Skip to main content

Part 1
Part 2

John Carter, former Confederate cavalry officer and now interplanetary expatriate, has fallen among the Tharks, a cruel, barbaric tribe of green, four-armed Martians.  By virtue of his fighting prowess he has gained a certain amount of status and respect among the Tharks, but he knows this is temporary; as soon as the tribe returns to their capital city, he will face the judgement of their jeddak, Tal Hajus, a merciless tyrant regarded as sadisic even by Tharkish standards.

He has also met and fallen in love with Dejah Thoris, the beautiful granddaughter of the jeddak of Helium, a city-state of the Red Martians; who is a captive of the Tharks.  She loves him too, but because of Carter's unfamiliarity with Martian customs, he seems unable to speak to her without putting his foot in his mouth.  She's mad at him and he doesn't know why.

He has also made an enemy in Sajorka, a Tharkish female who had developed an unreasoning implacable hatred towards Carter.  She has persuaded a young warrior named Zad to pick a fight with Carter and he has found himself embroiled in a duel to the death.  Stabbed in the chest, Carter makes one last desperate lunge at his opponent and passes out.

He is only unconscious for a trice.  When he recovers, he sees that he has successfully deliverd a fatal blow and his opponent lies dead upon the Martian moss.  Zad's blade had driven through his chest, but has glanced off his ribs without piercing any vital organs; nothing that the remarkable medicinal techniques of the Martian women cannot take care of.

He goes to find Dejah Thoris, who lies weeping in her chariot.  Sola, the Martian woman who has been acting as Carter's teacher and servant and who has been watching over Dejah, explains that she thinks Carter is dead.

"Tears are a strange sight upon Barsoom," she continued, "and so it is difficult for me to interpret them.  I have seen but two people in all my life, other than Dejah Thoris: one wept from sorrow, the other from baffled rage.  The first was my mother, years ago before they killed her; the other was Sarkoja, when they dragged her from me today."
Carter tells Sola to tell Dejah how he survived, but not to tell her he saw her weeping.  He's on thin enough ice with the Princess; he doesn't want to risk further wounding her pride.  

He is curious, however, about Sola's comment regarding her mother.  The Green Martians generally don't know who their parents are.  Their eggs are gathered and placed in communal incubators.  Once the young are hatched, they will be selected by some of the tribes women who will finish raising them; but neither the child or the foster mother ever know who the actual parents were.

(Oh, and all Martians are ovoviviparous; even the Red Martians like the beautiful Dejah Thoris.  If you want to know why egg-laying creatures have breasts, take it up with Frank Frazetta).

Later, Sola tells Carter her story.  Sola's mother was a sensitive woman, who detested the cruel sadistic culture of her people.   Too small to be considered adequate breeding material, she nevertheless fell in love with a young warrior who shared some of her sentiments.  She gave birth to his child and hid the egg in a secret place, lest she and her lover be executed for their sin.  Her lover determined that he would someday challenge the jeddak, Tal Hajus, and bring about reforms.  The lover was off on a military campaign far to the south when the egg hatch.  Sola's mother then kept her hidden, biding her time until the next batch of hatchlings were brought to the city.  

But the mother was overheard telling her daughter of her story by none other than Sarkoja, who passed the news on to Tal Hajus.  The mother had just enough time to slip Sola among the newly-arrived hatchlings before she was captured.  The mother died under torture without ever confessing the name of her lover:  Tars Tarkas, the warrior who Sola now serves and who has been John Carter's patron among the Tharks.

The rest of the journey back to the Thark capital.  Carter keeps his distance from Dejah, waiting for her to make the next move.  Which she doesn't.

