MARS ATTACKS WAR DOGS OF THE GOLDEN HORDE BY RAY W. MURILL

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Copyright 1996.

It is after the truce between the Martians and the nations of Earth. The threat from Earth’s nuclear submarines have forced an uneasy peace. The Martians have build the World Wall to separate their holdings from the human controlled lands. In Asia the Martians have Siberia and parts of northern China. Telian Piar a disgraced member of the Martian council comes on an interesting bit from Earth’s history. The Mongol Genghis Khan managed to conquer most of the world. He goes to the military commander Komo Dath and convinces him the Mongols could be used as pawns in their war with the humans. So they go out to capture a Mongol. This happens to be Qasar a Mongol who was banished from his tribe. Together with a companion he met named Bayar they kill a whole bunch of the Martians before being captured.

They come to an agreement with Qasar that they will help him be Khan of the Mongols. They use their technology to find the secret tomb of Genghis. With his armor and standard Qasar rides out and rallies the Mongols into a formidable horde. They go into free China and start pillaging. Soon though the Martians won’t help him in his conquest so Qasar Khan feels loss of face and turns his horde against the Martians. It ends in a fierce battle between the two where the Great Wall of China meets the Martian World Wall.

The second book that was released in the Mars Attacks series. This one was not as good. The main reason is that Qasar is a real loathsome asshat. Like Genghis he is an arrogant narcissistic psychopath who is only interesting in pillaging, raping and looting. He has delusions of being the next Genghis and conquering the world. Not sure why someone would make the central character someone who isn’t positive because it really doesn’t bring the reader to sympathize with the character or his motives. Yet it was done here and I have seen it in other books, movies etc.

There was some other oddities in this book. The way the Mongols talked seemed a bit stilted and phony. I mean “Those are good words to speak.” says Bayar. “Yes they are indeed good words.” replied Qasar. I mean I am not familiar with Mongol culture but I just can’t see them talking that way. Also his sidekick Bayar had allergies and always had a runny nose. He would sneeze and blow snot into his food and wipe his nose on his sleeve. I suppose he was the comic relief and supposed to be funny but I found just gross. Oh and at the end his concubine Morning Doe lies dying and wants to be released quickly. So Qasar cuts into her chest and pulls out her still beating heart. Wow how romantic. Yes this was a weird book.

Still is doesn’t mean it didn’t keep my interest. I just didn’t really care if the Martians or Qasar came out on top. In fact I was kind of rooting for the Martians and they some bad hombres. Qasar does survive at the end but there was no third book in the series so his story seems over. I do love the Mars Attacks idea and loved the first book and the various comic book incarnations from Topps, Image and IDW. Perhaps in the future we may get some new books in the series.

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MARS ATTACKS MARTIAN DEATHTRAP BY NATHAN ARCHER

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Copyright 1996.

The Martians have invaded and no place is safe. A group of bikers are riding down the highway when the Martian ships start strafing the highway. Bud Garcia manages to survive but his buddies Lenny, Blitz and Screwy Joe aren’t so fortunate. Needing a place to hide he comes upon the Gelman Mansion. A rich millionaire named Ebenezer Gelman build a huge place with secret passages and filled it with weird antiques and other kooky stuff. Now it is a tourist attraction. Bud finds the tourists watching the attack on TV. Meanwhile the Martians come on this place and leave a squad to check it out and see if its a threat to their invasion. Now the survivors are trapped in this crazy mansion with a Martian deathsquad. Outside are giant insects that the Martians unleashed but can’t control. Both sides are trapped and must fight each other and the insects if they are to survive.

Back in 1962 the Topps Bubblegum Company released a line of trading cards. These cards combined an H.G. Wells type invasion with the true horrors of war. They were gruesome and quickly banned to protect innocent young minds. The cards became a cult collectible. In 1995 the Topps company released these cards and a comic book series. When the Tim Burton movie came out two books were released based on the comic books. This is the first.

This was a fun book. I am a fan of the comic book series and someday I will cover it on my comic blog. It is just a pure cheezy adventure filled with Martians gunning down and torturing people including young boys. The humans come in a wide variety from the hero biker Bud to the parents who seem to not be concerned that their boys were killed by the Martians. There is a phony mobster who is really an accountant but pretends to be a wiseguy to pick up girls. His showgirl date Tiffany who goes full Rambo with a captured Martian gun and gets captured and tortured. A group of college students who were on the beach and arrive at the mansion still in their swimwear. Even the Martians are treated as individuals and get own personality quirks. Indeed they are just grunts dropped off and trying to survive themselves. Add to this the giant insects like the beetles that bit a woman in two or a giant mosquito who impales a man this is just a fun B-movie ride.

I think the Gelman Mansion is based on the House on the Rock in Spring Green Wisconsin. It is a crazy place filled with old antiques and other strange exhibits. I know when I first when there and was just expecting a house on the rock but it is so much more. I recommend visiting if your in the area.

WORLDS OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS EDITED BY MIKE RESNICK AND ROBERT T. GARCIA

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Copyright 2013 except The Forgotten Seas of Mars 1965.

