The Tides of Kregen

The Tides of Kregen is a science fiction novel written by Kenneth Bulmer under the pseudonym of Alan Burt Akers. It is the twelfth volume in his extensive Dray Prescot series of sword and planet novels, set on the fictional world of Kregen, a planet of the Antares star system in the constellation of Scorpio. It was first published by DAW Books in 1976.

The Dray Prescot series is made of several cycles of novels, each cycle essentially forming a series within the series. In addition to being the twelfth volume in the series as a whole, The Tides of Kregen is also the first of three volumes in the Krozair Cycle. It is set on the fictional continent of Turismond as well as the island of Valka and Earth.

The 52 completed novels of the Dray Prescot series were written by Bulmer between 1972 and 1997, when a stroke stopped his writing, also the later Dray Prescot books, after 1988, were originally only published in German. The series is in the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars series.[1]

The Tides of Kregen
The Tides of Kregen
First edition cover
AuthorKenneth Bulmer
Cover artistMichael Whelan
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesDray Prescot series
GenreSword and planet
Published1976
PublisherDAW Books
Media typePrint (Paperback)
ISBN0886770343
Preceded byArmada of Antares 
Followed byRenegade of Kregen 

Plot summary

Dray Prescot Eye of the World
Map of the Eye of the World

The book takes place a number of years after the events of Armada of Antares and the short story Wizard of Scorpio. It begins with an argument between Khe-Hi-Bjanching, a young Wizard of Loh and Evold Scavander about a visitation by Phu-si-Yantong. Prescot is than visited by the Gdoinye, the messenger bird of the Star Lords, to tell him his service will be required soon. He is astonished to hear that his soon Drak was able to see the bird, too, when he thought it invisible to all himself. He shortly after informs Delia that he might be leaving soon.

When a messenger informs Prescot that the Shanks, a mysterious race of raiders have attacked an island of Valka and he rushes out with a small force to beat them back. The small force, including Delia and Drak, are trapped in an island village and under attack when Prescot is teleported away by the Star Lords. He resists and refuses to take up battle in his new location, instead returning to Delia. The Gdoinye warns him of his foolishness to resist and once more he is teleported, arriving for the first time fully armed and clothed. Again he defies the Star Lords and for this he is banished to Earth, seemingly for good.

Prescot spends the next decades on Earth, getting involved in wars out of boredom and growing every more morose and desperate to return to Kregen. He studies science and is eventually introduced to a Madam Ivanovna who reveals herself to be connected to Kregen but to be neither a Savanti nor a Star Lord. She tells Prescot her real name, Zena Iztar and he learns that 18 years have passed on Kregen since his departure. He learns that Drak and Delia survived the attack and that his older twins are now 32 years old and the second set 21, the age Delia was when she met Prescot. He also learns that the Savanti are only interested in the humans of Kregen while the Star Lords goals are broader and that their interests have clashed. She also tells him that it was her who influenced his directions at the Eye of the World when the Star Lords and the Savanti pulled him in opposite directions. Three more years pass before Prescot is finally returned to Kregen in 1871.

Prescot finds himself fighting slavers on a remote island. After fulfilling this task he sets of in a small boat, not knowing where he is. He is eventually rescued by a merchant ship and taken to Xuntal from where he heads home to Valka. He finds all his family dispersed and Delia to have left for the Eye of the World almost a year ago and follows her. Once more Prescot crosses the hostile lands and the Stratemsk mountains of eastern Turismond to reach the inner sea, after a 50-year absence. He heads for Felteraz and Mayfwy, widow of his friend Zorg to gain information. He learns that Delia had indeed been there and that the eternal war between the two sides is going badly for the Zairians, with the South holding up at sea but consistently losing the land battles to the Grodnims.

