November 22nd, 2010

troll dweomer

On Barsoom, War is Life. (98)

The Master Mind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

White ape: beat your chest!
It is the sound of war drums.
The green horde has come!

Another of ERB's Barsoomian novels, but not a John Carter novel! The second three books of the Martian Sagas are told around new characters, but Ulysses Paxton is all new, & an Earthling to book. A whole new fellow, unconnected to anyone. I wonder-- John Carter has an immortality independent of Mars & Earth, it seems, but his ability to astral project is clearly not unique. Paxton is a soldier whose legs are blown off, & bleeding out, escapes to join the strange company of a genius surgeon who makes his living swapping brains. Paxton falls in love with the girl whose brain is swapped with the crone queen, & pledges to get her body back. He puts together a heist team: the ugly man who was previously handsome before the wretched creature whose body he now inhabits was swapped for his comely frame; the six-legged white ape who has had half of a man's brain implanted in his head; the assassin; the Earthling. Together...they fight crime! Or, well, impersonate a deity, but same difference. The plus of not having John Carter around is that Burroughs gets back into the Martian weirdness-- things Carter or his brood would take for granted. It is a very science-fiction tale, too, more than the others; jetpacks & weird science & all that. Fun, as they all are.