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RICHARD BLADE

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Full Name: Richard Blade
Nationality: British
Organization: M16A
Occupation Agent

Time Span: 1969 - 1984

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Richard Blade is an agent with M16A.
       That designation is for a British intelligence organization that is an autonomous division of Special Branch. It is run by J, "an elderly tweedy type with a voice so mellifluous that it flowed around the omnipresent pipe without hindrance". It is operated from Copra House, "a grimy Victorian structure in [London]" which has a plaque on its frontage stating it is the New East India Copra and Processing Co., Ltd. Apparently the company was actually legitimate though a good portion of the facility was devoted to the M16A. What exactly is the mandate for this government organization is not mentioned but it is given to understand that Blade has operated all over the world so the reach of his employer must have been extensive.
       Blade has been, as of the start of the first recorded adventure, an agent with this organization for over 20 years, putting him in his early 40s. He maintains his body in excellent condition for someone nearing the half century mark and can easily take on those whose age is close to when he started - all because in addition to physical conditioning, he has experience and intelligence to maximize its effectiveness.
       This tip-top shape and stellar track record is why he has been chosen for the new project he learns about when escorted by J to the Tower of London. According to J, the people behind the ultra-secret facility went "through some thousands of files trying to find their man", ending up with Blade being the best of the best. Lord Leighton, the key scientist behind the endeavor, asked if "they could borrow" him.
       When Blade first arrived at the Tower, he was surprised to find that he went down instead of up, taking an elevator alone since the location was so hush-hush that even J was not permitted entry. To Blade it seemed to go down for a considerable amount of time indicating the whole place was quite deep beneath the City. It was there that Blade first met Leighton, "a little gnome of a man" with thin white hair and a hunchback, afflicted with polio.
       Before Blade is brought in on what the project he has been seconded to is all about, he is directed to strip, put on a tiny loin cloth, and get his body dabbed in spots with a viscous dark substance. It was on those spots that electrodes were attached after he was instructed to sit in a glass cage, still having no idea what it was all about.
       "Genius" is the explanation given to him by Leighton, the complete amassing of all knowledge that could fit into the computers to which he was being connected. The plan was to infuse him with all that data and create a super-genius who could be far greater than the sum of the individual computers. Too bad it did not work out that way.
       What did happen was totally unexpected to everyone involved, especially Blade. Instead of becoming a walking computer, he found his consciousness transported to a previously unknown dimension occupying the same space as ours.
       Unfortunately for Blade, his arrival into this strange world, and the many ones that will follow in subsequent adventures, have a couple of unpleasant similarities. First, he always arrives naked which, besides being somewhat embarrassing, can also be terribly dangerous because he has no protection and no weapons. Second, he shows up with a splitting headache and sometimes near unconsciousness which means he is immediately at the mercy of what is waiting there, and what is there is usually not very friendly.
       When Blade is able to survive his first other-worldly adventure and return home, the possibilities of dimensional travel leap out at Leighton and through him the Prime Minister. What technologies might be gleamed from these other lands? What treasures might be brought back to help pay for the enormous cost of the program and possibly even bolster the nation's sinking economy? To learn those answers would mean many more trips to these other places.
       It quickly occurs to the powers that be that having more than one traveler would be a good thing. Blade, as good as he is, was just one man and a man can die. Others of equal, or some it seemed, abilities were hooked up to the device. Many did not go anywhere. Many more went and never came back. One or two returned in such a dubious state of mind as to be no longer of service. For some reason that Leighton was determined to uncover, only Blade had what it took to go and to come back.
       In his many off-dimension escapades, Blade with fight dozens of vicious battles. He will survive countless perils. He will also enjoy the physical pleasures of an amazing number of exotic women and in some cases, leaving behind a heir or three.

