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World’s End Books In Order

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Publication Order of World's End Books

The Warrior of World's End (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Enchantress of World's End (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Immortal of World's End (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Barbarian of World's End (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pirate of World's End (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Giant of World's End (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon

“World’s End” is a series of fantasy novels written by Lin Carter. The series of novels is set in a degenerate future where all of the world’s continents have drifted back and formed a similar continent to Gondwanaland, now named Gondwane. Lin who also wrote as H.P. Lowcraft and Grail Undwin had a multidimensional repute in the fantastic fiction world both as critic and editor. As an editor, he is best known as the editor of the Ballantine Fantasy series and the “Flashing Words” that came fast on the heels of the series to become an award-winning anthology. As a writer, he had quite the checkered career with posthumous collaborations with the likes of Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard that often involved the creation of pastiches or entirely new narratives from story fragments and unfinished drafts. Most of his works that were collaborations were usually sold as rediscovered works, just like the posthumous collaborations of the likes of L. Sprague de Camp and August Derleth of the 1950s. While the practice may be deemed literary defacement or outright distasteful, Lin Carter may be deemed a pioneer of the modern remix culture.

Lin Carter first experienced success with solo works when he wrote the first of the “Thongor” series of novels starting with the 1965 published “The Wizard of Lemuria”. The novels have a heavy influence from the likes of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard and the same can also be said of the “World’s End” series. Between 1965 and 1969, Carter turned prolific, writing and publishing nearly thirty books alongside his critiquing and editing work. During this time he was also one of the lead writers of the animated series of “Spider Man”. In 1969, he started work on the BAF series which may be credited with reawakening his interest in the allusive and denser styles attributed to the likes of William Morris, Clark Ashton Smith, and Lord Dunsany.

The “World’s End” series of novels are set in Gondwane, a crazy concoction of non-human and human societies divided into principates, kingdoms, unions, empires, conglomerates, city states, tyrannies, theocracies, federations and a range of savage and degenerate hordes. All these groups build upon the remains of previous civilizations that stretch back approximately 700 million years. Over such a long period and the movement of the Earth’s plates, some of the laws of physics have become inconsistent and peculiar. In addition, magic has become so powerful that it in many instances it supersedes science. The moon of the new world appears like a huge disc given that it traverses a slowly decaying orbit that is getting closer to the earth with each revolution, threatening the planet with destruction when it eventually hits. As such, the period is known as the “Eon of the Falling Moon” that will precede the “Eon of the Silver Phoenix” believed by scientist’s to be humanity’s last. To stop the ultimate destruction of the world, the hero and his allies which include a magician and romantic interest come together to try to find a way to repulse or throw the moon off its orbit and save their world. The works are heavily influenced by the “Zothique Cycle” by Clark Ashton Smith or the “Book of Ptath” by A.E. van Vogt in having similar “End of Time” traditions. The novels are also similar to the likes of “Dying Earth” series by Jack Vance. Right from the peculiar cultures and customs of the peoples of Gondwane to the petty ancient powers, all seem to point to Vancian influences. The novels are influenced though to a lesser extent by “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, particularly the lead characters amnesia and the inability to love which is throwback to Tin Woodman that did not have a heart and the missing brain in the Scarecrow. This is not surprising given that Lin Carter was a posthumous publisher of five Oz books.

In “Giant of World’s End” the first novel of the series, a Godmaker known as Phlesco and Iminix his pseudowoman are on a journey to the Nine Hegemons Realm when they meet muscular, harebrained, and handsome protagonist Ganelon Silvermane walking in the rain. Feeling sorry for him they take him in and help him get to Zermish, where they hand him over to two magicians that they believe can provide a diagnosis on what ails him. It turns out that the man is two hundred million years old and yet is only seven hours old at the same time. He is what would be called a product of the experiment by Time Gods who are by now long extinct. The gods had created several heroes to deal with a succession of crises that they had foreseen happening to the Earth eons ago. The heroes are kept sleeping in a time vault until they are needed to deal with a crisis that arises. But Ganelon has been prematurely awoken by an earthquake and hence does not have any understanding of what to do in a crisis he was never trained in.

In “Warrior of World’s End” the second novel of the series, Ganelon Silvermane the hero has to deal with the real reason he was created by the Time gods millions of years ago. He was made to save the world from the moon its own satellite that has deviated from its orbitary path and is now threatening the planet Earth. The only problem is that he has been awakened by an Earthquake before he could get the specific instruction on how to deal with the crisis. He teams up with Zolobion the magician and a woman who yearns for his love to go to a far off land, where they have been reliably informed lies the critical device to save their civilization. They find the device alright but the only problem is that activating it would mean the death of the user. Ganelon is willing to give his life to save the Earth but the woman would not let him do it preferring to take his place. The threat of a collision with the moon is destroyed leading the earth into The Eon of the Silver Phoenix. But for Ganelon who lost his companion, it is all mourning and a sense of loss of purpose that leads him on a quest to discover the nature of self-sacrifice and love.

Book Series In Order » Characters » World’s End

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