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Elak of Atlantis

Elak of Atlantis [Kindle Edition]

Henry Kuttner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

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. 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 ground-breaking 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 404 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway (18 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BM7XUG6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #267,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 little masterpieces, all in a row 14 Aug 2009
By John Middleton TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Henry Kuttner was one of the fathers of pulp in the 30's and 40's. This 220-odd page book is a collection of 4 Elak tales, and two of Prince Raynor. Both characters are great fun, and for me Elak's drunken offsider Lygon steals most of his scenes.

In addition to Elak (which is in fact not his real name - there is some real depth to the characters if you look a little deeply) and Lygon, there are pretty girls, a pyromaniacal druid, and horrors both of this world and other worlds.

The tales are told with humor and full of derring-do. Its also a pleasant change to read a collection of short stories rather than a never-ending multi-volume fantasy.

Prince Raynor also makes an appearance, with the style of these stories clearly reflecting the Conan stories published in Weird Tales earlier in the decade. Once again there is an offsider (a giant, somewhat pessimistic nubian) and a pretty girl (the same one) across two linked stories.

The characterisation of the antagonist of the first Raynor tale is superb: in a few lines of dialogue we gain a glimpse of a irredeemably tortured soul wishing for redemption, but knowing it is out of reach.

These are forgotten masterworks, fantasy from before Lord of the Rings defined the genre, and well worth a read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Proof of Kuttner as One of America's Greatest Sci-Fi Writers 11 April 2008
By Marcus H. Smilfer - Published on
I was introduced to Henry Kuttner twenty years ago as one of a number of authors included in yet another Martin Greenberg edited collection of pulp stories. After suffering through several poor examples of purple prose, Kuttner's brilliant cadence and rhythm immediately stood out from the rest. I became an instant fan of Kuttner and have remained so. This newest collection of the four Elak of Atlantis stories (along with two more featuring another Kuttner character, Prince Raynor) is a welcome addition to my Kuttner collection. Elak is a very human version of so many Sword and Sorcery heroes and more often than not, he is overwhelmed by a greater threat and has to rely on his fat friend Lycon, or his ever-helpful diety Mider to help him out. To me, this just adds to the appeal of Elak; he's not the strongest or best fighter in the room, but he usually is the smartest. As for Kuttner's work being "bland," "flat" and "uninteresting," you should read the stories yourself. If you are a fan of Tolkien, Howard and Moorcock you will not only be surprised by Henry Kuttner's writing, you will be impressed. Well worth the $11-13 to take a trip to the lush, expertly crafted worlds of Henry Kuttner. Thank you to Planet Stories for this beautiful reprint edition.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun romp 21 Feb 2008
By Krypter - Published on
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 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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sword and sorcery 14 Sep 2008
By C. S. Nelson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A colection of four stories (Thunder in the Dawn, Spawn of Dagon, Beyond the Phoenix, Dragon Moon) concerning the exploits of the adventurer Elak of Atlantis (otherwise known as... but thats telling) and two stories of Prince Raynor (Cursed be the City, Citadel of Darkness) this is one collection well worth buying. The action is well describe and swift, the heroes bold, forthright and well, heroic. The villians are a collection of foul wizards, evil gods and things from beyond.

I have to admit to being more impressed with the two stories about Prince Raynor than I was with Elak of Atlantis but the final Elak story may be the best in the book. Unfortunately there were only two Raynor stories and that was just enough to leave me wanting more.

Henry Kuttner is indeed a Neglected Master (as Ray Bradbury refers to him) of science fiction and fantasy. Hopefully through the release of these Planet Stories Library novels he will have a chance to be noticed and recognized for his achievements.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elak - at last! 19 Dec 2010
By Scott - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd first read about about Elak of Atlantis in an anthology by Lin Carter about 30 years ago & thank Amazon for making it possible for me to finally find the full anthology of Elak + the 2 (the only 2?) Prince Raynor stories...I agree with other reviews that the Prince Raynor stories are the best written. Its an anthology worth having if you enjoy Fritz Leiber & Robert E Howard...entertaining & easy reading...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Book Of Excellent Fantasy 4 Dec 2008
By Elak Swindell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book on the title alone for starters, because I am one of the few people in the world named Elak, taken from my great, great grandfather. I also have a fascination with Atlantis, dragons (which are purely symbolic for the actual Annuna race before the Mesopotamian and Sumerian cultures in the Middle East), a love of swordplay (especially fencing, which fits amazingly with the main character's rapier) and ancient knowledge. Interestingly, the very first page of "Thunder In The Dawn" uses a variation of the Piri Re'is map showing Antarctica before it was covered in ice, and is the indicated location of Atlantis. An unusual, and accurate, choice for Kuttner to use. Until now, I've never read any of his works, but this has been an enjoyable read. More so in that I can actually put myself into the character's shoes since we both share the same name and love for adventure and swordplay. This is a prize possession of a book for me and a good read for anyone else.
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