Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars Part 9: Synthetic Men of Mars - Ryan Harvey

"Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote Synthetic Men of Mars in 1938, soon after Carson of Venus and a potboiler Tarzan adventure, Tarzan and the Forbidden City, and right before the dreadful Pellucidar installment Land of Terror. This wasn’t one of ERB’s stellar periods — and was aware of it. Even though Tarzan was a success on film and in newspaper strips, Tarzan’s creator struggled for the first time to get his new stories sold. Every magazine turned down Land of Terror and the novel had to skip serial appearance and go straight to self-publication. Burroughs’s numerous attempts to sell non-Tarzan projects to Hollywood went nowhere. And although Synthetic Men of Mars sold to Argosy, a top magazine, Burroughs received only $1,200 for it, half of what the publisher paid for Carson of Venus and a seventh what he received for A Fighting Man of Mars eight years earlier. ERB’s gloomy attitude toward his work had disturbing real-world correlations." 4 out of 5