Friday, November 9, 2007

The Outlaws of Mars by Otis Adelbert Kline (1933)

The Outlaws of Mars, a novel by Otis Adelbert Kline (1933).

At left: Paperback (New York: Ace Books, 1961), #D-531, 158 p., 35¢. Cover art by Ed Emshwiller.
"Interplanetary adventure in the best Edgar Rice Burroughs tradition." Here’s a blurb from inside the cover:

Jerry Morgan, fed up with Earthly frustrations, found plenty to occupy him when he swapped bodies with a hot-headed Martian from that red planet’s era of glory. For Jerry’s first moment there involved him in a costly mistake which was to throw him into conflict not only with the forces of evil and Mars’ many monsters but also against the trained weapons of a haughty empire!”

Facing the title page is this tribute to Kline:
Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Barsoom, has never had a peer. He stands unsurpassed as a master of fantasy-adventure, and so it shall always be.

Yet there was one who came so close that many consider him to have equalled the old master himself. He was Otis Adelbert Kline, a superb fantasy author, and creator of Jan of the Jungle and Grandon of Terra, the Prince of Peril.

Surely Kline and Burroughs had much in common. They both wrote because they loved to write, they wrote the same type of stories for more or less the same magazines, and they probably influenced each other greatly.

In 1933, Kline introduced the readers of
Argosy to Jerry Morgan, the swashbuckling hero of The Outlaws of Mars and it was an instant success. "Excitement, vivid imagination, and strong human conflicts make up this full-length fantastic novel of an Earthman's adventures on the Red Planet." So said the editors then and now, nearly thirty years later, their description is still valid. -- Camille Cazedessus, Jr., Editor, ERB-dom Magazine.
The blog Dark•Heritage has an interesting post on Kline's book.

Originally published as a serial in Argosy in 1933, The Outlaws of Mars was the second installment in Kline’s Mars series. The first was The Swordsman of Mars, also published as a serial in Argosy in 1933 and reprinted in book form in 1961.

A partial bibliography of Kline’s works and a gallery of his cover art are in various volumes of Bill Hillman’s ERBzin-e.

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