I verily believe that a man's way with women is in inverse ratio to his prowess among men.  The weakling and the saphead have often great ability to charm the fair sex, while the fighting man who can face a thousand real dangers unafraid, sits hiding in the shadows like some frightened child.
When the caravan arrives in the City of Thark, Carter is assigned living quarters appropriate to his current warrior's status in the tribe.  Now, finally he goes to talk with Dejah.  She addresses him coldly:  "What would Dotar Sojat, Thark, of Dejah Thois his captive?"  She uses the name given to Carter by the Tharks as a pointed reminder of their relative positions.
"Dejah Thoris, I do not know how I have angered you.  It was furtherest from my desire to hurt of offend you, whom I had hoped to protect and comfort.  Have none of me if it is your will, but that you must aid me in effecting your escape, if such a thing be possible, it is not my request, but my command.  When you are safe once more at your father's court you may do with me as you please, but from now on until that day I am your master, and you must obey and aid me."
This actually impresses her.  Women.  Go figure.

They bring Sola into their conspiracy and plan an escape.  Sola has already heard scuttlebutt that the Princess is going to be thrown to the wild calots, and so they have little time.  Carter will steal a couple thoats and come back to get the girls; then they will proceed to one of the canals near the city and follow it into territory controlled by Helium.

Stealing the thoats goes without a hitch, but when he returns to Dejah's apartment (leaping to her second-story window so as to be inconspicuous) he discovers a group of guards positioned there waiting for him.  Overhearing their discussion he learns that the Princess and Sola have already been taken to the unspeakable Tal Hajus.

Evading the guards before they spot him, Carter proceeds to the palace of Tal Hajus and sneaks into the throne room where even now the loathsome jeddak is drooling over his lovely captive.  Earlier, John Carter had commented on how as a rule the Tharks were quite virtuous in regards to the sexes, despite their callous contempt for the finer emotions in other respects.  Tal Hajus is the exception.  It's a tradition in popular fiction that you have to have the Beautiful Girl menaced by a malevolent pervert, the more ugly and obscene the better, who threatens her with A Fate Worse Than Death.  Tal Hajus fits the criteria in spades.

"Princess of Helium, I might wring a mighty ransom from your people would I but return you to them unharmed, but a thousand times rather would I watch that beautiful face writeh in the agony of torturel it shall be long drawn out, that I promise you ... But before the torture you shall be mine for one short hour, and word of that too shall go forth to Tardos Mors, Jeddak of Helium, your grandfather, that he may grovel upon the ground in the agony of his sorrow."
It turns out that one short hour was optimistic.  Before Tal Hajus has a chance to lay even one of his several sweaty palms on the incomparable Dejah Thoris, John Carter leaps to her defense.  He is strongly tempted to slice the foul jeddak's gizzard right there, but decides that he shouldn't rob Tars Tarkas of that pleasure and so contents himself with simply giving Tal Hajus a sock on the jaw.  Now Tal Hajus is the one on the ground.

Carter, the Princess and Sola, accompanied by Woola his faithful calot, flee the city.  They travel for a couple days before they spot a group of Green Martians in the distance pursuing them.  Carter tells his companions to hide in the ravines of the hill country they are entering while he attempts to draw off pursuit.  Dejah doesn't like this plan.

She sprang quickly from the thoat and throwing her dear arms around my neck, turned to Sola, saying with quiet dignity, "Fly, Sola!  Dejah Thoris remains to die with the man she loves."
But Carter is too much of the Virginian gentleman to permit her to die like that.  He dumps her back on her thoat and gives the critter, (the thoat, not the Princess) a slap on the rump to send it off.  Bounding into the air with his tremendous leaps, he draws the attention of Martians and leads them away from his companions.  But he is greatly outnumbered, and eventually they capture him.

These Martians are not Tharks sent to recapture him, as he first thought, but rather come from Warhoon, a rival tribe, smaller and not quite as cultured as the Tharks.  Carter isn't in their clutches five minutes before the jeddak of the Warhoons is killed by his chief lieutenant in a vicious and bloody duel.  He is thrown into a dungeon to keep until the next round of gladitorial games.

