Thursday, August 28, 2008

Author Matthew Corradi on John Carter of Mars

Back in December 2005, sci-fi editor, critic, and author John Joseph Adams interviewed science fiction and fantasy author Matthew Corradi just prior to the publication of a story by Corradi in Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. At one point, the conversation turned to Edgar Rice Burroughs and his swashbuckling character, John Carter of Mars:
Matthew Corradi: One night when I was probably 10 or 11 I was bored and my dad told me to go read a book. So I went over to his bookshelf and randomly pulled down a double hardbound edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars. It blew me away. The shear sense of absolute adventure and the monumental scope of a dying Barsoom hooked me hard. I had to drag my mom down to the library to find anything and everything written about John Carter, Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkis. These days I look back on those stories and, sure, they are the foundation and epitome of outrageous, over-the-top pulp science fiction. But sometimes I think as an adult, amid the grind of the job and daily demands, and even in my own attempt to write "important” stories, I’ve lost that sense of adventure that Burroughs gave to me as a kid. So sometimes I’ll pull John Carter off the shelf just to refresh that magic and remind myself that reading should be fun.
Pictured above: 1971 hardcover Doubleday Science-Fiction Book Club double novel of Burroughs’ The Gods of Mars & The Warlord of Mars, with cover illustration by Frank Frazetta.

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