BOOKS

Number of Books:37
First Appearance:1969
Last Appearance:1984

       The writing syndicate house of Lyle Kenyon Engel was responsible for a lot of very enjoyable series over its lifespan. Several of them have made it into this compendium, namely Nick Carter, The Baroness and The Expeditor. Now another one joins the collection with this combination of heroic fantasy, sci-fi, and spy-fi.
       The lore of this series is that, like the others, Engel came up with the general concept for Richard Blade and then approached Manning Lee Stokes, a man who had already proven himself several times with numerous Nick Carter adventures, with fleshing out the character and penning the first set of books. Stokes did the first eight and then the remainder of the work was passed to Roland Green. [Supposition on my part but since Stokes would pass away just over a year later, health might have played a role in the transition.]
       Green would write all the remaining 29 books except for one towards the end which would be scripted by Ray Faraday Nelson.

       According to Wikipedia, a publisher in Russia had the rights to the first six books in the series and, wanting to continue the storyline, hired Mikhail Akhmanov, the man who translated this half-dozen, to write original books about Blade. That author would use others to come up with 16 more stories. I have not found a listing yet of these additional titles, none of which were translated into English.


1 The Bronze Axe The Bronze Axe
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1969

On his first foray into another dimension, Richard Blade woke at the feet of the beautiful Taleen, Princess of Voth, a woman who is being hunted and desperately needs help from the savages called the Albs.

2 The Jade Warrior The Jade Warrior
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1969

The dimension Richard Blade lands in finds the Caths, a civilized people, being under attack and close to defeat to the Mongs, nearly mindless people who nevertheless are winning the war. The only hope for the Caths is Blade.

3 Jewel of Tharn Jewel of Tharn
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1969

Richard Blade finds that the men of this new dimension are for the most part subjugated and many unable to perform sex. That makes it rough on a female ruling class who really want it, a lot. Blade has no such problem.

4 Slave of Sarma Slave of Sarma
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1970

When Richard Blade arrived in the dimension world of Sarma, he quickly learned he was not the only one from Earth - a Russian agent had also arrived and looked just like Blade and was causing trouble that Blade was blamed for.

5 Liberator of Jedd Liberator of Jedd
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1971

On Earth, Richard Blade is having trouble with inactivity and the sexual activities with the erotic dancer Viki is not enough. He needs to go on another trip - one that takes him to a Stone Age land where the Jedd are a human race in desperate need of a man to lead them out of danger - and to father an heir.

6 Monster of the Maze Monster of the Maze
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1973

Before this trip, Richard Blade has a chip implanted in his brain so the folks back home can monitor. In the new land he visits, something has gone really wrong because he arrives as a baby, fully aware of things and with all his normal thoughts but stuck in the frame of an infant. When he rapidly grows up, he finds he is being considered the Messiah of the land.

7 Pearl of Patmos Pearl of Patmos
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1973

The world of Patmos in which Richard Blade arrives is one torn by war between three parties, none of which seem to like Blade. When one side with an immortal empress learns about Blade, she decides he is the man to help her, through sex, get reborn.

8 Undying World Undying World
Written by Manning Lee Stokes
Copyright: 1973

Though the chip in his brain that caused trouble before was removed, it is inexplicably still there and still making a mess. Richard Blade had retired and others sent into Dimension X in his place. All either died or had major mental problems afterwards. Blade is called out of retirement for another mission and he is more than ready because back on Earth, he is frustratingly impotent, a very new experience for Blade.

9 Kingdom of Royth Kingdom of Royth
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1974

Richard Blade's arrival in this new dimension finds him on a raft on the ocean. He soon collects other stranded people and is then rescued by a ship carrying the Grand Duke of the land who is having a lot of trouble with pirates - and betrayal from within.

10 Ice Dragon Ice Dragon
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1974

Though he had faced a lot of different opponents, Richard Blade could not be expected to be ready for fighting ice dragons or going up against a human who controlled them.

11 Dimension of Dreams Dimension of Dreams
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1974

The dimension has two groups of people, the Wakers and the Dreamers. The former roam the land fighting and killing as they see fit. The Dreamers live in vaults and dream of better lives. Richard Blade must fight the former to help preserve the latter.

