Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tarzan on Mars: A Brief History


Sorry about the long lack of updates. Work, the weather, a few computer problems and some back up on reading has led to this. Hopefully I can get caught back up here (and yes I will catch up on Dynamite's Lord of the Jungle series with issues 11 and 12 soon). With that out of the way...

With the recent announcement of The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and more recent novels and anthologies like Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan and Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom I became interested in the first attempt to continue ERB's legacy on the printed page. That book was Tarzan on Mars and it's story is an interesting one.

The man behind the project was Amazing Stories editor Ray Palmer, who decided that Burroughs' characters needed a new writer to carry on their adventures. Having worked with Burroughs himself in the pages of Amazing Stories (including the last John Carter of Mars story, Skeleton Men of Jupiter), Palmer hired writer Stuart J. Bryne to write a new novel. Under the pen name John Bloodstone, Byrne wrote out a novel that found Lord Greystoke heading to Barsoom to rescue both Jane Clayton and La. But while the book was written with plans for further novels it was cancelled following legal action from the Burroughs estate. For a long time the book was a mere footnote, an urban legend that few had read or had seen. (I said it was a brief history didn't I?)

However thanks to ERBZine the book is available in PDF format http://www.erbzine.com/mag19/novel/Tarzan_On_Mars.pdf along with a more longer history of its origins http://www.erbzine.com/mag19/1930.html. I've been reading it for a while now and well it's interesting if not wholly successful. Or to put it another way, Bryne/Bloodstone is not Edgar Rice Burroughs with the setup intriguing but taking a long time to get up and running. But I'll finish it soon enough and post my complete thoughts then.

The idea of Tarzan going to Barsoom has been explored later on, most notably in the Tarzan comic strip in the mid-1990s and Dark Horse's Tarzan/John Carter Warlords of Mars limited comic book series. Even one of the upcoming stories announced for the Worlds anthology is "Tarzan and the Martian Invaders" so there seems to be a desire to see this particular story told. So we'll see if another writer tackles this in the future. Until next time and I promise I'll get those reviews up soon!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Have you ever been able to track down a copy/PDF of John Eric Holmes' "Red Axe of Pellucidar?" I've ben looking for this for years. A guy on eBay sells a photocopy for $40+ - which is crazy considering he doesn't even own the copyright.

pascalahad said...

Unfortunately the Tarzan on Mars file seems damaged, I couldn't download it. Eager to read your review!

MCR said...

Hi guys. I looked for a PDF copy of Red Axe of Pellucidar and I did find this site http://www.scribd.com/doc/73313906/Red-Axe-of-Pellucidar where you can read it online but they want you to pay to join to download.

As for Tarzan on Mars sorry you couldn't get it. I just clicked on it and it seemed fine. The only things I can recommend is either right click and try to save as or possibly just click on it and let it load in your browser. If you still can't get it you might want to contact the people at ERBZIne and see if they can email you a copy.

Diana Cole said...

I have had Tarzan on Mars up all day, so I know it works. I am skipping the parts about Tarzan and only reading about John Carter and Kar Komak, since JC is my main interest and I love reading stories with him in them. I remember I have read this before but I am enjoying it again. In my mind's eye, I see JC as Robert Abbott painted him since that is what I grew up with, before Whelan and others started painting him with longer hair, although they're good, too. MCR, you said Bloodstone was no Burroughs. That may be, but he does seem to have a very good grasp of Barsoomian history and story details that make this enjoyable to me. Can't comment on Tarzan parts much since I'm not reading them.

Anonymous said...

I've been able to download Red Axe from the scripd site several months ago - but it's only the first 4 chapters or so! I was able to download the Tarzan/Mars file with no problem

pascalahad said...

Thanks a lot MCR, the "right click" maneuver worked just fine! :)

Well it will have to wait, I just began "Tarzan the Untamed"...

Michael Morrow said...

I felt "Tazan on Mars" was worth an addition to my Barsoom series scenarios for the computer game Empire Deluxe which will run under dos box...the Windows version will run under some win7 machines...if you can't buy it, check abandonded software sites

link to my old ERB webpage which includes game info
http://www.bantoom.com/erb/METROBAB.HTM

link to the text for sencario 5 which explains the elemets added from the book
http://www.bantoom.com/erb/BARSOOM5.txt