Radium Age 100 (30)

By: Joshua Glenn
September 13, 2015

One in a series of 100 posts about the best science fiction novels published from 1904–33. HiLobrow’s Josh Glenn has named that era science fiction’s Radium Age; more info here. The complete Radium Age 100 list can be found here.

640px-Gods_of_Mars-1918

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Gods of Mars (1913, as a book 1918).

The second installment in Burroughs’s Barsoom series. Returning to Mars after ten years, John Carter materializes in the Valley Dor: the supposedly paradisial secret location to which Barsoomian’s travel once they’ve reached 1,000 years of age. Joined by his friend Tars Tarkas, the 15-foot-tall, double-torsoed, green-skinned Martian, Carter discovers that Barsoomians are actually killed and enslaved in the Valley Dor! (This context is strongly reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s 1966 novel The Unteleported Man, don’t you think?) The Therns, a white-skinned, cannibalistic race of self-proclaimed gods, must be defeated — but Carter and Tarkas must also contend with Plant Men, Black Pirates, the green warriors of Warhoon, and the Zodangans. Phew!

Fun fact: First published in All-Story as a five-part serial, this novel was written at the same time as Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes.

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MORE RADIUM AGE SCI FI ON HILOBROW: HiLoBooks homepage! | What is Radium Age science fiction? |Radium Age 100: 100 Best Science Fiction Novels from 1904–33 | Radium Age Supermen | Radium Age Robots | Radium Age Apocalypses | Radium Age Telepaths | Radium Age Eco-Catastrophes | Radium Age Cover Art (1) | SF’s Best Year Ever: 1912 | Radium Age Science Fiction Poetry | Enter Highbrowism | Bathybius! Primordial ooze in Radium Age sf | War and Peace Games (H.G. Wells’s training manuals for supermen) | Radium Age: Context series | J.D. Beresford | Algernon Blackwood | Edgar Rice Burroughs | Karel Čapek | Buster Crabbe | August Derleth | Arthur Conan Doyle | Hugo Gernsback | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Cicely Hamilton | Hermann Hesse | William Hope Hodgson | Aldous Huxley | Inez Haynes Irwin | Alfred Jarry | Jack Kirby (Radium Age sf’s influence on) | Murray Leinster | Gustave Le Rouge | Gaston Leroux | David Lindsay | Jack London | H.P. Lovecraft | A. Merritt | Maureen O’Sullivan | Sax Rohmer | Paul Scheerbart | Upton Sinclair | Clark Ashton Smith | E.E. “Doc” Smith | Olaf Stapledon | John Taine | H.G. Wells | Jack Williamson | Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz | S. Fowler Wright | Philip Gordon Wylie | Yevgeny Zamyatin

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