ID this 30+-book fantasy series: man teleported to other planet by mysterious forces
May 29, 2006 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a series of fantasy books (NOT the Gor series) I read in the 1980s about an Earth man periodically teleported by mysterious god-like beings/aliens to dangerous situations on another planet, which had a swords-and-sorcery tech level. He spent years on this other planet, built a life there, etc. Over 30 books in the series, I think.

More information: it was similar to the Gor series - mysterious powerful beings teleport a human being to do their will on another planet, with the human not knowing why. But there was no S&M content, and I don't think there was much sexual content. Not sure if there was sorcery or not. Also, I _think_ the beings in this series could transport the human without a spaceship or any other obvious device; I think in Gor they used technology that would be understandable to modern-day scientists. The beings would teleport him around the new planet a bunch, generally into dangerous situations where he had to join an already-happening battle. I remember the books being paperback, there being at least 30, maybe 40+ in the series; the name of the author changed at some point. Specific scenes/scenarios I remember: (1) the hero married a princess from an island kingdom and had kids; (2) he was a galley slave - chained up with a bunch of other men rowing a ship - at some point, probably became a pirate after freeing himself (or maybe that was Gor); (3) in one book, he was teleported into a scene in which a small caravan was being attacked and he had to save the caravan; (4) there was a very D&D-style book in which he and others went into a dungeon searching for treasure, in which the expedition leader chose the slaves/servants to bring in by punching 'em each in the stomach and only taking the ones who didn't double over in pain. One of his overriding concerns, aside from doing whatever the mysterious beings wanted, was always returning to his princess as soon as possible (the beings always left it up to him to make his way back home).
posted by mistersix to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do an Amazon for edgar rice burroughs. Is this who you are looking for?
posted by malhaley at 3:48 PM on May 29, 2006

this does sound like the pellucidar series, by edgar rice burroughs. There were not nearly 30 books in the series, though.
posted by advil at 3:53 PM on May 29, 2006

but looking at the plot you describe, quite a few points differ -- the means of getting to pellucidar in particular (it was a hollow earth story, so through a hole in the arctic), so maybe I should have thought more before posting...
posted by advil at 3:56 PM on May 29, 2006

Response by poster: It wasn't written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, or any writer of "classics." It was definitely another planet, and neither in nor near our solar system.
posted by mistersix at 4:04 PM on May 29, 2006

Not 30 titles, but Andre Norton's Witch World series has some resemblance to what you describe.
posted by zadcat at 4:08 PM on May 29, 2006

Response by poster: Not Witch World. The author (under both names; might have been the same author discarding his pen name, maybe not) was male. Also, the main character was the same in each book, and it was written in the first person.
I have never seen the books reviewed anywhere, either when I was reading them or since; I would guess that the series wasn't considered high-quality by the science fiction/fantasy establishment.
I'm almost certain there were over 30 books; part of the appeal, and awe, to me as a teenager was that this guy had written so many of these books, and that I might never run out of them.
posted by mistersix at 4:17 PM on May 29, 2006

If you don't get any other hits, perhaps the author could be Lin Carter, who wrote several pulpish fantasy series in the '60s and '70s. The books were not quite considered "top-line classics". Plus he was heavily influenced by Burroughs, so there's that link. Your description of the series you are looking for sounds familar to his Green Star stories, but there were only five Green Star books. However, if you add up all books in his series, the total books is over fifty, so there is that in his favor.
posted by mdevore at 5:04 PM on May 29, 2006

Is it the Richard Blade series by Jeffrey Lord?
posted by mediareport at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2006

All 37 covers are here.
posted by mediareport at 6:18 PM on May 29, 2006

Yeah, definitely sounds like the Blade series. More info here and here, but you seem to be underestimating the amount of fucking involved. Blade shows up naked on lots of the early covers, too.
posted by mediareport at 7:12 PM on May 29, 2006

It actually sounds a lot like Harry Harrison's Deathworld series to me.
posted by sourwookie at 10:27 PM on May 29, 2006

Response by poster: Not Lin Carter's Green Star books, and not the Richard Blade series. Not nearly enough books in the Green Star series. And in the series I'm thinking of, the hero stayed on the same planet each time (unless punished by being sent back to Earth), so it wasn't the Richard Blade series; there was always some way - walk, sail, fly on some monster's back - to get back to his princess. Though he didn't always make it back by the end of each book.
Another detail: the hero was part of some brotherhood, or society, or some such thing of extraordinary warriors pledged to come to each others' aid when called. I may be wrong, but I think there was some magical or technical device implanted in each member; such that they would hear/feel the call remotely, all the way across the planet.

And definitely not Deathworld - which is three books, and the hero gets around on a spaceship.
posted by mistersix at 10:31 PM on May 29, 2006

Response by poster: Found it - the Dray Prescot series. Looked at the Lin Carter entry on Wikipedia (pointed to by mdevore), and clicked from there to their "Planetary romance" page which says: "many 'Sword and Planet' authors have written staggeringly long series sequences, the extreme example being Kenneth Bulmer's Dray Prescot saga, composed of fifty-three novels."

Reading the book synopses, I am reminded of many things, but mostly that the series was frikkin' awesome. Hope it 's stood the test of time.
posted by mistersix at 11:59 PM on May 29, 2006

An old roommate of mine held a Dray Prescot convention in our warehouse studio two years ago, and he's even made a chess-set for the chesslike game described in the books, and once took a vacation to meet the author of these books in a retirement home in England.

He also has a Dray Prescot website
posted by Mozai at 5:11 AM on May 30, 2006

Your point (2) definitely sounds like one of the Gor books, btw...
posted by Chunder at 5:37 AM on May 30, 2006

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