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Let's Read John Carter of Mars!
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Total posts: [13]

Let's Read John Carter of Mars!:

Rock On
Well, I'm waiting for the train, watching the freight trains go by, and reading ebooks on my phone. I downloaded the first few John Carter of Mars books from Project Gutenberg to read on my trip, and I figured I'd pass the time by liveblogging them.

I've never read any of Burroughs' work; the closest I've come is watching Disney's Tarzan. Nevertheless, I've heard they were quite good.

This would probably be easier if I had Wifi for my computer and weren't trying to do this on my phone, but I'll give it a shot.

Edit; You know, I've also got the audiobook of the first one from Project Gutenberg, and the narrator has a groovy Scottish accent; I might try that, too.

Edit Edit: Edgar Rice Burroughs' Project Gutenberg Mobile entry;

edited 8th Dec '10 9:01:08 PM by DrRockopolis

[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Never Ask Me the Odds
I'm interested in what your impression will be and whether it holds up. Big sci-fi nut here and I like the classics - Asimov, Heinlein, Verne - and knowing the genre history. Never read these, though.

edited 8th Dec '10 3:48:24 PM by TheGirlWithPointyEars

She of Short Stature & Impeccable Logic

My Skating Liveblog
Rock On
I'm not sure if the Framing Story counts as a Literary Agent Hypothesis; Edgar Rice Burroughs is relaying the memoirs of Captain John Carter after his death in 1884.
  • As a boy, he first met 'Uncle Jack' when he visited the family plantation before the civil war. He sounds awesome; handsome, fit, gentlemanly.
  • They don't see him for at least a decade after the war, and he doesn't seem to have changed at all. He spent time prospecting in Arizona, and seems to have hit it big. He does brood when he thinks no one is looking, though, and eventually moves to New York.

After his death, he leaves everything to Edgar Rice Burroughs, with the instructions that his memoirs not be opened for eleven years and that he be buried in a well ventilated vault, one that has a lock that opens from the inside.
[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
Hey, my first fan! Now I'm committed, cold feet or no.


After the war, Captain Jack Carter is left with a couple hundred thousand dollars of Confederate money and a Captain's commission with the losing side. So, with no skills but war, he and a friend by the name of Powell go off to Arizona to hunt for gold.
  • They hit it big! Unfortunately, on the way back, they get Powell gets ambushed by savage Apaches, and Carter rides off to rescue him. He does a Big Damn Heroes moment, charging into a large Apache camp, revolvers blazing.
    • He mentions that every time he is in danger, he never sees any option but boldness and bravery.
  • Alas, he is too late, but snatches up Powell's body from the nearby Apache camp and flees into the night.
    • I like his line, "The Indians had discovered by this time that I was alone, and I was pursed with imprecations, arrows, and rifle balls. The fact that it is difficult to aim anything but imprecations accurately by moonlight..."
  • Fleeing in the dark, he ends up going up a mountain rather than through the pass, but he finds a cave to hide in. It's a large cave, worn smooth by ancient habitation, but unfortunately it's also full of Deadly Gas, as he falls down, paralyzed.
  • When the Apaches come for him, he hears something behind him growl, and the Apaches freak out and flee.
  • Carter, meanwhile, is scared out of his skin. Literally. His body is lying on the ground, while he is still walking around, albeit naked.
  • Feeling like touching his body isn't a good idea, he wanders outside to see the Arizona landscape on the moonlight. Beautiful sight, especially the sight of Mars, bright in the night sky...then he passes out again.

Well, that's the first few chapters, and now the station is open and I'm going inside.

edited 8th Dec '10 4:51:41 PM by DrRockopolis

[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
The way the audiobooks open up, they make it sound like a Radio, that would be an interesting Troper Covens project.
[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Never Ask Me the Odds
evil grin I like radio dramas myself.

Heh, I didn't realize it was set (from our perspective) so far in the past. Sounds like Western meets Sci-Fi but not a Space Western like, say, Firefly. Guess it makes sense, being such an early example of genre literature.
She of Short Stature & Impeccable Logic

My Skating Liveblog
Rock On
Yeah, first published in 1912...I wonder how much Science Marches On I might find, although it's more of a Planetary Romance than Sci-Fi, despite being "of Mars".

Whew, three hours to go. I think I'll go back to reading.

edited 8th Dec '10 7:18:54 PM by DrRockopolis

[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
John Carter wakes up on Mars; he mentions he knew it like you or I know we're on Earth. He's still naked, and lying on a bed of yellow moss, which spreads as far as the eye can see. The sun is bright and harsh, he describes it as similar to the Arizona desert sun (believe you me, that is crazy harsh).

Regaining his senses, he stands up. And up, and up. When he gets his feet, every step sends him bounding into the air. He settles on crawling. Not the most glorious means of transport, but...

He heads toward the nearest structure, some sort of greenhouse. It's full of eggs, some of which are hatching; hexapodal, tube-eared, top-eyed, slit-nosed green martians. He finds them disturbing.

Then he hears something clatter behind him, just in time to leap out of the way of a forty foot spear held by a charging fifteen foot martian atop a ten foot hexapodal steed. Martian life seems to be hexapodal, and the moss is very good at damping footfalls.

Remember what happened with walking? He leaps over the greenhouse and lands about thirty feet away. Seeing that they're armed with rifles, he doesn't try to run.

On their part, they don't chase, but rather, stop and freak out. Mars' lighter gravity makes him crazy muscular by their standards. Their leader comes forward and offers him a bracelets and what is assumed to be a request for surrender. He guesses correctly, and goes off with them.

Edit;You know, now I can't tell if the narrator sounds Scottish, or like a laid back Zero Punctuation.

Also, I should put the Project Gutenberg link to Burroughs on the first post.

edited 8th Dec '10 8:58:46 PM by DrRockopolis

[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
Also, whoa; There's a John Carter of Texas Congressional District Thirty One.
[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
So, off with his captors, who I've neglected to mention are fanged and bedecked with metal ornaments. After travelling some miles, the land slopes up sharply; he later finds he arrived in one if Mars' dried, ancient, seas.

They arrive a a settlement, looking long unoccupied despite being in good condition. Towards the middle, however, are the Martians, and an ancient, splendid palace.

The leader of his captors is apparently of some importance, as he walks through the crowd, into the palace, and presents John to the ruler; a martian heavily decorated in metal, feathers, and silk.

The inside of the palace looks ancient yet splendid, but things like the desks are proportionate to John's stature, rather than the Martians.

They apparently want him to show off his jumping, dragging him outside. When one of them gets too pushy, though, he decks the Martian; everyone else laughs, and they take him outside to jump.

He shows off for a bit, but demands food and water by making the apparently universal gesture of stomach patting.

They hand him off to one of the smaller females, who takes him to the living quarters and fetches...a ten legged animal. Decapodal?
[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
Whew, I am exhausted. Another half hour before I can get on the train. I think I'll be in El Paso by the time I wake up. I might read a few chapters before sleeping, and blog them in the morning.

I like the way Burroughs writes, he's very descriptive and his words seem to flow right, but his tendency for Exposition is a bit jarring; was it the style back then?
  • On the other hand, it's probably natural for the memoirs these are supposed to be.

edited 8th Dec '10 9:43:31 PM by DrRockopolis

[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On
Moving to the new liveblog system, might be a bit tricky on a Droid.
[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
Rock On Now in a new location!
[[ Liveblog of]] John Carter of Mars
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 13

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