Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Book sale: Author Mike Resnick's copy of the apocryphal Tarzan On Mars

One of the more interesting and controversial works in the history of Martian science fiction is Tarzan On Mars, a manuscript written in 1954 by John Bloodstone, a pseudonym of author Stuart J. Byrne. Despite the popular subject matter, publication of
the manuscript was squashed by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. because Tarzan On Mars was deemed an unauthorized work in violation of copyright law. “Since then," according to Byrne, "via Bootleg Row, the novel has lived an underground existence among ERB fans, and
in spite of the years has refused to die.”

So where does renowned science fiction author Mike Resnick fit into all of this? Apparently, a copy of the apocryphal Tarzan On Mars once owned by Resnick is being sold by Barry R. Levin, a highly respected science fiction and fantasy bookseller in Santa Monica, California. Below is a greatly abridged description of the Resnick copy. If you’re a Burroughs aficionado, a bibliophile, or a fan of Resnick, you’ll appreciate the unabridged description posted on the used and rare book site AbeBooks.
Tarzan On Mars (1966), by John Bloodstone

Publisher: Burroughsian Press, Springfield
Publication Date: 1966
Binding: Full-Leather
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Edition: Second Edition

Description: (Edgar Rice Burroughs) Bloodstone, John (pseudonym of S. J. Byrne). Published by John H. Toelle and printed by Tim A. Conrad. "Second edition" (first obtainable edition). ... The limitation page of this copy states: "Limited
to ten (10) copies. This copy being the property of Michael D. Resnick." ... this unauthorized Tarzan and John Carter of Mars novel remains. The text is a photocopy of typescript, printed
on the rectos only. This copy bound in full brown leather c.1966. Gilt lettering on spine. Very near fine.

Price: $800
To learn more about Tarzan On Mars, its contents, and its storied history as one of the rarest of the Burroughs collectibles, read these articles:

• “The Burroughs Bilbio-Pro-Philes Series Presents Stuart Byrne aka John Bloodstone” (, Volume #1967)

• “Tarzan Never Dies!” by editor Ray Palmer, from the November 1955 issue of Other Worlds Science Stories magazine (, Volume #0313)

• “Ganymede or Bust,” by Den Valdron (, Volume #1930)

• “In the Footsteps of the Master, Unsteadily: a Review of Tarzan On Mars,” by John Allen Small (, Volume #1966)

• “Why I Wrote Forgotten Sea of Mars,” (2000) by Mike Resnick (

• “Tales of the Prozines,” by Mike Resnick (Jim Baen’s Universe, 14 Vol. 3 Num. 2 August 2008)

As Resnick noted recently, "you can still find illegally-photocopied copies of Tarzan On Mars for sale here and there." Indeed!

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