Richard Blade #7: Pearl of Patmos, Part 2

A harrowing sea voyage lies before our hero!

Dick Blade, Juna, the crazy old seer lady, a helpful young lad, some eunuchs, Juna’s various female attendants, plus some other unnamed and largely un-described people, need to make it from the marshy shore on which they are hiding across the sea to Patmos, avoiding Samostan patrol ships and inclement weather along the way.

Fortunately they have… a Lego(tm) boat? Continue reading “Richard Blade #7: Pearl of Patmos, Part 2”

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Richard Blade #7: Pearl of Patmos, Part 1

Richard Blade_7Yes, it’s Blade volume 7, Pearl of Patmos by Jeffrey Lord! As you can see our hero, played by a young and extremely fit Chevy Chase, finds himself in a post-nuclear wasteland. The radiation from the bombs has mutated beautiful women to enormous size and they now stalk through cities Godzilla-style, crushing everything in their path! Does Our Hero have what it takes to deal with the Giant Women and their Enormous Boobies??

Ok, this cover might be a tad misleading. There is no nuclear apocalypse. Chevy Chase is not involved. There is a woman who is technically a giant, though, depending on how you define ‘giant’. Suffice to say her meat melons are not large enough to threaten a major metropolitan area, though.

Let’s see if the French cover for this volume manages more truth in advertising.

Richard Blade 7 french

What. The. F*#%. Why is there some kind of plant woman on this cover? I have no idea what that has to do with anything in this book. You know what, I’m just going to have to do this myself, aren’t I?

Year: 1973. Book: Pearl of Patmos. Publisher: Pinnacle Books. Author: Jeffrey Lord. (But not really Jeffrey Lord. Almost certainly this is once more the work of pseudonymous scribe Manning Lee Stokes)

And once again this series is sending the reader on a dizzying otherworldly journey full of oiled-up warriors, willing young women, repressed homosexuality, and fragile masculine egos.  It’s another glorious and terrifying romp through the id of the young adolescent male of the early 1970’s.

And I’m happy to report that this is a much better book than the last one, the turgid and frankly bizarre Monster of the Maze. I’m not saying that Pearl of Patmos is James Joyce. But I think that it actually succeeds at what it is supposed to be: disposable, escapist, titillating pulp. Plus… it has Princess Diana in it. Sort of. No, really, you’ll see what I mean!

Also, Dick Blade drinks his own semen.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s start at the beginning. Continue reading “Richard Blade #7: Pearl of Patmos, Part 1”

Coming Soon: Pearl of Patmos review!

Just wanted to let everyone know that my exhaustive review of Pearl of Patmos will be up next week!

This one is taking longer than usual to write. The reason is a bit odd: Pearl is actually pretty good. I don’t mean that it is Great Literature. It’s still very much a Richard Blade book. But it takes the formula that’s been established over the previous six books and spins it into a briskly-paced, pulpy page turner. It’s actually fun! Go figure.

At any rate, the fact that book is both formulaic and decent makes it harder to find anything interesting or funny to say about it. But I will, don’t fret!

So watch this space next week. See you soon!

Richard Blade #6: Monster of the Maze, Part 2

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Here is another cover for Monster of the Maze. As you can see it’s in a fine, B-movie tradition, right down to having a tagline that makes no sense.

But we would be remiss if we passed over the audiobook cover for this. I apologize for the horrendous image quality. Still, this one is not to be missed:

 

51PIqm7aP5LI appreciate that this cover is the only one to actually advertise the book’s real hook: our hero turning into a weird man-baby. With Tom Cruise’s head, apparently! Also there’s a snake and a sexy nurse.

Weirdly, this does somehow feel like it captures the essence of this book quite well.

Moving on, let’s get back to the story.

 

 

 

Holding her at the point of his erect, erm, sword, Richard Blade discovers that the intruder behind his drapes is none other than the Princess Hirga. Her voice is a “deep, husky contralto” and when she steps out from behind the curtain she is a total hottie – although, rudely for a woman in this book,

She was the first woman he had seen in Zir who covered her breasts.

Since Blade just finished… entertaining… Valli, he naturally has some concerns:

“How long have you been behind my drapes, and how came you there?”

She stared at him. Her eyes were large and a deep sea green. He noted that her breathing was fast and there was a swollen, puffy look around her mouth and eyes. She had been there long enough. She had seen and heard everything and it excited her.

Either that or she’s having a dangerous allergic reaction. This sounds a lot less like arousal and a lot more like anaphylactic shock, if you ask me, Blade.

She went to the bed and sat on the edge. She put a hand on the pillow and looked at Blade and half smiled. Her teeth were very small and white. As she stared and stared, as though she could never see enough of him, she caught her nether lip in her teeth and bit it and there was no mistaking the speculation in her glance. Beneath the golden doublet her bosom swelled and moved, and he plainly heard the rasp of breath in her throat.

Seriously, someone get this woman an epinephrine injection.

Blade knew he could tumble her in an instant if he chose. This was a sensual woman and she was aroused to a high pitch by what she had seen and heard.

Hirga put a hand on the pillow again. “Still warm from your harem whore.”

