-century scientific theory. The idea was then adopted by the occultists of the time and consequently has been incorporated into pop culture. Some Tamil writers have associated it with Kumari Kandam, a mythical lost continent with an ancient Tamil civilization located south of present-day India in the Indian Ocean.

Contents

Plot and storyline

To rescue Princess Sumia and save her city, barbarian adventurer Thongor of Valkarth challenges the vampire-king Xothun, who has ruled the lost city of Omm for a thousand years.

Thongor is a character in a series of sword-and-sorcery novels & stories written by Lin Carter, stylized after Conan the Barbarian and set in ancient Lemuria. The character was picked up by Marvel Comics in the 1970s for its series Creatures on the Loose which saw some of Carter's stories adapted, as well as the author himself contributing to later issues.

Cover art from the first edition of the retitled and revised version, Thongor and the Dragon City, Berkley Books, 1970. Thongor and the Dragon City.jpg
Cover art from the first edition of the retitled and revised version, Thongor and the Dragon City, Berkley Books, 1970.

Setting

The Thongor series is Carter's premier entry in the Sword & Sorcery genre, representing a tribute to both the Conan series of Robert E. Howard and the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He pictures the lost continent of Lemuria as a prehistoric kingdom located in the Pacific Ocean during the Ice Age, where Mesozoic wildlife persisted after the cataclysm wiped them out elsewhere. An intelligent reptilian humanoid race descended from dinosaur reigned supreme as the dominant life form but was partially supplanted by humanity as the continent was colonized by fauna from outside Lemuria. Humans have gradually thrown off their subjection by the older civilization. Culturally, Lemuria is a mixture of civilization and barbarism but overall is precociously advanced over the outside world, boasting a magic-based technology that includes even flying machines. The Thongor books relate the struggle of the titular hero to unite the humans of Lemuria into a single empire and complete the overthrow of the "dragon kings".

Sword and sorcery genre of fantasy fiction

Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a subgenre of fantasy characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent adventures. An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural. Unlike works of high fantasy, the tales, though dramatic, focus mainly on personal battles rather than world-endangering matters. Sword and sorcery commonly overlaps with heroic fantasy.

Conan the Barbarian fictional character created by Robert E. Howard

Conan the Barbarian is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films, television programs, video games, role-playing games, and other media. The character was created by writer Robert E. Howard in 1932 for a series of fantasy stories published in Weird Tales magazine.

Robert E. Howard American author

Robert Ervin Howard was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.

Influence

The Thongor books helped reestablish the sword and sorcery genre in the 1960s. Thongor was a successful ongoing series, paving the way for an explosion of similar works by other hands. It inspired such spin-offs as a comic book series and a rock group. After Carter was recruited by L. Sprague de Camp to assist in continuing Howard's original Conan series, however, his interest in Thongor waned. Ultimately the Thongor saga remained unfinished and was already out of print well before the author's death. As of September 2016, author and long-time friend of Lin Carter Dr. Robert M. Price released a collected edition of original Thongor stories with an introduction by Richard A. Lupoff. [1] Price states, "In the last few years, I have taken up the fallen banner of Lin Carter’s Thongor of Lemuria saga. Lin appointed me his literary executor, and so I feel that carrying on Thongor’s adventures is within my prerogative." [2] Price has also informed Thongor fans on social media that he has planned more Thongor of Lemuria stories to come in the near future.[ citation needed ]

L. Sprague de Camp American writer of science fiction and fantasy, non-fiction and biography

Lyon Sprague de Camp, better known as L. Sprague de Camp, was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and non-fiction. In a career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and works of non-fiction, including biographies of other fantasy authors. He was a major figure in science fiction in the 1930s and 1940s.

Robert M. Price American theologian

Robert McNair Price is an American New Testament scholar who argues against the existence of a historical Jesus. He taught theology and religious studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary. He is a professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on biblical studies and the historicity of Jesus.

Marvel Comics adaptation

The book was the basis for the beginning of a Marvel Comics storyline in the comic book Creatures on the Loose . Thongor debuted in issue 22 in March 1973, and the storyline ran through issue 29 in May 1974.

Marvel Comics Company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

Comic book Publication of comics art

A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comics art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by descriptive prose and written narrative, usually, dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U.S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone.

