scientists early in the Twentieth Century looked at Venus and saw only
clouds they concluded that the planet must be dripping wet. Another theory
was that Venus was a younger version of Earth and was possibly in its own
age of dinosaurs. Ray Bradbury wrote a powerful story called "All Summer
in a Day" and set on the dripping wet Venus; you probably read the story
in high school English class. Science now knows that Venus is a *very*
inhospitable place, but that doesn't make Bradbury's story any less powerful.
Nor does it make Edgar Rice Burroughs' Venus adventures any less fun.
Burroughs began his Venusian
series in 1931, twenty years after his very first novel. Pirates of
Venus introduces Carson Napier (a somewhat more cautious hero than
John Carter), who builds himself a rocketship and blasts off for Mars.
(How did he get to Venus? You'll just have to read the book.) Beneath the
cloud cover of Venus Carson discovers a world of sky-high trees, warring
kingdoms and princesses in need of rescue. But, more often than not, it
seems that Carson is the one in need of rescuing!
The world of Amtor (as the Venusians call their planet), like Barsoom,
is very advanced in some ways and very backwards in others. Scientists
have harnessed atomic power for their sea-going ships, but are completely
ignorant of the concept of flying machines ~ until Carson builds one. Whichever
means of travel you use, don't stray too far from land. Amtorians think
their world is a flat disc, and if you travel to the rim you might freeze
to death in the frozen wastes at the edge, and if you venture toward the
center of the disc you could die from the heat. With their belief that
the equator is where the North Pole is ~ and vice versa ~ you can get lost
on Amtor pretty fast.
On your Amtorian travels,
be careful when you enter the forests of Vepaja ~ home to targos and tharbans
and bastos. Be on the lookout for klangan ~ the flying men of Amtor. If
the Thorists capture you they might lock you up in the Room of Seven Doors;
one door leads to freedom, the other six to certain death! Havatoo is a
lovely city to visit, but only if you're perfect; if you fail their tests,
the Havatooans will destroy you for the benefit of all humanity. If you
manage to get out of Havatoo, try to avoid the neighboring city of Kormor
~ it's inhabited entirely by reanimated corpses (they make for very docile
citizens) and the ruler of Kormor is always looking for new recruits!
With fish men, beast men,
plant men and even amoeba men causing mischief, a trip to Amtor is bound
to be loaded with adventure and thrills. And if you run across Carson Napier,
give him a hand out of his current predicament ~ after all, he did land
on the wrong planet....
The complete Venus series:
Pirates of Venus
Lost on Venus
Carson of Venus
Escape on Venus
The Wizard of Venus