Lord of the Spiders (aka Blades of Mars) (Trade Paperback)

2.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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by Michael Moorcock, with an introduction by Roy Thomas

Blades of Mars!

Once before, physicist and warrior Michael Kane’s experiments in matter transmission catapulted him across space and time to the verdant and war-torn Mars of the distant past, only to wrench him back home at his greatest moment. Now, desperate to return to the princess he loves and the kingdom he left behind, Kane throws himself once more into the ether, and finds himself again on Mars—but this time confronted with man-sized spiders, ancient mutated races, and a brutal civil war between the planet’s familiar Blue Giants. Can it be that he’s arrived thousands of years too late to find his beloved Shizala?

The creator of Elric of Melniboné, Michael Moorcock remains one of the most honored science fiction and fantasy authors of all time. With Kane of Old Mars, Moorcock’s Eternal Champion returns with interplanetary adventure in the best Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition.

“Michael Moorcock was one of the best... one who could turn a pastiche into something far more than mere imitation, a house of art in its own right.” —Roy Thomas, Former Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics

160-page softcover trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-082-7

About the Author

Michael Moorcock (1939– ) has been recognized since the 1960s as one of the most important speculative fiction writers alive. Born in London, Moorcock began editing the magazine Tarzan Adventures at the age of 15, and quickly gained notoriety for his character Elric of Melniboné, an anti-hero written as a deliberate reversal of recurring themes he saw in the writings of authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard. Many of his works, including both the Elric books and those of his popular androgynous secret agent Jerry Cornelius, are tied together around the concept of the Eternal Champion, a warrior whose many incarnations battle to maintain the balance between Law and Chaos in the multiverse, a term popularized by Moorcock referring to many overlapping dimensions or realities. In addition, Moorcock has also been recognized for his non-genre literary work, and his influence today extends into music, film, and popular culture. His writing has won numerous critical accolades, including the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement award, and in 2002 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

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Average product rating:

2.60/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Maybe too much of a good thing


This could have been a fine pastiche of ERB's Barsoom novels; instead, it reads more like a Martian version of ERB's late novel Land of Terror. Far too many subplots are thrown into the story with little time to develop them. The whole idea of why Kane thinks he's in another time than the one where he met Shizala is never fully explained, then completely jettisoned with no further comment. There's no cohesiveness to the novel. Even the most intriguing part of the story--the spider city sequence--is quickly wrapped up with only the vaguest hint of the wonder and danger of the western continent revealed. Overall, I think the book would have been better broken into three novellas a la ERB's Moon Maid and Land That Time Forgot rather than presented as one continuous narrative that stumbles and mills about with seemingly no direction. The first book was much better. Maybe the next will give a better presentation than this did.

Sequel syndrome


The second Kane outing doubtless suffers from sequel syndrome. Moorcock expands his Martian setting but the novel's picaresque structure lacks the taut focus of City of the Beast. Despite some intriguing glimpses of the ancient civilization that once controlled Mars the novel contains few suprises and wraps up rather predictably.
It's still an enjoyable read but after the previous martian adventure novels published in this line, Lord of Spiders fails to impress substantially. As I quite liked City of the Beast I hope that Master of the Pit picks the series up again.

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The Exchange

Rad cover!
Also, yay for more Kane!

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