For many weeks, Carter sits in that lightless dungeon, slowly losing his grip on sanity.  He manages to attack and kill the guard who brings him food, but before he can find the guard's keys, the unfortunate fellow is grabbed by a creature who has been lurking in the dungeon all this time waiting for something to die.  Then after a while, Carter gets another cellmate:  a padwar, or lieutenant, of the Helium navy named Kantos Kan, who was captured by the Warhoons while searching for the Princess.  The two prisoners become friends.

A couple days later, they are both dragged out of their cell to participate in the great games, with a great number of wild calots, mad zitidars, green men and women from other hordes and critters Carter has never seen before.  They will all be pitted against each other in the arena and the last one alive will win his freedom.  Carter has a plan.

With his incredible earthly strength and agility, Carter easily beats his opponents.  Kantos Kan has a harder time of it, but being a skilled warrior he defeats all his foes too; until it is just Carter and Kantos Kan.  Carter tells his companion to stall, drawing out their fight until evening.  Then, when the light is growing dim, Carter takes a dive and Kantos Kan fakes delivering a coup de grâce.  Since the custom of the Green Martians is to leave the dead lie where they are after duels, no one thinks to check to make sure he's really dead, and so Carter is able to sneak off after nightfall.

He hopes to connect with Kantos Kan again once his friend has been granted his freedom, but Kantos does not show up, so Carter proceeds onward into the desert.  For two weeks he wanders, trying to navigate as best he can by the stars.  Faithful Woola shows up and saves him from a wild beast.  Woola's ten stumpy legs may have difficulty keeping up with Carter's leaping stride, but he always catched up eventually.

Carter comes to a huge building, about two hundred feet high and covering about four square miles.  He is allowed in by an old man who explains that this is one of the Atmosphere Factories which maintain the breathable atmosphere on Mars.  We get a little bit here of the science which the ancient Barsoomians possessed.  The ancients had discovered two additional "rays" beyond the seven colors of the visible spectrum:  the "Eight Ray" is a repulsive force which propogates light from the sun and which the Red Martians use to propel their sky ships; and the "Ninth Ray" provides power for much of their super-technology, including the Atmosphere Factories.  These factories are vital to the existance of life on Mars, so all races, even the barbaric Green Martians, respect them.

The keeper of the Atmosphere Factory, has an advanced form of the telepathy all Martians have, but is incapable of reading Carter's mind.  Carter, however, can see his thoughts, and sees that the keeper considers him a possible threat to the planet and is planning to kill him in his sleep.  Carter slips away unnoticed before he can carry this out.

Continuing on, Carter comes to Zodangan territory, another Red Martian city-state hostile to Helium.  The actual citizens of Zodanga are helpful and friendly to John.  A family of farmers he stays with give him needed supplies and a riding thoat.  They also help him dye his skin a martian copper so that he'll blend in better.  He is careful not to mention his association with Dejah Thoris.  Relations between Zodanga and Helium are tense due to attacks made on the Helium fleet by Zodanga's ruler.

In the Zodangan capital, Carter runs into Kantos Kan.  These coincidences tend to happen to John a lot.  Kantos brings him up to date on what has happened since they last parted.  It turns out that Dejah Thoris has been captured by Sab Than, prince of Zodanga, who has fallen madly in love with the Princess.  Than Kosis, the prince's father and jeddak of Zodanga, has made her voluntary marriage to Sab Than the price of peace between the two countries.  Kantos Kan has infiltrated the city to try and find her.

Posing as a Zodangan citizen, Kantos Kan is going to enlist in the Zodangan air navy in order to get closer to the prince and suggests that Carter do the same.  He does so and soon is learning to fly the Barsoomian sky ships.

On his first day on patrol as a sky scout he spots a band of Green Martians converging on a downed Zodangan ship whose pilot is trying to make emergency repairs.  Carter is able to drive off the hostiles and rescue the pilot, who turns out to be a cousin to the jeddak.  For his act of heroism, the jeddak promotes him to padwar and now has a place in the Palace Guards.

Now all he has to do is find Dejah.

