Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (5)

A Princess of Mars  by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Princess of Mars (1963) | A princess of mars, Edgar rice burroughs, John  carter of mars

(12 and up)

This was Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first published book, two years ahead of Tarzan of the Apes. In it, John Carter, who is immortal, is transported to Mars.

Chock-full of adventure, action, and weird exotic settings, A Princess of Mars is remarkable, almost astonishing, for its vision of collectivism. The Green Martians are a communal culture. There’s no private property, families have been abolished, the young are raised by the state… It’s really quite horrible. That Burroughs was able to see this in 1912 is something to marvel over. The Green Martians have taken “It takes a village” to its logical end: and it’s dreadful.

Two more books in Burroughs’ Martian series deserve mention.

Edgar Rice Burroughs THE MASTER MIND OF MARS #6 1969 Bob Abbett Great Cover  Art | eBay

In The Master Mind of Mars, a genius scientist gets rich and famous by transplanting old brains, belonging to the rich and powerful, into healthy young bodies. Hmm… Think that could ever happen here?

Synthetic Men Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - AbeBooks

In Synthetic Men of Mars, the master mind, forbidden to do any more brain transplants, now has a project for growing human body parts in a culture medium. I daresay this seems more of a possibility now than it did in 1939. The project develops some deeply serious problems which no one expected. By “deeply serious” I mean catastrophic. To say nothing of the malformed pseudo-humans, called “hormads,” spontaneously generated by the culture media. They’re part of the problem.

Warning: You could very easily get hooked on these books. Serious Mainstream Literature they’re not. Great fun reads, they most surely are.

[Note: These covers go with the old Ballantine paperback editions of the 1960s, as found in my personal collection. There have been many editions and many different covers since. I just like these the best.]

 

4 comments on “Lee’s Homeschool Reading List (5)

  1. I was hooked on these books by Burroughs.

    In junior high school, I read every book by Edgar Rice Burroughs I could find. Including, the hollow Earth-themed Pellucidar series with David Inns (Tarzan even visited Pellucidar one time), John Carter of Mars Barsoom series, Carson Napier of Venus Amtor series, the lost world-themed Caspak trilogy, and the twenty-five books, starring Tarzan of the Apes.

    1. I started with ERB junior high, too. I think the first book I read was “Pellucidar.” No turning back from there!

    2. I just got your books today. The post office caused some confusion by putting your name as the recipient instead of mine.

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