TARZAN AND THE GREAT WAR by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Tarzan is in the Kasbah looking for leads to his wife Jane who was taken by Germans. After meeting a man who had no information he is contacted by French intelligence. They want to use him in exposing a group of traitors selling secrets to the Germans. Soon after the head of intelligence is murdered and Tarzan is battling the traitors with the help of an Englishman who had come to strip Tarzan of his title and fortune for the war effort.

THE FALLEN A TALE OF PELLUCIDAR by Mercedes Lackey

A story told by Mok who is an intelligent Sagoth in the service of David Innes. Mok was experimented on by the Mahars and is the only intelligent Sagoth. While visiting Kolk the king of Thuria in the Land of Awful Shadow a woman with wings falls from the sky. She is an inhabitant of the Dead World. Her people are under attack by the Mahars who have fled to the moon after being defeated. Mok is the only one who can communicate with her since she uses the same language as the Mahars. They have an adventure with a storm and hostile island natives. The woman falls in love with the kings son.

SCORPION MEN OF VENUS by Richard A. Lupoff

Carson and Duare are under attack by scorpion men and flying snakes when they are rescued by a mysterious flying ship. It takes them to a complex run by Dr. Bodog and his daughter and son. Bodog comes from Earth and the continent that sank in the Pacific ocean centuries ago. He is also insane and plans to take over the Earth. He goes back with Carson and his daughter who Carson has fallen in love with and land in Los Angeles during a football game.

THE FORGOTTEN SEA OF MARS by Mike Resnick

The writer is in an Arizona cabin that was used by Edgar Rice Burroughs. He meets John Carter and convinces him to tell the story after he defeated Hin Abtol. So Carter starts the search for Tan Hadron who disappeared when mutineers took him. From criminals in Zodanga he learns of another underground sea at the north pole. In the city of Ayathor he finds Hin Abtol continuing his plans of world conquest with another large army of men frozen. He finds Tan Hadron and with another rebel manage to overthrow him.

APACHE LAWMAN by Ralph Roberts

Shoz-Djiji the Apache Devil has settled down in the white man’s world. He manages the ranch of his love Wichita Billings. One day Marshal Fast Sam Dawson comes and offers Shoz a job as a deputy sheriff. Seems another renegade Apache has learned from the white-eyes and plans to take over the territorial government. He manages to stop his plans.

MOON MAID OVER MANHATTAN by Peter David

The story of Nah-ee-lah when she came to Earth. At first she is a celebrity and hounded by the press. Later the Kalkars those commie moon men invade. When her husband dies while killing Orthis she and her young son hide out in Canada. They are pursued by Orthis’s woman and her son for revenge.

TARZAN AND THE MARTIAN INVADERS by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt

Tarzan is at his English manor when he comes across writing from his ancestor who sailed with Drake. He finds out that Martians are coming to invade in Africa where he was born and raised. He goes back and gathers the apes and other animals to fight these tentacled invaders who can control the minds of men.

THE TWO BILLYS A MUCKER STORY by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens

Billy Byrne has made the ultimate sacrifice by leaving his love Barbara Harding. He soon after gets a message from her that her fiance was kidnapped. So Billy goes off into the Chicago underworld to get him back.

TO THE NEAREST PLANET as told to Todd McCaffrey

The author buys an old typewriter and Edgar Rice Burroughs used. It starts typing and tells the story of Tangor and his trip from Poloda to find another world free of Kapars. The first world they come to Tonos. This world was destroyed in a war and now run by a computer. The remaining people are dying off until he educates them on how to run the machines on the world.

THE DEAD WORLD as related by David Innes to F. Paul Wilson via Gridley wave

David Innes is visiting Thuria when a meteor strikes. It releases a deadly spore that soon takes over the Land of Awful Shadow and starts spewing poisonous gas. David with Perry and Koort the young son of the king of Thuria go by balloon to the Dead World. They find out that the moon is really an artificial ship created by ancient aliens that created Pellucidar. Now they are returning and terraforming Pellucidar. David and friend have to battle cleaning robots to stop the plan.

TARZAN AND THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT by Joe R. Lansdale

Tarzan is coming back from Pellucidar in the O-220 when a story blows the ship to the southern hemisphere and crashes into the ocean. The only survivors are Tarzan, Captain Zuppner and a young Pellucidarian girl named Zamona. The make it to Caspak and battle cannibals that fly pterodactyls. Zuppner and Zamona decide to stay as Tarzan searches for a way home.

This was a cool idea for an anthology. Getting a bunch of writer together and put out stories from the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs. They manage to cover all the base with not only Tarzan and John Carter but Pellucidar and Venus. They also get stories from Burrough’s lesser know works like the Moon Men, Apache Devil the Mucker and Caspak. They even had the continuing story from Beyond the Farthest Star. Many of the writers did a good job of emulating Burroughs. Even using the various first person narratives. Some like the martian invaders or the second Pellucidar story did not feel like something Burroughs would have written but were still entertaining.

The only story I didn’t care for was Lupoff’s Carson story. It was very un-Burroughs like to have Carson and Duare so quickly fall out of love. The romance that Burroughs wrote was one of the strong points to his writing and he just casually has them switch partners. It also just ended like it was only halfway through the story. I suppose there might be a continuation but I found it a complete waste of time. In spite of this story the others made this book a worthy effort.