NEXT:  It's Not That Easy; Lost in the Air; Tars Tarkas's Revenge; Raid on Zodanga, and the Princess At Last.   It's Dejah View All Over Again!!!

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:40 PM PST.

Also republished by DKOMA.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Barsoomian Glossary and Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    For your reference and edification, here is an abbreviated glossary of useful Martian terms, adapted from the one Burroughs appended to Thuvia, Maid of Mars:

    Handy Barsoomian Glossary

    Barsoom:  Mars

    Calot:  A dog.  About the size of a Shetland pony and has ten short legs.  The head bears a slight resemblence to that of a frog, except that the jaws are equipped with three rows of long, sharp tusks.

    Dor:  Valley of Heaven; believed by Martians to be the Afterlife

    Dotar Sojat:  John Carter's Martian name, from the surnames of the first two warrior chieftains he killed.

    Dwar:  Captain

    Haad:  Unit of distance, comperable to a mile.

    Helium:  The empire of the grandfather of Dejah Thoris

    Iss:  River of Death, flowing into the Valley of Dor.  When Martians reach the age of 1000, they make a pilgrimage down the River Iss to enter the Afterlife.

    Jed:  King.

    Jeddak:  Emperor

    Kaor:  Greeting.

    Odwar:  A commander, or general.

    Omad:  Man with one name

    Padwar:  Lieutenant

    Panthan:  A soldier of fortune

    Sak:  Jump.  (this was the first Martian word John Carter learned, because the Tharks were so amused by his jumping abilities)

    Sorak: A little pet animal among the red Martian women, about the size of a cat.

    Thark:  City and name of a green Martian horde.

    Thoat:  A green Martian horse.  Ten feet high at the shoulder, with four legs on either side;.

    Xat:  Unit of time, comparable to a minute.

    Zitidar:  Large draft animal, resembling a mastodon.

    Zode:  Unit of time, comparable to an hour.

    And while I'm at it, Let me remind you that you can find previous books we've done in this series over at the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Index

    I live for feedback!

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 12:30:52 PM PST

  •  one of the flaws that I saw with ERB (9+ / 0-)

    and the Mars series even as a kid was the ovoviviparous nature of all Barsoomians.  I mean, I could get on board with all the different rays and the beasties and all, but accepting that such obvious mammals were born of eggs was a little hard to accept, even in a fantasy world.  I tended to ignore that part of the Martian novels.  Although the imagery of Dejah Thoris standing guard over the egg that would become Carthoris was kind of neat.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:28:52 PM PST

  •  Dejah Thoris and John Carter ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... plotting their escape!

    Illustration by Frank Schoonover from the 1917 hardback reprint by McClurg.

    (It's night, it's cold, and Barsoomians cover up after dark -- even in Thark!)

    The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes.

    by MT Spaces on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:55:54 PM PST

    •  The Map (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, Aunt Pat, Ahianne, RunawayRose

      Ah yes, that's another bit I intended to mention and forgot.  While planning their escape, Dejah draws a map of Barsoom on the stone floor of her apartment using a big honkin' diamond from her hair.  I wondered reading it this time if Sajorka would have noticed the incriminating map or if they threw a rug over it or something.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:07:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oviparous (7+ / 0-)

    Platypuses have mammary glands, but I believe they don't have nipples.  The pups lick milk off Mom's fur.

    Ask your barista what her degree is in.

    by happymisanthropy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:29:36 PM PST

  •  Somewhere out-there in the Parallel Multi-Verse (4+ / 0-)

    ERBs Mars is real an that's the Mars that John Carter and others ends up on.

  •  Impressive! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, MT Spaces

    I'm still trying to get the aural image out of my ear that the jeddak and all citizens of his Red Marian city state speak in high squeaky voices.

    Maybe the visual image of a 10-legged calot will erase that impression.

    When reading the "inexplicably spirited to another planet" stories, does anyone wonder how the Earthling hero/ine communicates with aliens?  Can't possibly speak the language (assuming the aliens even speak).  How do these Unfortunates get by?

