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Retro Reviews: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs


Retro Reviews: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs


A Princess of Mars
Author:  Edgar Rice Burroughs
Series:  Barsoom 1
Original Book Publisher and Date:  A.C. McClurg, October 10, 1917
Still in Print: Yes
Current Formats: Print and eBook
Availability: Yes - used and new

Retro Reviews: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Brief History

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago, IL on September 1, 1875 and died in Encino, CA on March 19, 1950. His father was a civil war veteran. In 1911, Burroughs was working as a pencil-sharpener wholesaler when he began to write fiction. In 1912, Burroughs had his first story, Under the Moons of Mars, serialized in The All-Story magazine from February to July 1912. Tarzan is his most famous character with John Carter close behind. Burroughs has written over 80 books in many different genres, including Science Fiction, Adventure, Westerns, Romance and even Historical. Ray Bradbury said of Burroughs in The Paris Review Spring 2010 No. 192, “I love to say it because it upsets everyone terribly—Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world. By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special. That’s what we have to do for everyone, give the gift of life with our books.”

A Princess of Mars was originally published as a serial in the February-July 1912 issues of All-Story Magazine under the title of Under the Moons of Mars. Burroughs was influenced in his portrayal of Mars by the astronomer Percival Lowell. On October 10, 1917, the first book edition was printed by A.C. McClurg. The book is now in public domain in the United States.


Description

A World to Conquer.

Suddenly projected to Mars, John Carter found himself captive of the savage green men of Thark. With him was Dejah Thoris, lovely Princess of Helium. And between them and rescue lay a thousand miles of deadly enemies and unknown dangers.



Brannigan's Review

This is the second book I've read and reviewed by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I'll be honest I was a little nervous to read it. I wanted to like it and I've heard so many people say how wonderful it was that I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations. So, for you, dear readers, I conquered my fears and read A Princess of Mars.

Burroughs does a splendid job of developing characters for a such a short book and considering its time frame. John Carter is a man of principles and doesn't falter from standing up for what's right. He also shows tact and patience in his affections towards Dejah. Even the green martians show depth and evolution as the story progresses. Tars Tarkas and Sola show very little in their relationship at the beginning of the story, but their relationship becomes much more complicated as secrets are revealed.

The world building shows depth and is revealed in such a way that it truly makes the world feel old and on the brink of extinction. Burroughs introduces several different alien flora and fauna. He also takes time to explain the differences between the green and red martians by color and within their own respective groups. It shows a great deal of detail for such a short book.

The pacing was a lot faster than I expected but not as fast as modern books. However, I wasn't bothered or bored since Burroughs did a wonderful job keeping my attention through the story. The fact that there's so many different genres within one book, like western, science-fiction, romance, and adventure, also helped to keep my attention.

A Princess of Mars lives up to all it praise and history. I would call it a foundation stone to the genre. It made me giddy and happy as I became immersed in the pulp. I'd recommend this book to youth and adults. There is minor violence. I'd recommend you buy a copy. It truly is one of the pioneer texts in the science fiction genre and should be read and owned by anyone who professes a love of  science fiction.


Favorite quote from the book

“God help the coward, for cowardice is of a surety its own punishment.” page 7

Retro Reviews: The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs



Retro Reviews: The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs


The Lost Continent
Author:  Edgar Rice Burroughs
Original Publisher and Date:  Street & Smith Publications, Inc., 1916
Still in Print:  Yes
Current Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Mass Market Paperback, and eBook
Availability:  Online and in book stores
ISBN:  various including 9781600961502 (Waking Lion Press, August 17, 2006)


Brief History

Retro Reviews: The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago on September 1, 1875 and died in Encino, CA on March 19, 1950. His father was a civil war veteran. In 1911, Burroughs was working as a pencil-sharpener wholesaler when he began to write fiction. In 1912, Burroughs had his first story, Under the Moons of Mars, serialized in The All-Story from February to July 1912. Tarzan is his most famous character with John Carter close behind. There is a Tarzana, California and a Tarzan, TX both named after the character. Burroughs has written over 80 books in many different genres, including Science-Fiction, Adventure, Westerns, Romance and even Historical. Ray Bradbury said of Burroughs in The Paris Review Spring 2010 No. 192, “I love to say it because it upsets everyone terribly—Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world. By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special. That’s what we have to do for everyone, give the gift of life with our books.”

