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A Review: Jane Carver of Waar

Jane Carver of Waar by Nathan Long (Night Shade Books, 2012) is written by a man who has some passing familiarity with the Barsoom novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Except, of course, this is a coherent novel whereas ERB either wrote the originals as a serial or separate tales that were later put together and sold as novels. The result is often a less than coherent plot. The initial hero, John Carter, wanders from place to place having to fight off various attacks from weird creatures and evil warlords. He’s the archetypal hero being both brave and blessed with the wisdom of Earth. This enables him to win the hearts of the local women and rise to a position of leadership on Barsoom. Those foreigners could recognise a man of talent and put him to work. In terms of style, these books are easy to parody. The first was written one-hundred years ago and reflects the attitudes of the day, i.e. the innate superiority of the white man no matter where he finds himself. In the case of Barsoom, Carter has a natural physical advantage because of the lighter gravity. He’s therefore stronger than the local coloured folk, a trait that is, to some extent, passed on to his children. The later arrival, Ulysses Paxton, is better endowed in the brain department, although his military experience does come in useful.” Read more.