    I note with interest the Atmosphere Factory.  (Wonder how that affects the Heliums?)  Wouldn't there need to be, just as vitally important, a Potable Water Factory, too?

    Sorry -- I may have missed the explanation in an earlier diary -- are Green Martians actually green (I see the Carter has had his skin "colorized" red to fit in better), and how does Burroughs account for the two pigmentations?

    I'm enjoying your series even if, as a reader, I am not a fan of so much sci-fi.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:08:53 AM PST

    •  Language and Stuff (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, MT Spaces

      John Carter has to be taught the Martian language when he is captured by the Tharks.  Fortunately it is a fairly simple language, we are told, (the grandeloquent declaimations of some of the characters notwithstanding).  Also, all Martians seem to have a latent telepathic abilitity (which is only mentioned when useful to to the plot) which is also how they train their domestic animals.  John Carter also has this ability, which makes you wonder why he has such problems understanding Dejah Thoris.  Another convenience is that the Barsoomian language is spoken by all the races of Mars, so that Carter doesn't have to learn a new tongue every time he gets captured by a different color of Martians.

      The Atmosphere Factories are maintained chiefly by the Red Men of Mars, mainly because they retain more of the ancient technology required to do so than the Green Martians.  Despite the fact that the city-states of Mars exist in seemingly perpetual warfare with each other, they all co-operate where the Atmosphere Factories are concerned, because everyone knows if they go the whole planet dies.  

      Presumably there are also facilities to maintain the planet's hydrological system.  The canals, refered to in the books simply as waterways, built by the ancient Barsoomians are undoubtably a part of this.  Perhaps the Atmosphere Factories also produce water as a by-product of their operation.

      It is stated that the plant life of Barsoom, particularly the moss which lines the desert floors of what used to be the Oceans of Mars, contains much water; and that the thoats and other Martian creatures are capable of surviving on only what water they can graze from this moss.

      The Green Men of Mars are indeed Green.  Here we're going to get into a bit of Theosophy.  Originally there were three root races on Mars:  the Black Men, (who were the original Martians), the White Men and the Yellow Men.  (sound familiar?)  All three races were pretty much humanoid.  When Mars began to die, eons ago, they produced the Red Men through interbreeding as a race more suited to surviving in the harsher climate.  At the time of PRINCESS, these three root races are regarded as part of the legendary past, but in later books John Carter discovers enclaves of them still living in secret.

      As for where the Green Men come from, I don't recall.  I'm sure it's mentioned in one of the later books, though.  They are indeed green in color, and unlike the Red Men and the three Root Races, they have four arms.

      There is also a species of huge white ape which also has four arms.  How they fit into the evolution of life on Barsoom is anybody's guess.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:35:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wonderful -- Thanks! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces, quarkstomper

        Definitely learning about an off-world world.

        Of course, I'm now wondering why this tendency on Mars for mammals to have so many duplicate appendages.

        Nature is admittedly extravagant with the apparatus used in sexual courting, mating, and breeding in most species of living things, but is parsimonious when it comes to other organ systems as they require lots of calories to maintain.  More limbs implies stupider creatures as the brain is the calorie hog of higher order mammals, especially sentient ones.

        The brain power, strength, and energy required to move and coordinate so many limbs in such large creatures boggles the mind.  They'd have to have enormous bone structure for one thing.  So, the white apes'd be gigantic

        Did Burroughs say anything about there being lots of super high calorie foodstuffs on Mars/Barsoom of a concentration far in excess of what occurs naturally on Earth?  

        Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

        by Limelite on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:46:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Researching Burroughs ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Limelite, quarkstomper

          ... who based his whole career on dazzling and bewildering his readers -- can still be fun!

          Xodar, pictured holding the pistol above, holds forth on Barsoomian Genesis in the scene that follows in Gods of Mars.

          Methinks that those ocher Martian lichen and moss are Super-Health Foods -- perhaps genetically created by the canal-builders 10,000 jeddaks ago.