The Lost Continent was originally published in the February 1916 issue of All-Around Magazine and titled Beyond Thirty. In 1955, the first book edition was printed by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach's Fantasy Press fanzine. In 1963, ACE printing published the book as The Lost Continent. Bison Books published their own edition in 2001 under the original name. The copyright of this book has expired and is in public domain.


Back Cover Description

For two hundred years, a civilized America had cut off all contact with the war-ruined Eastern Hemisphere until such places as Europe and Great Britain had become mere legends.

Then Jefferson Turck dared take his U.S. Aero-sub across the 30th longitude west on the mission of a new Columbus, and a fascinating voyage of discovery.



Brannigan's Review

I've read Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes and loved it. I've been eying the Barsoom (John Carter of Mars) series, but then at this year's WonderCon in Anaheim I sat in on a Burrough's panel and they mentioned The Lost Continent and it grabbed my attention. I was happy to find it at my local used book store. It's a short book, but it holds a rich story.

The back cover is a little misleading, so I'll give a quick story recap. The book is what we now refer to as an Alternate History story, which is a sub-genre under the Science Fiction genre. It explores the idea of what would happen if America didn't get involved in Word War I, and, by staying neutral, England, Germany, and most of Eurasia is completely destroyed. In fact, America is so neutral they close off any contact east past the 30th longitude west and west of the 175th longitude west. This isolation lasts for 200 years, making the current year 2137. Jefferson Turck is the captain of an Aero-sub that's on patrol in the Atlantic when a nasty storm leaves his ship with no power, and it drifts past the 30th longitude, which is strictly illegal and in enforced with a death penalty. Turck and a few sailors, after several misfortunes, get separated from their ship and are left with no choice but to take their smaller boat to England in search of aid. Then, the real adventures begin.

Burroughs is a master of creating suspense and giving a sense of wonder to his world. He's able to quickly breathe life into his world and main characters. He has a gift of knowing just how much backstory and personality he needs to give a main character to help the reader connect to them. That being said, all the supporting cast of characters are only names and sex, but I didn't care as I knew they weren't important—in fact, they knew it as well and stayed out of the way, only popping up to deliver bad news or offer minor support. I have to give Burroughs some credit for his female character, Victory. She was a very strong and independent female character for a book that came out in 1916. She still has some of those basic stock issues of being a little helpless at times and needing the love of a strong man, but she does wield a wicked dagger with skill several times, so props to Burroughs.

The story itself was very interesting. Burroughs came up with some great ideas on how a world might look after a devastating war. The story took a couple turns I didn't see coming, and I was drawn into it quickly and stayed invested until the end.

The Lost Continent is a perfect break from epic overload. It makes me wish we still had authors putting out short novels that still held a quality story. I'd recommend this book to youth and adults. There is minor violence, no language and only implied sexual situations. If you're a Burroughs fan, I'd recommend you buy a copy. Otherwise, I recommend you borrow the book from a friend or library. It's the perfect book for fans of Alternate History and anyone who likes a quick adventure.


Favorite quotes from the book

“To remain at sea is to perish. None of us ever will see home again. Let us make the best of it, and enjoy while we do live that which is forbidden the balance of our race---the adventure and mystery which lie beyond thirty.” Turck, page 31.

“[T]hough I had no wish to die, I must confess that I rather wished the ordeal over and the peace of oblivion upon me.” Turck, page 74.

“Those who did not fight were the only ones to reap any of the rewards that are supposed to belong to victory. The combatants reaped naught but annihilation. You have seen—better than any man you must realize that there was no victory for any nation embroiled in that frightful war.” Chinese Emperor, page 140.

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011

This was a very good comic week for me. I picked up 7 different comics, but I'm going to share only 2 of them.

Avatar Press

Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island is written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Raulo Caceres. Issue 3 has 4 covers.


Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011
From the sparking-mad mind of Warren Ellis, comes an electrical romance of a pirate utopia thwarted: CAPTAIN SWING & THE ELECTRICAL PIRATES OF CINDERY ISLAND. Secrets are revealed, in the weird little pirate utopia of Cindery Island, as Captain Swing explains exactly what's been happening in the world over the last two thousand years or so. But the forces of Law are coming for them, and Law has no time for Pirates -- or Science. This historical science-fiction piratical romance by Warren Ellis is illustrated in Raulo Caceres' stunning woodcut style, and presented in full color. It is the time of Captain Swing and his Electrical Pirates, and history will never be the same. CAPTAIN SWING #3 is available with a Regular or Wraparound cover by series artist Raulo Caceres, and a special retailer incentive Penny Dreadful cover designed to look like a classic novel of yore.  Comic Cavalcade

Dynamite Entertainment

If you've been reading the blog for a while you will know of my affection for all things John Carter of Mars related. The Barsoom or Martian series penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs is one of my favorite reads. The first book in the series is A Princess of Mars. My copy was printed in January 1963 by Ballantine Books with a cover by Robert Abbett.  You can see the covers for all the copies I have here.

