Like many children of the generations before me, I spent my childhood reading Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books. No Tarzan for me, no sir. It was all about our beloved Barsoom (Mars for you philistines!).
I remember reading the numbered Del Rey paperbacks as a child. I even owned, for other geek reasons, a globe of Mars (and the Moon) that my mother had gotten me. I remember taking small white labels and attempting to use the measurements in the books to mark where on the Martian globe each of the locations in the books were. This was my first realization that you can be a great writer but a horrible cartographer since few of the locations mapped correctly.
I dreamed of airships and sword fighting… of lost cities and green giants… the world of Barsoom and its ochre bloom on the beds of its lost seas was forever in my thoughts. Somewhere along the way, I quit thinking about them but if there is a science fiction author that I loved as a child, it was Asimov or Silverberg, it was Burroughs.
I picked up one of the “Carson of Venus” books by Burroughs last night while R and I were out at dinner. I read the first of those as well (and many other books by him) but never read the whole series. When I get some free time, I plan on re-reading the Martian books and maybe reading the Venus books. I’m pretty sure my mother has about half of my old paperbacks in here basement still…