BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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tarzan

A young American volunteer in the RAF is shot down in 1939. Instead of dying he finds himself mysteriously teleported to the planet Poloda. Poloda is millions of light years from Earth. He finds himself in the country of Unis and is adopted by its people.

Unis is one of two countries left on the planet. They have been at war with Kapar which is a Nazi type country bent on world conquest. Unis is the only country that has successfully resisted them and has been waging a war for centuries. From underground cities, tens of thousands of airplanes sortie on bombing missions.

Tangor as the young American is named becomes a pilot for Unis. One day a traitor attempts to recruit him as an agent of Kapar. Tangor agrees to pretend to defect to Kapdor. Kapdor is close to developing an interstellar spacecraft and Unis wants it to escape the planet and the endless war with the Kapars.

Once in the capital city he finds himself in an oppressive society. Under constant surveillance by the Zabo, the secret police, he doesn’t know who to trust. Eventually he gains the trust of Kapar’s ruler and is allowed to work on the spacecraft project. With the help of a highly placed Unis spy he escapes with the plans. It ends with Tangor testing the prototype craft on a mission to another planet.

This is story that was most likely to be an ongoing series in the tradition of Mars and Pellucidar. Unfortunately Burrough’s time as a war correspondent then poor health resulted in the one book only. It is a shame since I think this whole new world of Pangor had infinite possibilities. It was written at the height of the Battle of Britain so it probably looked like an endless future of aerial warfare was a possibility. The Kapars are clearly Nazis with their Gestapo like Zabo and beliefs in racial purity. Unlike the Zani’s in Carson of Venus these fascists are a lot more sinister then the buffoons written about in Carson’s world. It shows how attitudes had changed about the Nazis from before WWII to the current one during the war.

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