Prescot returns to the fortress of the Krozairs of Zy but instead of a welcome he is declared Apushniad, an outcast, for not heading the call to arms to all Krozairs when it was issued. Prescot is deeply affected by this sentence as being a Krozair was of the titles he held the one he valued most. He is sentenced to become an oar slave once more but is allowed an hour with Delia just before being send to the ship, their first encounter in 21 years. Prescot passes the time from then on in a form of trance, unable to comprehend what was happening until he is freed by his to former oar comrades Nath and Zolta. They inform him that Delia has returned to Valka, being pregnant, and that she expects Dray to regain his status as Krozair, which the latter accepts as his duty.

Prescot secretly leaves his friends to head west and meet Pur Zenkiren who leads an army there. He survives a raid by the Grodnim on an army supply camp and gains a new friend in Duhrra the wrestler when he saves the latter, acquiring the alias of Dak in the process. He heads for the city of Shazmoz, under siege by the Grodnim. In Shazmoz he meets Zenkiren and at first the too declares Prescot an Apushniad but the latter forces him to listen to some of his story. Zenkiren eventually sides with Prescot and explains the current situation in the Eye of the World. Genod Gannius, new leader of the Grodnim, a man Prescot suspects to be related to Gahan Gannius and Valima whom he saved so long ago in The Suns of Scorpio has employed tactics against the Zairians Prescot himself so long ago used against the Overlords of Magdag in an unsuccessful slave revolt.

Departing from Zenkiren Prescot and Duhrra ride west, to the Grand Canal and the Dam of Days, where the Eye of the World ends, a territory now held by the Grodnim, with Prescot resolved to leave this part of Kregen for good and to concentrate on his life back in Vallia. He returns to the Akhram of the Todalpheme, the monks calculating the tides of Kregen and learns that a convoy loaded with flying boats for the Grodnim is scheduled to pass the Dam of Days just before a storm will hit and the dam will be closed. Unwilling to let the Grodnim have the advantage of flying boats, usually unseen at the Eye of the World, Prescot resolves to destroy this convoy but not after arguing with himself as to whether he should get involved or not.

Prescot finally reaches the Dam of Days, build by the ancient Sunset People who the Savanti were the last remnants of. He forces the dam open to let the flood through and destroy the ships from Menaham carrying the flying boats as well as all ships as far as Shazmoz. The Star Lords attempt to teleport him away but he successfully fights them, feeling that he is also helped by another force. With the task completed the two companions head for Magdag, encountering Zena Iztar on their way who confirms to Prescot that it was her who assisted him against the Star Lords. She informs him that he will not be allowed to leave the Eye of the World as yet but he continues on to Magdag nevertheless.

Publishing

The book was first published in English in August 1976. It was first published in German in 1980 as Die Gezeiten von Kregen.[2] In 2006 the book was published as an E-book by Mushroom Books.[3]

Book covers

The cover of the original US edition was illustrated by Michael Whelan, the first German edition by Ron Kirby. The second German edition was illustrated by Ken Kelly.[4]

References

  1. ^ Ken Bulmer obituary The Guardian, published: 22 December 2005, accessed: 4 December 2014
  2. ^ Die Gezeiten von Kregen (in German) phantastik-couch.de, accessed: 4 December 2014
  3. ^ The Tides of Kregen Mushroom-E-books, accessed: 4 December 2014
  4. ^ Cover art The covers of the various editions of the Dray Prescot series, accessed: 4 December 2014

External links

Dray Prescot series

The Dray Prescot series is a sequence of fifty-two science fiction novels and a number of associated short stories of the subgenre generally classified as sword and planet, written by British author Kenneth Bulmer under the pseudonym of Alan Burt Akers.

The sequence is made up of eleven cycles of novels, each cycle essentially forming a series within the series. Four novels and three short stories are stand-alone narratives falling outside the system of cycles. Each tale is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, Dray Prescot. To support the illusion that the fictional Prescot was the actual author, later volumes were bylined "by Dray Prescot as told to Alan Burt Akers."

Kenneth Bulmer

Henry Kenneth Bulmer (14 January 1921 – 16 December 2005) was a British author, primarily of science fiction.