12 King of Zunga King of Zunga
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1975

Again Richard Blade will be asked to take sides in a three-way war but before the decision can be offered, he has to survive an encounter with a gigantic snake with a head larger than his.

13 The Golden Steed The Golden Steed
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1975

Surviving some nasty battles as soon as he arrives in the new dimension, Richard Blade finally escapes after grabbing a golden horse for transport. Riding it into a city, he finds his arrival fulfills a prophesy that makes him the Messiah (again) in another three-sided war.

14 The Temples of Ayocan The Temples of Ayocan
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1975

Priests of one land are using powerful drugs to turn acolytes into vicious killers to take on another land and Richard Blade is thrown into the middle.

15 The Towers of Melnon The Towers of Melnon
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1975

For a lot of generations, the High People have lived in the Towers and controlled the Low People with a powerful wand. Richard Blade is not in favor of that policy.

16 The Crystal Seas The Crystal Seas
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1975

The world Richard Blade is visiting has vasts oceans filled with very deadly creatures and some very interesting merpeople, some who want him dead and some, the females, who have other ideas.

17 The Mountains of Brega The Mountains of Brega
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1976

Brega is a world run by women who keep men in cages and hunt them for sport, and then when the game is over, tend to eat them. Richard Blade is not a fan of the idea.

18 Warlords Of Gaikon Warlords Of Gaikon
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1976

This new world is one much like feudal Japan. When Richard Blade needs clothing upon arrival, he unknowingly picks a blue robe which proclaims he is of nobility - something he has to fight to prove.

19 Looters of Tharn Looters of Tharn
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1976

It never happened before but this trip takes Richard Blade back to a world he has visited before - Tharn. There he finds that the ruler is his own son (time works differently here) and that young man tells Blade of the Looters, people from yet another dimension who come and take what they want at will.

20 Guardians Of The Coral Throne Guardians Of The Coral Throne
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1976

Taken as a gladiator upon arrival on this new world, Richard Blade is soon able to work up the ranks to become one of the protectors of the Emperor, a man Blade grows to respect. Then come the invaders and Blade is determined to stop them.

21 Champion of the Gods Champion of the Gods
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1976

Blade was just getting used to the new world when mess ups back home cause he and the lovely lady he had become friendly with start moving through dimensions.

22 The Forests of Gleor The Forests of Gleor
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1976

The ruler of Trawn uses giant spiders as steeds while attacking other lands and he is moving towards the kingdom that the princess Richard Blade is friendly with resides so of course Blade has to stop the attack. Air ships are used.

23 Empire of Blood Empire of Blood
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1977

For taking the losing side in a fight against this land's Emperor, Richard Blade is made a galley slave but Blade does not sit well with that and makes his return.

24 The Dragons of Englor The Dragons of Englor
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1977

The land of Englor is very much like England except it is more advanced. It is also at odds with a neighbor, Russland. Richard Blade finds his old skills as a spy coming in very handy.

25 The Torian Pearls The Torian Pearls
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1977

The land Richard Blade arrives in is a small island surrounded by seemingly endless swamps and the waters are rising. Seeking to help the people stranded there, Blade naturally has to prove in combat he is worthy.

26 City of the Living Dead City of the Living Dead
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1978

It is a very bizarre world Richard Blade finds in this new dimension, one in which the populace have banished all hostile attitudes by placing them into robots. These machines are not very nice.

27 Master of the Hashomi Master of the Hashomi
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1978

The people of the Hashomi have been drugged for years into a state where they know no fear or pain and are thus perfect fighting machines. Since Richard Blade is not under these narcotics, he is a threat to their leader.

28 Wizard of Rentoro Wizard of Rentoro
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1978

The Wizard in the title rules a land from the 14th century where knights dominate the land and do so through terror and destruction. Women are routinely raped and killed at the pleasure of these nobles and Richard Blade does not approve.