Readers will quickly guess that there is something weird going on with Princess Hirga, and that it is more involved than a simple case of wantin’ the D (as in Dick!). The Princess informs Blade that she did not come here merely for an eyeful of his leather lollipop. The High Priest Casta would like a word with him.

Casta and his priests are headquartered in the Izmir’s unfinished pyram – er, triangular stone monument. All the old dead Izmir’s are entombed in pyr triangular monuments. But the Izmir’s will be the largest yet and contains an elaborate maze to stop anyone from disturbing his body.

Hey! A maze! I sure wonder if that will figure largely into the story later! Maybe it will contain some sort of… monster?

Who can say???

Blade for some reason agrees to go into the strange maze which is the headquarters of the evil priest cult so he can talk to the high priest who hates him because… sure, why not.

The Princess departs. The next day Blade heads out to the Not Pyramid, where he is escorted by black-clad priests into the gloomy stone labyrinth within. Soon he finds himself alone in a ‘vast cavern’.

The Princess Hirga appeared from the gloom. She was wearing the silver trousers, but this time her breasts were bare and Blade felt a spasm of desire as he gazed at those perfect cones.

Wow, cone-shaped boobs! Move over, Madonna!

Our traffic cone princess escorts Blade into Casta’s presence and where he stands, shrouded in mystery.

“Turn your face to the fire, priest.”

The chuckle was low, throaty. “Yes. That is fair. Look, Blade!”

The eyes, huge and burning black, were torches in a skull. The face was a death’s head, bone with saffron flesh drawn over it like a drum. A skull. Blade could see the veins writhing like blue worms. The nose was vulpine, sharp as a nail, and the lips a bloodless anus.

Ol’ Anus-Lips wants Blade to join him so they can rule the galaxy as father and son, or some shit. Blade plays along, especially when Casta reveals that he has something that Blade wants – a huge-ass diamond. These ginormous diamonds are apparently everywhere in the barbaric land of the Hitts. But people think of them as completely valueless and use them only for cutting and decorations. Because obviously it would never naturally occur to the people of Zir to place an intrinsic value on extremely beautiful shiny crystals.

Mr. Rectal Throat has one last piece of information to persuade Dick to see things his way: the Izmir is dead. He has expired within the last hour of natural causes. Blade, feeling uncharacteristically vulnerable, agrees to play nice with his new frenemy for the time being. There are two conditions he has to follow. One, he has to conquer the barbaric Hitts. Two, he has to marry Princess Hirga and do married-people stuff with her.

Like, immediately. Continue reading “Richard Blade #6: Monster of the Maze, Part 2”

Richard Blade #6: Monster of the Maze, Part 1

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That crocodile is really into this.

Ah, 1972. What a memorable year! Mini-skirts. Pong. Ziggy Stardust. Last Tango in Paris. And of course, that deathless work of literature, Monster of the Maze by Jeffrey Lord.

Yes, we are back to delve into the sixth volume in the increasingly ridiculous adventures of Richard Blade.

Having already sent Dick Blade to Fantasy Medieval Europe, Fantasy China, Fantasy Prehistoric Times, and Fantasy Utopian Future, writer Manning Lee Stokes (slumming it up under the pen name Jeffrey Lord once more) settled on Fantasy Egypt as the destination for this outing:

Egypt. Shit. What do I know about Egypt?

One can almost imagine the writer tapping on his teeth with a fountain pen, or perhaps banging his pipe on the edge of his desk while he ponders this question. Doing actual research on the topic was, of course, out of the question! Pinnacle Books trafficked strictly in pulpy knock-offs churned out as quickly as possible. They weren’t paying Stokes to go to the library. Perhaps he scribbled out a list like this:

Egypt Facts:

  • pyramids
  • harems – yes!!!
  • gods with animal heads
  • babies in the reeds
  • priests (…evil???)
  • loin cloths… difficult to hide an erection!

Our ink-stained author squints at his list. “Babies in the reeds? What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Wait…”

Somehow our beleaguered pulp scribe turned such meager beginnings into a full-length work of fiction, with a plot and characters and everything!

OK, truth to tell, the result is not one of the better Richard Blade books. But stick with me, reader: because shit gets weird.

Well, let’s not dick around, if you’ll pardon the pun. We might as well dive headfirst into this pulp stew.


We start out as usual in our framing story. MI6-a agent Richard Blade is strolling through London. But…

…at the moment he was bald. He was wearing a most expensive toupee – courtesy of Her Majesty’s government – and beneath his short skull, implanted in the dura mater enveloping his left frontal lobe, was a paper-thin wafer of crystal. Blade’s brain was in direct communication with Lord Leighton’s computer.

Yes, horror of horrors, paragon of masculinity Richard Blade is bald! And also, for some reason, he has let noted mad scientist Lord L install a ‘crystal’ in his head. At the moment Lord L is using this feat of experimental mind-control surgery to… give Blade walking directions to Blackfriars.

