Monday, September 13, 2010

Masters of the Pit (Planet Stories # 11)

Michael Moorcock's Masters of the Pit is the third and final book featuring modern-day American Michael Kane traveling to ancient Mars. It's very much in line with the first two books in the series, and by this point the cardboard nature of the characters and repetitive action scenes start to become quite noticeable. The plot is somewhat original, as a plague has affected a distant city in a strange way: its inhabitants decide to dehumanize themselves by acting as mechanically and unemotionless as possible. Kane, along with his reliable blue giant friend Hool Haji, sets off to find a cure by rummaging the abandoned technology of an ancient culture. It's all a competent but not particularly memorable mix of sword-and-sorcery fantasy with a little sci-fi. Keep a close eye fun in Chapter One, as Moorcock uses thinly-disguised character and location names to attack Analog magazine and some of the big names in the field.

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