Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Man Who Loved Mars by Lin Carter (1973)

The Man Who Loved Mars, by Lin Carter (1973)

At left: Paperback original (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, 1973), Fawcett Gold Medal #T2690, 157 p., 75¢. “For Isaac Asimov, Lester Del Rey, George O. Smith, and the rest of my friends in my favorite club, The Trap-Door Spiders.” Here's the blurb from the back cover:

A rose-red city, half as old as time. Once it had been king city of a mighty empire and the center of the ancient faith; Gateway to the Gods, the old epics name it. Now it was dead, empty, deserted, only a dim ghost of its vanished splendor. Such was Ilionis. Lost city of Mars. A somber ruin, cold and lonely. But Ilionis was not forgotten. The old city held a valuable treasure. A treasure that brought Earthmen Ivo Tengren and scientist Keresny on a strange and difficult journey to the city's gates. A journey that was now ended. Ilionis had been found. The treasure was close by. And now an even stranger journey was about to begin ...”

Considering the book’s story line, the above reference to “A rose-red city, half as old as time,” is clever, as that is a line from John William Burgon’s lengthy poem, Petra, written in 1845. Petra was an ancient city that thrived in the Hellenistic and Roman periods but later fell into ruins. Located in modern day Jordan, the ruins are featured in the Steven Spielberg film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

The Man Who Loved Mars is the last book in Carter’s The Mysteries of Mars series. The other books are The City Outside the World (1977), Down to a Sunless Sea (1984), and The Valley Where Time Stood Still (1974). A detailed analysis of this series by Den Valdron is available at Valdron not only explains how the chronology of the series differs from the publishing sequence and how two of Carter’s other works, Flame of Iridar (1968) and "The Martian El Dorado of Parker Wintley" (1976), are relevant, but how the Mars of Lin Carter differs from that of both Edward Rice Burroughs and Leigh Brackett.

No comments: