The Geomancer


A Princess of Moscow

When I was what is now called a pre-teen, my father took me in a bookstores (A B. Dalton's I believe) and handed me the Del Rey mass market edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars with the Michael Whelan cover and said, "Here, read this."

Now, I didn't like to do anything I was told, and since my father was a lawyer, and appreciated a good argument if properly presented, I said, "But it has a naked woman on the cover."

"I know it has a naked woman on the cover," said my father, "but it's still a good book. And you're going to read it."

Which pretty much started this whole science fiction thing for me. Not only did I read it, but 62 other ERB books over the next year, including the whole Martian series, the whole Venus series, the Earth's Core books, and so on. Eventually, when the supply of Burroughs was exhausted, I graduated to such luminaries as Fritz Lieber, Michael Moorcock, Isaac Asimov... By which time it was far too late for me.

So, basically, I'm pretty happy with John Joseph Adams' latest "Strong Medicine" review in Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, where in he discusses Chris Roberson's Paragaea: A Planetary Romance:

"It's neo-pulp; that is, it's written in the tradition of the pulp masters of the past—Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard, et al.—but is written in a modern style more accessible to contemporary readers. Roberson knows his pulp well and has fun exploring and reinventing the tropes of that era, and he does so in a fresh, original, and—most importantly—fun way. And like Burroughs's Barsoom stories, Roberson's Paragaea is otherworldly swashbuckling action-adventure at its finest.... You like sense of wonder? This book's got sense of wonder. By the bucketful. There might not be any Great Toonoolian Marshes on Paragaea, but there might as well be; Paragaea is this generation's A Princess of Mars. Read it with your mind's eye wide open, so you can take it all in. "

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