Dynamite Entertainment has kicked off its Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris series with 8 covers (plus a 9th variant from Dynamic Forces). The story is set 400+ years before the first book in Burrough's series. I'm just going to share three of the nine covers, though I have all nine. You can see all of the covers at Dynamite Entertainment's website.

This cover is by Sean Chen
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011

This cover is by Greg Land. It's an incentive cover.
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011

This incentive cover is simply stunning and my favorite of the nine. It's by David Finch.
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011
Martians live forever -- everyone knows that. So what was Dejah Thoris doing all those hundreds of years before John Carter arrived? Four hundred years before the events of Warlord of Mars took place, Dejah's nation of Helium was divided into two warring city-states. An unscrupulous overlord from afar encouraged that rivalry to his own advantage, until he discovered a terrible secret from Mars' ancient past beneath Dejah Thoris' capital. A secret to kill for! Dynamite Entertainment

Later this month one of my most anticipated comics of the year comes out. More on that in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

I was going to write about the comics that I picked up at New York Comic Con this past weekend, but instead I feel compelled to write about a comic that I picked up yesterday. I am a HUGE fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and in particular his Barsoom or Mars series.

I first read the books as a preteen and occasionally reread them. I have a set with covers by Robert Kennedy Abbett, which were published in the 1960s.

The books in the Mars series:

A Princess of Mars
The Gods of Mars
The Warlord of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
The Chessmen of Mars
The Master Mind of Mars
A Fighting Man of Mars
Swords of Mars
Synthetic Men of Mars
Llana of Gathol
John Carter of Mars

These are scans of my books:

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

A Princess of Mars is the first in the series. The back cover reads:
One of the most extraordinary writers of the century, author of the Tarzan books, the Mars series and many other titles, EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS wrote in the grand tradition of Rider Haggard, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and other spinners of fantastic and wonderful adventure stories.

His heroes became household names and, over the years, his books have become collector's items.

Now, Ballentine Books is proud to announce that they have been authorized to reprint the entire Martian series for the first time in lowcost paperbound form. The series will be released in sequence, as they were originally published, starting with the first two - A PRINCESS OF MARS, and THE GODS OF MARS.
From inside the book cover:

A PRINCESS OF MARS is the beginning of an odyssey in which John Carter, gentleman from Virginia, embarks on the daring adventure which leads him to the fantastic dying planet of Mars with its multilimbed carnivores, fierce giant green men, weird vegetation, ancient cities and the incomparable Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium-
A Princess of Mars was originally published in 1912 in All-Story Magazine as Under the Moon of Mars.

Imagine my delight when I walked into my local comic shop and saw Warlord of Mars, a new comic published by Dynamite Entertainment. (This is not the first comic series based on Burrough's Mars novels.) Here are a description of the series and the covers, some of which remind me more of the Frank Frazetta's Mars series illustrations than the Abbett covers.

The original warrior of Mars returns from Dynamite! Warlord of Mars is an enhancement of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story, Princess of Mars! If you thought you knew the story, think again! This series will capture the grit and action of the original while expanding on it with new elements. The story is about John Carter, an ex-cavalry officer in the Confederate Army who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars! Joining him in his adventures there are Tars Tarkas, his Martian comrade, and Dejah Thoris, a Martin Princess. This series is written by Arvid Nelson and is illustrated by Stephen (Avengers/Invaders) Sadowski and Lui Antonio, and features covers by Alex Ross, J. Scott Campbell, Joe Jusko and Lucio Parrillo! Dynamite

Alex Ross cover
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

J. Scott Campbell cover
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Joe Jusko cover
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Lucio Parillo cover
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

There are also 3 variant covers, which I had to have. I like John Carter that much!

Campbell B&W Sketch Variant
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Campbell Reverse Negative Variant
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

Ross Virgin Variant
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

The first comic certainly captures the spirit of the book. I am looking forward to reading this entire comic series. Note that the comic is for the 16+ age group.
Retro Reviews: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice BurroughsRetro Reviews: The Lost Continent by Edgar Rice BurroughsWednesday Comics on Thursday - March 10, 2011Wednesday Comics on Thursday - October 14, 2010 - Warlord of Mars

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