With respect and admiration for EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS (1875 - 1950)
THE BURROUGHS TRADITION
As a boy of fourteen or so years of age, I was given, by my father, seven old hardback books complete with 1940's style jackets, published by Methuen and written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I still recognise the slightly musty aroma locked away in those old pages that I knew as that young boy; it is unmistakably Barsoom for me. A quarter century or so later, I still read Burroughs. Of Barsoom, Pellucidar, Amtor and Opar; of John Carter, David Innes, Carson Napier and Tarzan, I am still, and always will be, an avid and faithful fan. In fact, I have read most of the books four times and more, and likely will again in my lifetime. However, although he wrote some sixty nine books or so, it will never be enough for me.
There are simply not enough books written by Burroughs to satisfy my longing for his unique brand of planetary romance, and if you became a fan at so early an age as I, then I am sure you will agree. Twenty four Tarzan novels, eleven Martian, five Venusian, seven inner-earth, and so on, it is not enough! And so, like me, you may have hunted out the more obscure; the old western novels, those concerning the Moon Maid, The Lost Continent, Caprona, and Beyond the Farthest Star, and having read those also, it is still, not enough! You doubtless feel the same way, otherwise, why would you have looked at this page in the first place? You, as I, love Burroughs' work, and that is the way it is. Have you read Lin Carter, John Norman, Kenneth Bulmer, etc. etc.? So have I; the Burroughs Tradition is still very much alive! They, like myself, were influenced enough to write their own stories, directly inspired by Burroughs himself. Yet, there is something uniquely special and unmistakably irreplaceable about ERB's work.
There is little use trying to add to the endless articles and tributes written about and paid to ERB, it has all been said before, and doubtless, being a fan yourself, you will have read them as have I. In other words, what can I say about him that has not already been said? The answer to that must be: nothing! However, there is something I can do, and that is to dream about Mars and his other romantic and weird settings and conjure in my own mind experiences similar to those experienced by Captain John Carter, Carson Napier, Lord Greystoke and the other heroes of his novels. To add to that, I can invent my own worlds, my own heroes, my own dreams, and more than that, I can write about them, hopefully filling some of the vast void that exists on my book shelves where there should be endless Martian stories, countless adventures in Pellucidar, and so on.
If you feel the same, then perhaps you would like to read some of my work? It is a pale shadow in my opinion compared to the adventures and sagas mentioned above, but it is something, and that, to me at least, is better than nothing. So, to you I say, although I do not claim to be of the same worth as the grand master of the genre, I do love his work enough to hope in some way, if not to emulate, then at least to be inspired by what he achieved.