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what are the tropes of planetary romance?

Behemoth

a cache of old photographs in a trunk
Validated User
This quote from there seems useful:
There are also some stories that are very much in both camps. 'Lorelei of the Red Mists' by Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury (literally, one half was written by each writer- and it's damn hard to tell where they switched over) starts as a very Planetary Romance type tale, with a interplanetary thief escaping into hidden territory while being chased by the Patrol, and ends up in a very Sword & Planet place, which if it didn't reference the protagonists initial motivation at the end of the story, might as well have been Sword & Sorcery (not helped by the fact that one of the characters is called Conan- although his character was apparently nothing like the more famous barbarian).

I'd say that you'd know both terms when you see them (for example any story in which a modern day Earthman travels by some complicated means, either scientific, magical or unexplained, to a different planet (generally by mentral transference)- is certainly Sword & Planet. Any story in which a far-future space adventurer gets caught up in the intrigues of an alien society is Planetary Romance. And then there are stories like the Sea Kings of Mars where a tomb robber from a far-future Mars gets magically transported back to Ancient Mars, which blur the edges again.
 

Marc17

Registered User
Validated User
It's also often called "Sword and Planet"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_and_planet
Also this quote from the same page:
"This article does not cite any references or sources."

I've never heard of Sword and Planet and it doesn't seem that very few outside of wikipedia have either. While such terms are constantly changing and there is no group that defines such terms, I'm sort of like the Oxford Dictionary in that I want to see reference to it as a genre in print before I give it too much credit or at least in common use. Most the websites that come up seem to be self-referencial wikipedia articles or equate it with "planetary romance".
 

Barthwaigt

New member
Also this quote from the same page:
"This article does not cite any references or sources."

I've never heard of Sword and Planet and it doesn't seem that very few outside of wikipedia have either. While such terms are constantly changing and there is no group that defines such terms, I'm sort of like the Oxford Dictionary in that I want to see reference to it as a genre in print before I give it too much credit or at least in common use. Most the websites that come up seem to be self-referencial wikipedia articles or equate it with "planetary romance".
I guess I'm one of those "very few outside of wikipedia" people who has heard the term "Sword & Planet" (in actual conversation with live people) to describe the stories you describe as "Planetary Romance" (A term I've only become aware of here, in this thread).

So I guess that doesn't change things much, eh? ;)
 
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Futurella

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
Also this quote from the same page:
"This article does not cite any references or sources."

I've never heard of Sword and Planet and it doesn't seem that very few outside of wikipedia have either. While such terms are constantly changing and there is no group that defines such terms, I'm sort of like the Oxford Dictionary in that I want to see reference to it as a genre in print before I give it too much credit or at least in common use. Most the websites that come up seem to be self-referencial wikipedia articles or equate it with "planetary romance".
I have certainly seen the term Sword and Planet in the past, and the usage in wikipedia seems consistent to me and reasonable. But, if you like, when other people use the term you can put your hands over year ears and sing very loudly. I use that to avoid any reference to "American Idol" and it works fairly well.
 

YojimboC

Thunderball Fists!
Validated User
It seems to me that Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers fall into the Planetary Romance genre, while perhaps avoiding the Sword & Planet genre. Or maybe they're just at the high end of the scale for the latter.
 
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