Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars Part 6: The Master Mind of Mars - Ryan Harvey

"Burroughs wrote The Master Mind of Mars (originally under the less thrilling titles A Weird Adventure on Mars and Vad Varo of Barsoom) in mid-1925, but his usual markets didn’t pick it up. (Wikipedia, in a [citation needed] moment, speculates this may have something to do with “its satirical treatment of religious fundamentalists.” That seems unlikely, as the book is light on the religious criticism compared to the instant-selling The Gods of Mars, where searing attacks on religion are the center of the plot.) ERB finally sold the book to Hugo Gernsback, inventor of the term “science fiction,” pioneer of magazine SF, and notorious cheapskate, who paid $1,250 for the novel — much less than what the author got from his usual markets. Gernsback made Burroughs’s newest Martian adventure the lead story for his Amazing Stories Annual, an extension of what was at the time the only science-fiction pulp. Burroughs made sense as a circulation-booster, since he helped create magazine SF fourteen years before the first pulp dedicated to it appeared on the stands." 4 out of 5