Related Research Articles

Swordsmen and Sorcerers Guild of America

The Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America or SAGA was an informal group of American fantasy authors active from the 1960s through the 1980s, noted for their contributions to the "Sword and Sorcery" kind of heroic fantasy, itself a subgenre of fantasy. When it developed a serious purpose that was to promote the popularity and respectability of Sword and Sorcery fiction.

<i>Conan and the Spider God</i> novel by L. Sprague de Camp

Conan and the Spider God is a fantasy novel by American writer L. Sprague de Camp featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Bantam Books in December 1980; later paperback editions were issued by Ace Books and Tor Books. The first hardcover edition was issued by Robert Hale in 1984, and the second by Tor Books in 2002. It was later gathered together with Conan the Swordsman and Conan the Liberator into the omnibus trade paperback collection Sagas of Conan.

<i>Conan the Liberator</i> novel by Lin Carter

Conan the Liberator is a fantasy novel by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Bantam Books in February 1979, and reprinted in 1982; later paperback editions were issued by Ace Books. The first hardcover edition was published by Tor Books in June 2002; a trade paperback followed from the same publisher in 2003. The first British edition was from Sphere Books. The novel was later gathered together with Conan the Swordsman and Conan and the Spider God into the omnibus collection Sagas of Conan.

<i>Conan the Barbarian</i> (1982 novel) novel by L. Sprague de Camp

Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 fantasy novel written by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter and Catherine Crook de Camp featuring Robert E. Howard's seminal sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian, a novelization of the feature film of the same name. It was first published in paperback by Bantam Books in May 1982. The first hardcover edition was issued by Robert Hale in 1983, and the first British edition by Sphere Books in April 1988. A later novel with the same title by Michael A. Stackpole was issued by Berkley Books in 2011 as a tie-in with the 2011 remake of the 1982 film.

<i>Conan</i> (short story collection)

Conan is a 1967 collection of seven fantasy short stories and associated pieces written by Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter featuring Howard's seminal sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. Most of the stories were originally published in various pulp magazines. The book was first published in paperback by Lancer Books in 1967, and was reprinted in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 (twice) and 1973. After the bankruptcy of Lancer, publication was taken over by Ace Books. Its first edition appeared in May 1977, and was reprinted in 1979, 1982 (twice), 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1990. The first British edition was issued by Sphere Books in 1974, and was reprinted in 1977. The book has also been translated into German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish and Dutch. It was gathered together with Conan of Cimmeria and Conan the Freebooter into the omnibus collection The Conan Chronicles.

<i>Conan the Swordsman</i> book by Lyon Sprague de Camp

Conan the Swordsman is a collection of seven fantasy short stories and associated pieces written by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter and Björn Nyberg featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Bantam Books in August 1978, and reprinted in 1981. Later paperback editions were issued by Ace Books. The first hardcover edition was published by Tor Books in December 2002. The first British edition was issued by Sphere Books in 1978. The book has also been translated into Italian and French. It was later gathered together with Conan the Liberator and Conan and the Spider God into the omnibus collection Sagas of Conan.

<i>Sagas of Conan</i> book by Lyon Sprague de Camp

Sagas of Conan is a 2004 omnibus collection of three previously issued fantasy books written by L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter and Björn Nyberg featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was first published in paperback by Tor Books.

The Conan books are sword and sorcery fantasies featuring the character of Conan the Cimmerian originally created by Robert E. Howard. Written by numerous authors and issued by numerous publishers, they include both novels and short stories, the latter assembled in various combinations over the years by the several publishers. The character has proven durably popular, resulting in Conan stories being produced after Howard's death by such later writers as Poul Anderson, Leonard Carpenter, Lin Carter, L. Sprague de Camp, Roland J. Green, John C. Hocking, Robert Jordan, Sean A. Moore, Björn Nyberg, Andrew J. Offutt, Steve Perry, John Maddox Roberts, Harry Turtledove, and Karl Edward Wagner. Some of these writers finished incomplete Conan manuscripts by Howard, or rewrote Howard stories which originally featured different characters. Most post-Howard Conan stories, however, are completely original works. In total, more than fifty novels and dozens of short stories featuring the Conan character have been written by authors other than Howard. This article describes and discusses notable book editions of the Conan stories.

