Sunday, February 7, 2016

Barsooming Along

First Edition cover art
I recently finished reading the John Carter of Mars series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  (Who is more widely known as the creator of Tarzan.)  John Carter first appeared in 1917's "A Princess of Mars".  If you are looking for a science based series, you will be sorely disappointed.  This series is pure fantasy, but greatly enjoyable, at least to me.  There are eleven books in the series, but because the last two are actually compilations of short stories that appeared in sci fi pulp mags in the 1930's, book 11 was actually published before book 10.  But to keep action and referrals straight, read 10 before 11 - understand?  I also find it interesting that Burroughs was a much more prolific author than I thought.  (He wrote over two dozen Tarzan books alone.)
I'm gonna take a little Burroughs break for a bit, but I do plan to read more of his.  I want to read his "Carson of Venus" series (first book being  "Pirates of Venus" - 1934) and see how it compares to John Carter.  Similarities, differences, etc.  Before doing that though I plan on reading some Thorne Smith.  Smith is an author that passed away in 1934 at the age of 36.  He didn't write a huge number of books, but he did create some characters that are still known to this day.  Last week DKW and I watched a movie titled "I Married A Witch" which was based on Smith's book "The Passionate Witch".  Now this might not mean much to most folks, but this was the basis for the 60's TV series "Bewitched", which a bunch of folks know or at least have heard of.

Smith also created "Topper" which was the basis for a couple of movies (The first starring Cary Grant in 1934) and a TV series in the 1950's.
As you might gather, I enjoy reading older fiction just to see how perspectives have changed over the years.  But don't think I don't read newer stuff, I do.  I just tend to read different eras in batches.  And I do read a bunch. 
Today is Super Bowl Sunday though, and I will be watching.  This will be the 50th Super Bowl.  Although technically, the first two were not called the Super Bowl.  It was the "AFL-NFL World Championship Game" (both won by the Packers).  In 1968, Super Bowl was first used (for S.B. III) when Joe Namath and the upstart Jets upset the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.  I am 60 and I have seen every one to this point, so I don't plan to start missing them now.
Everyone have a great day!