Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tarzan 101 | Edgar Rice Burroughs' Fantastic Worlds

Celebrating Tarzan's 101st anniversary by walking through Scott Tracy Griffin's Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration.

Griffin's chapter on Burroughs' non-Tarzan stories is probably also the longest and with good reason: There's a lot to cover. Griffin highlights the best of the many other series and standalone stories that Burroughs wrote, with short summaries of each. I'm going to condense it into an easy list, but as usual, Griffin's version has more details than mine.

Before I do that, though, I want to point out that Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. is adapting some of the most famous of them (plus Tarzan) as weekly webcomics on the ERB site. There's a subscription of $2 a month, but you get about 24 pages of comics/month for that and the first few pages are free.

I should also mention that Griffin includes a whole other chapter called "The Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs." It's simply a list, so I won't reproduce it, but it's complete and also includes all the movies, TV and radio shows, Broadway productions, and comics.

Martian novels

Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and Warlord of Mars: The original John Carter trilogy in which the hero goes to Mars, meets its various inhabitants, and fights against the cult of a horrific goddess.

Thuvia, Maid of Mars: John Carter's son, Carthoris, rescues and woos a Martian woman.

Chessmen of Mars: Carter's daughter, Tara, and her husband are forced to battle as living chess pieces in an arena.

The Mastermind of Mars: A new earthman, Ulysses Paxton, arrives on Mars and battles an evil scientist.

A Fighting Man of Mars: Another hero fights another mad scientist to rescue another princess.

Swords of Mars: John Carter returns to combat an assassins guild.

Synthetic Men of Mars: The villain from Mastermind creates more trouble and has to be defeated by yet another Martian hero.

Llana of Gathol: Combines four novelettes featuring Carter and his granddaughter, Llana as they try to stop a megalomaniac.

John Carter of Mars: Combines two novellas in which Carter meets a giant and travels to Jupiter.

Venusian novels

Pirates of Venus, Lost on Venus, Carson of Venus, and Escape on Venus: A more humorous approach than the Martian series as Carson Napier accidentally ends up on the wrong planet and chases a princess and fights monsters in an attempt to rescue her.

Lunarian novels

The Moon Maid, The Moon Men, and The Red Hawk: Set in the future, humans try to take Earth back from alien invaders.

The Time novels

The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, and Out of Time's Abyss: Burroughs' other lost land besides Pellucidar, which Griffin covered in an earlier chapter due to its crossover with Tarzan. But though Pellucidar and TLTTF are Burroughs' most famous lost worlds, they're not his only ones.

Miscellaneous fantasies

The Lost Continent: Burroughs' third lost land is set in a future in which the world has been devastated by a long war.

Jungle Girl: A doctor discovers a lost civilization, and a princess of course.

The Cave Girl: An ill-equipped smartie-pants is marooned on an island and learns to survive with the help of a primitive woman.

The Monster Men: A Tarzan/Frankenstein hybrid in which a mad scientist creates a heroic giant.

The Lad and the Lion: Another Tarzan-esque tale where a young man tries to survive in North Africa with a lion companion.

Beyond the Farthest Star: Burroughs' final space story wasn't as romanticized as the Martian or Venusian ones. A WWII pilot finds himself on an alien world beleaguered by its own war.

The Mucker trilogy

The Mucker and Return of the Mucker: An anti-hero from the slums of Chicago fights samurai warriors on an island.

The Oakdale Affair: Continues the story by following the Mucker's hobo companion in a murder mystery.

Real-life novels

The Efficiency Expert: A dude becomes an efficiency expert with no prior experience.

The Girl from Farris: A romance between a wealthy businessman and a poor woman.

Marcia of the Doorstep: Burroughs' attempt at the Great American Novel, but with island marooning, a Western ranch, and a Hollywood stunt pilot.

The Girl from Hollywood: A thinly disguised homage to life on Burroughs' ranch and how it was way better than Tinsel Town.

Baltic romances

The Rider: Inspired by books like A Prisoner of Zenda, Burroughs wrote this story of mistaken identity between a dashing highwayman and prince.

The Mad King: Another mix-up between an adventurer and a royal.

Historical romances

The Outlaw of Torn: Medieval English adventure.

I Am a Barbarian: Fun times in Caligula's Rome.


The War Chief and Apache Devil: Highlight the perspective of the Apaches during their wars with the U.S. cavalry.

The Bandit of Hell's Bend: A more conventional Western.

The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County: Adventure on a New Mexico dude ranch.

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