Renegade of Kregen

Renegade of Kregen is a science fiction novel by British writer Kenneth Bulmer, written under the pseudonym of Alan Burt Akers; it is the thirteenth volume in his Dray Prescot series of sword and planet novels, set on the fictional world of Kregen, a planet of the Antares star system in the constellation of Scorpio. It was first published by DAW Books in 1976.

The Dray Prescot series is made of several cycles of novels, each cycle essentially forming a series within the series. In addition to being the thirteenth volume in the series as a whole, Renegade of Kregen is also the second of three volumes in the Krozair Cycle. It is set in the fictional Eye of the World on the continent of Turismond .

The 52 completed novels of the Dray Prescot series were written by Bulmer between 1972 and 1997, when a stroke stopped his writing, also the later Dray Prescot books, after 1988, were originally only published in German. The series is in the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars series.

Sword and planet

Sword and planet is a subgenre of science fantasy that features rousing adventure stories set on other planets, and usually featuring humans as protagonists. The name derives from the heroes of the genre engaging their adversaries in hand-to-hand combat primarily with simple melée weapons such as swords, even in a setting that often has advanced technology. Although there are works that herald the genre, such as Percy Greg's Across the Zodiac (1880) and Edwin Lester Arnold's Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (1905; published in the US in 1964 as Gulliver of Mars), the prototype for the genre is A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs originally serialized by All-Story in 1912 as "Under the Moons of Mars".The genre predates the mainstream popularity of science fiction proper, and does not necessarily feature any scientific rigor, being instead romantic tales of high adventure. For example, little thought is given to explaining why the environment of the alien planet is compatible with life from Earth, just that it does in order to allow the hero to move about and interact with the natives. Native technology will often break the known laws of physics.

The genre tag "sword and planet" is constructed to mimic the terms sword and sorcery and sword and sandal. The phrase appears to have first been coined in the 1960s by Donald A. Wollheim, editor of Ace Books, and later of DAW Books at a time when the genre was undergoing a revival. Both Ace Books and DAW Books were instrumental in bringing much of the earlier pulp sword and planet stories back into print, as well as publishing a great deal of new, imitative work by a new generation of authors.

There is a fair amount of overlap between sword and planet and planetary romance although some works are considered to belong to one and not the other. Influenced by the likes of A Princess of Mars yet more modern and technologically savvy, sword and planet more directly imitates the conventions established by Burroughs in the Mars series. That is to say that the hero is alone as the only human being from Earth, swords are the weapon of choice, and while the alien planet has some advanced technology, it is used only in limited applications to advance the plot or increase the grandeur of the setting. In general the alien planet will seem to be more medieval and primitive than Earth. This leads to anachronistic situations such as flying ships held aloft by anti-gravity technology, while ground travel is done by riding domesticated native animals.

The Suns of Scorpio

The Suns of Scorpio is a science fiction novel written by Kenneth Bulmer under the pseudonym of Alan Burt Akers. It is the second volume in his extensive Dray Prescot series of sword and planet novels, set on the fictional world of Kregen, a planet of the Antares star system in the constellation of Scorpio. It was first published by DAW Books in 1973.

The Dray Prescot series is made of several cycles of novels, each cycle essentially forming a series within the series. In addition to being the second volume in the series as a whole, The Suns of Scorpio is also the second volume in the Delian Cycle and introduces the reader to the fictional continent of Turismond and the Eye of the World.The 52 completed novels of the Dray Prescot series were written by Bulmer between 1972 and 1997, when a stroke stopped his writing, also the later Dray Prescot books, after 1988, were originally only published in German. The series is in the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars series.

Delian cycle
Havilfar cycle
Krozair cycle
Vallian cycle
Jikaida cycle
Spikatur cycle
Pandahem cycle
Witch War cycle
Lohvian cycle
Balintol cycle
Spectre cycle
Non-cyclic & short stories

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