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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia

Carter, John. John Carter was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs (David Innes, Carson Napier, Shoz-Dijiji, Tarzan (I)) and appeared in a number of stories and ten novels from 1912 to 1948, beginning with “Under the Moons of Mars” (The All-Story Magazine, Feb. 1912).

John Carter is a Planetary Romance Hero. He is a Civil War veteran (for the Confederacy) who is transported by mysterious means to Mars, which has less gravity than Earth and makes the athletic Carter into a superhuman warrior. Carter encounters a literally colorful variety of Martians, from the warlike, four-armed Green Martians to the religious fanatic White Martians. Carter finds adventure, falls in love with a Red Martian, Princess Dejah Thoris, and becomes an intimate and comrade-in-arms of the leaders of Mars.

* I'm including the John Carter stories and novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of their archetypal nature and because they are, under the right circumstances, a great deal of fun to read. The Carter stories and novels are archetypal Planetary Romances, enormously influential on American science fiction for the next four decades. The Carter stories and novels set the mold for a lot of pulp science up through the 1950s, and though there were authors who deviated from the example of the Carter stories and novels, they are in the minority. The Carter stories are fun to read under the right circumstances. They are id-based juvenile sf--but if you are the right kind of juvenile, they will be inspiring and the height of pulpy operatic adventure. This is true for adults, as well, if they can set aside their adult knowledge and conditioning and reflexes and simply enjoy the Carter stories and novels in something approaching the mindset of a juvenile. 

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