People of the Crater

Andre Norton


Reading People of the Crater I had to remind myself that if I’d been reading it when I was, say, 12, in 1950, I might have devoured it. It’s a fairly standard fantasy adventure that drops a random guy into a fish-out-of-water quest to rescue a lost princess and fight off an army. There are vague sci-fi trappings with nods to Hollow Earth, hidden ancient cities in Antarctica, the various species living there being from another planet. The Ancient Ones and unfortunately named Black Ones are conveniently humanoid enough that the hero and villain both lust after the princess. And the hero fights his way through weird challenges and weirder people, and the villain might as well be twirling his mustache, and it’s all very Post-WW2 Tough American Manly Man Doing Manly Hero Things™.

But I’m not 12, it’s not the 1950s, and while I still like a good adventure story, I’d rather read one with more interesting concepts or compelling characters (or both).

Available from Project Gutenberg (free).