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.

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JOHN CARTER OF MARS BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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The book is a collection of two short John Carter stories.

John Carter and the Giant of Mars

John Carter must battle Pew Mogel who was a protégé of Ras Thavas. He wants to conquer the world like every typical madman. He has an army of white apes that he transplanted the brains of men into. He also has created a fifty foot giant named Joog. John Carter rallies the forces of Helium and his friend Tars Tarkas to defeat the huge but slow witted Joog.

Skeleton Men of Jupiter

John Carter and Dejah Thoris are kidnapped by the Morgors. The Morgors are a race of men that rule the planet Sasoom(Jupiter). The Morgors have very tight skin which make them look like skeletons. They hope to gain information for there planned conquest of Barsoom. Carter, Dejah and some other captives escape and make it to an island still free of the Morgors.

Well the final Martian book is somewhat of a mixed bag. The Giant of Mars is actually written by Burrough’s son Jack Burroughs. It is quite obvious that Burroughs didn’t write this story. The story is also not very good.

The Skeleton Men of Jupiter on the other hand is an excellent story. Burroughs creates a whole new exciting world in Jupiter. Unfortunately he died before subsequent stories could be written and the plot is left hanging.

My final thoughts on the Martian series. I think they were the best of the worlds that Burroughs created. It really took me to an exciting world when I was a teenager. I don’t think there was a single book in the series that I didn’t enjoy.

LLANA OF GATHOL BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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John Carter is restless and decides to explore the lost city of Horz. While flying over in his flyer he sees a man being attacked by green men. He joins the fray on the side of this lone belligerent and defeats the green warriors. He discovers after the fight the man is a blond haired member of the Orovars. The Orovars were thought to be extinct but a lost colony still survives in hiding.

The Orovars are thankful for Carter’s intervention but take him prisoner. Their laws require all strangers be put to death to preserve the Orovars secrecy. The man Carter saved Pan Dan Chee agrees to watch over Carter until his appeal and both are locked in the catacombs. There the two find a mad man that embalms people. After defeating him Carter finds his granddaughter Llana one of his victims.

Llana of Gathol had escaped after being kidnapped by Hin Abtol. Hin Abtol was a jeddak in a northern kingdom that conquered the yellow men at the north pole. He is obsessed with conquering the world and has started at Gathol. His armies besiege the kingdom and his agents succeed in capturing Llana who Abtol wants as his wife.

Carter and his two companions escape the catacombs and what follows is an epic adventure for the three. They get captured by renegade black pirates. Escape Hin Abtol’s capital and a confrontation with a race that is invisible.

The tenth book in the Martian series is another excellent story. Carter is once again the main protagonist. It uses a simple but proven formula. A damsel in distress must be saved from a deranged mad man bent on world conquest. The hero has to fight numerous men and beasts. Travel through exotic and dangerous locales to defeat the evil plan. And of course the hero gets the love of the woman. In this case Pan Dan Chee and LLana. I guess I never get tired of it.

SYNTHETIC MEN OF MARS BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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Dejah Thoris has been seriously injured in an accident. Only Ras Thavas the mastermind of Mars can save her. Carter with his personal guard Vor Daj set out to Thava’s compound in the Toonolian marshes. There they discover that Ras Thavas is a captive of his own creations the Homads. The Homads are synthetically cloned men that are seriously deformed. They force Thavas to build an army of Homads to conquer the world. They also force him to transplant their brains into the bodies of normal men.

Carter and Vor Daj conspire with Thavas to escape. Vor Daj convinces Thavas to transplant his brain into the body of a Hormad to spy on their captives. As a Homad named Tur-Don-Bar he falls in love with a slave girl named Janai. Fighting among the rulers separate Vor Daj from Carter and Thavas. The balance of the story involves Vor Daj’s adventures in rescuing Janai and trying to find Carter and Thavas to get his brain transplanted back into his body.

The ninth book in the Martian series is another weird adventure. A lot of weird science in this one. Still it has the classic trademarks of exotic lands, strange creatures and adventure that make this series an enjoyable read.

SWORDS OF MARS BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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The city of Zodanga is a hotbed of sedition for the Helium empire. The Guild of Assassins is growing in strength and John Carter is determined to wipe them out. He disguises himself as a wandering adventurer named Vandor and heads to the city. There he meets Rapas the Ulsio(rat) and finds service in the household of Fal Sivas. He is in competition with another scientist Gar Nul to create a synthetic brain to pilot a ship to Thuria(the nearer moon of Phobos).

