I have a funny relationship with these two men. Not that I know either of them personally (both have been dead for a number of years anyway) but I have a weird relationship nonetheless.
Today, Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp are mostly known for making a hash out of the Conan stories, revising them (badly) and putting them in print in a badly expurgated form, and maintaining that state of affairs for many years until Del Rey recently stepped in and "saved" us by publishing original versions.
However, both were notable science fiction and fantasy writers in their own regard, although both also wrote a number of really derivative works. Lin Carter in particular aped other writers, especially Edgar Rice Burroughs with his Callisto series (like ERB's Mars books), his Green Star series (sorta like ERB's Venus books), his Zanthadon series (very similar to ERB's Pellucidar books), his Mysteries of Mars series (very similar to Leigh Brackett's Mars books), his Prince Zarkon (very similar to Kenneth Robeson's Doc Savage stories)... well, you get the idea. L. Sprague de Camp wasn't above doing it either with his eight book Planet Krishna series (very similar to Barsoom) and his Pusadian Series (marked similarities to Howards Hyborian Age.)
The difference between them is that Lin Carter was probably a less accomplished writer, yet he made up for it with his unabashed, earnest "fanboyism" of his source material, which made his poorly done copies somewhat endearing rather than annoying. L. Sprague de Camp, on the other hand, didn't really seem to understand what made those original works fun in the first place, and had the off-puttingly elitist attitude of "I'm going to get it right!" by "correcting" what he saw as literary absurdities in Howard's and Burroughs' work. His own, then, had a kind of dry lecturing taste to it, with faint hints of self-congratulation lurking in the corners.
That said, I kinda get the concept of being a fundamentally less talented yet enthusiastic fan of something and attempting to recreate it to some extent in your own image. I tend to think that I'm not exactly innovative and imaginative when it comes to generating ideas, but I do have some modest talent for synthesizing various elements, shamelessly borrowed, and putting them together into an attractive repackaging scheme.
So, in that regard, I find I can summon a fair bit of sympathy for L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. In spite of their rather pointedly second-rate "original" fiction. In spite of what they did to the Conan stories for decades. In fact, I wish I could be as successful as they've been, even if their success has turned out to be ephemeral. I'd take ephemeral success in a heartbeat for my own work, frankly.