THE SURVIVALIST#33 DEEP STAR BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2015.

John Rourke has been captured by the grey aliens. Now his son desperately searches for his whereabouts. Of course he has a lot of threats to deal with. A pair of psychotic serial killers have kidnapped the Rourke children. Neo-Nazi terrorists have launched a successful attack on the main government building in New Germany. They succeeded in killing all the top government officials including the President Wolfgang Mann. Michael Rourke comes to the conclusion be can not meet his obligations as both President of the U.S. and to his family so decides to resign. All clues point that John Rourke is being held at a secret Russian undersea base called Deep Star.

So this is the final book so far in the Survivalist series. There is another one in the works called Lodestar so the story is not over yet. Interesting the main character the Survivalist himself is only in three chapters. Still a lot happens in this book. Michael Rourke decides to resign. His stepfather is killed in a terrorist attack. At the end John Rourke’s newborn baby dies from the virus that the aliens unleashed. I wonder how Jerry would have written these books if he was still alive. Still I love that this series is still kicking and apparently thriving. A new one is in the works and there are two spin off series which we will get into later.

If anyone is interested you can check out official website. It has bios on all involved with the resurrection of this series. You can buy books. There’s items like baseball caps, mugs a Zippo lighter that John Rourke uses. Also an A.G Russell Sting IA knife that the character has used through the series and a custom made Bowie Knife. Great for using against your enemies.

THE SURVIVALIST #32 THE QUISLING COVENENT BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2014

The aliens are still working at destabilizing human society. They have allied with Neo-Nazis to cause terrorist attacks and destabilized governments. A cabal of the super wealth are also manipulating the currency for their own nefarious ends. A mutant strain of bugs carrying the hantavirus are released. And a faction of Russians are at world domination again. They have allied themselves with the Ki the other alien faction that wants to take back the Earth for themselves. John Rourke finds out that before the Night of the War the President transferred secret documents on the U.S. governments dealings with extraterrestrials. The documents are stored inside Mount Rushmore. The national landmark is under a sheet of ice from a glacial and under cover as an archeology project Rourke recovers the documents. At the end he is attacked by the aliens and a traitor manages to make sure that John Rourke is captured.

The third book in the revived series is a great improvement. A lot of interesting stuff is happening. It does represent the times we live in. Secret cabals of superwealthy manipulating the economy. Terrorism and mutant strains of bugs carrying deadly diseases. Mysterious alien races. And of course the old reliable enemies in the Survivalist series Nazis and Russians. An interesting continuation of the series.

THE SURVIVALIST #31 EARTH SHINE BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2013

Aliens have attacked the inauguration of Michael Rourke as president of the United States. Over 1,200 dead and large parts of Honolulu are destroyed. Later Michael Rourke’s car is attacked in the countryside and he must survive and evade the alien clones. John Rourke leads the fight against the alien threat in searching for his son and attacking their secret base in Hawaii. They also have to contend with traitors in the government working with the aliens to further their own power.

The second new book in the revived Survivalist series was somewhat of a let down. I didn’t think that the story was focused and tended to just meander along. They also had a tendency to over describe stuff like the tunnel system in Hawaii or the philosophy of the alien Ki. Still the series does get better. Sharon and Bob do a good job of staying true to the characters that Jerry established. The basic storyline is sound and there are plenty of interesting enemies to keep the Rourke family occupied.

THE SURVIVALIST #30 THE INHERITORS OF EARTH BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN AND BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2012

It has been about sixteen years since Dietrich Zimmer and the Neo-Nazis of New Eden were defeated. John Rourke has now settled down with his new wife Emma and his two teenage children. Paul Rubenstein and Annie also have kids as do Michael and Natalia. Wolfgang Mann and Sarah are now married and Mann is president of New Germany. Still there are occasions for conflict. Rourke has to rescue his wife who is kidnapped by Neo-Nazis terrorists. His son Michael is running for President of the United States.

A routine underwater archeological find in the Mediterranean sees the arrival of a new enemy. Men in advanced suits with energy weapons attack the expedition. When its over one of the attackers is revealed to be a clone of Captain Dodd the commander of the Eden project. Dodd died a century ago but someone has cloned him. The evident points to an alien race that intercepted the shuttles and took DNA samples. Other Dodd clones continue to mount attacks. Another alien race show up. The Ki were the Atlanteans of old and have come back after abandoning the Earth due to the grey aliens. The book ends with Michael winning the presidency and the grey aliens attacking the inauguration.

So back in 1993 the series ended. It had a clear and happy ending so I thought that would be the end of John Rourke’s adventures. But Jerry Ahern still have some ideas and was working on getting back the rights to the series. Sadly on July 25th, 2012 he passed away from cancer. He had the rights and had the story plotted out. His widow and best friend took up the reigns and continued the story. I think its a great tribute to his work and glad to see that the series is successfully continuing.

So now its two alien races that are a threat to the human race. Add in some human traitors working with the aliens and you have a great continuation of this series.