Thursday

Who's read this guy?


Probably a lot of people, but I don't know. I started reading Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series about a month ago and finished on Fat Tuesday. They're rather remarkable; remarkably weird. But then, it wouldn't be science fiction if it weren't weird. At first I couldn't believe how outrageous his writing style was...his protagonists (most notable John Carter) are so full of themselves and land into the most hysterically funny and melodramatic circumstances that one read these novels with one's eyebrows frozen in the upward position. For instance: how many times does your princess/fiancee/beloved have to get captured in one story? At least four times, or the audience will get restless. How many red, green, yellow, white and blue men will you carve your way through to get her back? No one will ever now...but you average somewhere around a couple hundred a chapter.

Besides these classic situations, each book is uniquely bizarre (keeps you coming back for more). You've got the white guys who live down at the south pole of Mars who wear yellow wigs and sacrifice unsuspecting pilgrims to "plant-men" (who reproduce by an incredible combination of cell division and spores) and then you've got the black pirates who live in an undergroudn ocean and live only to attack the white guys whenenver it suits them. (Suits the black guys...the white guys probably wish they would cut it out).

You've got the yellow guy who live in hothouses at the north pole, and spend their time stacking their dead in caves and tunnels to keep outsiders, well, out, and hunt and grow beards.

Then...holy cow, the lists just goes on and on. The mandatory crazy scientist who transplants brains for a living, the symbiotic alien races of which one is a body without a head, and one is a head without a body...the people who live in a city and have a huge army made out of their own brain power...a city with life size (and alive) chessmen...


I think you get the idea. They're so weird and so outlandish and so outrageous...they could be the most addictive things I've ever read.

4 comments:

Bridge said...

Hey, that Burroughs stuff is great, eh? I've been reading it and re-reading it since the early 1960s. Now that you've read his Mars series, go on and read his books about Venus, the inner world of Pellucidar and, of course, his most famous creation, Tarzan of the Apes! More riveting adventure, including many captures, rescues, and weird things, await!

Rory said...

The Mars stuff is fun, and I really enjoy them myself.

Fred Kiesche said...

ERB rocks. Especially the Martian Tales.

Billy said...

You should try Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian) or HP Lovecraft (wierd fiction). Both were pulp writers of the 20s and 30s.

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