Saturday, April 28, 2012
32. Ace Conan #2.4 - "Lair of the Iceworm" by Lin Carter and L. Sprague DeCamp
This is, much like the earlier "The Thing in the Crypt" is, essentially a much abridged re-write, courtesy of L. Sprague Decamp (Who's hallmarks are all over this story), of one of Lin Carter's unpublished Thongor stories. In this case, "The Demon of the Snows" which is contained in "The Year's best Fantasy stories #6". This series, which Lin Carter edited, contains a number of Thongor Stories which were mined for components to make Conan Pastiches. Personally I found Carter's original story, to easily be the better of the two. Unfortunately for DeCamp, his style of writing, often twee and very tweedy, just doesn't fit the style which REH developed and Lin Carter can sometimes manage to emulate. Combining DeCamp's ludicrously professorial tone, E.G. having Conan discuss evolution and comparative religion or multiplication tables in the midst of an action scene, are extremely jarring when they pop up in one of the DeCamp edited REH stories. But they are extremely detrimental to the health of the stories penned by a weaker writer such as Carter. Over all, not a bad story, but it's just an A-Incident-B story used to bridge a gap, and that pretty much shows.