Gar Nul is also head of the assassin’s guild and has kidnapped Dejah Thoris. He flees to Thuria and Carter must steal his employer’s ship to pursue. On Thuria Carter is captured by a race of blue haired people that have the power to mentally project themselves invisible. To escape Carter must join forces with his adversary and a cat man. Through heroic sacrifice and betrayal Carter and his friends manage to rescue Dejah Thoris and return to Barsoom.

The eight book in the series is the first since the third that John Carter is the main protagonist. It has intrigue and a whole new world to explore. I really enjoyed it. The book showed daily Martian society and showcased the dreaded Guild of Assassins which have been hinted at in previous books as the scourge of red Martian cities.

A FIGHTING MAN OF MARS BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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Jason Gridley is able to establish radio contact with Mars. Ulysses Paxton is the Earthman that they find to reply. He proceeds to tell the story of Tan Hadron a Padwar in the navy of Helium.

Tan Hadron is a lowly Padwar(lieutenant) in the Helium navy. He comes from a poor but proud family. Because he has some minor family connections to royalty he gets routinely invited to parties. At one he falls madly in love with Sanoma Tora from a wealthy family. Sanoma is beautiful but incredibly vain and shallow. She wants nothing to do with a lowly Padwar.

Sanoma’s beauty does attract the attention of Tul Axtar the mad Jeddak of Jahar. Tul Axtar has grandiose plans to conquer all of Barsoom and is assembling an army. He also has developed a secret weapon on immense destructive power. His agents kidnap Sanoma for his large harem. Tan sets off the rescue Sanoma. Along the way he ends up rescuing a girl from savage green men. He finds out that Tavia has escaped from Tul Axtar’s harem and agrees to help Tan.

Tavia is sort of a tomboy. She is witty, intelligent and good with a sword. What follows is an incredible adventure. The two encounter incredible beasts, savage peoples and a mad scientist. After rescuing Sanoma Tan starts to have serious doubts of his love. Sanoma’s shallow and cowardly personality begin to get on his nerves. It is dealt a serious blow when Sanoma betrays him to save her own life. Tan Hadron finally realizes that Tavia is his true love. After defeating Tul Axtar he proclaims his love and finds out in the end that Tavia is actually a princess. Because in Burrough’s books you can’t fall in love with an ordinary woman.

The seventh book in the Martian series is one of the best since the first three books. It goes back to the sense of wonder and swashbuckling adventure that I always associate with this series. There are strange beast, exotic peoples and strange science and an equally stranger scientist. Throw in a mad ruler hell bound on conquest and you have the makings of an excellent adventure.

Tavia is actually an atypical heroine for Burroughs. Mostly the women in the stories exist to look pretty and be rescued. Tavia is witty, self-sufficient and can handle a sword. The story does have elements of an 80’s teen comedy. You have the handsome man madly in love with the popular girl. But later he discovers he really loves the awkward geeky girl that at the end is revealed to be both beautiful on the inside as well as outside. Yep Burroughs was decades ahead of his time.

THE MASTERMIND OF MARS BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

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Ulysses Paxton is a captain in the American Expeditionary Force in 1918. During an artillery attack on the western front Ulysses body is torn in two. Instead of dying he is mysteriously transported to Mars just like John Carter. He ends up in the compound of Ras Thavas.

Ras Thavas is the most brilliant scientist on Mars. He is also completely amoral. He spends a lot of time transplanting brains from humans to animals and vise versa. He has a lucrative side business of transplanting brains from old and damaged bodies into young and health ones. One such victim is Valla Dias.

Ulysses becomes Ras Thavas’s assistant and learns his secrets. While in his employ he strikes up a friend ship with Valla Dia. The friendship soon turns to love and Ulysses vows to return her young body back to her. That body now belongs to Xaxa the Jeddara of the powerful city of Phundahl. Now Ulysses must escape from Ras Thavas, infiltrate Phundahl and bring back Xaxa alive to perform the surgery.

The sixth book in the Martian series is another exciting book. It has excitement, romance and adventure that you would expect in a Burrough’s story.