Elak of Atlantis (Trade Paperback)

3.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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by Henry Kuttner, with an introduction by Joe R. Lansdale

Swords and Spells in Lost Atlantis!

Explore the origins of sword and sorcery with Henry Kuttner’s Elak of Atlantis! Published in Weird Tales to satisfy fans of Conan the Barbarian in the wake of Robert E. Howard’s death, these four stories depict a brutal world of flashing swords and primal magic, touched by a hint of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Never collected in a mass-market edition since their publication in the late 1930s, these exciting tales helped to establish a genre and are a critical part of any fantasy library. Also included in this collection are Kuttner’s two rare and equally groundbreaking Prince Raynor stories from 1939’s Strange Tales.

Dive into these seminal, thrilling adventure tales from one of the most important writers in science fiction and fantasy, and discover for yourself why Elak of Atlantis is renowned by scholars as a major step in the evolution of a genre.

“He had a kind of magic all writers wish they possessed. Some of us can fake it a little, but Kuttner, he wasn’t faking. He was the real deal.” —Joe R. Lansdale, award-winning author of “Bubba Ho-Tep”


Contents:

  • Introduction: "Kuttner Sharpens His Literary Sword" by Joe R. Lansdale
  • Elak of Atlantis:
    • "Thunder in the Dawn"
    • "The Spawn of Dagon"
    • "Beyond the Phoenix"
    • "Dragon Moon"
  • Prince Raynor:
    • "Cursed be the City"
    • "The Citadel of Darkness"

224-page softcover trade paperback
ISBN: 1-60125-046-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-046-9

"I rather liked them very much, as Kuttner's imagination is every bit as sharp as C. L. Moore's though it takes a different direction, and because his prose is much the cleaner and the stories move. —Dave Truesdale, Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine

"An entertaining collection of sword & sorcery tales." —George T. Dodds, SFSite.com


About the Author

Ray Bradbury once referred to Henry Kuttner as "a neglected master... a man who shaped science fiction and fantasy in its most important years." Born in Los Angeles, Henry Kuttner (1915–1958) sold his first story, "The Graveyard Rats," to Weird Tales in 1936, the same year in which he wrote a fan letter to rising science fiction author C.L. Moore, mistakenly believing her to be a man. The two were married in 1940, and in the years that followed they collaborated constantly, publishing under at least 17 pseudonyms, most notably Lewis Padgett and Keith Hammond. Along with Elak of Atlantis and Prince Raynor, both of which were created before his marriage to Moore, Kuttner's most popular solo works were the Gallegher stories, tales about an inventor who could only build robots while drunk, and who upon sobering immediately forgot their purposes. As a friend of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, Kuttner also contributed several stories to the Cthulhu mythos. In addition to writing scripts for television in collaboration with Moore, Kuttner wrote several stories that have since been translated to film, most recently "Mimsy Were the Borogroves," released as The Last Mimsy. In the years since his untimely death from a heart attack at 43, Kuttner has been cited as an influence by everyone from Marion Zimmer Bradley to Roger Zelazny, and both Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury have dedicated novels to him.

Product Availability

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO8005


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Average product rating:

3.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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En garde

3/5

Another set of neglected yarns with a sharp cut and thrust for Planet Stories.
Kuttner's Elak and his thirsty friend Lycon slash a swath across Atlantis. The two companions make for great foils as they deal with irritable druids, sorcerors and inhuman monstrosities. Kuttner's writing is a swirl of action, brooding atmosphere with plentiful doses of a keen rapier wit.
The two Prince Raynor stories while fine are not as striking but the Elak tales are a cut above the rest.


A fun romp

4/5

Styled as an exploration of the early sword-and-sorcery genre in the vein of Robert Howard's Conan, this compilation of several Elak and Prince Raynor stories delivers a healthy dose of adventure, cliche and magic with just a touch of Cthulhu thrown in for good measure. Kuttner's writing style may not be as florid as Clark Ashton Smith's but his view of slaying swordsmen, hapless maidens and icky, tentacled creatures is quite similar and lovingly revealed in this book.

The book itself is a nice softbook with only a few minor flaws, mainly 1) very wide outside margins which forces the reader to bend the book more than is necessary; 2) a few spelling errors (page 88, "sliver"; page 182, "heart") and 3) a rather ugly typeface. My favorite softback books are those of Bester and Dick from Vintage, such as can be seen here, and I urge the editor to consider upgrading the line a little bit in this direction.

Apart from these minor irritations, the stories are great fun and a wonderful source of inspiration for budding S&S GMs looking for some classic two-fisted action. If you like Howard, Leiber, Burroughs or Doc Smith, you'll definitely enjoy Kuttner's Elak.


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Has this title been delayed?

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Yes, but not too badly. It's scheduled to hit port on Friday, and should be available for purchase online by about the 15th or so and in stores shortly thereafter. The good news is that "The Secret of Sinharat," the December Planet Stories release, is part of the same shipment and should be released on time.


Uh-oh: "expected January 2008". I guess I'll be waiting a mite longer now...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Where do you see the new date? It still looks like December to me...

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

The books have landed in California and should be up here within the next week or two. So we're still clinging (perhaps somewhat desperately) to a December release.


Hi!
I have a new subscription that begins with "The Secret of Sinherat".
Will i also receive a copy of the elak stories or do i have to order it extra?
Thanks and take care.
Doug

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Douglas Draa wrote:

Hi!

I have a new subscription that begins with "The Secret of Sinherat".
Will i also receive a copy of the elak stories or do i have to order it extra?
Thanks and take care.
Doug

Elak preceded Sinharat in the release schedule, so you'll need to order it separately. Fortunately, we're still running the "catch-up" offer for Planet Stories subscribers, so you can get any of the earlier books in the line for the subscriber price, so long as you order before the end of January.


It'd be nice to get the exact content listings of these anthologies, so we can see what stories they contain.


Hi!
Has something gone wrong with the "Elak" delivery? Amazon.de just canceled my order. They said that it is not available??
Does this book even exist? Or does amazon have an overseas distribution problem?? Since Amazon.de doesn't charge postage it is cheaper for me to order through them instead of ordering back issues from you all directly. It would be also cheaper for me to order the new volumes directly from Amazon.de and save the postage all the way to Germany. But I figured that by subscribing I would help the series with "pre-order" sales. Will the later volumes also be delayed?

take care.
Doug

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Doug,

Elak of Atlantis has been out for quite a while—it left our warehouse at the end of December. We don't have insight into amazon.de, but I'll have our senior book editor make some inquiries with Amazon's distributor.


Vic Wertz wrote:

Doug,

Elak of Atlantis has been out for quite a while—it left our warehouse at the end of December. We don't have insight into amazon.de, but I'll have our senior book editor make some inquiries with Amazon's distributor.

Hi!

Amazon.de has it now "in stock" so i went and ordered it. It should be here by Friday!! :-) yeee haw!!
Doug

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