<i>The Wizard of Lemuria</i> book by Lin Carter

The Wizard of Lemuria is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter, the first book of his Thongor series set on the fictional ancient lost continent of Lemuria. The author's first published novel, it was initially issued in paperback by Ace Books in 1965. The author afterwards revised and expanded the text, in which form it was reissued as Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria, first published in paperback by Berkley Books in 1969. This retitled and revised edition became the standard edition for later reprintings. The novel was also adapted into comic form, appearing in eight issues of Marvel's Creatures on the Loose.

<i>Conan the Barbarian</i> (comics)

Conan the Barbarian was a comics title starring the sword-and-sorcery character created by Robert E. Howard, published by the American company Marvel Comics. It debuted with a first issue cover-dated October 1970 and ran for 275 issues until 1993. A significant commercial success, the title launched a sword-and-sorcery vogue in American 1970s comics.

<i>The Mighty Barbarians</i> book by Hans Stefan Santesson

The Mighty Barbarians: Great Sword and Sorcery Heroes is a 1969 anthology of fantasy short stories in the sword and sorcery subgenre, edited by Hans Stefan Santesson. It was first published in paperback by Lancer Books in 1969, and was later followed up by the subsequent Lancer anthology The Mighty Swordsmen. It has been translated into Dutch. Robert M. Price edited a later-day homage to both anthologies called The Mighty Warriors (2018).

<i>The Mighty Swordsmen</i> book by Hans Stefan Santesson

The Mighty Swordsmen is a 1970 anthology of fantasy short stories in the sword and sorcery subgenre, edited by Hans Stefan Santesson. It was first published in paperback by Lancer Books in December 1970, and was a follow-up to the earlier Lancer anthology The Mighty Barbarians. Robert M. Price edited a later-day homage to both anthologies called The Mighty Warriors (2018).

"Shadows in the Dark" is a short story by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, featuring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard. It was first published by Bantam Books in the paperback collection Conan the Swordsman in August 1978. Later paperback editions of the collection were issued by Ace Books. The first hardcover edition was published by Tor Books in 2002. The book has also been translated into Italian. It was later gathered together with Conan the Liberator and Conan and the Spider God into the omnibus collection Sagas of Conan.

The Gem in the Tower short story by Lyon Sprague de Camp

"The Gem in the Tower" is a short story by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, featuring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard. It is a rewritten version of "Black Moonlight", an earlier story by Carter alone featuring his own sword and sorcery character Thongor. The Conan version was first published by Bantam Books in the paperback collection Conan the Swordsman in August 1978, and was reprinted in the anthology The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 5 and later editions of Conan the Swordsman. The collection was later gathered together with Conan the Liberator and Conan and the Spider God into the omnibus collection Sagas of Conan. The story has also been translated into Italian and French.

"The Ivory Goddess" is a short story by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, featuring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard. According to Morgan Holmes, citing de Camp friend Loay Hall, Carter did none of the writing, and the story was written by de Camp in collaboration with his wife Catherine Crook de Camp. The story was first published by Bantam Books in the paperback anthology Conan the Swordsman in August 1978. Later paperback editions of the collection were issued by Ace Books. The first hardcover edition was published by Tor Books in 2002. The book has also been translated into Italian. It was later gathered together with Conan the Liberator and Conan and the Spider God into the omnibus collection Sagas of Conan. The story has been translated into Italian.

<i>Young Thongor</i> book by Lin Carter

Young Thongor is a collection of fantasy short stories by American writer Lin Carter, with additional material by Robert M. Price, edited and with a foreword by Adrian Cole. It was first published in trade paperback by Wildside Press in May, 2012. Most of the pieces were first published in magazines, anthologies or other books by Carter; the remaining pieces are original to the present work.

<i>The Sword of Thongor</i> book by Robert M. Price

The Sword of Thongor is a collection of fantasy short stories by American writer Robert M. Price, featuring Lin Carter's sword and sorcery hero Thongor of Valkarth. It was first published in trade paperback by Surinam Turtle Press in September 2016. Some of the pieces were originally published in magazines, the author's website, or the collection Young Thongor ; the remaining pieces are original to the present work.

References

Preceded by
The Wizard of Lemuria
Thongor series
Thongor of Lemuria
Succeeded by
Thongor Against the Gods