Burroughs established a set of conventions that were followed fairly closely by most other entries in the Sword and Planet genre. The typical first book in a sword and planet series uses some or all of the following plot points:
A tough but chivalrous male protagonist, from Earth of a period not too distant from our own, finds himself transported to a distant world. The transportation may be via astral projection, teleportation, time travel, or any similar form of scientific magic, but should not imply that travel between worlds is either easy or common. The Earthman thus finds himself the sole representative of his own race on an alien planet. This planet is at a pre-modern, even barbaric stage of civilization, but may here and there have remarkable technologies that hint at a more advanced past. There is no obligation for the physical properties or biology of the alien planet to follow any scientific understanding of the potential conditions of habitable worlds; in general, the conditions will be earth-like, but with variations such as a different-colored sun or different numbers of moons. A lower gravity may be invoked to explain such things as large flying animals or people, or the superhuman strength of the hero, but will otherwise be ignored. (A Princess of Mars, however, when it was first written did loosely follow the most optimistic theories about Mars—e.g., those of Percival Lowell who imagined a dying, dried-up Mars watered by a network of artificial canals.)
Not long after discovering his predicament, the Earthman finds himself caught in a struggle between two or more factions, nations, or species. He sides, of course, with the nation with the prettiest woman, who will sometimes turn out to be a princess. Before he can set about seriously courting her, however, she is kidnapped by a fiendish villain or villains. The Earthman, taking up his sword (the local weapon of choice, which he has a talent with), sets out on a quest to recover the woman and wallop the kidnappers. On the way, he crosses wild and inhospitable terrain, confronts savage animals and monsters, discovers lost civilizations ruled by cruel tyrants or wicked priests, and will repeatedly engage in swashbuckling sword-fights, be imprisoned, daringly escape and rescue other prisoners, and kill any men or beasts who stand in his way. At the end of the story he will defeat the villain and free the captive princess, only to find another crisis emerging that will require all his wit and muscle, but will not be resolved until the next thrilling novel in the adventures of...!.
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Other articles related to "form, forms":
... Tower was designed by Atelier SDG, and its form was inspired by the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch and the Sydney Opera House ... and tension in which a series of ribbons wrap concentrically around the tower form and hover above the entry plaza area providing cover and shading ... The tension in the movement and free form are expressed by the gradual twisting of the aluminium-clad ribbons as they move around the building ...
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Famous quotes containing the word form:
“The world is not looking for servants,there are plenty of these,but for masters, men who form their purposes and then carry them out, let the consequences be what they may.”
—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)
“The sense of an entailed disadvantagethe deformed foot doubtfully hidden by the shoe, makes a restlessly active spiritual yeast, and easily turns a self-centred, unloving nature into an Ishmaelite. But in the rarer sort, who presently see their own frustrated claim as one among a myriad, the inexorable sorrow takes the form of fellowship and makes the imagination tender.”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)
“Now what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of service to them.”
—Charles Dickens (18121870)