Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs


So, just how was Tarzan created? Eager to know the inside story about the legendary John Carter and the amazing cities and peoples of Barsoom? Perhaps your taste is more suited to David Innes and the fantastic lost world at the Earth's core? Or maybe wrong-way Napier and the bizarre civilizations of cloud-enshrouded Venus are more to your liking? These pages contain all that you will ever want to know about the wondrous worlds and unforgettable characters penned by the master storyteller Edgar Rice Burroughs. Richard A. Lupoff, the respected critic and writer who helped spark a Burroughs revival in the 1960s, reveals fascinating details about the stories written by the creator of Tarzan. Featured here are outlines of all of Burroughs's major novels, with descriptions of how they were each written and their respective sources of inspiration. This Bison Books edition includes a new foreword by fantasy writer Michael Moorcock, a new introduction by the author, a final chapter by Phillip R. Burger, as well as corrected text and an updated bibliography.


Michael Moorcock

It's probably fair to say that I owe my career to Edgar Rice Burroughs. From the age of fourteen I produced an erb fanzine, Burroughsiana, before I really knew what fanzines were. Through it I discovered the world of science-fiction fandom and began to exchange letters with Richard Lupoff!

When I was sixteen I interviewed the editor of Tarzan Adventures in London. He didn't much like my interview, but his assistant liked it a lot. Before I knew it I was writing a series of articles about Burroughs for that magazine. Tarzan Adventures published reprints of the Sunday newspaper strips as well as original text features and fiction. Soon the assistant editor, the new editor, had commissioned a serial, an erb pastiche, for Tarzan Adventures. This was Sojan the Swordsman, my first fantasy hero. the new editor offered me the job of assistant. My career in journalism and fiction had begun.

In the late 1950s, by the time I was seventeen, I was editing the magazine and filling it with all kinds of Burroughs-derived science fiction and fantasy as well as more features about Edgar Rice Burroughs himself. By the 1960s, when my magazine New Worlds needed financing, I wrote a series of Burroughs-type novels to support it (more of this later). My last close association with Burroughs was writing The Land that Time Forgot for Amicus Films in the early 1970s. As Lupoff does, I regard that novel as probably Burroughs' finest, with an intriguing idea that puts it firmly in the realm of science fiction, even though the form of the story is more of a fantasy adventure. I worked with Jim Cawthorn, a long-time friend and Burroughs illustrator, who had also drawn strips and written stories for Tarzan Adventures. Cawthorn broke the book down into scenes. I then did the finished script, turning the stereotypical German U-boat commander into, I hope, a subtler character who became the intellectual “voice” for the story's fascinating central idea, which Lupoff describes in detail here.

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