This is a continuation of the Speculative Fiction Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.
What is Sword and Planet?
A genre that is closely related to sword and sorcery, and planetary romance. However, unlike sword and sorcery, adventures take place on another planet, and unlike planetary romance, the alien world is primitive. An ailen society may posess some advanced technology, but its use is not central to the plot. Often the hero is the lone human survivor or castaway, and swords are preferred as means of warfare.
- John Carter of Mars Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- Gor Series by John Norman
- Callisto Series by Lin Carter
If anyone asked me what this genre was, I’d probably say: It’s sword and sorcery… in space! Most of these books were published pre 1980’s, but a John Carter movie is slated to come out in 2012. Hmm! I wonder if we’ll suddenly start seeing more books in this genre…