29 Treasure of the Stars Treasure of the Stars
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1978

The dimension Richard Blade finds himself in on this adventure is one of advanced technology. An envoy from another planet is his love interest and the dictator of the world he is visiting is his opponent as that man wants to use the science of flight to conquer other worlds.

30 Dimension of Horror Dimension of Horror
Written by Ray Faraday Nelson
Copyright: 1979

Richard Blade has not left his home dimension for this adventure when horrific nightmares and visions has him sent to a shrink to learn why. It seems creatures from another dimension who once plagued the Earth are trying to get back in. When Blade starts to fight back, they kidnap his girlfriend, Zoe, and take her to their world.

31 Gladiators of Hapanu Gladiators of Hapanu
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1979

The rain forest world Richard Blade visits is populated by various tribes who are being subjugated by the powerful and ruthless Hapanu, the men sent as slaves and the women as pleasure givers. Blade is not liking what he sees so he decides to do something about it.

32 Pirates Of Gohar Pirates Of Gohar
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1979

Richard Blade's way to travel to a new dimension has improved with the use of the KALI capsule but what he finds is just the same. This world has piracy ruling the seas and Blade finding himself at odds with the head ruler.

33 Killer Plants Of Binnark Killer Plants Of Binnark
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1980

Two civilizations on the world Richard Blade visits in this adventure have great animosity towards each other but each needs the other to survive. Luckily separating them is a forest of carnivorous plants. The queen of one nation has figured out how to overcome the hungry foliage.

34 The Ruins of Kaldac The Ruins of Kaldac
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1981

This time able to travel to another dimension with a loincloth to cover his vitals, Richard Blade arrives in a world where the city he is near was destroyed many years before by likely an atomic bomb. Exploring more, he discovers that the animal life is particularly nasty, including ravenous rats the size of a German shepherd.

35 The Lords of the Crimson River The Lords of the Crimson River
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1981

It is to a medieval-style world that Richard Blade travels, one in which a seemingly never ending war is going on between eight "Lords of the Crimson River". If Blade cannot find a way to bring peace, likely through considerable fighting, all the citizens are doomed to suffer.

36 Return to Kaldak Return to Kaldak
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1983

This trip to another dimension Richard Blade was supposed to be accompanied by the feathered monkey he befriended in his previous adventure but when he arrived, he was alone. Distraught, Blade was surprised to find he was for only the second time in his many trips on a world he had visited before - Kaldak (spelled differently). Now the residents had learned to use the ancient technology they had forgotten and could threaten Blade's home dimension.

37 Warriors of Latan Warriors of Latan
Written by Roland Green
Copyright: 1984

This trip to Dimension X lands Richard Blade and his feathered friend, Cheeky, in a world of warrior tribes much like Native Americans who ride large lizards and answer to a very stern woman called the Wise One.

MY COMMENTS

       For quite a few years I ignored the Richard Blade series when it came to deciding who should be part of this compendium. I had read many of them, and I admit it now, my much, much younger self enjoyed the books. At least the first dozen. After that, I saw them but never had any interest. Same old - same old. Blade smears on the protective goo, hooks up the electrodes, and wham! He is in another dimension fighting lots of bad guys and having incredible sex with all sorts of beautiful and willing ladies.
       But on a whim, I decided to not listen to my better judgment and so here we are.
       Blade belongs because he is from long before his first trip to Dimension X an agent with M16A. Twenty years with an unknown number of missions makes him qualified. The fact that his recorded adventures take him into other worlds with escapades that more rightly belong in Heroic Fantasy or Sword and Sorcery groups, well, too bad.
       These stories are not spy stories. A couple do have Russians sticking their noses into Britain's secret project but by and large, they are "grab the nearest weapon, throw something on to protect the family jewels, and fight whoever is getting uppity - having sex with a gorgeous wench afterwards as a reward." They aren't tales cloaks and daggers.
       But some are fun. For a while. Then they aren't so much.

GRADE

My Grade: C

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