Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Martianthology, Compiled by Forrest J Ackerman

Compiled by Forrest J Ackerman and edited by Anne Hardin, Martianthology (2003) is a wonderful collection of fourteen Martian stories “dedicated to the beloved memory of Edgar Rice Burroughs, who transported us via the ether to the wonderful world of the 4th planet, Barsoom, in 1912.” Here's a description of Martianthology, taken from its back cover:

"Years ago, when these stories were composed, life on Barsoom resided solely in the imaginations of certain special inhabitants of Jasoom (E. R. Burroughs-speak for Mars and Earth). This anthology captures the spirit of that "exploration"--long before a rocket from Earth had actually visited the fourth planet.

These writers gave us heroes and villains, adventure and mis-adventure accompanied by the thrills of conquest and redemption.
Martianthology offers something for all readers of “scientifiction” (as it was called during the early years of pulp writing.) From Cecil B. White’s "Return of the Martians," first published in Amazing Stories, 1928, through the relatively recent Charles Tanner’s "A Chorus for Dejah Thoris" published in Fantastic, 1968, these writers maintain energy and imagination.

You’ll find a rousing "space opera" adventure (along with an excellent
"hero" and great villains) in Ross Rocklynne’s novella "Water for Mars." Prepare for chills with A. E. van Vogt’s "Enchanted Village," along with an eerie tale of terror from Martin Jordan (1955), "A Present from Mars." From John Russell Fearn we offer "Martian Miniature" (1942), the tale of an experiment which unexpectedly
"mis-fired" along with another high-flying adventure, "In Martian Depths," written by Hendrik Dahl Juve back in 1932. A moral tale is told by Stanton A. Coblentz in "Manna from Mars," (1934). A quietly contemplative story comes from Gene Hunter in "Martian Interlude," (1955). And from Ed Earl Repp, who debuted to a splendid success in the late 1920s, we have "Martian Terror"--everything you might want: plenty of white hats, black hats, and hidden royalty about to be "discovered" to save the day (and get the girl). Two "shorties" are included here by our anthologist, Mr. Sci-Fi, Forrest J Ackerman.

This volume is dedicated to the memory of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, although we have no works by ERB, we do include two highly enjoyable ERB parodies. Finally, our editor, Anne Hardin, has included an excellent novella which she read as a child, "The Magic Ball from Mars" by Carl L. Biemiller.

So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare to blast off! It’s going to be an exciting ride!"

Here’s the table of contents:

Introduction, by Anne Hardin

The Magic Ball from Mars,” by Carl L. Biemiller, Jack and Jill (1952)

Enchanted Village,” by A. E. van Vogt, Other Worlds (July 1950)

Martian Miniature,” by John Russell Fearn, Amazing Stories (May 1942)

Martian Interlude,” by Gene Hunter, Spaceway Science Fiction (April 1955)

The Return of the Martians,” by Cecil B. White, Amazing Stories (April 1928)

A Martian Oddity,” by Forest J Ackerman, Marvel Science Stories (November 1950)

Mars Falls Sunward,” by E. V. Knox, These Liberties (Methuen & Co., 1923)

Water for Mars,” by Ross Rocklynne, Astounding Stories (April 1937)

In Martian Depths,” by Hendrik Dahl Juve, Wonder Stories (September 1932)

Manna from Mars,” by Stanton A. Coblentz, Astounding Science Fiction (March 1934)

Mars is--Hell!” by Forrest J Ackerman, Planet Stories (November 1950)

A Present from Mars,” by Martin Jordan, Authentic Science Fiction Monthly (January 1955)

Martian Terror,” by Ed Earl Repp, Planet Stories (Spring 1940)

A Chorus for Dejah Thoris,” by Charles R. Tanner, Fantastic (August 1968)

Pictured above: Cover of Martianthology, based on a painting by Frank R. Paul and featuring the anthologist, Forrest J Ackerman, as the spaceman!

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