          ERBzine has well over a thousand articles about Burroughs -- his influences, sources, history, legacy, family and so on. Thanks to them for all these plundered pictures!
          I have even met some of the scholars and fans who contributed there, but they have had much more time on their hands than I could ever imagine.

          The ERB Chaser is a good place to start.

          (ERBzine) thanks: Robert B. Zeuschner for supplying scans of the Schoonover interior art -- For detailed bibliographic information see Zeuschner's
          ERB: The Exhaustive Scholar’s and Collector’s Descriptive Bibliography of American Periodical, Hardcover, Paperback and Reprint Editions
          Dial 1-800-253-2187 to order a copy from McFarland for $46.50

          The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes.

          by MT Spaces on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:23:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Food for Thought (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces

          The staple food eaten by the Tharks seems to be a kind of "milk" which is harvested from a type of large succulent plant, and a "cheese" made from it that from the description sounds a lot like tofu.

          Apparently the Green Martians never eat meat and seem to use their huge tusks only as weapons, and possibly sexual displays.  Interestingly enough, the tusks of the females tend to be larger than the males.  Make of that what you will.

          "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

          by quarkstomper on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 06:28:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Of Helium and History ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Helium" is one of Burroughs' grandiloquent borrowings -- the actual gas was only identified and captured on Earth in 1895 -- same year that Percival Lowell's speculative book Mars* was published, and a mere sixteen years before our Princess first saw print.

        *It's on Project Gutenberg!

        It would take a generation or two for "Helium" to become a household word for its real meaning.

        The gas "Krypton" was discovered in 1898 -- forty years before Superman's first appearance, but the name still makes people laugh.

        Don't let those high squeeky voices fool ya' -- if Carter can't do it, Kantos KAN!

        The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes.

        by MT Spaces on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:54:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A bit clearer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces, quarkstomper

        The three root races were the Yellow Men, the Black Men, and the White Apes.

        The Tharks, the current white apes, and the Plant Men of Mars are descendents from the original stock of white apes, while the Red Men and White Men are descendent from the original Black and Yellow Men.

        •  I Was Mistaken (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces

          It's been several years since I've read Gods of Mars.  I had it in my head that there was also a race of White Martians lurking around in a hidden enclave someplace, but maybe I'm thinking of a different group.

          "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

          by quarkstomper on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 06:31:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You remembered the white race ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... alright.

            They ran that cruel scheme of luring Barsoomians to take the pilgrimage down the River Iss, which led to death or slavery in the Valley Dor.

            The Ebony-Black Pirates scammed the scammers.

            Holy Therns, Batman!

            That cover for Gods of Mars (above) shows J.C. disguised as one of those nasty bewigged and bejeweled high-priests hanging out over the South Pole of Mars.

            (Ol' squid is right too -- the White Apes are part of the gene pool, according to Xodar's lore.)

            The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes.

            by MT Spaces on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:53:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  you're still right! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quarkstomper, MT Spaces

            Those ole Holy Therns, of which the guy running the Atmosphere Generator in the first book was a diadem carrying member, were the White Men of Mars.

            Bald as eggs and just as compassionate, they were the perfect fodder for the Catholic Church/Freemasons allegory that ERB was making.

            I think that's what really attracted me to the series as a kid. Well, beyond the beautiful naked women and three-fisted action of course. I liked that the main character would often make references about his distaste for the holy, this love of the profane, and the dent where his bump of reverence should have been. I could identify with that.

  •  Guilty Pleasure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ellid, MT Spaces, quarkstomper

    I've always loved these novels, even while disagreeing with the whole White Man's Burden non-sense contained inside. (though, I thought it was rather amusing the treatment given to the Black Men of Mars.)

    I'm hopeful for the movies, but I doubt anything could come close to the three-fist, face pounding, heart racing, frolicking goodtimes of the novels. Hell, I bet everyone is going to be wearing clothes.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site