Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice

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(1875-1950) US writer whose various series – Tarzan, the Barsoom sequence (featuring John Carter on the planet Mars), the Venus sequence, and the Pellucidar sequence (set within a Hollow Earth) – have all had a profound effect on the development of both genre sf and Genre Fantasy. A good case could be made for calling almost all of ERB's many titles both essentially sf and essentially fantasy. Within the definition of Fantasy followed in general throughout this encyclopedia, however, ERB falls marginally into the realm of sf, if for no other reason than that – sometimes only by implication – his venues and marvels are justified by some argument, however tenuous, of an sf nature. There is nothing deliberately impossible in his work; though, perhaps confusingly, a sense of pubescent wish-fulfilment can be detected throughout. The blissful ease with which Tarzan – who is both apeman and aristo, Shadow and constitutional monarch of his Soul – "solves" or soothes the 19th-century obsession with the dark Double is nothing but dreamily adolescent. But to identify Tarzan's Land-of-Fable Africa or John Carter's Mars (see Science Fantasy) as arenas in which devoutly desired actions can freely be countenanced is not to identify these regions of the heart, or the actions which fill them, as fantasy. [JC]

Barsoom: A Princess of Mars (1912 All-Story Magazine as "Under the Moons of Mars" as by Norman Bean; 1917); The Gods of Mars (1913 All-Story; 1918); The Warlord of Mars (1913-1914 All-Story 1919); Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1916 All-Story Weekly 1920), The Chessmen of Mars (1922), The Master Mind of Mars (1928), A Fighting Man of Mars (1931), Swords of Mars (1936), Synthetic Men of Mars (1940), Llana of Gathol (1941 Amazing Science Fiction; fixup 1948) and John Carter of Mars (1941-1943 Amazing Science Fiction; coll 1964). "John Carter and the Giant of Mars", in the last volume, was originally written as a juvenile tale with ERB's son, John Coleman Burroughs (1913-1979), and was later expanded by ERB.

Tarzan: Tarzan of the Apes (1912 All-Story 1914); The Return of Tarzan (1913 New Story; 1915); The Beasts of Tarzan (1914 All-Story Cavalier; 1916); The Son of Tarzan (1915 All-Story Cavalier; 1917); Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (1916 All-Story Cavalier; 1918); Jungle Tales of Tarzan (coll 1919; vt Tarzan's Jungle Tales 1961 UK); Tarzan the Untamed (coll of linked stories 1920); Tarzan the Terrible (1921); Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1923); Tarzan and the Ant Men (1924; rev 1924); Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1928); Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1929); Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1930); Tarzan the Invincible (1931); Tarzan Triumphant (1932); Tarzan and the City of Gold (1931 Argosy; 1933; cut 1952); Tarzan and the Lion Man (1934); Tarzan and the Leopard Men (1935); Tarzan's Quest (1936); Tarzan and the Forbidden City (1938; cut vt Tarzan in the Forbidden City 1940); Tarzan the Magnificent (fixup 1939); Tarzan and the Foreign Legion (1947); Tarzan and the Madman (1964); Tarzan and the Castaways (1939-1941 various mags; coll 1965). The Tarzan Twins (1927; cut 1935; rev by other hands vt Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins in the Jungle 1938) and its sequel, Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion (1936), both assembled as Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins (omni 1963), are associated titles. (see also Tarzan Movies.)

Pellucidar: At the Earth's Core (1914 All-Story Weekly; 1922); Pellucidar (1915 All-Story; 1923); Tanar of Pellucidar (1930); Tarzan at the Earth's Core (properly also a Tarzan title, see above); Back to the Stone Age (1937); Land of Terror (1944); Savage Pellucidar (1942 Amazing Science Fiction; fixup 1963).

Venus: Pirates of Venus (1932 Argosy; 1934); Lost on Venus (1935); Carson of Venus (1939); Escape on Venus (1941-1942 Fantastic Adventures; fixup 1946); The Wizard of Venus (coll 1970; vt The Wizard of Venus and Pirate Blood 1984).

Miscellaneous: The Land that Time Forgot (1918 Blue Book in 3 parts; fixup 1924; vt in 3 vols under original part-titles: The Land that Time Forgot 1982, The People that Time Forgot 1982 and Out of Time's Abyss 1982); The Eternal Lover (1914-1915 All-Story Weekly; fixup 1925; vt The Eternal Savage 1963); The Cave Girl (1913-1917 All-Story Weekly; fixup 1925); The Moon Maid (1923-1925 Argosy All-Story Weekly as "The Moon Maid", "The Moon Men" and "The Red Hawk"; cut fixup 1926; vt The Moon Men 1962; vt in 2 vols and with text restored as The Moon Maid 1962 and The Moon Men 1962); The Mad King (1914-1915 All-Story Weekly; fixup 1926); The Monster Men (1913 All-Story as "A Man without a Soul"; 1929); Jungle Girl (1932; vt Land of Hidden Men 1963); Beyond Thirty (1916 All Around Magazine; circa 1955 chap; vt The Lost Continent 1963) and The Man-Eater (circa 1955 chap), both assembled as Beyond Thirty and the Man-Eater (omni 1957); Tales of Three Planets (coll 1964; cut vt Beyond the Farthest Star 1965).

Edgar Rice Burroughs


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.