The experiment is, I guess, a success. At any rate it forces Blade to hail a cab back to the Tower of London. While in the cab he has a sudden flash, a moment of decision. Blade decides he doesn’t want to wait for his hair to grow back or for Lord L to figure out how to calibrate his new brain crystal: he wants to go back to Dimension X now. For the Last. Time.

[DRAMATIC MUSIC]

Back in the secret computer lab beneath the Tower of London, the hunchbacked Lord L is not pleased with Blade’s decision. He wants more time to mess around with Blade’s brain. But Blade is undeterred. He’s afraid that if he doesn’t go back to Dimension X now he just won’t have the guts. The courage. The intestinal fortitude. It takes an iron-clad will to survive in a land flowing with loincloths and busty maidens!

Once more to the brink and let that be an end to it. He did not particularly fear the physical dangers, the battles he fought, the monsters he faced, the sexual exhaustion at times forced on him. He feared that his brain would be destroyed.

Supposedly this is the “last trip” through the computer Blade will be required by Her Majesty’s Government to make, but as we know there are a couple dozen more books waiting in the wings, this is hard to take this seriously. Another thing we readers know is that Blade generally spends his time in Dimension X subduing the natives, being worshiped as a god, and putting his swizzle stick in the hot pocket of any maiden who so much as looks at him sideways. So it’s hard to feel a great deal of sympathy for his misgivings.

At last they came to the central room that housed the master computer. Lord L did what he had never done before: he followed Blade into the little disrobing cubicle. The old man talked as Blade stripped and donned a loincloth and began to smear himself with a tar salve that prevented computer burns.

I believe the author is mis-remembering here. In fact Lord L usually takes the liberty of buttering Dick Blade up personally. *shudder*

Also, I’m super glad they solved the problem of computer burns before they invented internet porn.

Having been properly stripped down and lubed up, Blade is seated in The Chair and The Switch Is Thrown. Continue reading “Richard Blade #6: Monster of the Maze, Part 1”

It Lives!!!

Oh, hello there. You’re wondering where the reviews are for the rest of the Richard Blade books. Well, I have gotten somewhat distracted from the project, I admit. But I can’t quite shake the sense of work left undone. So I’m putting pen to, er, blog, once more.

I am not promising to do all thirty-odd Blade books, to say nothing of things like the Russian-only books. But I do plan to tackle the next three books on this blog. Basically I want to finish up the Richard Blade books pseudonymously authored by Manning Lee Stokes. For those of you keeping score at home, those are:

  • #6 Monster of the Maze
  • #7 Pearl of Patmos
  • #8 Undying World

We really have to get to Undying World, because oh my god. It’s a serious shitfest. Stokes went out with a bang!

After the eight book, Roland J Green took over writing duties with volume 9, Kingdom of Royth. He continued on to pen the vast majority of the series. It would be fun to do a couple of his books to compare and contrast with Stokes’ style, but I make no promises as to that. I will try my hardest to get through volume 8, and after that any future entries on this series are in the hands of the fickle gods.

At any rate, a two-part blog post for Monster of the Maze will be up this week. In fact it’s up now! Click here to read!

Richard Blade #5: Liberator of Jedd, Part 2

Le-liberateur-de-Jedd

The Blade books have been translated into other languages, including Russian… and French. And holy tits. Those French publishers sure know how to make an eye-catching cover! Granted, I don’t have any idea what it has to do with Richard Blade visiting a prehistoric world and battling ape-men, but you know what? I don’t really care.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

Alright, where were we? Oh, yes, Richard Blade is about to go on a murderous rampage.

After leaving Ooma at his new friend Mok’s house, Blade sets out. He’s a man on a mission: to become the head honcho of Jedd Town.

Step 1: Blade stakes out one of the carts carrying plague victims to the charnel pits. What could our hero be up to??

The cart went creaking beneath his perch. Blade sprang and, with no compunction at all, cut the driver’s throat with the stone knife. The man hardly had time to struggle.

Did he just cut his – ? Just some random dude and he -?

Yup.

But our boy Blade isn’t done with his murderin’, no sir. He dons the dead man’s distinctive yellow uniform and then drives the cart into the center of the city, where the Empress’s palace is. The palace is in fact a pavilion setup on stilts in the middle of a lake. Blade is here looking for The Wise One. He waits for a while, and sure enough, the Wise One, distinguished by his enormous head, comes trotting out flanked by his personal guards. Blade follows them to the Wise One’s house. The Wise One goes inside and the guards begin patrolling around the house.  Blade waits until one of them goes past, and then he…

…took him from behind with one brawny arm about his throat to stifle any cry. With his free hand he brought the stone knife around and sought for the man’s throat just above the breastplate. The guard was strong and struggled mightily for his life, but Blade held him as he might a babe and slit the jugular neatly. Blood spurted, drenching the dying man and Blade as well. He did not mind. He wanted the blood on him.

Psycho!

Blade dons the guard’s armor and takes his sword. Then he approaches the second guard.

Blade used all his massive strength and put the iron sword into the guard just below the breastplate and above the groin. As he thrust, he twisted the the blade in a classic disemboweling cut.

Oh man. That disemboweling cut? Classic!!!

Continue reading “Richard Blade #5: Liberator of Jedd, Part 2”