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The Moon Maid
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bison Books (University of Nebraska Press), 384 pages

The Moon Maid
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago in 1875. He attended several schools during his youth, later moving to a cattle ranch out west in Idaho. After about a year or so, his parents packed him off to the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, then to the Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, graduating in 1895. He joined the army and wound up in the Seventh United States Cavalry, stationed at Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. In 1899, he moved to Chicago to work at his father's American Battery Company. By 1911, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler. One of his duties was to verify the placement of ads for his sharpeners in various magazines. These were all-fiction "pulp" magazines and he thought he could do that. "Tarzan of the Apes" appeared in the October 1912 issue of All-Story magazine.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Web Site
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Pirates of Venus
Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site
Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site
Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alma A. Hromic

I wish I could say that I grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs -- well, I did, of course, but the generation that came before me did so first. I was not the original audience for the Burroughs worlds of Tarzan's jungles and Barsoom. His were the glory days of pulp fiction, muscled men and the original skimpily-clad women, plots which often relied on flourish and drama rather than any actual realistic verisimilitude. And we -- my generation no less than the one that came before -- loved it all. We ate it up and licked our fingers, as though we'd been raiding the icing pots in our mothers' kitchens. This was Adventure, with a capital A.

It thus both exhilarates and disconcerts me to find this edition of Burroughs' The Moon Maid on my desk. Exhilaration, because it's all out here again, laid out for yet another generation -- this stuff, it's immortal and everlasting, and it goes on to fascinate, amuse, entertain and captivate a whole new swathe of readers. The other, because this edition comes accompanied by an Introduction, scholarly essays, a glossary, a chronological time-line, and copious annotations (including the alterations to the original text). It is startling to see to what extent the wonderful stuff printed by Argosy magazine in the heyday of science fiction's Golden Age has transmigrated into the realm of the University presses.

But as Gary Dunham, the Editor in Chief of the University of Nebraska Press, says in his publisher's preface, the 21st century is, inescapably, the century of The Moon Maid. This is the vision of our times that Burroughs, if not prescient then certainly fulsomely imaginative, has enshrined in the early literature of the genre; it is almost titillating to read of the future which was dreamed of way back then and compare it to the reality which -- and this comes as a jolt, all of a sudden -- we are actually living at this very moment.

There is little to say on the subject except that this is, truly, a classic. It's worth a revisit -- if for nothing more than for a tip of the hat to those that came before, to the writers on whose broad shoulders other visionaries climbed to glimpse the many possible futures laid out before humankind. Re-reading Burroughs -- and especially a version such as this, with all the bells and whistles restored -- is both a joy and a homage.

Go back to the future. Take a nostalgic look at where we've been, at where we thought we were going.

It's an interesting ride.

Copyright © 2003 Alma A. Hromic

Alma A. Hromic, addicted (in random order) to coffee, chocolate and books, has a constant and chronic problem of "too many books, not enough bookshelves". When not collecting more books and avidly reading them (with a cup of coffee at hand), she keeps busy writing her own. Her latest fantasy work, a two-volume series entitled Changer of Days, was published by HarperCollins.

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