When I was twelve years old I started writing stories about Mars and the Moon. Later I sold stories for a penny a word to some of the same pulps that appear here. People laughed at me and called me Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Then we landed on the Moon. They stopped laughing. Those people are gone, but the old stories, like the ones in Martianthology, are still alive."—Ray Bradbury
Compiled by Forrest J Ackerman
edited by Anne Hardin
302pp 6"x 9", illustrated
Trade Cloth: ISBN 1-918736-46-3 $28.95
Trade Paper: ISBN 1-918736-45-5 $16.95
Years ago, when these stories were composed, life on Barsoom resided solely in the imaginations of certain special inhabitants of Jasoom (E.R. Burroughs-speak for Mars and Earth). This anthology captures the spirit of that "exploration"—long before a rocket from Earth had actually visited the fourth planet and shown it to be a sandy red surface pockmarked by meteor impacts and with no life-sustaining atmosphere.
These writers gave us romantic "canals," mono-manned solo flyers, six-legged riding thoats, Mars men who could remove their heads and protect them under their arms, along with heroes and villains, adventure and mis-adventure, conquest and redemption. Volume I of Martianthology offers something for all readers of "scientifiction" (as it was called during the early years of pulp writing). From Cecil B. White’s "Return of the Martians," first published in Amazing Stories, 1928, through the relatively recent Charles Tanner’s "A Chorus for Dejah Thoris" published in Fantastic, 1968, these writers maintain energy, imagination and a "sense of wonder." You’ll find a rousing "space opera" adventure (along with an excellent "hero" and great villains) in Ross Rocklynne’s novella "Water for Mars." Prepare for chills up and down your spine with A. E. van Vogt’s "Enchanted Village," along with an eerie tale of terror from Martin Jordan (1955), "A Present From Mars." From the extremely prolific John Russell Fearn we offer "Martian Miniature" (1942), the tale of an experiment which unexpectedly "mis-fired" along with another high-flying adventure, "In Martian Depths," written by Hendrik Dahl Juve back in 1932. A highly moral tale is told by Stanton A. Coblentz in "Manna From Mars," (1934). A quietly contemplative story comes from Gene Hunter in "Martian Interlude," (1955). And from Ed Earl Repp, who debuted to a splendid success in Science Wonder Stories in the late 1920s and enjoyed a long and successful writing career, we have "Martian Terror"—everything you might want: plenty of white hats, black hats, and hidden royalty about to be "discovered" to save the day (and get the girl). Two "shorties" are included here by our anthologist, Mr. Sci-Fi, Forrest J Ackerman.
This volume is dedicated to the memory of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, although we have no works by ERB, we do include two highly enjoyable ERB parodies: "A Chorus for Dejah Thoris" by Charles R. Tanner and "Mars Falls Sunward" by E. V. Knox, parodist and later editor of Punch. Finally, our editor, Anne Hardin, has included an excellent novella which she read as a child, "The Magic Ball From Mars" by Carl L. Biemiller.